Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Improve Your Vocabulary, Improve Your SAT or ACT Score
I recently realized that lack of a broad vocabulary hinders many students from scoring higher on the SAT or ACT test.
Improve your vocabulary, improve your score.
Sounds easy, right?
It is easy if you don't wait until a week or a month before the test to cram 100 new words into your head.
I am teaching an SAT Essay class at our homeschool co-op this year. I have taught this class several different times over the last eight years.
For the first time, I have added weekly vocabulary words for the students to learn.
My goal is for the students to incorporate the new words into their spoken and written vocabulary.
Each Friday, for nine weeks, the students learn 12 new words which gives them
100+ Vocab Words (open and print the list)
To help the students remember the words, I ask them to do the following:
1. Monday- Write down the word and the definition
in a steno notebook.
I do not allow them to cut and paste the words into a
document they can print.
The manual process of writing the words helps them start
remembering the definition.
A steno notebook has a line dividing the page so words
can be written on one side, definitions on the other.
2. Tuesday- Write a sentence with each word. Review
the words and definitions.
This helps put the word in proper context and (hopefully)
helps with correct spelling.
3. Wednesday- Review the words. Students should be
adding them to their spoken vocabulary. It is said
that if you use a new word 3 times a day, it will become
4. Thursday- Review the words. Have a family member
or friend quiz you on the definition of the word and
the correct spelling of the word.
The quiz on Friday is given in crossword puzzle form and
requires correct spelling.
5. Friday- Crossword Puzzle quiz over all 12 words.
Students are given a cross word puzzle with definitions of
the vocabulary words as clues. I do not provide a word
bank, so they will need to have reviewed the words every
day to know which words will fit the puzzle.
For each 3 week period, students are given a three week comprehensive quiz which covers three weeks of vocabulary words.
I make my crossword puzzles at The Teachers Corner. The website offers free puzzle makers. This would be a fun way to test other information, too.
The words I put on my list were chosen from other SAT lists found at a variety of websites and from practice SAT tests. I tried to choose words that students probably don't know. Of course, some students have a broader vocabulary based on their reading habits and what they hear spoken.
Start your student learning vocabulary by downloading my list and following the steps above to learn the words. From there, branch out with other vocabulary lists, making sure to spend enough time with the words to make them your own.
Improving your vocabulary can be easy.