Improve Your SAT Vocabulary

by Ted Mosbi

Posted on Wednesday 29th of June 2011

The SAT Test is divided in 3 sections:

1) Reading

2) Writing

3) Math

The reading section requires strong command over vocabulary to make a good score. The reading section comprises of 3 sub-sections comprising of a paragraph each. Students are asked to read the paragraphs and answer the questions following. Among those, you'll see sentence completion questions which require a strong knowledge of vocabulary. The SAT reading section uses your vocabulary power as an indicator for your overall knowledge of English language. Your vocabulary is also going to help you in the SAT writing section. Infect SAT essay will be the first thing you'll notice when you take the SAT test. You get 25 minutes to organize your thoughts and express yourself using accurate and apt vocabulary. In the test, you'll even some words which you have never heard before. Mastering such difficult words is very important for SAT success.

You can do general vocabulary drills or review a pre-tested list of words with a tutor. However for better results it’s advised to review a list which has been pre-tested over the years. One of the best ways is to strengthen your vocabulary using a thorough list on suffixes and prefixes. Focus on improving your context skills. It’s well known that words learnt from context are more easily comprehended. Do a lot of comprehension practice and observe how words are used. Every word has a sound and our mind is capable to memorizing that without having to look for the meaning of the word, which is called our auditory memory. While leaning, make it a habit to say words loud so that it’s saved in auditory memory as well. You can also use sound association technique to increase your vocabulary. There could be some other fun ways as well like reading a book, using word of the day calendars and word games like crossword puzzles, brainteasers, jumbles or board games like Scrabble.

While a tutor help is always advantageous it does not mean you can not at all do without a tutor. Some families face financial challenges and cannot afford to hire a tutor. They can find free help on the Web (WWW). There are plenty of websites offering free SAT practice tests, SAT Wiki, Test Prep Videos, SAT Flashcards, Reading Cram Sheets, Writing Cram Sheets, and SAT Articles and Tips. There are various other resources available online which give you list of most effective words which are likely to be seen in the exam.

Finally, get in the habit of learning words you don’t know. Read a lot, pen down the words you don’t know, look them up in a dictionary, and memorize them. If you have a computer you can use any vocabulary program, vocabulary tests or play vocabulary games to learn difficult words. Playing games will not only help you learn new words but also refresh your memory and will also let you check your progress. A good vocabulary can make difference not just in SAT but also in other standardized tests like GRE, GMAT, IELTS, and TOEFL.

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