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What is the best way to improve vocabulary for the SAT?

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Worth throwing out there...if your ds finds vocab practice mind-numbing, you might try Barron's Picture These SAT words. (That link is for the Kindle edition.) They use silly, silly stories and mnemonic devices.


Things I recommend:


-Latin and Greek root study (if you don't do Latin or Greek)

-Sadlier-Oxford's online vocabulary podcasts (found on their website, similar to some of CAP's audio files)

-If your ds is doing any foreign language, have him go through the vocabulary looking for etymological links between his vocab. words and SAT vocab. words.

-Sylvan has some online SAT practice

-Someone posted a thread about Kaplan's free nook books yesterday....some SAT prep titles are included. There's a free nook app for the iPod/iPad.


If you're really lost for ideas, take a break and try freerice.org. It's a fun time, but some of the words are pretty specialized.


Hope some of that helps!

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I agree that Greek and Latin root study is very helpful, and we worked through all those Classical Root workbooks.


Another source, which might be fun, is http://www.vocabularycoach.com

The website allows the student to move at three different difficulty rates, to select which type of test format you like (definition and you select correct word vs word and you select correct definition), etc. I like that in some exercises after you have chosen correctly, they use the word in a complex sentence. There is even a place where you can compete against other users, although we never used that. It was a great place to quickly study for 15 minutes or 1 hr, whichever might work during your day.


Good luck


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15yo ds needs some help with this.



The best way to improve your SAT vocabulary skills is to read SAT-level material like The Wall Street Journal or your favorite novel. As you read, follow these steps:


When you come across a word you don't know, pause.

Write down the word.

Look up the word's definition, and write down the definition.

Make a mental note about how the your newly learned word was used.

Continue reading, and repeat steps 1-4 for any other new words.

As you are finding words while you read, you'll be amazed at how many unfamiliar words you come across! By following the above method you'll retain SAT vocabulary words much better than if you were to memorize words from a list.

Edited by roddy
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