List of 1000 SAT Vocabulary Words with Latin and Greek Roots

ACT and SAT Test Prep, PSAT, SAT Prep, SAT Reading, Tutoring, Uncategorized
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This is a PDF document that you are welcome to download, link to, or print out with 1,000 of the most common SAT Vocab words.  Along with the words and definitions, the list provides Latin and Greek Roots along with the use of the words in a sentence.  These are the same words that are featured on the SAT Vocab Flashcards here on  I hope this helps you do well on the the SAT and PSAT tests!  Teachers and tutors are welcome to use this for their classes and tutoring sessions. 


SAT Vocabulary List



3 Quick Thoughts on the Coming Changes to the SAT in 2016

ACT and SAT Test Prep, SAT Prep
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1.  The SAT recognizes that the current system is not transparent and fair and they are taking measures to address it.  Why?  Many test prep companies acquire copies of previous SATs through the Question and Answer Service and make copies of them to administer to their students.  Also, many foreign websites illegally make copies of previously administered SATs and make them available.  Students who do not have the money or the knowledge to access these resources are currently at a disadvantage.  Making far more tests available should help level the playing field. 


2.  The parts of the SAT that I least enjoy teaching are the ones that are changing the most.  It’s nice to be able to tell a student that what he or she is learning to prepare for the SAT will help him or her in college and beyond.  I currently feel that when I teach the Math and the Reading Comprehension, I am teaching students skills that will give them lasting benefits.  When I am currently teaching the vocab, the essay and the grammar, I don’t have the same confidence.  I am glad to see that these areas will be significantly revised so that when I teach these parts of the test, I will be doing more than just “teaching to the test.” 


3.  There will be a significant need for new practice test material.  The Official SAT Study Guide in its current version will become obsolete.  Same with all the other major SAT prep books on the market.  Those who are able to quickly create lots of high quality practice materials will be in demand.  

College Board SAT Book Solutions Manual

ACT and SAT Test Prep, SAT Prep
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For students preparing for the SAT, the College Board Official SAT Study Guide is an excellent resource because it provides 10 previously administered SAT tests.  One thing it lacks is a good solutions manual.  One of my college classmates, Ted Dorsey, put together a great book that fills this need:

Ted is a top SAT tutor in Los Angeles, and has scored a 2400 on the test – he knows what he is doing.  The solutions are thorough yet concise — you won’t waste any time but you will get the information you need.  Put together, the SAT Study Guide and Ted’s guide make for a great combination for long-term intensive SAT review.  

Should You Take the ACT or SAT?

ACT and SAT Test Prep, ACT Prep, ACT SAT Registration, College Admissions, College Applications, SAT Prep
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I would highly recommend that students try BOTH the SAT and ACT.  Why?  Both tests are accepted by colleges everywhere.  Some students find that they prefer one test over another, but they can only know this for sure by taking them both.  Once you have taken both tests, you will know whether you should focus on just one of them going forward.  If your scores on both were pretty comparable, you can try both of them again.  You can compare your test scores using my ACT/SAT comparison chart

Let’s say that you don’t want to take the time/money to explore which test is preferable – you want to pick one and stick with it.  Here are some ways you can make that decision.

1. Check out my ACT/SAT comparison chartI made a concise overview of the similarities and differences between the ACT and SAT.    

2. Look at your PSAT and PLAN scores.  The PSAT corresponds to the SAT, and the PLAN corresponds to the ACT.  Most students take the PSAT as juniors, and most take the PLAN as sophomores.  The easiest way to compare them is to look at the percentiles that you earned on each test.  If, for example, if you have an 80th percentile on the PSAT and a 65th percentile on the PLAN, it would probably make more sense to focus your efforts on the SAT.  If the percentiles are comparable, you should probably do both the ACT and SAT at least once.  

3. Do you qualify for extended time?  If so, I would recommend focusing on the ACT.  In my tutoring experience, students who have extended time tend to find the ACT easier than the SAT.  Perhaps this is why it seems like the ACT is more strict about allowing extended time than the SAT.  Students find this to be the case because the questions and passages on the ACT tend to be a bit more straight-forward and less “outside-the-box”, making them much more doable for students who have more time to process them.  Much of the coaching I do for students with the ACT is with respect to timing, and if you have extended time on the ACT, you can focus much more just on your critical thinking process rather than how quickly you are doing things. 

4. Where are your subject strengths?  If you are a solid reader, have a great vocabulary, and can write essays well, the SAT may be more for you.  If you are good at science and are more comfortable with advanced math like Trigonometry, the ACT may be up your alley. 

5. Do you struggle with timing?  You should almost certainly focus on the SAT.  The ACT Math, Reading and Science are all pretty tough for students to finish.  In my experience, few students have difficulty finishing the SAT. 

6. Do you have test anxiety?  If so, the SAT may be a better fit.  Why?  The questions go in order from easy to hard on almost every section, so it is much less likely that you will become stuck on a tough question.  Also, you won’t have to worry about time as much. 

7. What is the Superscoring Policy of the College you Most Want to Attend?  Most colleges will superscore the SAT, which means they will take the best score from each section of the test over several test dates.  A few colleges superscore the ACT.  If you are applying to a college that DOES superscore the ACT, you may want to be more open to taking the ACT because you will have more opportunities to earn a solid score.  If the college only superscores the SAT and you tend to be somewhat inconsistent in your performance on test day, the SAT may be a better fit for you.  To see the policies of colleges on superscoring, please take a look here:

Should you Recheck and Double-Check your Answers on the ACT and SAT?

ACT and SAT Test Prep, ACT Prep, PSAT, SAT Prep
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One of the major obstacles to top test performance on exams like the ACT and SAT is when test-takers want  to finish with tons of time to spare so that they can go back and double check all of their answers.  While this may be a good technique on other types of tests, it can lead to serious issues on the ACT and SAT.  Here are the reasons why:

1.       If you don’t understand the question the first time, you likely won’t understand it the second time.  The questions on the ACT and SAT are very, very well written.  If you misread a word or two, you will often find that you will miss the point of the entire question – the wording is just too intricate.  You will be much better off if you take the time to read the questions really well rather than rushing through them so that you have time at the end of the test to go back and double check them.  Reading them once well is far preferable to reading them 3-4 times poorly. 

2.       You can’t easily plug in answers.  The math section is one on which you would think you could go back and effortlessly double check your answers by plugging the answers back into the equations.  Unfortunately, it is quite rare that the SAT and ACT will give you an equation into which you can easily plug in answers.  Usually, the difficulty in answering these test questions is found in attempting to set up the problem in the first place.  Because of this, you would be better off devoting more time to understanding and setting up the problem rather than skimming through the questions so that you have time at the end to recheck. 

3.       The ACT and SAT are tough to finish – don’t make them more difficult than they already are.  By setting the unreasonable expectation that you should not only finish the questions  but should have time to recheck your answers, you will set yourself up for failure.  Rushing through the test will contribute to careless mistakes as well as increased test anxiety.    

4.       You will often simply convince yourself you were right rather than do anything productive.  A multiple choice test is different from  fill-in and essay tests in that you are always able to put something down as an answer.  This makes it very easy for you to want to spend your time going back to make yourself believe you picked the correct answer.  Many people do this because it helps with their test anxiety.  Spending time convincing yourself that you were correct will make you feel better during the test, but will do nothing to help improve your score. 

5.       You will often change things that you had correct.  The incorrect answers, or distractors, on ACT and SAT questions are extremely persuasive.  Time spent analyzing answers after you have made a solid attempt usually just persuades you that you picked the wrong answer.  Instead of going back and changing answers around, spend your time making sure that your answer is correct the first time. 

6.       It is unlikely that you will make a gridding error.  The SAT has sections no longer than 35 questions, so you will probably not make bubbling errors on your scantron sheet.  The ACT has longer sections – up to 75 questions on the ACT English – but questions alternate between ABCD and FGHJ in the answer choices, making it highly unlikely that you will get off by one question as you bubble in your answers.  Rather than worrying about a gridding error that is unlikely to happen, focus your mental energy on the much more productive task of answering the questions well. 

When does it make sense to spend time double checking answers?  On School Tests, not Skill-Based Standardized Tests.  Why?  On school tests, you might recall key facts when you give your mind a chance to think through things, use solutions to some questions to help you think of answers to other questions, and plug numbers back into equations to check your answers.  So be certain to modify your approach to checking answers depending on the type of test you are taking.  

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