I was getting straight A’s in Language Arts going into my Junior Year.
Yet my verbal SAT score was 150 points lower than my math/science! I wasn’t getting into UConn or other good schools with such low scores.
Crying, I asked my English teacher what could be wrong. He handed me a 1-page document similar to this one and told me, “It’s easy to explain. Your mother and father aren’t clergy, they’re not law and they’re not medical. You never heard latin prefixes and suffixes around the house; so you are at a disadvantage behind other students who are children of doctors, lawyers, ministers and rabbis.
I memorized all of these and the second time I took the SAT’s I increased my score by more than 100 points and got accepted to UConn.
I now hold UConn degrees in Literature and Native American Studies. Thank you Mr. _____ at Fitch Senior High School! Thank you, thank you thank you.
OK, so here go some of the most common SAT prefixes:
pre – before (hence pre-fix is a word that comes before)
super – very or over (super-impose means to impose over)
dis – not (dismembered means not membered or not together)
uni – one (unicameral means one house)
a – not (atypical means not typical)
ex – out (exhale means breathe out)
in – in (inhale means breathe in)
neo – new (neoconservative means new conservative)
post – after (postmodernism means after modernism)
circum – around (circumvent the world means travel around the world)
ben – good (benevolent, beneficial, benefactor, etc. all carry positive charge)
mal – bad (malevolent, malnutrition, malice)
re – again (to review is to view again)
gen – birth (genealogy is study of family history)
chron – time (chronology is study of time sequence)
poly – many (polyunsaturated means many not saturated)
intra – within (intraspecies means within one species)
inter – between (interspecies means between different species)
ante – before (antebellum means before a war)
hypo – too little (hypothermia means too low of body temperature)
hyper – too much (hyperactive means too active)
some common SAT suffixes that you should be aware of as well:
- ble: able or capable (doable, corruptible, edible)
- ous: full of (porous means full of pores, or in other words, easily transpired through)
- ant: full of (elegant means full of elegance)
- ose: full of (grandiose means full of grandeur, grand-ness)
- fy: to make like the prefix (magnify means make larger, terrify means to make scared)
- ate: to make like the prefix (procrastinate means to make a longer time)
- ile: tending to (puerile means tending to childish-ness)
- ism: belief (racism, sexism, nationalism, etc.)
- tude: condition of (magnitude means the quantity of magnification)