vocabulary tips to improve your SAT score

Want to score higher in SAT but worried about vocab? This article will give you six important vocabulary tips to improve your SAT scores. Read on….

TCM Staff

31st October 2021

“Improvement is necessary for growth”

Here, improvement depends on your previous score. SAT requires smart preparation as being a highly competitive exam. The improvement of Vocabulary is not rocket science! Well, the SAT does not test as much vocabulary as it once did but, having a strong vocabulary will help you in scoring better for SAT. An average student may not know that SAT vocabulary contains at least 10–15 words and answering such questions correctly is nothing less than a challenge. 

The following are some simple ways to build up your vocabulary before your SAT test date.

Learn the root:

Learn Etymology i.e., the origin or derivation or root of the words. You can actually understand better and more easily remember the words when you know its meaning of a Latin or Greek root, prefix or suffix. Learn one root and you have the key that will unlock the meanings of up to ten, twenty or even more English words in which that Latin or Greek prefix or suffix appears.

For example, The Latin meaning of EGO is “I”. Learn it and you will immediately have a hold of the meanings of egocentric,  egomaniac,  egoist, egotist and alter ego - all of which will expand your vocabulary.

Invest in a prep book:  

An SAT preparation book will help you find out what is important and will help you understand the vocabulary better. Tutors or expensive courses are not needed to do well on the SAT. You can purchase practice tests from the College Board, practice as much and as often as possible, trust your own abilities, and stay calm on test day. Do as many practice tests as humanly possible and strive to figure out the problems you missed. Taking enough tests will help you to see the patterns emerge and recognize strategies for them.

Just Read:

Always remember that the more you read, the more you learn and the more strong your vocabulary becomes. Read anything and everything. Challenge yourself to read things you find hard. You can find a list online of common SAT words and commit to learning 10-15 new words daily. Learn them, use them, own them. This will help with your essay portion as well, not only vocabulary-wise but also to help you form educated opinions.

Follow a Dictionary:

Easy, follow a dictionary. Every time you come across a new word, you can use a dictionary to know the meaning. But, what's important in vocab building is practicing the words you learn. Use them while conversing with your friends and let them think of you as a snob. It doesn't matter. 

First, Write, and then Learn:

You can try to learn at least 10 new words per day and maintain a notebook in which you can write down the words you learn every day so you can look it up later or break down the words in a list of ten and make a commitment to learning one list a week. Go through each list and test yourself one week later to reinforce your learning. This will help you remember it. 

Practice with Flashcards:

Learn using the flashcards. You must have used the flashcards to study for some of your high school classes already. Use Anki software, its application, desktop and web version are all super useful. It is a system of intelligent flashcards. It has a separate column that remembers the words which are easy for you and which are difficult in order to optimize your time spent reviewing.


But, all that being said, unless you feel very prepared for the rest of the exam, it is not worth your effort to put in a lot of work on vocabulary prep. Your vocabulary word just won't have the same pay off as working on math or reading passages. It depends, if vocab is your only weak area, go ahead and work on it. You can learn a lot in a month.

All in all, you need some time, dedication and persistence, as with any other accomplishment, to master the test. So, stop thinking and start working NOW.

“You Can Do It”

Good Luck!

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