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Which Vocab list/book performed best on the May SAT?

dark knightdark knight 716 replies59 posts. Member
edited September 2008 in SAT Preparation
My Q and A Service copy of the May SAT finally arrived. So this gave me another opportunity to find out which Vocab lists/books were effective and which were ineffective.

The following 20 words were answers on the May SAT: Euphonious, Veneration, Parochial, Resurgence, Plethora, Facilitate, Tenacity, Forerunner, Paucity, Clandestine, Preternatural, Satirize, Denizen, Anecdote, Fortuitous, Shrewd, Autonomous, Confounded, Base and Paradox. Here is how the 12 lists/books I have been analyzing performed on the May 2008 SAT:

1. Direct Hits Vocabulary: 434 words; 10 hits; 43.4 words per hit
2. Rocket Review Core Words: 323 words; 7 hits; 46.1 words per hit
3. Barron's Hot Words: 396 words; 8 hits; 49.5 words per hit
4. PR's Hit Parade: 253 words; 4 hits; 63.2 words per hit
5. Barrons High Frequency List: 385 words; 4 hits; 96.25 words per hit
6. Kaplan's SAT book list: 500 words; 4 hits; 125.0 words per hit
7. SparkNotes: 1000 words; 8 hits; 125.0 words per hit
8. PR's Word Smart: 1505 words; 10 hits; 150.5 words per hit
9. SuperKids: 1120 words; 7 hits; 160.0 words per hit
10. Kaplan's SAT Score Raising Dictionary: 1000 words; 5 hits; 200 words per hit
11. Barron's Mini-Dictionary: 3500 words; 17 hits; 205.8 words per hit
12. TestMaster's Small List: 254 words; 1 hit; 254 words per hit

The May SAT contained a number of difficult words. For example, none of the 12 sources listed above had BASE, EUPHONIOUS or FORERUNNER.

For the third straight SAT (March, May and June), Direct Hits emerged as the top performing list/book. Direct Hits has lived up to its name with 17 of 19 in March, 13 of 21 in June and 10 of 20 in May.

Rocket Review' Core Words and PR's Hit Parade continue to perform well. Meanwhile, TestMaster's Little List only had one (autonomous) hit. So if you learned all 254 words on the TestMaster's little list all you got was one hit.
edited September 2008
53 replies
Post edited by dark knight on
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Replies to: Which Vocab list/book performed best on the May SAT?

  • nbafan135nbafan135 622 replies68 postsRegistered User Member
    Sweet. Nice analysis man.
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  • ballin4everballin4ever 199 replies52 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    What a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis. [=
    Your post really helped a lot.
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  • seamonsterseamonster 63 replies1 posts- Junior Member
    Great post. Since you have the May test, could you compile a list of "indirect hits?" That is, vocabulary words that were on the May test but were wrong answers. While a direct hit is best, indirect hits can also be a big help in process of elimination. Thx in advance for all your hard word (=
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  • RR119RR119 179 replies21 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    That's strange...I've never heard of Direct Hits, but I bought the RocketReview book because of it's popularity.

    Is the vocab from RocketReview included in the actual book or is it a separate item?
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  • Iron-ladyIron-lady 37 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    RR119 - Direct Hits just came out 3 or 4 months ago. It really helped me a lot.
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  • dark knightdark knight 716 replies59 posts. Member
    RR119 - The Rocket Review list of words is in the book The Rocket Review Revolution.
    Iron-lady - thx for the updated link.
    Seamonster - interesting idea. Here is what I found:

    The May 2008 SAT contained 19 sentence completions that included 25 Level 3 - 5 WRONG answers. Here are the 25 wrong answers:

    Convoluted; Perfidious; Bellicose; Exasperation; Consternation; Commiseration; Reconciliation; Disputatious; Pervasive; Modicum; Manifestation; Obfuscate; Exacerbate; Debilitate; Conjecture; Nonchalance; Circumspection; Munificence; Antecedent; Harbinger; Derivatives; Panoply; Spate; Superfluous; and Foibles

    So how did the various lists/books perform? To find out see the next post!
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  • dark knightdark knight 716 replies59 posts. Member
    Remember, an INDIRECT HIT means that a list/book had a word that was on the test but was a WRONG answer. INDIRECT HITS can be very helpful in process of elimination.

    Here are the results:

    1. Direct Hits Vocabulary: 434 words; 14 indirect hits; 31 words per indirect hit
    2. PR's Hit Parade; 253 words; 7 indirect hits; 36.1 words per indirect hit
    3. Rocket Review's Core Words: 323 words; 6 indirect hits; 53.8 words per indirect hit
    4. Barron's Hot Words: 396 words; 7 indirect hits; 56.5 words per indirect hit
    5. TestMasters Short List: 254 words; 4 indirect hits; 63.5 words per indirect hit
    6. SparkNotes 1000 Word List: 1000 words; 15 indirect hits; 66.6 words per indirect hit
    7. Kaplan's SAT Score Raising Dictionary: 1000 words; 14 indirect hits; 71.4 words per indirect hit
    8. Barron's High Frequency Words: 385 words; 5 indirect hits; 77 words per indirect hit
    9. PR's Word Smart: 1505 words; 14 indirect hits; 107.5 words per indirect hit
    10. Kaplan's SAT Book: 500 words; 4 indirect hits; 125.0 words per indirect hit
    11. Barron's Mini-Dictionary: 3500 words; 23 indirect hits; 152.1 words per indirect hit
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  • seamonsterseamonster 63 replies1 posts- Junior Member
    Thx for your amazing and revealing findings. I guess we can say that Direct Hits is a hit, Kaplan is a dud, PR and RR do a fine job, TestMasters is overrated, and Barron's 3500 word list is not invincible.
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  • hopefullygoodhopefullygood 45 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    ^ I agree - thx for all your hard work. I'm curious - which words were NOT on the Barrons 3500 word list. I thought they had all the words. Guess I was wrong.
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  • dark knightdark knight 716 replies59 posts. Member
    Good question, hopefullygood. For the May SAT the Barron's 3500 word list did NOT have euphonious or forerunner.
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  • hopefullygoodhopefullygood 45 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thx - very interesting. I always thought that the Barron's 3500 list had everything. Very surprised.
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  • pandagur 1pandagur 1 26 replies0 posts- New Member
    Which words were level 5 on the May SAT?
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  • Ashraf EassaAshraf Eassa 1338 replies94 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well, euphonious can be broken down with roots found in barron's:

    eu = good
    phone = sound

    "good sounding"

    Same with forerunner:

    fore = before
    runner = one who runs/does

    "one who did before"

    So Barron's did have it...just in root form. (I'm assuming they had these roots, I haven't read that book, really).
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  • dark knightdark knight 716 replies59 posts. Member
    The level 5 words were parochial, forerunners, paucity, base, and sublime.
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  • dark knightdark knight 716 replies59 posts. Member
    ^^^
    Great analysis Ashraf Eassa. As for Barron's - well they have 65 prefix clusters. Surprisingly eu and fore were NOT in any of these clusters. Barron's also has 160 root clusters. They did include eu as a root. However, they did not have phone as a root.
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  • The AnomalyThe Anomaly 39 replies11 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I used Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis which is a pretty old book for preparing for the vocab sections on the GMAT it is an absolutely brilliant book and it contained all the words from the June SAT and all that have been listed so far in this post. Perhaps this is also due to the fact its about 700 pages long.
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  • dark knightdark knight 716 replies59 posts. Member
    Thx for the post. 700 pages is even longer than Barron's - :) Wouldn't it just be easier to study the 600 or so words in Direct Hits, PR's Hit Parade and RR's Core Words? The words from these three sources aced the March, May and June SATs. I just saw a post from someone in Australia saying that Direct Hits aced the June International test.
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  • onemoretime2onemoretime2 28 replies0 postsRegistered User New Member
    Very interesting thread. Lots of great suggestions. Thx guys.
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  • socalsoccerdudesocalsoccerdude 677 replies112 postsRegistered User Member
    im bumping this. it may help other people choose which books to get.
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  • FlibbFlibb 1005 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Are we talking about the Direct Hits Vocabulary volume 1 or both the volumes?
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