The New SAT vocabulary

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“Thank goodness. No more sentence completions!” Said Jake, a junior at Daniel Hand High School in Madison, CT. “I have a terrible vocabulary.”

Jake was referring to the elimination of sentence completions on the new SAT. The current SAT’s sentence completion section has been criticized for having too many obscure words (like obscure!) that are rarely used by normal people. Students would have to choose which “SAT words” fit best into a sentence. Students studying for the SAT, consequently, had to memorize lists of SAT vocabulary words. No more.

That’s a partial truth. The new SAT asks vocabulary questions in the context of lengthy reading passages. The words are still challenging but are more likely to be used in both college and the work force.

Pragmatic versus esoteric words would be the general difference, with “pragmatic” being an example of a new SAT word and “esoteric” being an example of a current SAT word.

No more vocabulary? Not quite. A different vocabulary and a different way of answering vocabulary questions is a more accurate way of understanding the differences between the current and the new SAT’s vocabulary questions.