If you want to improve your SAT score, you need to bulk up on your vocabulary. Possessing a strong vocabulary can help you with your reading, writing, and essay portions of the test. Many high school students struggle to increase their vocabulary effectively, as new words go in one ear and out the other.
While there are not any magic shortcuts to learning words, studies show that students can see a rapid improvement in vocabulary skills by dedicating at least 15 minutes per day to concentrated study. To help you expand your vocabulary, we’ve compiled some of the most common words that you might encounter on the SATs.
Aberration – (noun)
Something or someone regarded as atypical, and therefore able to be ignored or discounted
Example: There is no substance to Sarah’s vacuous claim of ownership.
Adulation – (noun)
Excessive admiration of or devotion to a person
Example: The adulation and applause from the crowd made the Rockstar smile.
Benevolent – (Adjective)
Having or marked by sympathy and consideration for others
Example: Megan was a benevolent woman, always volunteering her free time to charitable organizations.
Circuitous – (Adjective)
Not straightforward or direct
Example: The blog editor asked the writer to simplify the circuitous language for the average reader.
Deleterious – (Adjective)
Causing or capable of causing harm
Example: Contrary to what many people believe, ingesting too many vitamins can cause deleterious consequences to your health.
Evanescent – (Adjective)
Lasting only for a short time
Example: Rainbows are evanescent because they only briefly appear after a storm.
Fortitude – (Noun)
The strength of mind that enables a person to endure pain or hardship
Example: Despite her immense fear of hurricanes, the babysitter had the fortitude to move herself and the children into a storm cellar.
Guile – (Noun)
Skill in achieving one’s ends through indirect, subtle, or underhanded means
Example: The wealthy lobbyist used his money and guile to influence political discourse.
Hegemony – (Noun)
Controlling power or influence over others
Example: The CEO of the company has hegemony over his employees.
Intransigent – (Adjective)
Characterized by refusal to compromise or to abandon an extreme position or attitude
Example: When it comes to the safety of children, devoted parents always take an intransigent position to protect them.
Laconic – (Adjective)
Marked by few words to convey much information or meaning
Example: Most of the staff was laconic when speaking about the investigation, try to keep things hush-hush.
Malfeasance – (Noun)
Improper or illegal behavior; wrongdoing
Example: The congressman did not respond to the media’s questions about his alleged malfeasance.
Oscillate – (Verb)
To continuously change from one belief, feeling, or condition to an opposite one
Example: After reviewing a mountain of new evidence, David could not help but oscillate on the best course of action.
Ostentatious – (Adjective)
Excessively showy; flashy
Example: Despite regularly donating to charities, many still criticized the actor’s ostentatious lifestyle.
Penchant – (Noun)
A habitual attraction to some activity or thing
Example: As an aspiring musician, Jason displayed a penchant for playing the piano at a very young age.
Querulous – (Adjective)
Given to complaining a lot
Example: During the plane trip, Chrissy sat next to a querulous lady who constantly criticized the flight attendants.
Resplendent – (Adjective)
Very bright and attractive
Example: The verdant garden lent a resplendent quality to the otherwise plain cottage.
Rhapsodize – (Verb)
To make an exaggerated display of affection or enthusiasm
Example: After besting their fierce rivals, the ice hockey team rhapsodized over their victory.
Sagacity – (Noun)
The ability to understand inner qualities or relationships
Example: His lack of sagacity has led to the closing of his business.
Sanctimonious – (Adjective)
Pretending to be morally better than other people
Example: His sanctimonious aunt tends to look down on people who do not go to church every Sunday.
Sophomoric – (Adjective)
Lacking in maturity, taste, or judgment
Example: The sophomoric humor in the new comedy movie only appeals to younger viewers.
Tirade – (Noun)
A long angry speech or scolding
Example: The law professor’s tirade against a proposed tax law lasted for nearly two hours.
Transient – (Adjective)
Lasting only for a short time
Example: The snow is transient and will melt as soon as the sun appears, or the temperatures rise.
Unconscionable – (Adjectives)
Shockingly unfair or unjust
Example: After a lengthy court battle, the judge advocate general deemed the torture and killings of innocent civilians to be unconscionable.
Vilify – (Verb)
To make untrue and harmful statements about
Example: Serena’s conniving husband tried to vilify her during their child custody battle.
Now it’s time to take your new words for a test drive. There are many ways of introducing context into your vocabulary learning, the simplest being to learn vocabulary in sentences. Try creating your own sentences, so that you gain experiencing using new vocabulary words.
Reading can also further aid in expanding your vocabulary. As you read a new book or your favorite magazine, pay close attention to unfamiliar words, Next highlight words that appear to be particularly useful or central to the story, then try to figure out their contextual meanings before checking the official definition. Before you know it, you’ll possess a lexicon of advanced words that will supercharge any conversation or speech.