GRE, SAT or GMAT vocabulary?


I have a seemingly simple question:

What is the specific difference between the GRE vocabulary, SAT vocabulay and GMAT vocabulary? Where should I, as an advanced learner of English, focus my attention on in order to expand my vocabulary in an efficient manner? For private usage.

I just don’t want to purchase hundreds upon hundreds of more or less senseless books.

Thanks a lot for your cooperation.

Hello, Downer.

They are all quite advanced vocabularies. SAT is for college entrance, so is relatively low level and generalized. I stress relatively, because much of the vocabulary tested will not often be met in real life unless you are an avid reader or perennial student. GRE is for admission to graduate school, and the vocabulary tested is advanced by that much, while the GMAT vocabulary is laced with words from commerce and finance. These latter two tests focus less on vocabulary per se, and stress the academic subjects they cover.

Without doubt, I would focus on SAT-- it is more than enough for the average educated native speaker. You will also find more SAT vocabulary texts, I think.

There are a few cheap self-study books that give you enough vocabulary for the SAT. I don’t think those cram books keep the vocabulary in your head very long, though.

An alternative would be some cheap little books called Spark Notes SAT Novels. They’re not great literature, but they contain the necessary vocabulary for the SAT in natural context, and I believe the words are repeated enough thoughout the story that people remember them. After one or two of those short novels, you should have all your SAT vocabulary. Then you might as well read normal English books, magazines, newspapers and websites.

For business vocabulary, I’d just read the business pages of any good English newspaper. Business Week has a good website, and so does Forbes. There are also some good business articles at and at Both are free services of the Wall Street Journal.