Tag: fun with words

SAT/ACT vocab words from Harry Potter Spells

Harry Potter: Expecto Patronum with Legos

It probably comes as no surprise that I'm a huge Harry Potter fan.

One of the things that I loved the most about the series was how J.K. Rowling was able to weave her love of words into the magical world of Hogwarts. So I'm happy to report that all of those hours you spent playing Harry Potter: Spells on your iPhone can be counted as studying!

Here is a sampling of the SAT/ACT vocabulary words that you can learn from Harry Potter Spells:


The Confundo spell confuses or confounds people - just like how the lecturer confounded her audience with her convoluted logic or the ragtag football team confounded sports pundits by beating the top-ranked team.


The Crucio spell causes excruciating pain, probably similar to what it might feel like to be literally crucified on a cross or figuratively crucified by the press.

Don't feel like studying vocab? Do a crossword puzzle!


I love crossword puzzles even though I'm terrible at them. Except for the ones in People Magazine - I kick butt at those! But when it comes to The New York Times Sunday Crossword - I call it a success if I can complete half!

Doing high-quality crossword puzzles is a fun way to learn SAT, ACT, or GRE vocabulary words.

The people who design crossword puzzles - also known as cruciverbalists - are the ultimate logophiles. They love sticking in fun and often obscure words (also known as SAT/ACT/GRE vocabulary words!) whenever and wherever they can.

More importantly, cruciverbalists also love to include lesser-known secondary definitions of commonly-used words - e.g., canvas, bear, abandon - which incidentally, is what test makers love to test on the SAT/ACT/GRE too!

SAT/ACT Vocabulary from The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

Unless you've been living under a rock this year, you've probably heard of the Hunger Games.

If you haven't read the books or seen the movie yet, I highly recommend doing both. And not just because they're awesomely entertaining. They both offer a great way to learn new vocabulary words - honestly!

Learning words from movies and novels is not only fun but also effective. I guarantee that once you've seen the movie or read the books, you'll never forget the meaning of the following 12 SAT/ACT vocabulary words that define The Hunger Games. Warning - spoilers ahead!