Vocabulary for SAT Test

Significance of Vocab in the SAT Test

Vocabulary is a very important aspect of SAT. Until 2005, questions related to vocabulary in SAT used to be more direct in the sense that there used to be questions directly based on words. These included antonyms, synonyms and analogies. Now the pattern has been completely modified. These types of questions don’t appear on SAT anymore.

Why Does a College Need Vocabulary?

At this point, you may argue that there is no longer any need of knowledge of words for SAT test. It is quite fair to say that vocabulary no longer plays the role that it used to in SAT. However, you should also keep in mind that there are two sections in SAT based on English, namely critical reading and writing. You may wonder “Why colleges have sections related to vocabulary in the first place?” The answer is quite simple if you think about it. To perform well in any college/university in the United States it is essential that you have good command over the English language and what better way to get this command than building your vocabulary? This is essential because you have to present assignments on a regular basis, navigate through text books and give certain presentations. All these things require a fluent and logical expression of ideas in English. Once you are admitted, they are certainly not going to teach you English. Therefore, they consider it as a basic requirement during admission. These are the reasons that make it very important for you to prepare vocabulary for SAT.

How it Helps in SAT

Reading Section

This section is scored on a scale of 200-800 and forms a third of the test. If you are good at vocabulary, you can save a lot of time in reading and understanding passages. Generally, students fail to understand a few words which in turn results in failure in grasping the actual gist of the passage and eventually they are not able to answer the questions correctly. If you have prepared vocabulary for SAT, you will able to comprehend things much faster and much more effectively. If you read about sentence completion on the College Board site (www.collegeboard.org), it will tell you that sentence completion tests your vocabulary and knowledge of sentence structure. This should clearly tell you the importance of prominent words in SAT.

Essay Writing

It is a very important aspect that was incorporated only recently in SAT. In this section, you can score on a scale of 2-12 (raw score). It consists of a single essay. Most people think that the content of an essay is more important. However, it is the language you use to present your ideas that gives you the edge.

The preparation of vocabulary is most important because of this section. If you have a good arsenal of words at your disposal you will find it very easy to express your ideal logically and clearly. You can aim at scoring 12 in this section with a well written essay.

SAT Subject Tests

As you will be aware the subject tests are conducted along with SAT in areas of literature, language, math, science and history. If you are planning to take the subject tests in either literature or history, a good vocabulary can do wonders for you. If you are a student of literature then almost surely your vocabulary should be good and this will help you perform better even in the other sections of the test as described above.

Little Bits Here and There

Most of the aspirants who take SAT are not well prepared in terms of vocabulary. Due to this, although they are able to answer most questions, they tend to miss out on some tricky ones. This is where your knowledge of words comes into the picture. You may argue that little points here and there won’t make much of a difference, but that’s not the case.

Those little points that most of the students miss out will give you an edge and will finally reflect on your overall score. When you are well prepared, it will also show as confidence and mental calm.

Simple Ways to Build a Good Vocabulary

The thing that you should realize about vocabulary for SAT is that even after considering all these reasons it is still a very small part of the test and it is quite simple to prepare! If you are an ardent reader of magazines/story books/novels/newspapers then you will already have a great vocabulary in which case your concentration should be directed more towards the general SAT preparation rather than vocabulary.

In case you don’t have the habit of reading, there is still no need to worry. There are several online portals that offer some wonderful and interactive tools to improve vocabulary. This will take very less of your time and give you excellent results. The only important thing is don’t neglect it completely, a little bit of preparation should get you through.