SAT vocabulary word lists for middle school students are a way to help prepare students to take this important test. The SAT is designed to assess how successful high school students will be once they get to college. Students traditionally take a practice SAT (known as the PSAT) in 10th grade and the actual SAT in 11th grade; however, preparation can begin much earlier. Word lists are vital for SAT and PSAT preparation. Here, we've assembled a list of words suited for middle schoolers' needs.
SAT Vocabulary Word Lists for Middle School
SAT Word List for Middle Schoolers
Each of the words listed below is not only linked to the corresponding definition page, but we've also provided the part of speech and brief definition in this table.
To help, especially with crime
At a slow pace, sluggish
To have many of
To block, to prevent
Something, especially a light, that warns or guides
Traveling from place to place, without a permanent home
Out of control, raging
Performance with elaborate gestures but no words
Someone who boasts about themselves
The state of expecting the worst
A safe, hidden supply
Done bit by bit or in pieces
Having to do with the sky or heavens
A protective action done in advance
To punish or correct
Spoken or written language that isn't poetry
Having to do with civilization; polite
To pursue or attack, especially a crime in a court of law
The act of making clear
Puncture (n., v.)
A small hole, or to make a small hole
A search to achieve a certain goal
To take a thing away
Without order or reason
Information, especially in a computer
To complain at length
To move slowly or hold back
To increase in amount or make stronger
Very sad, despairing, hopeless
To strike back against something done to you
To belittle, to take away from
To steal something entrusted to your care
Not real, false
An additional performance called for by the audience
A person's standing or relative social position
To meet, especially unexpectedly
To stop from happening, to hinder
Study of word origins
Clumsy or impolite
To avoid, to escape from
To emphasize, especially by underlining
Causing grief or sorrow
Healthy or proper
Leisurely (adj., adv.)
At a slow, comfortable pace
Full of sad desire, yearning
Finding More Word Lists
Taking on the SAT can be intimidating, especially at such a young age. Thankfully, many online resources exist to serve your needs.
VocabTest offers free SAT vocabulary training for students beginning in grade 6 and going through high school. Each grade level vocabulary test offers 15 units of study. Vocabulary learning modules include learning definitions, sentences, synonym and antonym practice, parts of speech, spelling, and reverse sentences.
Vocabulary.com offers vocabulary lists, resources and lesson plans in addition to fun games that students can use to learn vocabulary words. The more ways that students interact with language, the better they will understand and learn the material for long term usage.
Vocabulary Cartoons: SAT Word Power by Sam Burchers is a book series meant to help students learn SAT vocabulary words. Several of the books are designed with SAT vocabulary words in particular. Burchers gives the word and a definition as well as a funny cartoon that will help students remember the word through picture/word association.
Preparing for the SAT
There's no way to know what will be on the SAT your middle school students will take. Teaching for the SAT in middle school also ignores the very real possibility that students won't attend college, or will attend but won't bother with the test. The best preparation for the SAT, then, is to instill in students a rich vocabulary, a love of words, and a healthy approach to studying.
No indirect approach can beat teaching kids face-to-face. That said, simply teaching words and definitions by rote is neither memorable nor engaging.
Instead, focus on context. Start with our vocabulary flashcards linked above. Then, ask students to build sentences and sort words based on their implications. Use our lists of words to describe colors, places, and behavior to help them see how their vocab words fit into language and make meaning. We also have several SAT practice exercises to help students prepare for the big test.
As much as we might want to, we can't take our kids' tests for them. Instilling good study habits is as important as - maybe more important than - memorizing the topics of the test. Give students daily challenges: 10 spooky words, for example, or five words in their vocabulary list that could describe the United States. By reinforcing vocabulary this way, you help your students with discipline and focus.
Reading isn't just for a test, or even just for school. Regular reading helps people, not just kids, live richer, more fulfilling lives. It also maximizes test scores.
Three Little Letters
In good news for students who work hard to keep their grades up but struggle with the standardized grind, the SAT has been given less and less priority by colleges as a factor in admissions. That said, the score still matters and preparation is key. Here at YourDictionary, our middle school vocabulary list and linked articles are designed with the needs of students like yours in mind.