100 SAT Vocabulary Words You Should Know

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August 28, 2023


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/4/22

Check out our list of the most common vocabulary words on the SAT.

It is no secret that studying for the SAT is a daunting task. Colleges take SAT scores into serious consideration when reviewing applicants, so you’ll want to make sure you do your best on the exam. 

To help you prepare for the SAT, we’ve put together a list of the most common SAT vocab words and give you a few key tips on how to memorize and retain them. Get ready to tackle the SAT vocabulary section with confidence!

How Is Vocabulary Tested on the SAT?

The SAT will test your vocabulary skills by asking you to identify words in context and analyze how they are used in various passages. This assesses your understanding of the words’ meanings and your ability to use them accurately in various situations.

To excel, it’s important to be familiar with common college-level vocabulary words. This is why studying a comprehensive list of words is crucial. By doing so, you can increase your chances of correctly answering vocabulary questions on the SAT.

100 Common SAT Vocabulary Words

Just under 20% of your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score is determined by vocabulary, so it is crucial to familiarize yourself with SAT vocabulary. 

Here is a list with definitions and sentence examples of common SAT vocabulary words.

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Source: Washington Post

By familiarizing yourself with these 100 vocab words, you’ll have a solid foundation to tackle any verbal question on the SAT.

How to Memorize SAT Vocabulary Words

Everyone learns differently, so finding a study method that works for you is important for memorizing vocabulary words. Whether you prefer self-studying or working with a tutor, both can be effective ways to learn the words.

Writing down words, definitions, and example sentences on flashcards can be a helpful technique. You can also make studying fun by playing flashcard games with friends.

Focus on the words you struggle with and make sure to review them regularly, but don't neglect other words as well. Consistent study is key to memorizing vocabulary words for the SAT, so build a study plan that will help keep you on track.

FAQs: SAT Words

Still have questions about the SAT vocabulary? We’ve got you covered! We answer your frequently asked questions below. 

1. How Many SAT Vocabulary Words Are There?

The SAT underwent a major redesign in 2016, and there is less vocabulary content in the revised version of the test. Ten questions out of the fifty-two reading and writing questions are vocabulary questions. 

While this may not seem like a significant chunk of the test, doing poorly on the vocabulary portion can significantly impact your overall score. If you want a high, or even perfect score, you’ll need to ace all aspects of the test.  

2. Is There an SAT Vocab List?

No, there is no official vocabulary list. However, feel free to review and use the list of SAT words we put together to give you a solid idea of common words you will need to know for the SAT. 

You should also take practice tests to gauge what kind of vocabulary will appear on the SAT. 

3. What Are the Most Common SAT Words?

This is a difficult question to answer as each SAT test is slightly different. However, you can memorize words that often appear on the SAT. There are tons of resources out there that gather and list the most common words on the SAT. 

Our list also includes common SAT vocabulary words! 

4. How Can I Remember My SAT Vocabulary?

Starting early, giving yourself enough time, and consistent practice and studying are crucial to memorizing SAT vocabulary. It is highly recommended to use flashcards when studying vocabulary words, but you should do whatever works best for you.

Final Thoughts

The SAT is a challenging test, but getting a good SAT score can strengthen your application and maximize your chances of acceptance into colleges. 

While the SAT has less of a focus on vocabulary than in past years, it can still mean the difference between scoring well and scoring poorly on the test. 

Studying SAT vocabulary will also increase your performance on the entirety of the test. Knowing and understanding SAT vocabulary will give you a deeper understanding of key words and concepts that appear throughout the test. 

Begin early, review common words, practice consistently, and you should do well on the vocabulary section of the SAT. 

Best of luck!

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