100 Most Common SAT Words

Studying for the SATs can be a trying experience. One easy way to raise your score is to memorize SAT vocabulary words. Since the sentence completion questions in the Critical Reading section test your ability to recognize words in context, knowing more words will go a long way towards raising your Critical Reading Score. Here is a simple list of the 100 most common SAT vocabulary words to get you started on the path towards improving your vocabulary skills and raising your overall SAT score.

The Critical Reading Section of the SAT has both a reading comprehension component and an SAT vocabulary component. The sentence completion questions, which ask you to select a word from a multiple choice list, test your knowledge of the definition of common words.

Certain SAT vocabulary words are tested over and over again in the sentence completion questions. By learning these frequently tested words, you are increasing the odds of knowing the vocabulary required of you on test day.

The 100 words below are a great starting point to help improve your SAT vocabulary words. Remember, the more words you know, the better you will do.

abate: reduce or lessen
abdicate: give up a position
aberration: something unusual, different from the norm
abhor: to really hate
abstain: to refrain from doing something
adversity: hardship, misfortune
aesthetic: pertaining to beauty
amicable: agreeable
anachronistic: out of the context of time, out of date
arid: very dry
asylum: sanctuary, place of safety
benevolent: friendly, helpful
bias: a prejudice towards something or against something
boisterous: enthusiastic, loud
brazen: bold
brusque: short, rude
camaraderie: togetherness, trust, group dynamic of trust
canny: careful
capacious: very large, spacious
capitulate: surrender
clairvoyant: can predict the future
collaborate: work together
compassion: sympathy
compromise: meeting in the middle, settling differences
condescending: patronizing
conditional: contingent upon something else, contingent upon
conformist: someone who follows the majority
convergence: coming together
deleterious: harmful
demagogue: rabble-rousing leader
digression: straying from main point
diligent: hard-working, dedicated
discredit: dishonor someone, prove something untrue
disdain: to regard with scorn
divergent: moving apart, going in different directions
empathy: feeling someone else’s feeling
emulate: following someone else’s example
enervating: tiring
ephemeral: fleeting, temporary
evanescent: not lasting long
exemplary: outstanding
extenuating: something that makes the situation not as bad
florid: ornate
forbearance: patience, restraint
fortitude: strength
fortuitous: lucky
foster: promote, aid
fraught: filled with
frugal: thrifty
hackneyed: clichéd
haughty: being arrogant, talking down to people
hedonist: person who acts in pursuit of pleasure
hypothesis: unproven theory, educated guess
impetuous: rash, impulsive
impute: to assign or attribute to someone
inconsequential: without consequence, trivial, doesn’t matter
inevitable: unavoidable, definitely going to happen
intrepid: fearless
intuitive: knowing something by instinct
jubilation: extreme happiness, joy
lobbyist: person who takes one side or the other, and persuades government officials
longevity: long (particularly long life)
mundane: boring, ordinary
nonchalant: casual, calm, at ease
opulent: wealthy
orator: speaker
ostentatious: flaunting wealth
parched: freed from water, dried up
perfidious: disloyal
pragmatic: practical
precocious: gifted/talented beyond one’s years
pretentious: being self important, thinking you are better than others
procrastinate: to delay, often unnecessarily
prosaic: ordinary
prosperity: wealth
provocative: causes a fuss, inflammatory, likely to get people riled up
prudent: careful, wise
querulous: irritable, prone to argument
rancorous: hateful, unpleasant
reclusive: hermit, withdrawn
reconciliation: coming back together after a disagreement
renovation: being new, being redone
restrained: controlled, not free
reverence: deep respect
sagacity: wisdom
scrutinize: to look at carefully
spontaneous: being impulsive, acting without thinking
spurious: false, untrue
submissive: mild, meek
substantiate: to confirm, prove
subtle: shy, small, not showy
superficial: shallow
superfluous: unnecessary, too much
surreptitious: secret
tactful: polite
tenacious: persistent stubborn
transient: temporary, impermanent
venerable: respectable because of its age
vindicate: to free from blame
wary: careful, watchful

Tips for Learning SAT Vocabulary Words

Learning vocabulary words can be difficult. Here are some tips to help learn these 100 words, and any other SAT vocabulary words you may come across in the future:

Make flashcards with unfamiliar words

Use new vocabulary words in a sentence
Make a tape recording of yourself reading the word and the definition
List the words in groups of positive, negative and related words

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