Terri unveils her top vocabulary memorization shortcuts for SAT vocabulary on episode #191 of the Prepped and Polished Podcast.

The SAT changed, and they got rid of sentence completions, which required a lot of vocabulary memorization, but does that mean that you shouldn’t memorize or learn or have a good foundation for vocabulary? Absolutely no; you should still learn vocabulary. It’s good for not only the SAT, it’s good for your private school entrance examinations, your SSATs, and it’s also good for writing better papers and speaking in college and in your career.

Memorizing SAT vocab and vocab in general usually takes a long time. You’re going to have to read a lot and play a lot of Scrabble. But the chances are your SAT is around the corner, and you’re not going to have a lot of time to read War and Peace. So here’s a shortcut method to memorizing tons of SAT vocabulary words.

Buy the Word Smart series

So, what I want you to do is buy the Word Smart I and Word Smart I II series by Princeton Review and take all the quizzes and tests in these books. Go over the words that you missed (that you got wrong in the words) that you needed help with, and transfer all those words onto a big list of words. Now, take the list of words and transfer them to flashcards. You’re going to have the word on one side of the flashcard. On the other side, you’re going to have the definition of the word and a sentence using the word in context.


Then what you’re going to do is play a flashcard game where you’re simply going to go through the stack of flashcards, and you’re going to separate them into two piles: a pile of words that you know in a pile of words you don’t know. In the game’s name, it is basically to get the pile of words you don’t know down to nothing.

Finally, I want you to step aside and take a few days off from the vocabulary. Return to the big vocabulary word list and go through that stack again. If you can nail all the words, great. But if you missed a few words going through that stack after taking two days off, that means that you have to study those words because they haven’t sucked sunk into the long-term memory yet, so you got to keep practicing.

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