Happy July 4th!

The following is an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence.  How many words can you define in bold?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,  — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.  — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

The Importance of Vocabulary

Vocabulary is an essential component of the SAT. Sure, mastery of definitions is important for sentence completions. However, a great vocabulary is also an asset for success on the entire test. For example, many times there will be a keyword in the sentence itself. How can we complete a sentence we don’t fully understand?

Often, difficult words will show up as the answers to passage based reading questions. At other times, difficult words will be in the passage itself. I have even noticed that such words like “respectively” will sometimes show up in a long winded math word problem. Of course, almost immediately, my students will ask me, “What does respectively mean?”

Even in the writing section, a sentence error might contain the improper use of a word