20 Vocabulary Words You Must Know Before Taking the SAT in 2019

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20 Vocabulary Words You Must Know Before Taking the SAT in 2019


The SAT is a challenging exam that measures the knowledge of high school students and their level of preparedness for college. As the college admissions process becomes more and more competitive, SAT test preparation becomes more and more important. One of the best ways to prepare for the writing and reading comprehension sections of the SAT is to study vocabulary. The SAT commonly and strategically uses vocabulary words that not all students might be familiar with and may impact their ability to correctly answer questions. Begin studying SAT vocabulary by knowing these key terms that commonly appear on the exam:

  1. Acumen (n.) keen insight

Example: The successful lawyer with business acumen won the case.

  1. Aesthetic (adj.) artistic, related to the appreciation of beauty

Example: Even though Mary liked the curtains she found on sale, she decided not to purchase them because they did not match her bedrooms elegant aesthetic.

  1. Ambiguous (adj.) uncertain, variably interpretable

Example: The specific reasons the crime took place are a little ambiguous.

  1. Bourgeois (n.) a middle-class person, capitalist

Example: Some businessmen are criticized for their bourgeois lifestyles.

  1. Bombastic (adj.) excessively confident, pompous

Example: The candidate for Student Council President with the bombastic speech ended up winning by a landslide.

  1. Candor (n.) honesty, frankness

Example: I was surprised by the candor of our conversation because she usually keeps things to herself.

  1. Capricious (adj.) subject to whim, fickle

Example: Lauren has always been a capricious bride-to-be, so it was not a total surprise when she left her fiance at the altar.

  1. Colloquial (adj.) characteristic of informal conversation

Example: The professor was not impressed by the heavy use of colloquial expressions in the student’s paper.

  1. Disavow (v.) to deny knowledge of or responsibility for

Example: The guilty criminal tried to disavow his involvement with the murder.

  1. Docile (adj.) easily taught or trained

Example: The dog lover successfully taught the docile puppy to roll over.

  1. Epitome (n.) a perfect example, embodiment

Example: For many loyal fans, Michael Jackson remains the epitome of pop music.

  1. Frugal (adj.) thrifty, economical

Example: Friends began to criticize Peter for being too frugal with his money, but he argues he is just being a smart saver.

  1. Hackneyed (adj.) unoriginal, trite

Example: I was excited to see the film, but quickly lost interest because of the hackneyed plot.

  1. Idiosyncratic (adj.) peculiar to one person; highly individualized

Example: I have come to adore my husband’s many idiosyncratic tendencies, even the annoying ones.

  1. Juxtaposition (n.) the act of placing two things next to each other for implicit comparison

Example: The student’s recent failing grade in math is a complete juxtaposition of his typical straight As.

  1. Meticulous (adj.) extremely careful with details

Example: Scientists must be very meticulous when testing DNA so that the information remains accurate.

  1. Prosaic (adj.) plain, lacking liveliness

Example: I was disappointed by the singer’s prosaic performance since he is known for his dance moves on stage.

  1. Superfluous (adj.) exceeding what is necessary

Example: At first, I was glad we were having a thunderstorm since there’s been a drought, but the superfluous amount of rain left the flowers damaged.

  1. Surreptitious (adj.) stealthy

Example: The puppy surreptitiously snuck out of his cage and chewed up his owner’s socks.

  1. Zealous (adj.) fervent, filled with eagerness in pursuit of something

Example: The zealous seniors arrived for their High School Prom promptly at 8.

Expand Your Reading & Writing Skills with Essential SAT Vocabulary

It’s hard to predict the exact vocabulary that will appear on each SAT. However, these 20 words are a great place to start. They are words that commonly appear on SATs and that students tend to be confused about. Start studying these definitions and become familiar with how they might be used in a sentence. Students who feel comfortable with commonly used SAT vocabulary are likely to see better scores on their writing and reading comprehension sections of the exam. Start studying these words and get ready to rock the SAT!