Beef Up Your Vocab for the SSAT!

The SSAT (a standardized test that is part of many independent schools’ applications) is right around the corner, and if your child is planning to write it this fall, now is the perfect time to start studying. If your child starts studying a little bit each day, he/she will be ready for the big day! Here are our Top 6 favourite ways to improve your SSAT vocabulary.

Know Your Words:

Find Quality SSAT Vocabulary Lists


There are a many online resources that provide excellent lists of vocabulary that might come up on the SSAT. has almost 500 words with the definitions that you can print off to make cue cards and play online games with. also has a smaller list of vocabulary words suitable for SSAT studying, but you need to login with a Facebook account.

Pick a Word of a Day

From one of the vocabulary lists, choose a word each day to use in everyday conversation.  Try your best to use the word at least three times. This is a tried and true strategy that will help you memorize and understand the context of new words.

Affixin’ the Root

Affixin' the Root Game

Learning the meaning of prefixes, suffixes, and root words can help you understand a word’s meaning, even if you’ve never heard it before! In order to practise and keep things fun, we love playing this silly game, “Affixin’ the Root.” First, you will need a lot of cue cards.  On each cue card write a suffix, a prefix, or a root word. Keep these in separate piles, and flip the cards upside-down. Arrange the three piles in order of prefix, root word, and suffix.  Turn the top cue card over of each pile to reveal a made-up word. Using your knowledge of what these affixes mean, come up with a definition for the silly word you created.

Memory Match Synonyms!

When you look up a new word, find it’s synonym as well. Write these words down on different cue cards. When you get between 5-10 pairs, play a memory matching game. It’s a great way to test yourself to see if you’ve really absorbed the meaning of each word. Play with a friend who is also writing the SSAT or challenge an adult!

Read Read Read!

Brush Up on Classic Novels

The SSAT fiction reading passages are often taken from classic novels with an older style of writing.  The more you read classic novels, the more comfortable you will be with the vocabulary. We recommend that if you are reading classic novels and encounter new words, write them down.  Take a guess at the meaning of the word based on it’s context in the passage before you look it up. Give yourself a point if you guess the meaning correctly! We will be posted a list of our favourite classic novels to read when prepping for the SSAT, so stay tuned!

Get your read on!

Read the Newspaper

Newspapers help you stay current and they are also full of great vocabulary! Online newspapers are a great way to start the morning.  Don’t feel like you need to read every section, but try to read from a variety of sections each week!

Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space has wonderful SSAT programs that can be taken one-on-one or in a group class with a qualified learning specialist.  We also have our very own SSAT Test Prep Book that is full of useful pointers and fantastic strategies. For more information call 416-925-1225. 


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