Archive for March, 2010

Vocab Videos Word Scramble: Twitter & Facebook Solutions

  • 12/10/10: Incisive (adj.)= penetrating, clear, and sharp. Unlike most baseball announcers, Steve gives truly incisive analysis instead of repeating the same hackneyed ideas.
  • 11/4/10: Circumvent (adj.)= to avoid or get around. In an effort to circumvent any delays, we skipped the middleman and went straight to the top.
    *SAT Vocab Synonym: elude
  • 9/21/10: Obfuscate (v.)= to confuse or make obscure. The candidate intentionally obfuscated his proposal so the voters wouldn’t realize he was calling for a massive tax hike.
    *SAT Vocab Synonym: confound
  • 8/30/10: Hedonistic (adj.)= valuing pleasure over all else. Dave lived a hedonistic life and spent all of his time eating chocolate sauce straight from the bottle.
    *Word Alert: A hedonist is one who only values pleasure.
  • 8/19/10: Reclusive (adj.)= seeking or preferring isolation. The reclusive author always refuses to give interviews about his work.
    *Word Alert: A recluse is someone who is reclusive.
  • 7/22/10: Divergent (adj.)= drawing apart from a common point; differing from another. The twins’ lives followed divergent paths, with one becoming a doctor and the other becoming a drunken fool.
  • 7/9/10: Belie (v.)=to represent falsely. John’s laughter belies the true pain he feels inside.
  • 7/2/10: Mercenary (adj.)=motivated solely by a desire for monetary or material gain. I don’t care if I seem mercenary; I refuse to help unless I get paid.
    *Word Alert: “Mercenary” can also be a noun meaning one who works or serves for mercenary reasons.
  • 6/30/10: Efficacious (adj.)=effective. The efficacious treatment effectively cured my headache.
  • 6/17/10: Haughty (adj.)=snobbish; overly proud. Harry is so haughty; he thinks he’s the man.
    *Related “Cocky” SAT vocab: bombastic, grandiose, pompous
  • 6/14/10: Juxtapose (v.)=to place side by side. Las Vegas is a place of contrasts: a bustling city of lights juxtaposed with an empty, desolate desert.
  • 6/8/10: Garrulous (adj.)= talkative. Gary is so garrulous that it seems like he’s always got his phone to his ear.
    *SAT vocab synonyms: verbose, voluble
  • 6/1/10: Placid (adj.)= calm, quiet. Sitting by this placid lake helps me meditate.
    *SAT vocab synonyms: tranquil, serene
  • 5/26/10: Pernicious (adj.)= deadly or destructive. The disease has a pernicious effect; it single-handedly killed an entire species.
  • 5/19/10: Nebulous (adj.)=hazy, vague; lacking defined form. I’m not sure of exactly what he wants because he only gave these nebulous orders.
    *Related SAT vocab: ambiguous (adj.), amorphous (adj.)
  • 5/17/10: Sanguine (adj.)=cheerful. A few glasses of sangria always makes me feel sanguine.
    *Additional “Happy Camper” SAT vocab: elated (adj.), buoyant (adj.), felicity (n.
  • 5/13/10: Negligible (adj.)=insignificant, really small. A 10 point change in your SAT score is negligible and will not affect your college admission.
    *SAT Vocab Synonyms: trivial, inconsequential, frivolous
  • 5/10/10: Amenable (adj.)=open to advice or suggestion. She is in need of assistance and is amenable to any suggestions that you might have.
  • 5/4/10: Mercurial (adj.)=changeable, erratic. Amy is a mercurial woman; she loves you one moment then hates you the next.
    *SAT vocab synonyms: erratic, volatile
  • 4/29/10: Conjecture (n.)= guesswork. Until we get the test results back, discussing whether John is on steroids is just conjecture.
  • 4/28/10: Voluminous (adj.)= big; having large volume. Her voluminous vocabulary is what allows her to be so voluble.
    *SAT vocab synonyms: copious, prodigious
  • 4/26/10:  Expedite (v.)=to speed the progress of. Maybe if we hire more employees we can expedite the project.
  • 4/21/10: Transitory (adj.)=existing only briefly. True happiness can be achieved, but it is transitory, passing us by after the briefest of moments.
    Other Gone in 60 Seconds themed vocab: transient, ephemeral, evanescent
  • 4/15/10: Equanimity (n.)= the quality of being calm and even tempered. Scott is known for displaying equanimity in times of stress.
    *Related SAT vocab: tranquil, composed, serene
  • 4/14/10: Obtrusive (adj.)= sticking out, noticeable; brash meddling. Doug was embarrassed by the obtrusive pimple on the tip of his nose.
    *Word Alert: to obtrude is to be obtrusive.
  • 4/12/10: Bombastic (adj.)=using arrogant or pretentious speech. My bombastic English teacher uses big words to show off how smart he is, but he never actually says anything meaningful.
    *Word Alert: Bombastic is close in meaning to the SAT vocabulary word, verbose.
  • 4/7/10: Perspicacity (n.)=a high level of perception or understanding. Because of the amazing perspicacity he has shown, we made him the executive vice president of the company.
  • 4/6/10: Ebullient (adj.)=enthusiastic, lively. The bubbly girl was so ebullient that I felt invigorated by talking to her.
    *Extra tidbit: Related SAT vocab- exuberant, vivacious
  • 4/5/10: Innocuous (adj.)=harmless.  It was an innocuous comment; it wasn’t meant to hurt anybody’s feelings.
    *Extra tidbit: from Latin “innocuus” or “harmless,” in- “not” + nocuus “hurtful”
  • 4/2/10: Conciliate (v.)=to bring peace, quiet, or calm to; to relieve. The president had to conciliate the angry nation before war broke out.
    *Extra tidbit: Related SAT vocab- appease, mollify
  • 4/1/10: Impetuous (adj.)=energetically impulsive, unthinking. The impetuous child always acts on his first desire without considering the consequences.
    *Extra tidbit: SAT vocabulary synonym “capricious
  • 3/31/10: Adroit (adj.)=very skilled. The adroit acrobat twirled and whirled through the air.
    *Extra etymological tidbit: The prefix, mal- means “bad,” and so “maladroit” fittingly = lacking in adroitness or unskillful.
  • 3/30/10: Dubious (adj.)=doubtful, questionable. I am skeptical of your dubious claim that you can eat 50 hot dogs in five minutes.
  • 3/29/10: Denounce (v.)= to condemn openly. The candidate denounced the current mayor, blaming him for the increasing crime and excessive tax rates.

College Admissions: College Visits are Crucial!

Be Sure to Make College Visits a Priority!

With Spring Break time here, it’s crucial that you make it a point to visit the colleges you’re considering attending. This is going to be the place you spend the next four years of your life, your home away from home. So it’s important that you love the place, and that you’re comfortable there.

Nothing truly gives you a feel for a college like visiting the campus, so be certain to call up admissions offices to arrange your visit and inquire about campus tours. And be sure to take full advantage of them! Explore the campus and ask your tour guide questions; after all, he or she is most likely a student attending the school who was in your shoes a few years back. We would even suggest that you bring a notebook to jot things down and to keep track of what you liked or didn’t like about a particular college. How is the campus and the surrounding community? What is the typical class size? Are there study abroad programs available? Most of all, could you see yourself going here? Finding the answers to all of your questions will ultimately help you decide on the college that’s your best fit.

Choosing your college is a monumental decision, and taking these extra steps will help to ensure that you select the school that’s right for you.


Vocab Videos Advice: SAT Subject Tests (AKA SAT IIs)

We at Vocab Videos encourage you to begin thinking  about SAT subject tests (AKA SAT IIs).  SAT II subjects include Literature, Math (Levels 1 & 2), US and World History, the Sciences, and an assortment of Foreign Languages. Many colleges will require or recommend that students take at least one or two SAT IIs, and some might even ask that you take a particular subject, so be certain to check out the admissions requirements for EACH college to which you’re applying.

Test dates are typically the same as those for the SAT, and at one-hour per test (no matter what subject), students can take up to three SAT IIs on any given date. Subject tests are being offered alongside the SAT on May 1st and June 5th, so if you haven’t already be sure to:

  1. Begin your research on which of your colleges require SAT subject tests.
  2. Start thinking about what subject tests you feel comfortable taking on.
  3. Devise your SAT II battle-plan!

For some guidance on your colleges’ SAT II reqs, use the College Board’s “Find a College” feature. Search colleges by name, click on the “Admissions” tab, and check out what is said about SAT IIs under “Admission Policies and Factors.”

And because vocabulary will ALWAYS help you, don’t forget to get started with Vocab Videos–SAT and SAT II vocabulary the fun & effective way!


The Early Importance of Vocabulary: Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat”

Tuesday, March 2, was the birthday of one of the country’s most beloved children’s authors—Theodor Seuss Geisel , better known to many by his pen name, Dr. Seuss.  Mr. Geisel is credited with publishing over sixty children’s books whose imaginative characters have helped to bring smiles to countless faces and to make reading an enjoyable experience for young readers.

Since vocabulary is what the Vocab Videos team knows best, we thought our Vocab Videos fans would be excited to learn the interesting history of one of Dr. Seuss’ most cherished works, The Cat in the Hat. Mr. Geisel wrote the story about the mischievous cat in response to a 1954 Life magazine article written by John Hersey which discussed a prominent national problem in education at the time—children’s struggle with reading.

Hersey criticized the reading materials commonly available to students in school with their “insipid illustrations depicting the slicked-up lives of other children.” Why, he asked, “should [school primers] not have pictures that widen rather than narrow the associative richness the children give to the words they illustrate — drawings like those of the wonderfully imaginative geniuses among children’s illustrators?” One of the talented illustrators Hersey pointed to after posing this question was Theodor Geisel.

Hersey spoke and Mr. Geisel listened. Geisel’s answer?  The Cat in the Hat. Mr. Geisel’s publisher supplied the author and cartoonist with a list of words that he believed young school children would be learning.  Within the The Cat in the Hat’s pages, Geisel included 223 vocabulary words that would serve to help improve the literacy young children who picked up his work.

So happy birthday, Dr. Seuss, and thank you for your lasting contribution to children’s literature and vocabulary!


College Admissions: Beware of Senioritis!

Senioritis? SNAP OUT OF IT!

A lot of high school seniors get under the impression that the importance of senior year starts to dwindle upon receiving admission into college. But, seniors, we warn you: avoid coming down with a case of senioritis! Sure, we see how it could happen. You’ve nearly finished the college admissions game and you’re exhausted. You’ve likely been working your tail off throughout your high school career to keep up your GPA and get into the college of your dreams; you’ve spent time preparing for your college entrance exams and taken your SATs and ACTs; you’ve written all your college essays and likely submitted countless applications. Now, you’re ready to cruise through your remaining time in high school, to really enjoy it. We get it.

But, to stop caring about your grades won’t serve to benefit you in any way. When you have more than likely worked hard for good grades throughout high school, why would you start goofing off now? Not only do you risk tarnishing your academic record, you could potentially compromise your college acceptance. Now, we’re not saying a minor dip in your grades will have your college calling to rescind your acceptance, but a significant enough decline in the grades on your final transcript could certainly be a red flag for your future college.

The truth is, colleges do reserve the right to revoke admissions offers to applicants who fail to maintain their academic performance. Sure, it’s not a typical scenario, but you could see how in today’s extremely competitive college admissions landscape a serious case of senioritis could put you at a greater risk of losing your spot. With more students applying to college than ever and record-setting applicant pools, admissions officers may view you as slightly more disposable. After all, most colleges have a long waitlist of well-qualified applicants who would be more than willing to accept the admissions offer someone else has lost.

So, while we’re not trying to scare you, we are telling you a serious case of senioritis is just not worth it! Stay focused throughout your senior year and committed to doing well. And, not to worry–we have a feeling that when you get to college, you’ll realize they’ll be plenty of time for school and fun!