If You Can Get Every One of These SAT Words, Your Vocabulary May Be in the 99th Percentile

By: Kennita Leon
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
If You Can Get Every One of These SAT Words, Your Vocabulary May Be in the 99th Percentile
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The SAT, formally known as the Scholastic Assessment Test, is an examination that was designed by a non-profit organization known as College Board. It is given to prospective university students in order for them to be accepted by various colleges. Of course, GPA and other personal qualities are considered as well, but this test score is very important.

Said exam contains math problems and requires reading and writing. In this quiz we will focus solely on the reading and writing portion of the SAT. We want to give you some of the toughest SAT words that we know of, in order to test your readiness for the writing and language section. 

So, if you're really eager to find out just how ready you are for the SAT, this quiz is definitely the place to start. To the best of your ability, tell us the meanings of these words and their possible synonyms, and we'll determine how much you really know. 

Some of these words are quite tough and may mislead you. But if you're meant to ace the SAT, then there's no reason why you should have any trouble with this test. So, if you're ready to measure your readiness, let's get started. 

What does the word "despot" mean?
A cruel dictator
This word refers to a leader who practices an autocratic style of leadership. He/she has supreme power that is often exercised in a harsh manner. "Despot" is a word derived from a type of governance known as despotism.
Marked by lies and deception
A strong wind
Someone who is offensively loud

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What does the word "negligent" mean?
To speak in a violent way
A very skilled individual
A bitter, cutting tone
A lack of attention and/or concern
A negligent person fails to exercise responsibility that is expected or required in a specific situation. Someone who is negligent may also be seen as irresponsible or careless. In some circumstances, the negligent person can be tried in court.

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What does the word "beguile" mean?
A very wide variety
An unwillingness to be dishonest
To indulge or satisfy
To slyly influence
To "beguile" is to mislead someone or to manipulate a situation in your favor by being very pleasant and charismatic. Beguile can also mean to engage in enjoyable activities to help pass the time.

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What comes to mind when you see the word "pernicious"?
To be overly abundant
Marked by lies and deception
Extremely harmful
Something "pernicious" is defined as something or someone that inflicts harm slowly, over a period of time. An example of a pernicious substance would be a poison that does not take immediate effect, but instead leads to death after a few years.
Not sensible or practical

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What does the word "abject" mean?
Bad or severe
"Abject" is used to describe circumstances that are extremely bad or severe. For example: "She lives in abject poverty" would mean that the person is extremely poor. Abject can also refer to a person's behavior when it is considered to be extremely repulsive.
A strong wind
Someone who is offensively loud
A bitter, cutting tone

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What does the word "proclivity" mean?
Filled with concern and anxiety
Having a natural inclination to
"Proclivity" refers to one's inclination to often exhibit a certain behavior or favor something in particular - especially something considered to be wrong or bad. Someone may have a proclivity to gambling or delinquent behavior.
A corrupt practice
To cancel

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What does the word "ubiquitous" mean?
To speak in a violent way
An unwillingness to be dishonest
A very wide variety
Appearing everywhere
Ubiquitous refers to something that appears to be omnipresent and occurring simultaneously. If someone's presence is described as ubiquitous, this means that they seem to be at every location.

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Which of these words is synonymous with "gratuitous"?
Unnecessary
"Gratuitous" has two main definitions. A gratuitous act is one that is performed for no fee, whereas gratuitous behavior is distasteful and considered to be unnecessary or unjustified.
Atrophy
Dispel
Foil

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What does the word "scant" mean?
A very skilled individual
A bitter, cutting tone
A strong wind
Barely sufficient
"Scant" refers to something that barely meets the basic requirements or is barely able to serve its intended purpose. For example: "Her scant recollection of the incident did not provide the authorities with enough information to move forward with the case."

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Which of these words is synonymous with "quaint"?
Partisan
Old-fashioned
Something quaint is charming or sweet in an old-fashioned manner. For example, a house may be described as quiant.
Candor
Maudlin

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Which of these words is synonymous with "cajole"?
Travesty
Scurrilous
Vestige
Influence
To "cajole" means to coax or entice someone into doing something, usually by flattering them or making promises when they appear hesitant. For example, someone may be cajoled by a sales agent into purchasing a product they may not actually need.

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What does the word "modicum" mean?
Someone who is offensively loud
Marked by lies and deception
A small amount
A "modicum" is a small portion or limited quantity of something that is highly valued or held in great esteem. "You must have at least a modicum of experience to gain entry into this field."
To indulge or satisfy

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What does the word "vilify" mean?
To speak in a violent way
To spread bad information about
To "vilify" something or someone is to speak about them in a harsh, degrading manner. This may cause others to regard the situation or the individual in a distasteful or patronizing manner.
A corrupt practice
An unwillingness to be dishonest

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Which of these words is synonymous with "abscond"?
Bolt
To "abscond" is to scurry away or escape in order to avoid detection, punishment or persecution. A prisoner may abscond from jail and a teenager may abscond with money from her mother's purse.
Foil
Impinge
Ostracism

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What comes to mind when you see the word "listless"?
Lacking or missing enthusiasm
To be "listless" is to lack energy or enthusiasm. Without proper sleep and a good breakfast, a student may be listless in class.
Filled with concern and anxiety
To be overly abundant
A very wide variety

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Which of these words is synonymous with "divisive"?
Atrophy
Dispel
Candor
Alienating
"Divisive" refers to someone or something that divides or causes disagreement between two or more people. Politics and religion are highly charged and can be divisive topics during a discussion.

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What does the word "serendipity" mean?
A very skilled individual
A strong wind
The chance occurrence of good luck
"Serendipity" is when something incredible or valuable unexpectedly comes your way and brings you great joy. Such chance encounters are seen as "unexpected good luck," such as when you discover money on the ground when you are in dire need of cash.
A bitter, cutting tone

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Which of these words is synonymous with "obfuscate"?
Remiss
Maudlin
Confuse
To obfuscate means to be vague, unclear or confusing; to darken or throw into the shadow. The salesman's obfuscations bewildered the potential buyer.
Travesty

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What does the word "recalcitrant" mean?
Stubbornly rebellious
A recalcitrant person has an inflexible and uncooperative attitude. The recalcitrant student spent a great deal of time in the principal's office.
Someone who is offensively loud
To cancel
Marked by lies and deception

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What does the word "admonish" mean?
To speak in a violent way
To scold
To "admonish" means to warn or scold someone firmly; to express criticism or disapproval in a gentle, honest or concerning manner; to indicate responsibilities and obligations.
An unwillingness to be dishonest
A corrupt practice

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Which of these words is synonymous with "platitude"?
Ostracism
Cliche
A "platitude" is defined as an overused statement, remark, or phrase which has become dull or no longer holds interest; a cliché or banal remark, opinion or saying. During the debate, one candidate uttered only platitudes.
Impinge
Foil

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What comes to mind when you see the word "hapless"?
To indulge or satisfy
A very wide variety
A very skilled individual
Something deserving of pity
To be "hapless" means to be unfortunate or to have no luck. Synonyms for hapless include unlucky, jinxed, ill-fated, doomed, cursed, luckless, hexed, woeful and ill-starred.

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What does the word "eclectic" mean?
A bitter, cutting tone
A strong wind
Sourced from a variety of styles
"Eclectic" is defined as a person who draws inspiration from a variety of sources; ideas, styles and elements. A person can also have eclectic tastes.
Filled with concern and anxiety

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Which of these words is synonymous with "capitulate"?
Candor
Surrender
To "capitulate" means to surrender or cease to resist, usually after negotiation of terms. Synonyms for capitulate are yield, concede defeat, submit, cave or give in, succumb and buckle under.
Atrophy
Partisan

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Which of these words is synonymous with "tome"?
Scurrilous
Book
A tome is a large, heavy book, specifically a scholarly one. It also means a volume or segment which forms part of a larger body of work.
Dispel
Maudlin

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What does the word "inoculate" mean?
To treat with vaccines
To inoculate means to inject a person or animal with a vaccine so that they may develop immunity to a disease. Also, a mind may be inoculated with an idea.
An unwillingness to be dishonest
To be overly abundant
Someone who is offensively loud

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What does the word "reprieve" mean?
Marked by lies and deception
To postpone or cancel one's punishment
"Reprieve" is defined as the formal cancellation or suspension of sentencing, specifically someone on death row; to give relief to for a short period of time; to put off the punishment of. The word may be used as either a verb or a noun.
A corrupt practice
A very skilled individual

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What does the word "wanton" mean?
A bitter, cutting tone
A very wide variety
Immodest
"Wanton" refers to a promiscuous or sexually immodest woman, a pampered or frolicsome person or pet; malicious, deliberate and unprovoked (action); being without boundaries or check. Not to be confused with "wonton."
To indulge or satisfy

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Which of these words is synonymous with "ambivalent"?
Remiss
Ostracism
Impinge
Equivocal
"Ambivalent" is defined as having or showing simultaneous mixed feelings and contradictory ideas about something or someone. She has ambivalent feelings about taking the SAT.

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What does the word "morose" mean?
To speak in a violent way
A strong wind
Ill-tempered
To be "morose" means to have a gloomy or depressed temperament or mood. Synonyms for morose include ill-tempered, broody, irritable, surly, snappish, grumpy, crabby and grouchy.
Someone who is offensively loud

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What comes to mind when you see the word "pariah"?
Someone who isn't accepted
A pariah is an outcast or someone who is rejected from their group. It can also describe someone of a low caste in southern India.
Filled with concern and anxiety
An unwillingness to be dishonest
To be overly abundant

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What does the word "maelstrom" mean?
A powerful, circular force of water
A maelstrom is a powerful and often violent whirlpool located in the sea or river. The word can also be used to describe a situation involving confusion and disarray.
A very skilled individual
A corrupt practice
Marked by lies and deception

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Which of these words is synonymous with "contusion"?
Foil
Injury
"Contusion" refers to an area of injured skin or tissue in which blood capillaries have been broken; a bruise, discoloration, swelling or injury.
Candor
Dispel

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What does the word "sanctimonious" mean?
A very wide variety
A bitter, cutting tone
Someone who is offensively loud
Making a show of or being superior to others, morally
"Sanctimonious" is defined as the hypocritical showing of moral or religious superiority to others. Synonyms include holier-than-thou, self-righteous, pious, smug, deceiving, bigoted, preachy.

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What does the word "pacify" mean?
A strong wind
To speak in a violent way
To placate or appease
To "pacify" means to alleviate or soothe the anger or agitation of someone; to bring about peace through compromising. Synonyms include placate, appease and conciliate.
Marked by lies and deception

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