How to Improve Your SAT Vocabulary

The SAT verbal section places a strong emphasis on vocabulary. Unless you are an avid reader and keep a dictionary on you at all times, odds are your vocabulary is not up to the SAT’s standards. In order to improve your vocabulary fast you have to commit to learning somewhere between 500 and 3500 words. In the short term, check out the mindfish video vocabulary page to start learning SAT words in a fun new video format.

5 TIPS TO MASTER THE SAT VOCABULARY

1. MAKE NOTECARDS-  Notecards not only help you learn words by allowing you to use your written memory, but they also give you a way to rapidly review, sort, and reorganize hundreds/thousands of words.

2. FOCUS ON QUANTITY NOT QUALITY- Knowing 50 to a 100 words perfectly is not nearly as powerful as having a very basic understanding of a few thousand words. Focus on learning the basic quality of words and don’t worry about secondary definitions.

3. KEEP YOUR NOTECARDS ON YOU AT ALL TIMES- If you are going to successfully learn several thousand words, you have to take advantage of all the little breaks in your day. I learned vocabulary in class before the teacher showed up, in the car when my parents drove, during television commercials, and even on the bench during my baseball games (wouldn’t recommend this one unless you have an academically inclined coach). The point is that you are not going to learn enough words unless you find a way to fit it into each and every day.

4. KEEP A DICTIONARY NEARBY- You have to stop letting words slide by. Part of building a good vocabulary comes from being accountable to the words you come across in your life. Whether you see a word you don’t know on a practice SAT test, read a word you don’t know in a novel, or hear a word you don’t know on television, you have to LOOK IT UP. Make notecards for the new words you come across and as you start learning and stop ignoring you will be amazed at how these words are all around you.

5. START WITH PREFIXES, SUFFIXES, and ROOTS- Learning thousands of words can be a daunting task and there is no way to learn every possible SAT word in a short period of time. So, whether you are planning on cramming in a few hundred the week before the test or learning a few thousand over the summer, start by learning the basic building blocks of words. The best prefix/suffix/root guide I have found is in the Barron’s SAT Book .

GOOD RESOURCES

Looking for a huge list- Check out Barron’s SAT Book or Gruber’s Complete SAT Guide

Looking for a shorter list to get you started- Check out Hot Words for the SAT

Looking for a good vocabulary building book (not SAT specific) - Check out Word Power Made Easy 

Good Luck,

Ryan

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What SAT score do I need to get into college?

In order to understand what SAT score you will need to get into college, you need to consider what schools you would like to apply to. Below is a list of over 300 schools and their corresponding Average SAT and ACT scores. If you don’t see the school you are interested in, make sure and go to their admissions’ website and look it up. Also, SAT and ACT scores will keep you out of a school, but they won’t get you in. Just because you have scores above a school’s average scores is no reason to assume you will get in. The quality and uniqueness of your application, including your essays, recommendations, and high school grades and activities will be the main reasons why a school decides to admit you.

College Math SAT Verbal SAT ACT
Agnes Scott College
620
590
26
Albertson College of Idaho
571
563
24
Albion College
562
582
25
Allegheny College
598
600
25
American University
613
600
27
Amherst College
710
707
30
Arizona State University
538
551
23
Auburn University
547
563
24
Austin College
614
613
25
Barnard College
660
670
29
Bellarmine University
576
576
24
Beloit College
640
610
27
Birmingham-Southern College
598
588
26
Boston University
634
647
28
Bradley University
597
610
25
Brigham Young University (UT)
N/A
N/A
27
Brown University
690
700
29
Bryant College
522
557
22
Bryn Mawr College
672
638
28
California Polytechnic State University
594
639
28
Calvin College
584
595
26
Carnegie Mellon University
646
716
29
Catawba College
488
494
20
Centre College
612
603
27
Claremont McKenna College
690
700
30
Clark University
589
586
25
Clemson University
587
618
26
Coe College
577
572
25
Colby College
660
670
28
Colgate University
652
665
29
College of Charleston
595
590
24
College of Saint Benedict
585
605
25
College of the Atlantic
624
586
28
College of William and Mary
669
666
29
Colorado College
622
625
27
Colorado School of Mines
590
650
28
Connecticut College
660
650
27
Cornell College
599
590
26
Cornell University
667
700
27
Creighton University
590
599
26
Dartmouth College
702
713
31
Davidson College
659
656
28
Denison University
602
615
26
DePaul University
556
551
23
DePauw University
610
620
27
Dickinson College
623
612
27
Duquesne University
545
545
24
Earlham College
620
590
26
Eckerd College
564
564
25
Elon College
567
578
25
Emerson College
619
584
27
Eugene Lang College
610
570
27
Fairfield University
585
610
28
Fisk University
492
484
19
Flagler College
571
551
24
Florida State University
569
577
24
Fordham University
606
606
26
Gonzaga University
578
593
26
Goucher College
605
575
26
Grinnell College
682
670
30
Grove City College
633
639
28
Guilford College
570
550
25
Gustavus Adolphus College
610
620
26
Hampden-Sydney College
561
562
22
Hampton University
526
516
20
Hanover College
559
576
24
Hendrix College
630
610
27
Hiram College
573
566
24
Hofstra University
559
570
25
Hollins College
595
550
24
Illinois Institute of Technology
602
681
28
Illinois Wesleyan University
635
625
28
Indiana University-Bloomington
543
556
24
Iowa State University
590
620
24
Johns Hopkins University
671
703
29
Kalamazoo College
631
630
28
Kenyon College
681
661
30
Lafayette College
620
665
28
Lake Forest College
570
573
25
Lawrence University
620
625
27
Loyola University
629
605
27
Loyola University Chicago
574
574
25
Macalester College
690
670
29
Manhattanville College
530
530
24
Marist College
506
565
24
Marquette University
560
590
25
Mary Washington College
613
595
27
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
712
757
31
Mercer University
578
580
25
Miami University of Ohio
590
610
26
Michigan State University
552
579
24
Michigan Technological University
570
624
25
Middlebury College
710
700
30
Millsaps College
590
590
25
Montana Tech of the Univ. of Montana
530
539
22
Morehouse College
530
550
23
Mount Holyoke College
651
627
28
New College of Florida
693
637
27
New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
596
612
26
New York University
672
666
29
North Carolina State University
578
615
25
Northeastern University
565
588
24
Northwestern University
675
703
30
Oberlin College
691
659
30
Occidental College
630
630
27
Oglethorpe University
617
603
26
Ohio Northern University
560
590
25
Ohio State University, Columbus
575
594
25
Ohio University
540
550
23
Ohio Wesleyan University
602
608
27
Pepperdine University
612
628
26
Pitzer College
624
610
25
Pomona College
730
720
32
Providence College
587
596
25
Purdue University
555
595
26
Randolph-Macon College
592
564
25
Reed College
667
704
30
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
626
684
26
Rhodes College
644
640
28
Ripon College
599
602
24
Rollins College
576
580
24
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
620
680
29
Saint Anselm College
551
556
23
Saint Louis University
585
595
26
Samford University
572
581
25
Santa Clara University
601
618
27
Sarah Lawrence College
660
590
27
Scripps College
666
641
28
Seattle University
562
561
26
Seton Hall University
539
548
25
Siena College
550
567
26
Simmons College
554
542
23
Simpson College
640
600
26
Skidmore College
630
620
27
Smith College
660
630
27
Southwestern University
621
615
26
Spelman College
549
524
22
St. Bonaventure University
523
531
22
St. John Fisher College
700
620
27
St. Lawrence University
570
570
24
St. Olaf College
639
635
27
Stephens College
566
513
24
Stetson University
566
557
24
SUNY at Binghamton
599
637
26
SUNY at Buffalo
566
589
29
SUNY College at Geneseo
619
626
27
Sweet Briar College
590
550
24
Texas A&M University, College Station
576
602
25
The College of Wooster
595
598
26
Evergreen State College
583
536
23
George Washington University
620
620
26
University of Texas, Austin
596
626
26
University of Tulsa
610
620
26
Trinity College (CT)
630
642
27
Trinity University
630
650
29
Truman State University
614
606
27
Tulane University
668
659
30
Tuskegee University
441
438
19
US Coast Guard Academy
620
640
27
US Merchant Marine Academy
600
610
27
US Military Academy
627
641
28
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
547
546
23
University of Arizona
543
556
23
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
576
587
25
University of California, Santa Barbara
570
602
25
University of California, Davis
598
637
28
University of California, Los Angeles
611
653
26
University of California, Riverside
504
553
21
University of California, San Diego
593
646
25
University of California, Santa Cruz
564
573
23
University of Colorado, Boulder
569
590
25
University of Dallas
620
600
27
University of Dayton
557
575
24
University of Denver
555
569
24
University of Idaho
549
559
23
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
613
660
27
University of Maine, Augusta
539
547
23
University of Maryland, Baltimore
592
621
25
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
622
661
28
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
593
612
25
University of Montana, Missoula
550
540
22
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
570
589
24
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
501
514
21
University of New Mexico
572
540
22
University of New Orleans
553
535
21
University of North Carolina, Asheville
586
574
24
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
625
642
27
University of Notre Dame
665
685
31
University of Oklahoma
582
591
25
University of Pennsylvania
688
716
30
University of Pittsburgh
595
607
26
University of Puget Sound
631
622
27
University of Redlands
565
574
24
University of Rochester
665
687
30
University of San Diego
570
590
26
University of South Carolina, Columbia
555
569
24
University of Southern California
652
683
30
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
551
549
24
University of the Pacific
559
595
24
University of Vermont
568
574
24
University of Virginia
647
668
28
University of Wisconsin System, Madison
613
652
27
University of Wyoming
524
541
23
Valparaiso University
583
596
26
Villanova University
605
633
27
Wabash College
576
609
26
Wagner College
550
560
26
Warren Wilson College
579
544
24
Wellesley College
671
671
29
Wells College
580
550
25
Wesley College
574
562
25
Wesleyan University
700
690
29
West Virginia University
514
528
23
Westminster College (PA)
544
543
24
Wheaton College (IL)
661
658
28
Wheaton College (MA)
630
610
27
Whitman College
659
655
28
Whittier College
547
539
23
Willamette University
620
610
27
William Jewell College
580
560
24
Williams College
701
694
30
Wittenberg University
576
582
26
Wofford College
612
624
25
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
620
660
29
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ACT Score Chart

Scores from the most recent ACT test (October 23, 2010) are available online today. As the scores come back, many students may be wondering what the numbers mean. For example, “if I got a 29 on the Math section, how many questions did I miss?”  Here’s an ACT scoring chart from a couple of years back that should shed a bit of light on these types of questions.  If you’re trying to make sense of your score, find your section score on the far left or right of this ACT Score chart.  Then trace over the the section column (English, Math, Reading, Science) to determine how many questions you answered correctly on that section.

ACT_score_chart.png-550x0

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