Caddell Prep Access Menu

The Best Way to Study Vocabulary Words for the SAT

When you hear the term “SAT,” one of the first things that come into mind is vocab questions. Taken by high school students, this type of exam offers proof that you have everything it takes to pursue a college education. By reviewing SAT questions, you can have better chances of doing well on the exams.

Perhaps one of the most complicated parts of the SAT for students is the vocab words. Many make the mistake of studying the wrong thing so they end up having unsatisfactory scores for the SAT vocabulary words.

A lot has actually changed with the SAT vocab lists–it’s no longer what it used to be. Instead of memorizing an unfamiliar word and its meaning, you will be asked to understand commonly-used words in context.

So how do you prepare yourself for college admissions? In this blog, we will walk you through the best way to study vocabulary words for the SAT.

Online Tools

Studying vocabulary to score higher on SAT tests is now made easier thanks to online resources available for free.

There are many online tools to help you understand passages better and study vocabulary words. We recommend using our online flashcard program that can be accessed here. This is an excellent way to learn vocabulary on the go. It’s also perfect for students who have no time creating review materials or those who simply want instant vocab reviewers without the hassle of making everything from scratch.

Students who hate going through stacks of flashcards also have the option of trying out other tools such as Vocab Ahead, Quizlet, MindSnacks, etc.

Read Engaging Materials

Another easy yet effective way of soaking up more vocabulary is through reading different materials. Find high-quality articles from well-known resources such as The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Science Magazine.

By immersing yourself in a wide range of subject matter, you’ll have a broader knowledge of content-specific words while getting acquainted with all types of formats. You also stay on top of current events by reading journals and current newspaper articles.

SAT Test Prep

If you’re looking for extensive practice materials in the form of sentence completion, questions, and tests for each section of the SAT, the College Board is an excellent site to visit. You can use these questions and tests just as you would answer the SAT Question of the Day–a downloadable app that features a new practice question every day.

Look for unfamiliar words in every question. Once you see one, remember the word and try using context clues and guess its definition. Then, look it up online to check if you made the right guess. Write the word that you’ve learned to remember it better. You can also try to use it correctly over the coming days to make sure its meaning really sticks to you.

Word Association

Another excellent trick you should try is word association. Take an unfamiliar word you’re trying to learn and associate it with something that is familiar to you. The human brain absorbs new information naturally by connecting it to what’s already known to you. Use this to your advantage–associate words you encounter during your review with a familiar situation or person.

For instance, “raconteur” means a person tells stories in an amusing and skillful way. If you have a friend or family member who is good at sharing stories, you can associate the word with the image of that person. This makes remembering the meaning of that word so much easier.

New York Times (NYT) Learning Network

Most people are not aware of the many educational resources out there, including the NYT Learning Network. This free platform can be accessed by students who want creative and rich materials to aid learning. Every day, the page is updated to feature various educational resources like articles, pictures, articles, videos, podcasts, and so on.

Both students and educators can access the site and its wealth of content without paying for a subscription. It’s an effective way of getting high-quality information without having to pay a premium.

To help you with your vocab needs and prepare for the SATs, the Learning Network has its own Word of the Day section. This part is based on the words being used in the New York Times. A new word is featured daily, along with its definition. There’s also an excerpt of its use in the publication plus a section with a word quiz at the end.

The Best Way to Study Vocabulary Words for the SAT: Final Thoughts

Vocab doesn’t play a major role on the SAT but you’ll need to master it if your goal is to have a high SAT score. One of the simplest ways to improve your SAT skills and score better is to expand your vocabulary.

Aside from helping you with the writing, essay, and reading parts of the SAT, a strong vocabulary serves as a solid foundation for your history or foreign languages class. Beyond helping you with the SAT reading and vocab section, it can also help you succeed in college essays and interviews that you’ll surely encounter down the line.