Students have probably been told over and over again that they need to improve their SSAT vocabulary to raise their verbal reasoning scores. This is true, but how exactly can they do that? Here are some ways students can increase their vocabulary to better prepare themselves for the SSAT.
1. Old fashioned memorization
This may not be the most exciting way to learn new vocabulary words but it is still an effective and straightforward method. In order for this method to work, students need to continuously practice and review vocabulary on a daily basis. One strategy is to pick 10-20 vocabulary words a week to transfer onto flashcards and review these words for 10 minutes each day. Once students are comfortable with those definitions, they should add 10 new words. Students should review all flashcards each week as they continue to add more vocabulary words to their set.
2. Open a book
One of the most natural ways to build vocabulary is by reading. Reading is high interest to students and often include vocabulary words that are new to them. Being exposed to vocabulary while reading provides a context for students to decipher and remember the words. If students are unable to use context to figure out the meaning, they can pause and search for the definition in a dictionary. Devices such as the Kindle will automatically provide definitions for unfamiliar words. The more students read, the faster they will build their vocabulary.
3. Creating visuals
Many students are visual learners which makes creating visuals a great tool for learning new vocabulary. There are many ways to create visuals, one of which include picture flashcards. To create picture flashcards, students write the vocabulary word on one side of the flashcard and draw a picture that reminds them of the definition. They would write the definition on the other side. The drawing will enable students to associate the word with the picture when studying to allow for easier memorization.
4. Creating context
In addition to creating visuals for easier memorization, creating context is also an effective method for remembering new vocabulary words. Students can create sentences using each vocabulary word in order to remember the definitions in context. Incorporating different activities will allow vocabulary learning to be more exciting for students. Another way to create context is to have students practice creative writing and encouraging them to use some of the new vocabulary in their stories.
5. Involving parents
Parents can play a huge role in helping students learn new vocabulary as well! Some of the vocabulary words may be unfamiliar to parents as well as students. Practicing and learning new words together is great motivation for students to continue building vocabulary. Additionally, parents can intentionally blend new vocabulary words in casual conversations with children to promote repeated exposure. SSAT vocabulary learning can be fun and engaging when more people are involved!