8. A: "Amicable" means friendly. It does not mean competitive (B), i.e. oppositional, ambitious, or aggressive; courteous (C), i.e. polite; industrious (D), i.e. hard-working; or chemistry (E): their collaboration was in physics, but moreover, the passage specifically describes their collaboration as "amicable."
9. B: "Blithe" means light-hearted. It does not mean strong (A), humorous (B) or funny; strange (D), or envious (E).
10. B: "Disgruntled" means annoyed. It does not mean hopeless (A), depressed (C), or worried (D).
11. A: Marie challenged authority by going to study at the Sorbonne, because Warsaw's university did not admit women. The passage indicates this challenge by describing her "defiantly" leaving Poland for France; i.e., she was defying authority. The passage does not indicate she showed intelligence (B), "behaved" (C), or was distressed (D) or upset by her move.
12. A: A synonym for "despondently" is "dejectedly," meaning sadly, with despair or depression. The passage indicates this by describing Curie's emotional state as one of "heartbreaking anguish" over her husband's sudden accidental death. She is not described in this passage as worried (B) by her memories, or recalling them tearfully (C), happily (D), or irefully (E), i.e. angrily.
13. C: The closest synonym for the "feeling of desolation" (despair) described in the passage is wretchedness. Misfortune (A) or ill fate/luck is not as close. Anger (B) is a separate emotion from desolation. Disappointment (D) is also different from desolation, meaning feeling let-down rather than hopeless. Ambition (E) is drive to succeed or accomplish things. It was not Curie's ambition that faded upon returning to the Sorbonne but her depression.
14. C: "Disillusioned" means disappointed. It does not mean troubled (A), i.e. concerned or disturbed; worried (B) or anxious; sorrowful (D) or sad; or disturbed (E).