What's a good source of practice to brush up on my vocabulary?

<p>If I do this, then I think my critical reading will be near the 800 range. Any suggestions maybe for practicing over the summer?</p>

<p>Direct Hits Volume 1 ("Core Vocabulary") and Volume 2 ("Toughest Vocabulary") are generally regarded as the best vocabulary books. The collection has roughly 400 words I believe. Here is a separate and very long vocabulary list I've seen:</p>

<p>Abate to reduce in amount
Aberrant deviating from what is normal
Abhor hate
Abrasive rough, coarse, harsh
Abrasiveness harshness, coarseness
Abrogate cancel, deny, repeal
Abscond run away in a secret manner
Absolution forgiveness, pardon, release
Abstain desist, go without, withdraw
Abstemious self denying, refraining from indulging
Abstruse difficult to understand, obscure
Abstruse hard to understand, esoteric
Acclamation a shout or approval
Accolade tribute, honor, praise
Acquiesce to agree to, give in to
Acrid sharp, pungent (used of smells and tastes)
Acrimonious caustic in nature, bitter, burning in nature
Acrimony sharpness in nature or speech
Acrophobia fear of heights
Acuity sharpness (mental or visual)
Adamant forceful, inflexible
Adjuration an earnest request
Admonish caution, advise against something
Adroit skillful
Adulation strong admiration, worship
Adversity hardship
Advocate support
Aesthetic concerning art or beauty
Affable friendly, social, easygoing
Agglomeration a mass of varied parts
Aggrandize to widen in scope or power (sometimes seemingly)
Aggregate coming together to form a whole
Alacrity eagerness, enthusiasm, quickness
Alchemy medieval chemistry, attempt to change base metal into gold.
Alibi an excuse that shows someone was not at a crime scene
Allay to lessen
Alleviate make less severe
Aloof distant, detached, cold
Altruism putting others first, being self-sacrificing
Amass accumulate
Ambiguity uncertainty, vagueness
Ambiguous unclear in meaning, can be interpreted in different ways
Ambivalence lack of clarity, wavering, being undecided
Ambulatory able to walk around (used of hospital patients)
Ameliorate make better
Amelioration improvement
Amenable ready to answer
Amenity agreeable way
Amiable friendly
Amity friendship
Amorphous lacking in shape
Analgesic medicine to combat pain
Analogous comparable
Anarchy chaos, lack of government
Anecdote an amusing brief story
Animosity hatred, antagonism
Annex (noun)a building which is an addition to an existing building
Annex (verb)take possession of, seize, capture
Anomaly something which does not fit in a pattern, irregularity
Antagonism hostility, strong opposition (usually towards main character, protaganist)
Antagonistic opposed, hostile, aggressive
Antediluvian outdated, prehistoric, very old-fashioned
Anthropocentrism putting man at the center of one's philosophy
Antipode opposites
Antiquated outdated, old fashioned
Apathetic indifferent, uninterested, lethargic
Apathy lack of interest or emotion (antonym empathy)
Apocryphal of doubtful origin
Apogee climax
Apparatchik a member of an apparat (usually in a Communist community)
Appease pacify, soothe, calm down, make peace with
Apprehensive worried, fearful
Apprised given noticed to
Arable can be cultivated
Arbitrary random, for no definite reason
Arcane obscure, known only to a few people
Archaic ancient, outdated, old fashioned
Archetype classic example of
Archives collections of old records, place of storage of old documents
Argillaceous having a significant amount of clayey matter
Articulate clear, lucid, eloquent
Artifice deception, trickery
Artisan craftsman
Ascendancy controlling influence
Ascetic without luxuries, severely simple
Assiduous thorough, diligent
Assuage to calm
Astute perceptive, sharp-witted
Asylum place of refuge or safety
Atavism appearance, and the reappearance
Atheist person who does not believe in God
Atrophy waste away from lack of use
Attenuate weaken
Atypical not typical
Augment increase, make bigger
Auspicious favorable, promising to turn out well
Austere severely plain
Aversion a dislike of
Avuncular pertaining to uncles
Balk hinder and prevent; hesitate over
Banal common, dull
Banality ordinariness, dullness
Bane troublesome influence
Bard poet
Baroque highly ornate, or irregular in shape
Bastion fortress, stronghold
Bauble a showy ornament, usually a scepter
Befuddle confuse
Begrudge resent
Beguile mislead, lure
Belabor explain in unnecessary detail
Beleaguer besiege, attack
Belie contradict
Belittle to demean
Bellicose war-like, aggressive
Belligerent aggressive, ready to fight
Bemoan complain about
Beneficiary a person from a group that receives special benefits
Benevolent kindly
Benign kindly, harmless
Benignity compassion, gentleness, fondness
Bequeath leave something in one's will to be given after one's death
Berate scold, criticize
Bereavement deprivation, usually by death
Beret type of cap
Bestial behaving like a beast, brutal
Betroth arrange the marriage of
Biannual twice a year
Biennial once every two years
Bigot narrow-minded, prejudiced person
Bilk cheat, defraud
Billowing swelling, fluttering, waving
Blasphemy speech which offends religious sentiments
Blatant obvious
Blighted damaged, destroyed, ruined
Blithe free-spirited, carefree
Blunderbuss ancient weapon (type of gun); a clumsy person
Bolster support, prop up
Bombast arrogant, pompous language
Boorish ill-mannered
Bourgeois middle class
Braggart someone who boasts
Brawny muscular
Brevity being brief
Bristle to show irritation
Broach start to discuss, approach
Brusque blunt, abrupt
Bulwark fortification, barricade, wall
Bureaucracy officialdom
Burgeon grow, flourish, put forth new shoots
Burnish polish
Busker a street performer
Buttress strengthen, support
Byline the line that tells you who wrote an article
Byzantine complex and intricate
Cacophony discordant loud noises
Cajole coax (persuade)
Caldron huge cooking pot
Callow immature
Candid frank, honest
Candor frankness, openness
Cantankerous bad-tempered, quarrelsome
Capacious spacious
Capitulate surrender, give in to
Carping constant criticism
Cartographer person who makes maps
Castigate scold strongly
Catharsis purging of emotions (usually by means of music)
Catharsis purging of pent-up emotions
Caucus type of private political meeting
Caustic burning
Cavalcade procession of vehicles
Caveat a warning
Celerity speed
Censorious disapproving, critical
Censure blame
Cerebral intellectual
Certitude certainty
Charlatan trickster who claims knowledge he doesn't have
Chary wary of, cautious about, reluctant to give
Chastises punishes
Chattel a slave
Cherub a beautiful, innocent person
Chicanery trickery
Chicanery trickery or deception by false arguing
Chimerical changeable, unstable
Choleric easily angered
Chronicler person who records historical information
Circuitous indirect
Circumlocution using too many words, long-windedness
Circumscribe limit
Circumspect cautious, considering all sides
Circumspect discreetly watchful
Circumvent avoid
Clairvoyant psychic, mystic
Clamor shout, scream
Clandestine secret, covert, stealthy
Clemency mercy

<p>To be honest, one of the better ways to extend your lexicon is reading. Novels, the news, and anything you can get your hands on that contains a decent amount of elevated vocabulary. Then of course there's the vocab books/lists, which in my case have proved to be quite handy. My favourite would have to be Direct Hits I and II and PR Hit Parade. You can go through some words for a bit of time every day, which is likely more than enough time. That's how I managed to keep my CR score in the 780-800s in every SAT, at least.</p>

<p>(I am not saying that list is good. I am just posting it because I have seen it. I don't know how good it is.)</p>