Building Your Vocabulary
- Learn words strategically. Most of the Learning Network selections for Word of the Day are frequently used words on the SAT. Learn a few new words a day, and review words that you have already studied. Learn synonyms and antonyms as well.
- Work with word roots. Knowing the meaning of common prefixes and roots will boost your chances of understanding new words.
- Trust your instincts. If you think you know the meaning of a word, go with your hunch. Try to recall where you have heard the word used in the past and apply it to this new example.
- Determine if the word is "positive" or "negative." Some words "sound" as if they are positively or negatively charged. Know the "charge" of common prefixes and roots.
- Use your knowledge of foreign languages. Many English words come from other languages. Try to apply your knowledge of foreign words to decipher unknown English words.
Tips for Sentence Completion Questions
- Understand the format. Select the word or words that best complete the sentence.
- Read the sentence carefully. Think about the sentence before looking at the answer choices. Figure out what it means and what direction it is going.
- Anticipate the answer. Predict the word that goes in the blanks before looking at the answer choices. Use the sentence's clue words (e.g. despite, although) and structural clues (construction and punctuation) to determine where the sentence is headed. Determine if answer blanks should be filled with positive or negative words. Some people put a plus or minus sign in the blanks as a reminder.
- Compare your prediction with each answer choice, and pick the best match. Be sure to check all choices.
- Read the sentence with your answer choice in the blank or blanks.Only one choice will make sense.