Much of the SAT or ACT Reading or English sections deal with testing a student’s vocabulary. You’re vocabulary is influenced by many factors such as: natural ability, how much you’ve read, quality of reading, your environment, schooling, studying. There’s undoubtedly many more.
The question at this point is, “With the test drawing closer, what can I do now to improve my vocabulary?” Two answers come to mind:
- study “the lists”—frequent SAT or ACT vocabulary words
- study the roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
Option (1) is a great option. The drawback here, though, is that vocabulary lists can become quite lengthy. If you have the time, study these lists! We’ll focus however on option (2). The lists are shorter and more manageable. These roots, prefixes, and suffixes essentially serve as word building blocks for many more words. It’s like studying a vocab word, times ten. They’re priceless.
Techniques for studying these roots vary. Possibilities include: simply reading them over, covering columns and quizzing yourself, having someone else quiz you, or perhaps the best technique is making flashcards. Whatever works for you, works.