Vocabulary is Still Important

Don’t believe everything you hear about the new SAT: vocabulary is still crucial.

Yes, the SAT has changed. No longer is it filled with the antonyms and analogies that probably drove generations of prospective college-goers crazy. Still, don’t for one second think that vocabulary is no longer important. There are still 19 sentence completions on this 4-hour exam, which require a full-bodied vocabulary.

The critical readings also are filled difficult vocabulary; understanding these words aids in comprehension of the sentence and how the sentence fits into the reading as a whole. Students with a weak vocabulary stumble over key words and miss subtleties in the passage. Some will even miss the main idea of the reading!

Here’s a topic sentence of a short reading on a recent test: The Second World War was a watershed event for all Americans.

Understanding the meaning of the word watershed is key to understanding the argument of this passage.

Dinner conversations, discussions about news events, and reading well-written books all help build the foundations for a rich vocabulary. This emphasis on vocabulary will make a significant difference in a student’s comprehension and in a future SAT score.

**Watershed means a turning point, a milestone. So make the decision to study vocabulary a watershed event in your home.