Just bumming around at the beach or have no plans this summer break? Summer is a great time to start preparing for the SATs! There are many test prep books out there to study from- just set aside a few hours a day to this task and by the end of summer, you’ll have gained more than just a tan. For those who need a bit more guidance or don’t have the discipline to study on their own, many SAT prep courses are offered in the summer and may provide students with the structure they need to study effectively. (I took an SAT prep class during the summer before my junior year of high school and was able to raise my critical reading and math scores a combined 300 points!)
Regardless of how you prefer to study, building vocabulary is an essential part of preparing for the SAT. Flashcards are a tried and true way of gaining a larger vocabulary, and the website Quizlet offers many sets of free online flashcards geared towards SAT prep, among many other offerings. A great set of flashcards on Quizlet feature the 100 Most Common SAT Vocabulary Words. (Which you can also print out and study on the go!) But if straight memorization isn’t the way you learn best, there are more resources available out there nowadays beyond the old school flashcards. SAT vocabulary novels integrate frequently tested SAT words into captivating storylines that almost makes you forget that the purpose of these novels are to build your vocabulary. Barnes and Nobles and Amazon.com offer a selection of these books, but Sparknotes has the most popular set of SAT Vocabulary novels which they publish, but also have available for free on their website. Even though classes aren’t in session during the summer, it can be a productive time for high school students to get a head start on studying for the SATs.
Many people say that the SAT just test how well you take exams and the information you study will be of no use once you’re done with the exam. But this is definitely untrue for the vocabulary portion of the SAT. Having an extensive vocabulary will be extremely beneficial in the long run as well and especially in college where vocabulary builds on itself.