Do You Think You Know All These SAT Terms?


By: Jonnathan Chadwick

6 Min Quiz

Image: Pixelfit/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Thousands of words have been added to the dictionary since the turn of the century, and even more are added to our unofficial lexicon every day. Just last year, the Oxford English Dictionary added more than 1,000 new words. Some interesting additions to our everyday speech over the past couple of decades are "photobomb," "hangry," "mansplain" and "listicle." In 2013, the word "selfie" was even named the word of the year, and deservedly so. The advent of social media and the proliferation of technology are changing every part of society as we know it, and language is not exempt. We haven't reached George Orwell's vision of Newspeak, but we're well on our way — and we haven't even mentioned emojis yet.

Luckily for you, all of the words in this quiz were around way before the internet changed the way we think and speak. Some of these words can even be found in the Bible, so you don't have to worry about coming across a word that was invented yesterday. Unfortunately, they are all SAT words, and some are among the hardest words the SAT ever tested. 

So whether you're studying for an upcoming test or just want to find out if you can still pass the SAT, take a stab at this quiz and see how you do. Good luck!

A frugal shopper is someone who likes to do what?

To be "frugal' means to be careful regarding money. It is not the same as being cheap. A cheap shopper may simply look for the least expensive version of an item. A frugal shopper looks for the best value, factoring things like quality, lifespan and price.


The North Pond Hermit is an example of someone who is what?

"Reclusive" is an adjective that describes someone who is solitary and avoids the company of others. The reclusive North Pond Hermit lived in isolation for 27 years, until he was caught in the woods of Maine.


The Greek god Dionysus, who loved wine, pleasure and ecstasy, promoted what type of lifestyle?

A hedonist is a person who treasures the pursuit of pleasure above all else. Dionysus was the Greek god of wine, fertility, ritual madness and other hedonistic pursuits. To live a hedonistic lifestyle is to live for pleasure and ecstasy above all.


For what reason might you not want to live next to boisterous neighbors?

To be boisterous means to be really loud, noisy and rowdy. It can also mean to be energetic and cheerful, which may come with a lot of noise. If you live next to a frat house, for example, your neighborhood might be really boisterous on the weekends.


What does an asbestos abatement company specialize in?

To "abate" means to reduce or lessen something, especially something that is seen as threatening or a nuisance — like asbestos, which is a harmful fibrous mineral. An asbestos abatement company is a business that removes asbestos from properties.


If you don't believe in the deleterious effects of drinking soda, you don't believe in what?

"Deleterious" means causing harm or damage, or having a harmful effect. If you don't believe in the deleterious effects of drinking soda, you may think it's harmless or actually beneficial to your health.


A president who relies on demagogy to get elected and stay in power does what?

Demagogy is the practice of appealing to the opinions, desires and prejudices of ordinary people instead of presenting rational thought and logic. A demagogue uses demagogy to rise to and retain political power.


A person who has a total disregard for others' feelings is said to lack what mental skill?

To have empathy means to understand the feelings and emotions of others. The phrase "Walk a mile in someone's shoes" is an example of employing empathy before making an assumption.


In 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne. What did he do?

To "abdicate" means to voluntarily give up a position. In 1936, King Edward VIII wanted to marry Wallis Simpson, a woman who had been twice divorced. Since he could not publicly support divorce as king, he chose to abdicate his position.


To correct someone in public can be considered ________. Which word fits best?

To be "condescending" means to be patronizing or to show superiority over another person, often disguised as being kind or helpful. To kindly correct someone in public implies superiority over that person and can be seen as condescending.


Which of the following skills is most beneficial when asking a country to disband its nuclear program?

"Tact" is a noun meaning politeness and sensitivity when dealing with others, especially regarding complex matters. Convincing North Korea to disband its nuclear program, for example, requires tactful negotiations.


Because of social media sites like Twitter, the biggest news of the day is often what?

"Ephemeral" is an adjective meaning temporary, fleeting or lasting for a very short time. In our internet world, what's big news today will be old news tonight. Twitter's trending topics, for example, are usually ephemeral.


Someone being in the right place at the right time can be described as what?

"Fortuitous" is an adjective meaning to happen by chance instead of by design. Winning the lottery is lucky. Letting someone cut in front of you before you buy your ticket, causing you to win the lottery, is a fortuitous set of events.


Which of the following words best describes a blob monster?

"Amorphous" is an adjective used to describe something that does not have a clearly defined shape or form. A blob monster, for example, can take on any shape and form as it moves around, and its shape can't be defined.


Some could argue that in a century overrun with unprecedented technological advancement, building a wall for border security is rather what?

"Antediluvian" is an adjective used to describe something belonging to the time before the biblical flood. It also describes something that is old-fashioned, ancient or prehistoric. The Great Wall of China, for example, is antediluvian because its construction began in 700 B.C.


Someone who is described as "callous" is what type of person?

"Callous" is an adjective used to describe an insensitive and cruel person. A "callus" is a thickened or hardened part of the skin. It can be said that a callous person is emotionally hardened.


One of the Ten Commandments states: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.” What does that mean?

To "covet" is a verb meaning to want, crave, long for or yearn to possess. It is most famously used in the Tenth Commandment, which states that wanting something that rightfully belongs to your neighbor is a sin.


A fable by Aesop is what type of story?

"Didactic" is an adjective used to describe something designed to teach a moral. Aesop's Fables are examples of stories that are intended to teach a moral, as opposed to just informing or entertaining.


Someone known to start trouble wherever they go can be labeled as a what?

To "instigate" is a verb meaning to provoke, stir up, bring about or initiate. In noun form, therefore, the person who started the fight, whether through words or actions, is the "instigator" of that particular fight. They instigated it.


The opposite of a verbose speech is what sort of speech?

"Laconic" is an adjective used to describe someone or something that uses very few words. To give a laconic speech means to give a speech that is brief and to the point. Someone who is laconic in their language uses very few words.


When there is no place to go but up, you have reached what point in your suffering?

"Nadir" is a noun that means the lowest point in one's fortunes. To reach the nadir of your suffering means to have reached rock bottom, the very bottom, an all-time low or the lowest you can go. There is no place to go but up after reaching the nadir.


What does it mean to have a plethora of bananas?

"Plethora" is a noun meaning extreme excess or a large amount of something. If you need five bananas to bake banana bread and you have six bananas, you have enough, but not a plethora. If you have 100 bananas in this situation, you have a plethora of bananas.


If you have a proclivity to reach for your phone upon waking up, what do you have?

"Proclivity" is a noun that means a natural inclination or a tendency to do something regularly. You can have a proclivity for anything. It isn't just a habit, but more of a liking for a particular habit.


When coming up with an excuse as to why you were late for work, which of the following options will work best?

"Spurious" is an adjective meaning plausible but false. If you say you were late for work because you got stuck in traffic when there was no traffic, that is a spurious statement. If you say aliens tried to abduct you, that is a false statement.


A student who is a teacher's pet can also be called a teacher's what?

"Toady" is a noun that identifies a person who pleases or flatters another person (usually an important person) to gain an advantage. Someone who is being nice or who is flattering you only because they want something from you is a toady.


To aim for a perfect score on every test you will ever take in your life is what type of expectation?

"Quixotic" is an adjective that means unrealistic or impractical. It is derived from the fictional protagonist Don Quixote, who unsuccessfully dedicated his life to restoring chivalry to every person in every part of the world.


If you get a job offer and then do something unforgivably horrible, what might happen to your job offer?

To "rescind" is a verb meaning to officially cancel, revoke or repeal a law or agreement. If you get a job offer and then the company's HR department finds out that you lied on your application, the job offer might be rescinded.


The theory that the only thing in the universe that exists is the self is known as what?

"Solipsism" is a noun. It is a philosophical theory that the only thing that exists is the self. One's self can know absolutely nothing except modifications to one's self. If you believe in solipsism, take a lot of selfies.


Don't underestimate the power of a zephyr on a scorching hot day. What is a zephyr?

"Zephyr" is a noun meaning a light, gentle wind or a soft breeze. On a hot day, when there is no rain or shade in sight, a zephyr could provide slight relief. On the other hand, it may be so gentle that you can't even feel it.


There is no place for __________ when critiquing a fellow writer's work. What is the appropriate word?

"Vitriol" is a noun meaning harsh, cruel, bitter or malicious criticism. When helping another writer hone their craft, it is best to give them constructive criticism they can apply to their work. A vitriolic critique is cruel and harsh for the sake of being cruel and harsh.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is an example of which of these?

"Virtuoso" is a noun used to identify a person who is incredibly skilled in a particular field — usually music or the arts. Mozart is considered to be a musical virtuoso. LeBron James is a basketball virtuoso.


Which of the following best describes the conditions of the Sahara Desert?

"Arid" is an adjective used to describe a dry area that sees little or no rain. Like most deserts, arid terrain is usually too dry to support vegetation. In an arid location, a small zephyr could be a godsend.


The less you use a particular muscle, the more it weakens. This is an example of what?

"Atrophy" is a noun or verb describing a decrease or decline in size and strength due to disease or neglect. Someone who has never stood up in their life will have no strength in their legs because of the lack of use. Their legs will likely be smaller than the legs of someone who walks every day.


In the Disney film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," one of the dwarfs is really shy. What is his name?

"Bashful" is an adjective used to describe someone who is shy, timid or reluctant to be the center of attention. A bashful person is quiet and reserved and tends to stick to themselves. They are not boisterous, but they're not necessarily reclusive.


What does it mean if you abhor taking tests?

To "abhor" is a verb that means to regard someone or something with hate and disgust. If you actually abhorred taking tests, you probably wouldn't have made it this far in the quiz; but if you do abhor tests and made it this far, congratulations.


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