We can help you get into your dream school.

Sign up for Magoosh SAT or Magoosh ACT Prep.

Chris Lele

SAT Vocab Friday – SAT’s Favorite Words

At least one of the words below is bound to show up test day—the SAT loves these words. Don’t get caught not knowing them!


These days very few people listen to only one kind of music. Sure, maybe you have that one friend who only listens to Kelly Clarkson. Otherwise, most people have an iTunes library consisting of a variety of genres: hip-hop, alternative rock, house, and, for those long study sessions, some Mozart. That is, our tastes in music are eclectic, or drawn from many genres, varieties.

Eclectic can describe just about anything (not only music!) that is drawn from a variety of sources. Your reading, your friends, the cuisines you eat—as they say, eclectic is the spice of life.


SAT just loves this word—and it’s related synonyms abstruse and recondite. What do they all mean? Basically, if anything is really random and only a few people know about it (rocket science, 19th century migration patterns in the United States, the Higgs Boson particle), that information is considered esoteric.

The more words you come to know through studying the SAT, the more esoteric words you’ll know—words, that if you use in front of polite company, will draw a few blank looks.


This one is easy—it describes someone who doesn’t say much. You know, the person who doesn’t really feel like talking, but gives one-word answers whenever you ask them a question.


This one is also real easy—it’s just the opposite of reticent. So if you call someone a motor-mouth because they keep blabbing away, then that person is garrulous. A good synonym is chatty, and a good SAT synonym is loquacious (also an SAT favorite).


Some people are really petty—they’ll never forgive you for a tiny mistake, and they’ll never lend you money for lunch. Then there is the magnanimous soul—likely to forgive, charitable to others in need, he or she is renowned for their generosity and kind-heartedness.

Check out some other favorite SAT words.

About Chris Lele

Chris Lele is the GRE and SAT Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh Online Test Prep. In his time at Magoosh, he has inspired countless students across the globe, turning what is otherwise a daunting experience into an opportunity for learning, growth, and fun. Some of his students have even gone on to get near perfect scores. Chris is also very popular on the internet. His GRE channel on YouTube has over 8 million views.

You can read Chris's awesome blog posts on the Magoosh GRE blog and High School blog!

You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

Leave a Reply

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will approve and respond to comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! :) If your comment was not approved, it likely did not adhere to these guidelines. If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!