The word lambaste means to criticize someone harshly. By the time you finish this post you’ll probably have forgotten that. Now, what if I tell you to imagine somebody who always criticizes you (I can already picture my high school P.E. teacher). I want you to imagine that that person’s head has been replaced with the head of a giant lamb. Now it is this lamb ‘lamb’asting you.
Sounds totally twisted, right? Well, that’s the point. Now you are far less likely to forget the word.
These random, wacky connections are called mnemonics. And the best mnemonics are the ones that you come up with. They don’t have to make sense to anyone but you. In fact, maybe the lambaste example didn’t work for you. In that case come up with your own. And remember – the weirder, the better.
How many words SAT words can you think of that start with the letter ‘p’?
Which SAT words mean to criticize or scold? (here you may want to think of lambaste).
Think of an SAT word and define it. Then think of another SAT word that begins with the same letter that the first SAT word ended in. See if you can repeat 10 times. (This game also works great with more than one person!).
Okay, this is kind of geeky, but it can turn you into a vocabulary machine. I would speak in the hypothetical and say, ‘if you have friends taking the SAT…’ but with the vast majority of high school students taking the SAT, if you have a friend that person is probably taking the SAT. So challenge him or her and see if you can stump them with a word. If they are the competitive type then they will probably try to stump you back. And don’t worry, if you think spouting random SAT words is going to make you look uncool, remember you can always wait till after school.