Many students want to improve their ISEE vocabulary skills but are not sure how.  There are so many vocabulary words and word lists that often, students do not know where to begin. Here are some strategies to help students learn and remember new vocabulary words to improve their score on the verbal reasoning section of the ISEE.

1.  Use prefixes and root words

One of the best strategies to use on the synonym section of the ISEE is using prefixes and root words.  If students do not know the meaning of a word on the test, knowing the meaning of the prefix will help students be able to identify the general definition of the vocabulary word. Taking the time to learn prefixes and their definitions is a great way to improve ISEE vocabulary and verbal reasoning scores. I compiled a list of the “Top 50 Most Common Prefixes and Root Words” with definitions and examples. Download it for free here.

2.  Find a good ISEE vocabulary list

There are so many vocabulary words available on the internet.  Some of these lists include hundreds of words that might not even show up on the ISEE. Finding a good ISEE vocabulary list is the key to learning the right words that have the highest chance of being on the test.  From my 10 years of ISEE experience, I have gathered and created a list of the “Top 100 Most Common ISEE Vocabulary Words.”  By studying from a concise list of the most common words, students do not have to waste time trying to memorize hundreds of words that probably won’t show up on the test. Download a free copy of the “Top 100 Most Common ISEE Vocabulary Words.”  

3.  Read


One of the most natural ways to build vocabulary is by reading.  Reading is of high interest to students and often includes 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.

4.  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.

For registration information and to register for the ISEE please visit the ERB website.

Improve your vocabulary skills now! 

Download your FREE list of the top 100 ISEE / SSAT vocabulary words today!

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