Vocabulary Building – Good Word vs. Bad Word

Vocabulary building is an important skill for college testing. There are often words on the SAT, and even in the critical reading section of the ACT although the ACT does not have a vocabulary section per se, that students have never heard of. How you hear these unknown words can improve your score.

Simply ask yourself if the words is a good word or a bad word. Can you tell the meaning of a word simply by listening to the way it sounds? This method is not 100% foolproof, but it often helps decode the meaning of the word at least enough to allow test takers to eliminate certain answer choices and guess from there.

Words often sound positive or sound negative. Say the following words aloud and see if you can discover whether they are positive or negative. Good Luck!

  • callous
  • sportive
  • paltry
  • vitriolic
  • reticent
  • ebullient
  • valorous
  • contentious
  • oppugn
  • acclaim

Leave other positive or negative word suggestions in the comments section for others to try!