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Improve your Vocab the Easy Way

You might be thinking, “Jessica, the ACT and SAT don’t test for vocabulary anymore. Why would I care about improving my vocab?” Yes, the dreaded “Analogies” section of the SAT went away a decade ago (of course, right after I took it…). That does not mean that your vocabulary doesn’t matter for standardized testing, essays, and even interviews. It absolutely does! It helps your reading comprehension skills, your writing skills, and, let’s be honest, makes you even sound smarter in interviews when used correctly.

The Easy Way

Read! That is the easiest way to improve your vocabulary, not to mention your reading comprehension and writing. My favorite system for doing this is downloading classics on your Kindle or iPad (which are usually free!). That way if you find a word you don’t know, you can double tap it and click define. When I was in high school, our teachers would always tell us to read with a dictionary nearby. Yeah, right. The new technology makes it incredibly easy to learn new vocab.

Pick Books You’ll Like

Do you like sci-fi, mysteries, romances? Pick books you’ll like. If you don’t like the books, you’re not going to read them. I really like the original Sherlock Holmes stories, which are free in the iPad library. If you start reading something and don’t like it, drop it. This is not the time to power through. This shouldn’t be a chore. It should be fun. Summer is a great time to read some books for fun and keep your vocab, reading, and writing skills fresh.

Action Items:

  1. Download a book for your iPad or Kindle.
  2. Read it and define any word you’re unfamiliar with.
  3. Tell me your favorite books for improving your vocab.

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