Importance of SAT Vocabulary
Learning vocabulary is an important part of any SAT preparation strategy.
In the Critical Reading section, sentence completion questions directly test
your vocabulary. Here you need to know the meaning of the presented words
in order to identify which correctly fills in the blank of a sentence. Such
questions make up a significant chunk (around 28%) of your raw Critical Reading
But remember, too, that many reading comprehension questions hinge on your
knowing the meaning of particular words as well. The passages you have to
read in the Critical Reading section are likely to contain advanced words.
If you are unfamiliar with them it could slow down your reading time and decrease
your understanding of the passage.
Also, reading comprehension questions often directly or indirectly test your
vocabulary. For example it is very common to see questions such as “In
the context of the passage, the word X most nearly means...” Or, you
might be asked to describe the tone of a passage, and would need to know the
meaning of answer choice words such as “malevolent” “foreboding”
or “ebullient” to pick the right one.
Finally, skillful use of appropriate vocabulary is one of the criteria used
to evaluate your SAT Essay in the Writing section, so increasing your vocabulary
should be a goal that you pursue from day one of your SAT preparation efforts.
Recommended Print SAT Vocabulary lists
Hits Core Vocabulary of the SAT (Volume 1)
The Directs Hits word list is compilation of 190 vocabulary
words from the most recent SAT exams. Although a short list, the words
on the list have the highest frequency of appearing on the SAT than
any other word list currently available.
Hits Toughest Vocabulary of the SAT (Volume 2)
Volume 2 is an extension of the Direct Hits vocabulary, with an additional
176 words. Volume 2 includes more advanced vocabulary including words
pertaining to subject areas and words with multiple definitions.
Recommended Online SAT Vocabulary lists