The vocabulary portion of the SAT’s reading section is only a small part of the test, but it seems to be one that receives a lot of attention. The reason for this attention is because there is no middle ground on vocabulary words – you either know them or you don’t. It is because of this fact that you have most likely been going over hundreds of vocab words every night for quite some time, but there will be that stray word that completely eludes you.
It is important to know that the word most likely to escape your memory will be at the top of the list on the SAT. When a student becomes flustered at the beginning of the test section, it can influence the performance on the remainder of that section. This is why it is important to know what SAT vocabulary words trip up people the most.
Common SAT Vocab “Trip Ups”
The following are vocabulary words that tend to be hard to remember for the SAT:
- Dogmatic – Insisting to one’s point of view, dictatorial
- Aural – Hearing related
- Erinaceous – Pertaining to or of the hedgehog family
- Somnambulist – A sleepwalker
- Acerbic – Bitter or acidic
- Mendacity – Untruthful
- Assiduous – Hard working
- Abrogate – Revoke formally
- Antipathy – Strong dislike
- Ascetic – Self-discipline or practicing restraint
- Buffet – To strike with force
- Cupidity – Strong desire or greed
- Deleterious – harmful
- Timorous – Fearful or timid
- Vacillate – Hesitate or fluctuate
- Unctuous – Smooth or greasy in appearance, texture, or manner
There are some words that you may wonder why they are on the test because they are so simple. There are others that are on the test that are so difficult that you question their usage in your everyday life. It is these difficult words in which you can place your focus in order to relieve some of your test anxiety. It is also helpful to study the origins of some of the most difficult words so that you can take a healthy guess if you cannot remember the meaning.
Image source: Martin Beek