The best way to improve vocabulary is to explore well written material through reading or any other medium, recording all unfamiliar words, looking them up, and keeping a working list of those words. This process is distracting, time consuming, onerous (not to mention rebarbative) and for all the above reasons, unlikely to be done consistently. This vocabulary acquisition and retention process can be greatly improved by setting up an environment that facilitates these steps.
We recommend web browsing with software set up for instant select-and-click dictionary lookup, using bookmarks to record appropriate dictionary entries. Most great works are available online-- as well as much one would not expect to find there. See specifically the Online Books Page.
The following web browser setup works very nicely:
Condensed vocabulary reading selections can also be very effective as a vocabulary building tool. Each chapter of SAT Practice: The New Verbal Section
begins with a vocabulary reading selection with side-by-side glossary. See the sample chapter
and the vocabulary crosswords
. Here is a comprehensive list of vocabulary words used in the chapters.
See also our vocabulary books
collection for concentrated vocabulary reading, and our playsheets
including our new vocabulary playsheet