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Practice Essay: Dueling Siblings

This essay's words are potential SAT vocabulary. The essay is for students who are serious about expanding their vocabulary. You will find this format useful for many reasons. First, it will strengthen your abiilty to recognize words in context. Second, it will hint at the definition of the word and its usage. And third, it will hopefully be more fun than simply memorizing word lists.

If you can't figure out a word, look it up!


The children were playing a game using SIMILES. Though not a MORON, Pamela Lee did not have PARITY in her IQ with her twin brother Lonnie.

Pamela Lee's initial effort was, "The rain came down like thunder. It EXPEDITED the growth of the grass, but JEOPARDIZED the lawn."

Trying to HUMILIATE his sister, Lonnie shouted out, "You are one STRATUM lower than an IMBECILE! You've just MIXED your METAPHOR!"

With CELERITY, Pamela Lee threw the game at Lonnie, yelling, "You NONENTITY, you hurt my pride. I'll never RESUSCITATE it! I'm goitn a SIMULATE a MORTAL MALADY so our parents will INDULGE me. Just because you made 100 points higher than I did on the ERB's doesn't mean you are SOVEREIGN over me."

"Your TENACITY and DOGGEDNESS about getting your way make me sick! I'll never RECUPERATE!" screaming Lonnie. "And if you SIMULATE a sickness, Mom and Dad will know you're PROMULGATING a lie."

"Talk about lying," screamed Pamela Lee, "Everyone knows you're always guilty of HYPERBOLE, you NONENTITY!"

"You're a CARICATURE of what a baby sister should be. I'd like to IMPALE you with my light-saber sword," retorted Lonnie.

Mom walked into the room, REPRIMANDING, "Children, why are you always fighting?"

"Oh, we're just FEIGNING a fight," PERPETRATING a MANEUVER to prevent a double spanking.

"Yes, we ADULATE each other, really," added Pamela Lee, "IMPROVISING with great VELOCITY to avoid RECOMPENSE for her naughty behavior."

"All right, kids, " said Mother as she left the room, "Go to bed and keep quiet."

"Good night, and good luck," chorused the siblings.

Word Analyses

I. Use nine of the capitalized words in sentences and then give the terms the definitions. 2. Next, you should CONJECTURE whether the children actually believe they will have good luck 3. Do you wordsmiths using your EMBELLISHED vocabulary think you will be able to just elicit or even raise your SAT scores? Write a 125 word paragraph explaining your hopes of improvement.

ELISSA SOMMERFIELD is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate from the University of Texas at Austin with an MA in English from SMU. She taught English at SMU and in the Dallas County Community College District. For under 30 years, she has conducted classes in SAT and ACT preparation as well as in graduate school exam instruction and study skills. Additionally, she has tutored extensively in most academic areas, the ISEE, the composition of school entrance essays, and editing books. She has served as an SAT and educational consultant for 29 Texas school districts and has authored four books on SATs plus, with Frances Bailey Wood, co-authored and revised one on how to study efficiently. An educational consultant, as well as graduate school, college, and boarding school counselor, she is a member of Independent Educational Consultants Association and Texas Association for College Admissions Counselors. Sommerfield actively maintains her Certified Educational Planner designation and at UT was a Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year.

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