11+ Common Idioms For SAT Speaking Section: Meaning with Examples and Useful Tips

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Idioms for SAT Speaking: SAT Speaking tasks require students to talk on the spot about specific themes or topics, which can be stressful for students. This is where common idioms for SAT  come into play. In such instances, idioms might assist SAT takers in formulating and articulating meaningful and understandable responses. 

This is why test takers must be aware of the most popular or common idioms for SAT speaking. It is not enough to know a wide range of idioms; one must also learn how to use them effectively in their answers. In this blog, we have shared a comprehensive list of idioms for SAT speaking. That being said, read the article to learn more about the common idioms for SAT speaking.  

Top 15 Idioms for SAT Speaking 

Questions asked in SAT speaking demand students speak on certain topics, wherein they are required to articulate their spoken answers in a coherent and comprehensible manner. Such questions often pose a challenge to many; however, a strong hold on idioms can turn this predicament into a breeze. That being said, here are the top 15 idioms that you can incorporate into your SAT speaking tasks. 

Worry About To think about problems or unpleasant things that might happen in a way that makes you feel unhappy. You need not worry about the issue. I’ll take care of it. 
Defend Against To protect someone or something against attack, criticism, or loss. The company has been defending itself against a takeover bid.
Regard AsTo look on as or considerShe is regarded as one of the best writers of the current generation. 
Advise AgainstTo tell someone not to do (something)Our lawyer advised us against buying that house.
Argue OverTo speak angrily to someone, telling that person that you disagree with themThey were arguing over which film to go and see.
Known For Renowned for The restaurant is known for its delectable pork ribs and lamb curry.  
Meant For Perfectly suited forThey are meant for each other. Both are equally toxic and irritating. 
Look Into Inquire into You should look into the matter before it gets out of hand. 
Read Into To think of (something, such as a comment or situation) as having a meaning or importance that does not seem likely or reasonable. You’re reading too much into her remarks.
Base On To use an idea, a fact, a situation, etc. as the point from which something can be developed.Your entire perception of her is based on that one experience. 
Arrive At To arrive at a conclusion.After evaluating the situation for a time, he finally arrived at a decision. 
Abstain FromTo choose not to do or have somethingI think you should abstain from consuming too much alcohol. 
Able To Capable of He is able to do that because you permitted him. 
Trust With To give something/somebody to a person to take care of because you believe they would be very careful with it/themHe is not to be trusted with other people’s money.
Approve ofTo have a positive opinion of someone or something. She approved of his friend circle. 

How are Idioms Evaluated in the SAT Speaking Section? 

Contrary to popular opinion, the SAT does not evaluate students based on their understanding of conventional idioms, such as ‘cross your fingers’ or ‘on cloud nine’. However, SAT test-takers are assessed on their strong grasp of prepositional and gerund idioms. Let us delve deeper into the topic and understand what these terms mean. 

The College Board will include questions for two types of idioms: Prepositional idioms and Idioms with Gerunds or Infinitives. 

What is a Prepositional Idiom?

Prepositional idioms are phrases whose meaning is determined by the choice of preposition. Students ought to have a good understanding of prepositions themselves to implement these idioms correctly. One must have a strong idea of which preposition will be appropriate with a certain word within the context of a sentence. It must be kept in mind that there is no rule or regulation that you need to adhere to discern which preposition will go correctly with which word.  Example of Prepositional Idiom: 

  1. I am ‘interested in’ writing for TV shows. 
  2. She is ‘focused on’ her career. 

Now, if we interject some other preposition words in these sentences,  they will not ‘seem’ right or appropriate. For Example, we cannot just say: I am interested on writing for TV shows. 

See how your choice of preposition can change the context of your sentence and even make it seem jarring or just simply incorrect (in most cases). In most cases, you should be accustomed to expressions or count on what you think “sounds right or seem correct”. 

What is an Idiom with Gerunds or Infinitives?

Gerund idioms concentrate more on verbs. Gerunds are verbs that can function as nouns and finish with “ing.” Some examples include talking, walking, and dancing. Infinitives, on the other hand, are verbs that can also be used as nouns, but they are formed by adding the word “to” to a verb. Examples include telling, swimming, and dancing.

Idioms with Gerunds/Infinitives: 

  • I prefer getting up early in the morning
  • The manager normally tends to be worried on Mondays

Useful Tips to Use Idioms in SAT Speaking Section To Score Better

Here are some strategies for incorporating idioms into your SAT speaking tasks. Remember that while idioms can add colour and refinement to your SAT speaking, examiners will always value clarity and precision. Follow these methods to strategically incorporate idioms into your answers. 

  • Ensure you understand the literal meaning of each idiom and its various figurative applications. Misusing idioms can backfire.
  • Speak clearly and distinctly, pronouncing each idiom correctly. Incorrect pronunciation undermines your intended impact.
  • Choose idioms that seamlessly fit the topic and flow naturally within your speech. Forcing them in creates an awkward effect.
  •  One or two well-placed idioms can have a greater impact than peppering your speech with them.
  • Don’t force idioms into your speech. They should emerge organically to enhance your expression, not sound scripted.
  • Don’t rely solely on idioms for variety. Utilize diverse sentence structures and vocabulary for a well-rounded presentation.
  • Speak with conviction and clarity. Using idioms confidently adds impact, while hesitation conveys uncertainty.

So that was all about common idioms for SAT speaking. Hope the blog has answered your queries regarding the topic. 

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Q1. What are the most common idioms for SAT speaking? 

Ans: Some of the most common idioms for SAT speaking are: ‘worry about, defend against, regard as, and advise against’ 

Q2. What is the highest score on the SAT?

Ans: 1600 is the highest score on the SAT Exam. 

Q3. Is the SAT exam very difficult?

Ans: The difficulty level of the SAT exam ranges from moderate to high. Students appearing for the SAT exam usually face challenges in the Math section of the test as it requires one to use their analytical thinking abilities. 

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