Students who aim to achieve a high SAT score should develop their knowledge of vocabulary. Understanding the definition is an important factor, but how words fit into the context of a written passage is the key. More specifically, words with multiple-meanings are incorporated into passages and become the subject of SAT questions. For example, the test will ask for the meaning of a word like “attribute” or “novel” based on the context of the written passage, not simply for the definition of the word. You could think of it as if the test is asking for the closest synonym for the given word.

Another example is the test may ask how the use of certain words establish the tone of the paragraph. In that scenario, the student must determine what the author was trying to convey. Again, while it’s important to know the definition of words, students must also have the ability to understand the written content as well as the specific meaning or purpose of why certain words are used.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure for more information.

Recommended Books to Prepare for the SAT Reading and Writing Tests

Chris Lele

  • Summary. Simple lessons and activities to help students build their vocabulary knowledge and prepare for the SAT test. The book aims to help users build knowledge of the origin of words, which can provide an indication of the meaning. Words are defined and an example sentence is included. Short quizzes are offered as practice throughout the book.

  • Alternative. If your kids are still in middle school, buy The Vocabulary Workbook for 8th Grade: Weekly Activities to Boost Your Word Power. This workbook enhances vocabulary skills through 36 lessons and exercises appropriate for the grade level. Students will develop their understanding of the meanings and correct usage of words. This creates a solid foundation for their upcoming SAT prep.

  • Reviews. A good learning tool and practice workbook for test preparation. Highly recommended by reviewers for teens preparing for ACTs and SATs and for adults who want to continue learning and improve both writing and communication skills. Readers like the thematic grouping of the workbook, which helps connect words to topics. This particular format creates a deeper understanding of the word compared with simple memorizing definitions.

Order a Copy

David Olsen

  • Summary. This is a book of 1,200 frequently used words. It includes straightforward definitions and sentence examples. While this book is not specifically directed at SAT prep, it includes common words used in higher level conversations. Students who build their general vocabulary knowledge are better equipped to put SAT test questions into context. Moreover, a strong vocabulary fosters self-confidence in professional and social settings.

  • Reviews. Reviewers like the ease of use and selection of words included in the book. It’s a useful book for understanding the meaning and use of words that are commonly used in daily conversations.

Order a Copy

Sharon Weiner Green

  • Summary. A box of 500 selected vocabulary words that are frequently used in written passages within the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing tests. Each flashcard includes the target word, pronunciation guide, definition, synonyms, antonyms and an example sentence.

  • Reviews. Great for teens, particularly those who are studying for SAT and ACT. Teacher reviewers state they use these flashcards in their class. Many users like the flashcards as a helpful way of studying a certain number of cards daily.

Order a Copy