Direct Hits Core Vocabulary of the SAT: Volume 1 2010 Edition

Product Description
Volume 1 of the world-renowned Direct Hits SAT vocabulary books is based upon an innovative and fun approach to learning using vivid, relevant, and selective examples to teach students. Written by one of the country’s leading authorities on the SAT, the book includes the following features: – 200 words found on recent SATs – memorable examples from pop culture, historic events, and contemporary issues explain word meanings in context – 5 easy-to-tackle chapters … More >>

Direct Hits Core Vocabulary of the SAT: Volume 1 2010 Edition

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5 Responses to “Direct Hits Core Vocabulary of the SAT: Volume 1 2010 Edition”


  • Direct Hits is an amazing tool for SAT Critical Reading preparation, and for building vocabulary in general. Unlike standard “prep books” which simply give words and their definitions, DH actually gives interesting examples that kids can relate to. The true advantage of the book lies in its brevity – as another reviewer wrote, the book very accurately predicts which words will show up on the SATs. DH only lists words with a good chance of appearing so students know that they are not wasting time merely memorizing words that have no chance of showing up.

    Another advantage of the new edition is the “Tips for a Direct Hit” feature, which gives helpful hints for picking out the right answer. I found all of these tips very useful in SAT preparation since they essentially point out how to utilize word parts to find answers without asking you to memorize multiple word roots.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who is serious about scoring well on the SAT, and in improving their vocabulary in general.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  • I have taken the SATs for four times since I was a sophomore. Having studied with a myriad of SAT preparation books and vocab lists, I found the Direct Hits the most helpful in preparing for the critical reading section. It accurately predicts the words that would actually show up on real tests while other vocab books present unnecessary words that would only appear on GED or other tests. The anecdotes that are included in Direct Hits help the readers to grasp the real meanings of vocabs rather than the mechanical ones that appear on other vocab books.

    Overall, I would give Direct Hits 4.9/5; I just wish it covered more words than it does right now.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  • If you’re a teenager, Direct Hits is indisputably the best way to learn all the SAT vocabulary. It’s not the regular vocabulary list you learn words from; the examples provided in the book are simply the most powerful mnemonic devices to remember those long, hard SAT words.

    The new 2010 editions of the books have surprisingly up-to-date examples such as that of Michael Jackson’s passing away, references to the 2009 summer movie “Up” and many more. However, the most important characteristic of the examples is their closeness to the ordinary teenager’s life. Examples of “recalcitrant” Amy Winehouse who sings “No no no” or “surreptitious” Dumbledore’s Army just stick with you. Oftentimes, reading Direct Hits feels like listening to a friend who has extremely good vocabulary.

    Furthermore, although 400 words might seem few compared to other lengthy lists, I found that 400 is indeed enough. For the SAT, you don’t have to learn 3500 words, but very well chosen words that tend to appear and have appeared on the test, i.e quality over quantity.

    Aside from vivid examples, the division of words into chapters and testing of the words after each chapter was very helpful. What I found very appealing was also the general look of the book; because of the larger fonts used in the book and the interesting cover, it doesn’t look as dull and boring as a vocabulary book should.

    The Core Vocabulary volume is absolutely a must for the SAT but might include words that you know if you have a good vocabulary, so I would advise you to flip through the pages a bit and see whether you know most of the words. The Toughest Vocabulary is essential if you want to tackle those harder questions and get a high score. For those who wonder whether they should get the Volume 1 or 2, I believe that although printed separately, the books were meant to be used together (cross-references between books etc.). So unless you’re very confident in your vocabulary, or with only [...] bucks, definitely get both. For those who wonder whether they should get the older editions, I would say no, since the new books include all the words that were in the older ones in addition to few dozen new ones with more recent examples.

    All in all, these books are simply point boosters for the SAT’s verbal sections. Vocabulary not only helps in doing well on sentence completion questions but also on passage-based questions for which you have to know the keywords in order to answer them correctly.

    UPDATE: I got my November SAT score report and I got all of the 19 sentence completion question right! Thanks DH.

    Rating: 5 / 5

  • Direct Hits 2010 is incontrovertibly effective. When juxtaposed to other SAT vocabulary sources, Direct Hits is clearly superior.

    After carefully analyzing the October 2009 SAT, a SAT tutor came to the following conclusion about the effectiveness of Direct Hits: (Name / Total # of Words / # of Words that appeared on Oct. 09 SAT)

    1. Direct Hits: 400 Words/9 hits/1 hit per 44 words

    2. TestMasters: 254 Words/2 hits/1 hit per 127 words

    3. Princeton Review: 253 Words/2 hits/1 hit per 127 words

    4. Hot Words: 396 Words/3 hits/1 hit per 132 words

    5. Rocket Review: 323 Words/2 hits/1 hit per 161 words

    6. Barron’s Mini-Dictionary: 3500 Words/9 hits/1 hit per 388 words

    Thus, Direct Hits is by far the most effective, providing the most frequent “hits” per word. Save time and score higher by using Direct Hits 2010. I know I did.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  • I used both of the 2010 Direct Hits Vocabulary books and I can safely say that no other SAT vocabulary list is even close to matching the quality of these books. First, the choice of words is impeccable. I was so pleasantly surprised when I started recognizing new words on my practice SAT tests – words that I remembered from these books. And, best of all, I actually remembered the meanings of these words.

    Furthermore, these lists have only the most common words in the SAT. The beauty of Direct Hits is that it has fewer words that are all high-frequency. As a high school student, I simply didn’t have the time to study the thousands of words given in other SAT vocabulary lists to prepare for the SAT. However, studying the words in Direct Hits was definitely manageable. Just as a warning though – the book actually has more than 400 words; while it has 400 definitions, it will often say “word X, word Y, and word Z all mean this definition” and count that as one word. However, this is an extremely minor issue.

    The second-most lauded aspect of these books is its examples that draw from relatable bits of pop culture and history. I actually did not find these helpful – while they were quite interesting to read, I ended up creating my own examples because I’ve never watched most of the movies that they refer to in their examples.

    However, the lack of examples that relate to me personally is a very small issue – after all, none of the other vocabulary lists has perfect examples suited for me exactly either. The real beauty of these books is their actual words, which is, after all, the most important aspect of any vocabulary list. I can’t say this enough – the complete lack of useless filler words is astounding. On the December 2009 SAT, my first SAT, I scored a 750 in Critical Reading, and I answered all of the sentence completion questions correctly, all thanks to Direct Hits. I used to miss 5 or 6 of these each test. Seriously, you will not find a better vocabulary book for the SAT than Direct Hits.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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