Memorizing SAT vocabulary can be tedious. This lesson gives teachers several game ideas that can be used by students inside and outside the classroom to make the task more fun.
SAT Vocabulary Games
Learning SAT vocabulary to prepare for the college admissions exams can be a daunting task. Vocab lists contain hundreds of words. All too often students assume that the only way to learn a new word is to put it on a flashcard and constantly self-quiz. While flashcards can be helpful, there are more interesting and efficient ways to learn new words.Teachers can help students learn SAT vocabulary by introducing them to vocabulary games that are an engaging alternative to flash cards.
Also, because the new SAT incorporates words that are used in real life, students should try them out in their everyday conversations and writing.Let’s look at a few SAT vocabulary games that can be used in the classroom or in study groups.
SAT Vocabulary Bingo
Even though this game requires some preparation, it can be a useful and fun classroom activity.
Basically, it works the same way as standard bingo but instead of numbers you use SAT vocabulary. To prepare the vocabulary list for the game, try the following:
- Tell students to make a list of the more difficult vocabulary words and definitions, which they have encountered while studying for the SAT.
- Collect the lists and compile them into a master list of at least 100 words.
There are two ways to play the game.
Bingo Version 1
This is the standard bingo version. Using the 100 SAT words, create bingo cards and a pool of words to draw from. The easiest way to do this is to print the words and definitions, cut them out, fold the pieces of paper in half, and put them into a hat or bowl. Draw a word and read just the definition.
Students who have the corresponding word on their cards will cover the word. This process continues until someone gets bingo. The first student who gets bingo should stand up and read the words and definitions out loud to the class.
Bingo Version 2
In this version the students create their own bingo cards. Hand out a list of the 100 SAT words and let students choose their own words to create three to five bingo cards. Before the game begins, give students a chance to look at each other’s cards and make trades.
In the first part of this activity, students will create their own workable crossword puzzles from a list of SAT vocabulary words. This part of the activity may work best as a homework assignment, but you can prep the students by handing out a sample crossword puzzle and solving it in class. A quick Internet search for printable SAT crosswords will give you plenty of choices.Tell students to choose up to 40 words from the list of the 100 most difficult SAT words from the bingo game.
Once the first part of the activity is complete, have students exchange their puzzles in class and have a competition to see who can solve the puzzles the fastest.
SAT Vocabulary Drill
For this game, each student will need a few SAT reading texts from the official practice tests. Several free practice tests are available for download on the College Board website.
The primary goal of this game is to enable students to practice scanning texts quickly for information.To prepare for the game, read through the official practice reading or writing tests and highlight vocabulary words you think will be unfamiliar to your students. Next, give each student a clean copy of the test you will be using and keep the highlighted copy as your answer key. Tell the students that the aim of the game is to locate the vocabulary word that you read out.One big advantage of the official tests is that each passage includes line numbers so it’s easy to check student answers.
After the student correctly gives you the location of the word, ask the student to give a definition based on the context. If the student is unable to do so, solicit the answer from another student. If you want to use a point system you can give one point for finding the word and one or two points for supplying the correct definition.