550 Words to Know for the Digital SAT

Many of your students will be taking the digital version of the SAT at some point so it’s a good idea to start building their vocabulary!  I’ve been collaborating with a few other tutors in the National Test Prep Association to scour through the 4 practice tests that have been released and compile a list of the most challenging words.  Use the link at the bottom to access our full list.


If you’re curious as to our methodology, here’s what we did.  (By the way, methodology is one of the words on the list!)  Each tutor looked at either one of the four digital SAT tests in College Board’s Bluebook app or at one of the linear tests.  The tests in the Bluebook app are what most students will experience when taking the digital SAT.  The linear tests were created as an accommodation for students who are unable to look at a screen for an extended amount of time.  While most students won’t be permitted to take the linear test for an official score, there’s no reason you can’t use them for extra practice!  Each of us selected the most “interesting” words from our assigned test and then combined all the words into the list you see here.

Interesting finds

Unsurprisingly, some of these digital SAT words were selected by more than one tutor.  In fact, each of these words made it onto four tutors’ lists: foster, interpret, mimic, speculate, and validate.  We also noticed that there were several passages about scientific research, so words such as hypothesize, conjecture, credited, fluctuation, and parasitic all need to be understood in a scientific context.  There were also quite a few words that are derived from old-fashioned Latin roots.  For instance, beneficial, beneficiary, and benign come from the Latin word bene, which means good.  Impartial, impenetrable, imperceptible, impractical, inadequate, and indecipherable all start with the Latin word for not.

Click here to download the complete Digital SAT word list.

About the Author: Heather Krey

Passionate about helping her students achieve their college dreams by being their coach and cheerleader as they prep for the SAT and ACT, Heather Krey is an experienced instructor with teaching certificates in math, physics, chemistry, and English. She knows the best tips and strategies for these tests – and she also understands that students need encouragement and practice to do their best. With dual bachelor’s degrees in industrial engineering and psychology from Lehigh University, she also holds masters of education degrees in mathematics from DeSales University and in teaching from Kutztown University. Heather lives in Allentown, PA, with her husband and three children.