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Chris Lele

SAT Vocab Monday: Must Know Words from the Reading Section

Hello, and welcome to our new SAT Vocab Monday! We are switching things up as we head into the new year. Instead of saving our video posts util Friday, we will now be starting the week with a little SAT Vocab fun … video-style. We hope you enjoy!

This week, we’re taking a look at 10 words from the reading section that not knowing will cost you 50 points. Watch the video and then check out the word list below:


A feeling of bitterness because you weren’t treated fairly.

Cheryl is so popular and has all these friends, while nobody even talks to me. So I’m not going to be Cheryl’s friend.



Mike: I wrote a story about my life.

John: You even have a life? It would be more interesting to read the autobiography of a houseplant.



I remember, back when I was a kid, the summer nights would seem to last forever and I would bike around collecting frogs.



Oh, life is so tough now. I wish I could pedal around on my bicycle all day long…is that a frog I hear?

Or, a slightly different meaning:

I wish I had followed up on my passion at amphibians. Instead of being a famed researcher on the mating cycle of the bulb sac toad, I have to bag groceries.  

Wistful – to think back on with a sense of regret and longing



Sarah: Hey, do you want to read a poem I wrote?

Jessica: You can’t even write your name…so, like, no. Hey, what’s on T.V. tonight?

Dismissive – showing that something isn’t even worthy for consideration. Don’t be dismissive of this word—learn it!



To learn vocabulary, you must incorporate flashcards.

The SAT is like life, and in life you have to work to succeed. So let me tell you how.

Didactic – imparting a lesson or instruction (sometimes in a I’m-wiser-than-thou way)


Qualify (v.)

The SAT is like the worst test of all time…but I do like some of the math questions.

The director’s movies have always been fun to watch. Though that one about a giant toad in outer space, Star Warts…well, that was just weird.

Qualify – make a statement less absolute; add reservations



The notion that the earth is flat is clearly erroneous.

Saying that Timbuktu is the capital of Egypt is erroneous.

As you can probably guess from the context, erroneous means wrong. An easy way to remember this word is to think of error. That’s a noun. Make error an adjective and you get erroneous.



I feeling somewhat tired.

Not. Emphatic.

I am flat-out tired.


I. Will. Not. Take. The. SAT. Again.


Emphatic – showing or giving emphasis to (notice how these words are similar)



Brother: Hey, what’s a fancy way of saying ‘practical’?

Sister: Do I care?

Brother: Yes, actually you do. The word is called pragmatic and it pops up all the time on the SAT.

Sister: So?

Brother: Well, it’s pretty pragmatic, as far as the SAT is concerned, to know this word test day.

Sister: Would this be a pragmatic way of telling you to shut up?


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!

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