Alex is a Content Developer for the Knewton SAT prep course. He thinks he’s super funny, though he’s only very funny.
The best way to learn vocab words is to come across them in context in books, in conversations with teachers or parents, on television shows over and over again until you understand what they mean and know how to use them. Unfortunately, this process happens naturally over time; cramming context clues the day before the SAT doesn’t quite work. Between now and the test, even if you do nothing but pay attention to the world around you, you’ll probably learn a lot of new words. Odds are, however, you will not learn too many SAT words, which are tested precisely because they are rare.
If the Sentence Completion and Reading Comprehension sections of the SAT only tested common words, the range of scores would be very narrow, because so many test-takers would get all those questions right. Moreover, the SAT tests hard words because those are the ones you’ll hear from your college professors, who use smart-sounding language to justify wearing very expensive blazers with complicated elbow patches.