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The College Board, the company that creates the SAT, has claimed that the New SAT coming out in March 2016 will no longer test students on obscure vocabulary words. The College Board lied. As I prepare to release my New SAT books, I am currently working through every New SAT question available. What I found was surprising: there are just as many obscure vocabulary words on the New SAT as on the 2400-version of the SAT.

Granted, the SAT no longer contains specific vocabulary questions. However, obscure vocabulary words are embedded throughout the SAT in reading passages, writing passages, and essay prompts. I would argue that knowing obscure vocabulary is just as important as ever on the New SAT. Why? If you don’t understand nearly every word of  New SAT passages, then your comprehension of those passages will decrease. Reduced reading comprehension leads to an increase in incorrect questions, which leads to lower SAT scores.

Here are just a few of the vocabulary words I found on New SAT exams released by the College Board. You be the judge as to whether students really don’t need to know obscure vocabulary words anymore for the SAT.

(1) Pulpit
(2) Soot
(3) Meander
(4) Antipathy
(5) Evinced
(6) Aggrandizing
(7) Inquisitions
(8) Resin
(9) Briny
(10) Obsolescence
(11) Eviscerated
(12) Purveyor
(13) Besieged
(14) Apparition
(15) Ignominious
(16) Discomfiture
(17) Decreed
(18) Onerous
(19) Panacea
(20) Unfettered
(21) Volition
(22) Solicitude
(23) Incantations
(24) Asunder
(25) Insolent
(26) Promulgated
(27) Galvanizing
(28) Solstice
(29) Incredulous
(30) Mired

How many teenagers know all of the above definitions? I’m betting not many. Students must continue to learn obscure vocabulary words in order to do well on the New SAT.

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