How to build your GRE vocabulary
How to improve your GRE vocabulary?
In the GRE vocabulary plays a very important role. The questions on Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence in the GRE are vocabulary based. And to complicate matters, there are so many GRE vocabulary lists available – some having 1000 words while some having 300 words.
But the question is – How does one remember so many words? Is it possible to memorize all the words? Even if one does memorize, is it possible to apply in the test?
A decent strategy
- Try to understand the roots of words instead of memorizing the words themselves – that way, you can try to make out a meaning of the word even if you aren’t familiar with that word.
- Simultaneously, learn the usage of words (and the parts of speech) – often that helps in eliminating options . Remember, GRE tests contextual meanings, not the meanings of stand-alone words. Thus, memorizing meanings without knowing the applications won’t help.
- Use of flashcards would help (it’s convenient) – use any of the ones available or make your own online!
- Keep reading articles, stories, news editorials which use similar vocabulary – that way the words stick. Trying to cram words is not going to be very fruitful.
- Try to form phrases with words that are unfamiliar and use simple words in the phrases. For example, “the innocuous virus”, etc. Being able to relate to simple ideas help in memorizing faster.
- Write down unfamiliar (or difficult to remember) words. This helps to maintain a list of such words for quick revision. Remember to regularly revise this list and keep making sentences with these words.
- And most importantly, read aloud whenever you are trying to memorize words – hearing what you read helps your brain to process the data more efficiently, helping you to remember those.