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Vocab Newsletter

Until 2016, vocabulary was tested directly on the SAT in the sentence completion section. The score on this section was almost completely based on a student’s vocabulary skills. Now, vocabulary is indirectly tested in the reading comprehension section and could also come into play for grammar. Although vocab is not nearly as important for scoring as it was, it’s still important enough that we want our students to prepare for it.

Benefits of a Strong Vocabulary

A strong command of vocabulary can help improve your SAT scores. If you recognize even four more words than you did on practice and previous tests, that could result in 30 points.

The main reason we ask teenagers to study vocabulary is not for the SAT, but for life. Students who are armed with a good vocabulary do better on classwork, in college and early jobs.

Our vocab study encourages students to know a ballpark definition of words commonly seen on the SAT – you don’t need to be Noah Webster’s dictionary! Let’s go through a couple examples:

  • Harmonious: Students need to know that harmonious means “something pleasing”. You may go further and learn that this word also means “working together”.
  • Circumspect: This is a hard word, but knowing it means something like “weary” or “cautious” puts you in the ballpark to get a right answer if circumspect comes into play.

Studying vocabulary can be helpful for SAT success and for life. We only ask for five to 10 minutes a day! Five minutes if you start early and have four months or more to prepare, and 10 minutes if you start later. It’s not hard – only one hour a week! Spend a couple minutes reinforcing yesterday’s words, then start to build up the next day’s words.