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50 words you should learn for the SAT (and use on the SAT essay)


You can never learn too many words for the SAT. But at the same time, there is no “magic number” of words you need to know. This is why some SAT prep companies recommend that you learn 500 words, while others  require you to learn 2,000.

But when it comes to the SAT essay, you really only need to know 50 words. And don’t worry: You’re not going to use all 50 words. That would be overkill. And it would also obfuscate your writing with esoteric prolixity and convoluted circumlocution. (What the hey-hey? Me confused.) Exactly. Jamming too many SAT words into your essay makes your writing 1) hard to understand; 2) sound unnatural; and 3) seem as if you’re just using advanced words to hide your deficiencies as a persuasive writer.

Five words, if used in the proper context, are all you need to make a positive impression on the grader. Again, using too many advanced words can work against you.

  • Click HERE for the list of 50 words.
  • Those 50 words are also important to learn for the sentence-completion questions on the Critical Reading section.
  • But most importantly, those 50 words are useful to know for the rest of your life.

If you plan to take the SAT exam in October or later, be sure to visit PWN the SAT's site regularly. He has tons of helpful tips. And if you are specifically struggling with the SAT essay, he has an awesome guide.

Good luck!


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