SSAT – In the SSAT, the Verbal section is considered to be the most challenging section for the most test takers, especially in terms of vocabulary. To support students, has compiled a list of 200 most difficult SSAT words.

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What makes the Verbal section of the SSAT difficult are the Synonym and Analogy sections due to its requirement of solid base knowledge about vocabulary. 

Vocabulary learning is a challenging and sometimes overwhelming process for international students who do not use English as their mother tongue. Plus, building a vocabulary in a short amount of time can be quite challenged

The following 200 most difficult words on the SSAT will help you prepare for the Verbal exam you will face at SSAT Middle Level and SSAT High Level. Please use the following vocabulary sheet as a tool to support your learning:

For more: How to learn specialized English effectively?

Here are a small portion of the 200 most difficult SSAT words:

No. Words Definition Example
1 colleague n: a co-worker or fellow classmate The businessman wanted to be separated from his noisy colleague.
2 compatible ADJ: capable of getting along well with other people or things Maybe he would never find a compatible mate.
3 accommodate V: (1) to be agreeable, acceptable, suitable, (2) to adapt. ADJ: accommodating  (1) This table is meant to accommodate six diners. (2) Jose worked to accommodate himself to the difficult economic times
4 amiable ADJ: friendly, kind, likeable It was amazing how amiable two people could be when their time together was going to be short.
5 congenial ADJ: friendly, sociable, suited to one’s needs  At Strassburg began his intimacy with Caspar Schwenkfeld, a congenial spirit.
6 aloof ADJ: emotionally distant His aloof response made her look up.
7 nonchalant ADJ: casual, calm, unconcerned  Have you been too nonchalant about your own legacy?
8 apathetic ADJ: showing no interest or concern. 

N: apathy

He was incorrigibly frivolous, idle and apathetic; his father had given.
9 indifferent ADJ: showing no interest or concern. 

N: indifference 

I was strong, active, indifferent to consequences.
10 sentimental ADJ: overly emotional I know it has sentimental value to you because your dad bought it new.
11 hysterical ADJ: having excessive and uncontrollable emotion. N: hysteria I don’t know about hysterical, but you do get emotional.
12 benevolent ADJ: kind, generous. N: benevolence Long Cross Farm is reputedly haunted by a very benevolent spirit.
13 compassionate ADJ: kind, sympathetic. N: compassion Jade was everything he admired: brave, compassionate, dedicated.
14 empathy N: understanding another’s feelings. ADJ: empathetic She’d been incapable of empathy or remorse.
15 charismatic ADJ: charming. N: charisma  Svelte, charismatic and cool, Wynn was the opposite of Rhyn in every way except for looks.
16 engaging ADJ: interesting, charming, attractive He gave her an engaging grin and winked, eliciting a sexy laugh.
17 gracious ADJ: charming, generous, polite He was gracious and gentle with the old woman.
18 courteous ADJ: polite. N: courtesy Prince Andrew followed her with a courteous but sad expression.
19 cordial ADJ: polite, friendly Alex was cordial to his father and formal to his sister.
20 tact N: consideration and sensitivity in dealing with others. ADJ: tactful  This miracle was achieved by tact and management.
21 emulate V: to copy or imitate, to look up to We tried to emulate what we had seen in the morning.
22 flatter V: to praise excessively or dishonestly. N: flattery I do not flatter myself, but if it is possible they flatter me.
23 fidelity N: faithfulness, loyalty It hurt to think he questioned her fidelity, but at least he was willing to listen to reason.
24 steadfast ADJ: determined, loyal, steady Maria’s steadfast commitment to the cause won her great recognition
25 fickle ADJ: not reliable or dependable, changing opinions frequently  Sasha’s moods were varied and fickle, never lasting too long.
26 headstrong ADJ: stubborn, disobedient  “You’re the most headstrong person I’ve ever met,” he said forcefully, and abruptly turned away.
27 obstinate ADJ: stubborn, disobedient. N: obstinacy His obstinate resistance came to an end.
28 exasperate V: to annoy, irritate. ADJ: exasperating  Alcohol has a tendency to exasperate already tense situations, so abstaining is usually a good way to go.
29 infuriate V: to anger or enrage. ADJ: infuriating “No, Gabriel, I can’t decide that fast,” she said in the haughty, dismissive tone that used to infuriate him.
30 indignant ADJ: outraged, angry at something unjust. He might have been overlooked but for the well-meant, indignant officiousness of his father.
For more: Learning English with Intertu Academy

As mentioned above, this is only a small portion of the 200 most difficult SSAT words, you can refer to this website to learn more about the remaining words.

Please note that in order to memorize as many words as possible before the SSAT exam, you have to create a daily schedule and make sure to review old words while you are learning new words.

For more: Tips for using academic English – A place to share all the experiences of Test Prep exams (SSAT, SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE…) for students preparing to study abroad. If you have any questions, please contact us directly via email or hotline for free advice.