How can I improve my vocabulary for the SAT?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,709
    Laura Rheinauer, Associate Director of Educational Connections, provides some tips to expand your vocabulary in preparation for the SAT.

    Host: How can I improve my vocabulary for the SAT?

    Laura Rheinauer: A good vocabulary is a key component of success on the SAT. A strong knowledge of vocab is going to help you in all sections of the SAT. There are lots of wordlists out there probably your High School teacher has a list of common junior and senior level High School words that are going to appear in the SAT. Always the top prep books have a list of vocab words too with prefixes, suffixes that you can learn rootwords as well. Online, there are thousands of wordlists out there. Now how do you start absorbing and memorizing all those vocabulary words? A great tip is to make something called a smartcard. Here, let me demo a smartcard for you. Let's say the vocabulary word is meandering. I am going to write it on one side of a 3x5 or a larger index card, meandering. Now I am going to think in my head what does this mean, might even have to look in the dictionary or go online for a definition and it means wind, back and forth. Now I am going to think in my head, "What's something that I know that winds, goes back and forth and has some personal meaning to me.

    " I know; it's my trip to Utah when I went down that lazy river ride. I am going to draw and by no means, am I an artist, a lazy river. That's going to be jogging my memory of a lazy river. If it doesn't like it, it doesn't matter, just the fact that it's my memory, meandering, meandering river. Now I am going to use that word meandering in a personally meaningful sentence. 'I remember my lazy river ride when I meandered,' done. Now when I want to quiz myself on meandering, it's pretty easy. I have mental image because I remember that trip to Utah. What a great meandering time. So now that you have got yourself a smartcard, start compiling all of them. Quiz yourself, have your parents quiz you at dinner or quiz your friends on the car ride to school. The more you can incorporate these new vocabulary words into everyday language, into essays that you write at school, the better you are going to be for the SAT. Now in addition to just memorizing wordlist, I encourage you to get out there and read. That's going to help you so much in all of the sections of the SAT. Read from Section, read from the Economist or The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post or the Times. There are great resources out there, just start taking advantage of them.