Review: SAT Vocabulary: A New Approach

Title: SAT Vocabulary: A New Approach

By Larry Krieger and Erica L. Meltzer

Just so we are clear.  You do need to know vocabulary for the newest iteration of the SAT. Yes, yes, I know the man promised you no more “obscure” words, but darlings…the vocabulary used on the SAT is not obscure. It is merely vocabulary used by educated people in their writing. This is vocabulary you will encounter in University while doing research for essays, listening to lectures, and discussing concepts in tutorials.

Students frequently ask me what list of words they should study, and, honestly, I just want to point to the dictionary and have them start reading. Fortunately for you, the test prep mavens, Larry Krieger and Erica L. Meltzer, put their heads together and have come up with a manual to guide you through the types of words you will need to know. However, this is not a mere list of words to memorize and regurgitate, but a series of approaches to use when tackling the different ways vocabulary is tested on the SAT. The book is split into 5 sections, each focusing on the 5 ways you will encounter vocabulary on the SAT in the Reading, Writing & Language and Essay sections.

I received an advanced copy of this book, and I worked my way through it last month. I found it gave excellent strategies for approaching each type of vocabulary along with lists of words that are commonly encountered. The list of common words and their uncommon second meanings is particularly useful along with the break down of common words used in each of the different reading passage types. There are also plenty of practice questions to demonstrate how the words are used on the SAT.

While the book is slim, I wouldn’t suggest rushing through it because there are plenty of tips that need to be assimilated. Take your time and do a chapter a week and apply the lessons to your practice tests. Use the released tests from the College Board and analyze how the words are used and how context really affects meaning.

This book will be particularly helpful to ESL students and those who find they are struggling with “vocabulary in context” and “word choice” questions. But I would recommend it to all students as a robust vocabulary is the basis of comprehension.

The book is available through starting today.

SAT Vocabulary: A new approach at

For more information visit Erica L. Meltzer’s website The Critical Reader

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