Can You Get a High Score on This Difficult SAT Words Test?



By: Allison Lips

5 Min Quiz

Image: Sam Edwards / OJO Images / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Every year, millions of high school students study for the SAT with hope of scoring high enough to get into their dream college. Since its creation in 1926, the SAT has undergone many changes. The current version has a maximum score total of 1600. Up to 800 points can be scored on the math section, which has an average score of 531. The other half of an SAT score is called evidence-based reading and writing. It is a combination of the reading and writing sections and has an average score of 536. 

For the reading at writing sections, test takers are expected to know thousands of words or at least be able to infer the meaning from context clues. Some words found are the test are fairly common. For example, high school students probably hear abbreviate, abstinence, hypothesis and superficial on a regular basis. Other words are not as commonly used. Some examples of those words are querulous, prosaic and deleterious. If you do not know what those last three words mean, they mean irritable, dull and harmful respectively. 

While the SAT can be nerve-racking, studying the vocabulary words that are known to make frequent appearances on the exam can ease some of those nerves. Are you ready to dive into the world of SAT vocabulary? Then, dive right in to this quiz! 

Why might a spy have an alias?

Alias entered English in the 15th century. It became a noun in the early 1600s. It is derived from the Latin word "alius."


What does it mean when a musician is a virtuoso?

The word virtuoso was borrowed from Italian. Its first use in English was in the 1600s. In English, virtuoso can be pluralized as virtuosos or virtuosi.


Why might an old inn be considered quaint?

In the 1200s, quaint meant expert or skilled. Synonyms for quaint's current meaning include eccentric, offbeat, peculiar and quirky.


If someone makes a pithy remark, what is it?

Pithy entered English in the 1500s. Synonyms include laconic, concise and succinct.


What is the nadir of an object?

Nadir comes from Arabic. It is derived from an Arabic word that means "opposite."


What is someone doing if they are circumventing the law?

Circumvent derives from the Latin word "circum," which means "circle." The second part of the word comes from "ventus," which means "to come."


If an author writes something that is tangential to the plot, what is it?

Tangential is from geometry. A geometrical tangent is a straight line that touches a curve at a single point.


Why might you get tired of something that is ubiquitous?

Ubiquity was first used in the 1700s. The form ubiquitous made its first appearance in the 1830s.


If something is rife with errors, what does that mean?

Rife has had the same meaning for its 900-year history. The word comes from Old English.


What does it mean to abscond with something?

Abscond comes from the Latin "abscondere," which means "to hide away." Synonyms include flee and escape.


What does it mean for a parent to admonish a child?

English adopted admonish from the Vulgar Latin "admonestare," which means to warn. Synonyms include rebuke, reprimand and chide.


Why would someone describe their hair as voluminous?

Voluminous can mean numerous or be used to describe something with a large volume. It can also be used to describe a long speech or piece of writing.


Why would an item be describe as meager?

Meager entered English from Anglo-French. Synonyms for meager include scant and sparse.


If you're feeling languid after exercise, how are you feeling?

Languid can also mean slow or listless. It is derived from "languidus," which is Latin for to languish.


When something has something inherent, what does that mean?

Inherent comes from the Middle English "enheren," which means belong. Synonyms include inborn, intrinsic and essential.


What does it mean for something to be ostentatious?

Ostentatious was adapted from the Latin word for "display." Synonyms for ostentatious are conspicuous, pretentious, gaudy, loud and over the top.


When Winston Churchill said, "It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma," what did he mean by an enigma?

Enigma comes from the Greek word "ainigma." Synonyms for enigma are mystery, riddle and puzzle.


What does it mean for something to be plausible?

In the 1560s, plausible gained its current meaning. It originally meant that something was applause-worthy.


When an answer is unequivocal, what is it?

In the 1780s, unequivocal took the meaning unambiguous. Synonyms include apparent, distinct and evident.


If a novel makes an allusion to Sherlock Holmes, what did it do?

In the 16th century, allusion was borrowed from Latin. In Latin, "alludere" means "to refer to" or "to play with."


Why wouldn't you want to hang out with a haughty person?

In Anglo-French, "haut" meant high. Synonyms for haughty include arrogant and overbearing.


Why would you be confused by something that is ambiguous?

Ambiguous was borrowed from Latin. The original Latin word is "ambigere," which means undecided. Synonyms for ambiguous are cryptic and vague.


What separates an ornate plate from a regular one?

Ornate was first recorded in the 1600s. It was passed down from Middle English where the word was "ornat."


If an animal is docile, what is it?

Docile can mean easily taught or submissive. It comes from "docere," which is the Latin word for "to teach."


If you are phobic, what are you?

In the late 1800s, phobic was first used. It comes from the Greek "-phobia."


When a new law supplants an old one, what happens?

English gained supplant in the 14th century. A few synonyms for supplant are replace, displace, and supersede.


If you're flabbergasted after seeing something, you are what?

In the late 1770s, flabbergast was first used. Dumbfounded, astonished, and amazed are all synonyms for flabbergasted.


If someone is phlegmatic, what kind of disposition do they have?

Phlegmatic goes back to the ancient Greeks. It refers to the four bodily fluids that controlled temperaments. The other four were blood, black bile, and yellow bile.


What happens when a piece of metal is warped?

Warped can be used as a verb or a noun. Synonyms include deformed and distorted.


What is an amalgam of different elements?

An amalgam is an alloy of mercury and another metal or a mixture of different elements, such as music. Fusion, blend, and admixture are all synonyms of amalgam.


Why would you be impressed by a soldier's valor?

In Middle English, "valour" meant "worthiness" or "bravery." Bravery, daring, guts, and heroism are synonyms for valor.


Why would you be uninterested in a movie described as insipid?

Originally, insipid meant lacking taste. Synonyms for the modern definition of insipid are vapid, banal, and inane.


Why would the word "thee" be considered archaic?

In the 1800s, archaic was first used. Obsolete, outdated, outmoded, and passe are other words that share a meaning with archaic.


What does an egotist talk about frequently?

Egotism entered English in the early 18th century. It refers to the practice of talking about oneself too much and an exaggerated sense of self-importance.


Why does a novice have a lot to learn?

The first document use of novice was in the 1500s. It comes from the Old French word for "inexperienced person."


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