How important is Vocabulary? Surprising Answers

<p>So just how important is vocabulary? Some CC'ers say it is very important and vow to memorize hundreds and even thousands of words. Others say it is not that important since there are just 19 sentence completion questions.</p>

<p>My analysis of the just released May 08 SAT provides some very interesting insights. The May SAT had 7 level 5 questions, 8 level 4 questions and 31 level 3 questions. Some of these questions were vocabulary based and others were not. By my count there were 22 vocabulary-based questions - 5 level 5's; 5 level 4's; and 12 level 3's.</p>

<p>If you answered all of the 45 non-vocab based questions and left the 22 vocab-based questions blank your CR score would be a 580. If you correctly answered all 45 of the non-vocab based questions plus all 12 of the level 3 vocab-based questions your score would be a 680. In order to score above a 680 you would have to correctly answer the level 4 and 5 vocabulary-based questions.</p>

<p>So how important is Vocabulary?
. If your goal is a 580 or below vocabulary is only marginally important.
. If your goal is a 590 - 670 vocabulary is very important.
. If your goal is a 680 and up vocabulary is extremely important.</p>

<p>My May math was above a 700 but my May CR was a low 600. In order to have a realistic chance of getting into Vanderbilt I have got to score above a 700 on the CR. So for me studying vocab is extremely important.</p>

<p>Good for you? lol</p>

<p>I didn't study vocabulary at all and I still got an 800 CR, so I don't worry about it at all.</p>

<p>If you're not familiar with many of the words that may be tested on the SATs, then you should study. On the other hand, if you have come across them in your readings, then it's a waste of time.</p>

<p>Katlor, how did you get an 800 on the CR? What did you study?</p>

<p>I actually didn't study at all for the SAT. I've just read a lot my whole life so the CR section is easy for me. I do need to study for the other two sections; my score was only 2180.</p>

<p>reading is probably the best way to do good in CR section.</p>

<p>Yea. Really, reading a lot helps because you run across the vocabulary naturally and learn how to use them in context instead of just forcing them into your memory with very little or no context. I recommend reading newspapers and hard essays. :P helped ME a lot.</p>

<p>Yeah--here's great advice from Loren Pope:</p>

<p>No prep course is going to lift a 400-bracket verbal scorer into the 600 level. No matter what else the disputants say in this hotly argued issue, this just won't happen—ruling out some freak occurrence—because the verbal part is a test of the range of a person's vocabulary, how well he can analyze a paragraph and write. Naturally, no quick fix can do the work of a long habit of reading good books. A seventeen-year-old who has had little interest and little practice in these skills for eleven school years isn't likely to become adept in a few weeks.</p>

<p>The verbal score and the amount and kind of reading a person has done are like ski tracks. I've never known a non-reader to have a high verbal score, nor a good reader to have a low one.</p>

<p>What is "good" reading? It's not just anything between book covers. Too many teenagers share the mistaken belief of a young friend who had a verbal score of 45 on the PSAT, but who insisted that he "read a lot." "What kind of things?" I asked. "Fantasy, action, Harry Potter, things like that." I handed him a compilation of the kinds of books read by kids who'd gone to Mount Holyoke over the last few decades. He studied it for a minute or two and with a look of incredulity asked, "These are books kids actually read in their spare time?"</p>

<p>... If, after a prep course, one's scores go up 30 or 40 pooints each in the verbal and math, nothing has really been accompllished, for normal growth will account for that much annual improvement. Rarely have I known of 100-point increases in the verbal score, and they were unusual cases.</p>

<p>Writing is the easiest section to improve in.</p>

<p>i'm sorry dchow, but i believe the advice you're referring to, is whacked.
my cr was 420 in oct 07, and w was 410. that was the no prep one.
took like 6 months of tutoring class on w and sentence completions; though disappointed in my writing score, which came to me as a big shock, 540, my cr score was 550, which went up dramatically. had no tutorprep for passages.
i've been consistently getting 650s on W, but i dont know why i did so poorly in the may 08.
i dont have much confidence in cr,but im definitely gona break 600,possibly 650s, and W ,i can achieve 700s , consider i only get 4-5 avg on writing in official guide.</p>

<p>W is easy to improve yeah. i agree
but these sections can be beaten with prep...
honestly disappointed on my own scores,but i have a friend who took the same tutor, went from 1500-1600ish to 2040, with only 3 months of prep...</p>

<p>I think this thread has gotten off track. The subject is how important is vocabulary not how important is critical reading or how much can scores be raised. As for vocabulary, it is crucial for scores of 580 and up. Oh well, I am going back to sleep. Hopefully the scores will be up in a few hours.</p>

<p>I know people might get mad but I think it has a lot to do with luck. You could have studied a ton of words and read all the time but you could just get a word you don't know or it could be so similar to another word since you don't know the exact meaning and you have to guess. I've seen threads of people arguing over answers for sentence completions AFTER the test is over when they can look it up in a dictionary so I don't know how well studying word lists can help.</p>

<p>arghhh i hate CR</p>