SAT CRITICAL READING
BUILDING YOUR VOCABULARY
Tips on Building Your Vocabulary
SAT High-Frequency Word List
Basic Word Parts
Recognizing the meaning of words is essential to comprehending what you read. The more you stumble over unfamiliar words in a text, the more you have to take time out to look up words in your dictionary, the more likely you are to wind up losing track of what the author has to say.
To succeed in college, you must develop a college-level vocabulary. You must familiarize yourself with technical words in a wide variety of fields, mastering each field’s special vocabulary. You must learn to use these words, and re-use them until they become second nature to you. The time you put in now learning vocabularybuilding techniques for this exam will pay off later on, and not just on the SAT.
This section provides you with a fundamental tool that will help you build your vocabulary: Barron’s SAT High-Frequency Word List.
No matter how little time you have before you take the SAT, you can familiarize yourself with the sort of vocabulary you will be facing on the test. Look over the words on our SAT High-Frequency Word List: each of these words, ranging from everyday words such as abstract andobjective to less common ones such as abstruse and iconoclast, has appeared (as answer choices or as question words) from five to thirty times on SAT and SAT I tests published through 2008. Notice that the words have been divided into groups of ten so you won’t be overwhelmed.
Not only will looking over the SAT High-Frequency Word List reassure you that you do know some SAT-type words, but also it will help you on the actual day of the test. These words have turned up on recent tests: some of them may turn up on the test you take. Look over these words. Review any of them that are unfamiliar to you. Try using these words on your parents and friends. Then, if the words do turn up on your test, feel confident: your knowledge of them will help you come up with the correct answers or eliminate incorrect answer choices.