In 2016, the College Board executed profound changes in the SAT’s format to test those skills that are better indicators of predicting success in college and beyond. Previously, the SAT used to test skills in a segregated manner. The vocabulary-based questions used to evaluate a student’s understanding of the ordinary meaning of a word and writing test would check its grammar knowledge. However, the new SAT format emphasizes high-level logical and reasoning skills. The reading and writing section is now passage-based. It provides more opportunities to test the in-depth understanding of how the passage is logically constructed and connections between various parts of a passage.
The test content has become more predictable
Presently, the College Board specifies the building blocks of each section, such as the type of passages will be used.
For example, the reading section contains one passage of the U.S. and World Literature, two in Historical and Social Studies and two in Science. Some passages also consist of data interpretation questions. Due to these predictable patterns, the future tests don’t deviate much with the previous ones.
After 2016, the new SAT looks a lot like the ACT
Here is the reason – High emphasizes determining vocabulary based on context and evidence, constructing logical arguments and scientific reasoning.
Less importance on difficult vocabulary questions, where the isolated vocabulary words were asked to fill the sentence without providing any context clues. For example,
There is no doubt that John is a genuine ——-: he excels at telling stories that fascinate his listeners. (1) braggart (2) dilettante (3) pilferer (4) prevaricator (5) raconteur
Here, if you didn’t know the vocabulary, you could not anticipate the meaning.
Note: Though the vocabulary questions are of medium level difficulty, still you need to focus on learning vocabulary and its usage in a sentence to score high in SAT.
How does the new SAT vocabulary test look?
1. Words in context question
History suggests that those will be difficult lines to hold, and it may be challenging to convince the public that such barren environments are worth preserving.
As used in line, “hold,” most nearly means A) maintain. B) grip. C) restrain. D) withstand
Hence, you need to know the standard and alternate meaning of a vocab word to guess the answer correctly.
2. Pick a single word or phrase to clarify the passage
The male element has held high carnival thus far; it has fairly run riot from the beginning, dominating the feminine aspect everywhere, crushing out all the diviner qualities in human nature.
Stanton uses the phrase “high carnival” mainly to emphasize what she sees as the
a) utter domination of women by men
b) freewheeling spirit of the age
c) scandalous decline in moral values
d) growing power of women in society
3. Replacing a specific word in a passage
For example, which choice most closely captures the meaning of the figurative “sixpence” referred to in lines 70 and 71? 1) Tolerance 2) Knowledge 3) Opportunity 4) Perspective
Writing and Language Section
While most of the questions will be focused on punctuation, verb usage, sentence construction, some will ask you to replace the word in the passage. These are called Precision questions, and they form around 7% of the writing and language section.
For example, Greek yogurt contains slightly more protein per serving, thereby helping people stay “satiated” for more extended periods.
A) No change B) fulfilled C) complacent D) sufficient
Vocabulary words that you need to know in 2020 for SAT practice
Now, as you get the idea about the kind of vocab questions asked on the SAT, here is the list of crucial words prepared for you after analyzing several official SAT practice test papers. It can help you while solving the reading and writing section questions.
Vocabulary in SAT and ACT
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