You thought you’d become inured to the phenomenon, but much to your chagrin the pristine test booklet is heckling you again. You don’t know whether to succumb to sleep as your brain tries to process the maelstrom of antediluvian words teeming in front of you—or leap out of your seat and abscond haplessly from the room, untouched bubble sheet in hand. Either way, you can hear the death knell ringing in your ears.
Fear not! If that pretentious first paragraph was a bit hard to follow, it’s because our scenario was stuffed to the brim with “SAT level” vocabulary words. While the bona fide vocabulary testing section was taken off of the SAT back in 2016, plenty of recondite or more abstruse words still pepper the reading comprehension passages and questions today. If your stock of advanced vocabulary is replete, it will be much easier (and more efficient!) to answer these questions correctly. At the very least, you can dispel the fear that you won’t even understand what a question is asking.
So how can you surmount the legions of outlandish encyclopedia words? Our first tip is to read, read, read. Reading vocabulary words in context is a much more authentic way to learn not only the dictionary definition but connotation and pertinent use of a word. Older classics tend to proffer better pickings in terms of words that would plausibly reappear on your test. This strategy should be undertaken sooner rather than later!
However, if you don’t have the leisure of languorously working your way through the complete works of Jane Austen, you can always look up vocabulary lists online. Searching up sets that have already been made on learning platforms like Quizlet is a good bet. Another nifty tip is to venture a look into National Spelling Bee word lists—beyond improving your orthography, the words that make their way onto these lists often overlap with approved SAT vocabulary.
Last but not least, to familiarize yourself with vocabulary in context, you can practice with a copy of our SAT SOS Flashcards or go for the more comprehensive Crimson Coaching packages, which cover SAT test prep. Going over the format of questions will help you identify the vocabulary that is (mis)used!
Can’t wait to get started? Try defining the words we used in our blog above!