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Test PrepACTReadingVocabulary

ACT Reading Skill Review: Vocabulary

While we placed the Vocabulary review within the Reading test, in truth it is a skill that is required on all of the tests, even Math. The bottom line is this: If you’re going to be successful on the test, you need to know more than how to attack the questions. You must know the meaning of the words used in questions and answer choices! Within the Reading test, strong vocabulary skills (meaning, a large vocabulary and the skills to figure out the meaning of words even if they are unfamiliar to you) will help you comprehend the meaning of the reading passages and in the sentences you will be asked to complete.

Memorizing long lists of vocabulary words is of limited use as only a handful will actually appear on the exam you take. Besides, even if you were to memorize hundreds of words, you’d still only know those words that happened to appear on that list. The very best way to expand your vocabulary is to READ EXTENSIVELY. This should be a lifelong activity. Since your time is probably a bit more limited, we’ll focus on what you can do NOW to score well on the ACT.

Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes

The next best (and quickest) way to learn vocabulary is to review root words, prefixes, and suffixes. Although not every word that appears on the ACT will have a recognizable root, knowing root words will still help you figure out some of the words that you don’t know. You won’t know every word on the test anyway. The test writers design it that way!

We’ve provided a list of prefixes, suffixes and root words. Study them. Print them out and study them. Thinking of a word you already know that uses each prefix, suffix, or root may help you understand what the word on the test means.

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Don Munce