online sat

This is a three part series on free and effective SAT vocabulary resources. Enjoy!

If you’re anything like me, you’re busy from the moment your eyes open until the moment you pass out on the living-room couch sometime just before midnight.
Today, I want to save all of you time, money and aggravation. I’m not just giving you links here: I also explain how to use them and I provide as complete a review of these resources for you as I can. All the resources are ones which I have used personally.

Today’s links are for SAT practice. Bear in mind that these two links are for practicing the current SAT . The new Common Core SAT will be out sometime in Spring 2016. I will have future posts on how to get ready for that too. If you have a child or children who will be taking the new Common Core SAT, may I still suggest giving these links a look? It will improve your child/children’s vocabulary painlessly and enjoyably as well as give you a few minutes reprieve each day. No matter what your child chooses to do with his/her life, an expansive vocabulary and a great command of the English Language will open doors and deliver unparalleled opportunities.

The difference between the kind of vocabulary you will need for the current SAT and the new Common Core SAT may be slight, but you won’t lose out in learning some of these words. The Common Core SAT vocabulary will be more focused on the kind of academic vocabulary you would find in college textbooks and in certain careers/professions. There will be more emphasis on social studies, history, science, environmental studies and technical subjects in terms of passages chosen.

Don’t get me wrong, students will still have to show capability in handling language more in line with what some of you are teaching in English right now -eg the Classics. My advise is : don’t give up on the Austen, Dickens, Thackeray, Bronte and Shakespeare just yet. Those are necessary in teaching about certain aspects of life. More on that in future posts!

Now, finally, after almost boring you to tears, here are the three links :

  1. www.bigiqkids.com
  2. www.vocabulary.com
  3. http://www.majortests.com/sat/

Part 1 of this post will deal with the first link.

The great thing about them all is that you can use them when your child is ready. You can start using these links in primary or middle school if you like. In fact, I would strongly suggest not waiting until high school to work on vocabulary enhancement. Mastery can only be effectively achieved over time. Waiting may cause more stress, anxiety and worry on the part of the student and yourself.

The first link is a great resource. It’s free of course, and very, very helpful. What a great name too, huh? Let me share how I used it for our kids. First, before we go any further, I would like to warn you that you will have to enter in your vocabulary lists yourself if you want FREE practice.  I know, I can hear your groans now and I sympathize.  I had to do it myself.  It was a big hassle, but for a few hours of hassle, it saved me days,weeks and months of grief and stress. Once you have the lists in, your child/children can log in anytime of day or night and practice. You can definitely use this on days when you’re sick, tired, rushed and/or grumpy.

The visuals are amazing and your child won’t get bored here. Our son would just log himself in daily and work at it. The great thing was that he would then use those words in his speech and writing. The words are reinforced many times in myriad ways. There is something for every learner: auditory, kinesthetic and/or visual. I got my SAT word lists from http://www.sparknotes.com/testprep/books/newsat/chapter15section4.rhtml.
This is the 250 most difficult SAT words. It’s a good start. BigIQKids also has 40 SAT word lists for free. You can load these as your own if you like. Some people ask whether one can effectively gauge which words are going to show up on the exam. The short answer is no.  A good vocabulary built up over years of varied reading and vocabulary practice is the best prep your student can do. That, and working on old SAT College Board exam questions.

Note: If you don’t want to make your own lists using my tips above, you can also use the BigIQKids multi-sensory SAT 5000 word list. It is currently $99.99 /year and comes complete with vocabulary bees, synonyms, antonyms, spelling tests, word puzzles, definition matching, and reporting. The program keeps track of your student’s weak points and provides more practice. For those of you who are working full-time or part-time and still want to homeschool, I would really recommend this tool to give your child/children an edge in preparing for the standardized tests.

How to use if you want to load up your own lists(free):

1) Sign up with a username and password.

2) Go to ‘Create a Custom List’, name the list (you can call it SAT Word List A-B for instance) and click on the word ‘New’.

3) Save your lists each time: Click on the ‘Save List Button.’ BigIQKids takes it from there once you’re done saving. Your child will then be able to access and view all the words immediately. For each word, your child will be provided with the meaning of the word and example sentences where the word is used. He/she can practice spelling,  pronunciation,  sentence completion, synonyms and antonyms of the word. All you do is load the words.  That’s right.. the sentences and everything else are constructed for you.

That’s it! I told you it was easy. It will save you and your kids unnecessary angst and frustration.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this post.

About Shireen

HI, I'm a first generation home-schooling mother and wife. My husband and I have two kids whom we homeschooled from K-12. Both are now in college. Home-schooling high school was a great challenge and my aim is to encourage and support other home-schooling mothers and wives in their journeys. I endeavour to also provide lesson plans and ideas for all grades . It is my aim that my thorough vetting of lesson plans, curriculum, and info about college applications will help make life easier for other mothers as they tend to their families and lives. In my spare time (when I have any) I like to drum out some music on the piano or make something good to eat.

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