In the inception, while preparing for GRE I had to deal with learning vocabulary too. Earlier I found it desolate and dry to just mugging up the words one by one. Later I found some tricks of my own to memorize it and trust me it was super fun. I had the strongest vocabulary among my friends and sometimes it feels good to show-off your qualities (for me, it was every time. Jokes apart!)
While solving sentence completion and sentence equivalence question, the most you need is strong vocabulary. The answer choices appear the same while reading, and more importantly they can confuse you to any extent if you do not know their meaning. Even I felt, it was near to impossible to know the meaning of near about 3000 word which sometime seemed Greek to me. Albeit of such large number I was successful to learn all of them. In course of time I found it an interesting job to know more word. Even after my GRE exam I continued to increase my vocabulary because the tricks I used made the job more absorbing as well as easy for me.
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Here are some tricks I want to share with you all. Hope these will prove helpful to you. So let’s begin!
- Relate your words with mnemonics
This trick surely helps you to memorize the vocabulary. You can assign small or big mnemonics to your word. For e.g. the word Plethora, it means excessive amount or number. One of my friend made a mnemonic to remember this word as Plethora of Facebook friends; it helped him to remember it in an easy way.
- Assign a song to it
Okay this seems quite funny but hey it worked for me. Though I am not a good singer, I have this habit of singing songs in any random situation and one day I thought of replacing GRE vocabulary with one or two word from the lyrics of the song. It was easier for me to remember that word now. So the gist is you can relate the vocabulary to anything which you do frequently. It was songs for me but it can be anything for you.
- Use the word as much as possible
Sometimes it causes no harm to show case your vast vocabulary. When I started memorizing vocabulary, I had so many words with me and I used it everywhere. It was sometimes fun for me to see my friends and family with that puzzled expression, when they used to hear some new word from my side. Use it everywhere and try to get the proper usage of the word, because sometimes a single word is used in many different contexts.
- Get use to root words, suffixes and prefixes
Sometimes knowing the root word helps you a lot. Like the word artful and artless. The former means someone with deceptive qualities and the later means someone who is naïve and innocent. Likewise you can remember root word and their suffixes and prefixes.
- Organize your word list
You can organize your word list as hard and easy, alphabetically or most frequent word and least frequent word. This not only helps to learn them but also make it easy to revert to them in case if you forget the meaning. In my case, I sometimes remembered only its mnemonics but not the exact word. At such point, this organization of words helped me to get back to the word.
- Try to guess the meaning
When you read a word, do not directly jump into the reading the meaning. Try to anticipate the meaning of the word. It has two way benefits. One, if you guessed it correctly than its well and good; second, if you guessed it wrong then you always remember your mistakes more. So this is a trial and error method.
- Use flash cards
Flash cards are easy to carry and you can have them with you everywhere. You can revise with flash cards easily. The trick is to write a word on the front of the flash card and then on the back write all the words that are synonyms to the word. For e.g. if you write angry on the front end, you can write all words relating to angry on the back of your flash card.
- Hear the word
Sometime hearing the word helps you to remember it. You can search on internet for the sound and pronunciation of the word. When you hear it, you tend to remember it for longer period of time.
- Play quiz
Ask your friends to play quiz with you on vocabulary. You learn word more efficiently in this method. Because you are not only trying to answer to the question asked by your friends but also you formulate questions for your friends. It is quite fun to play such quizzes.
One thing you must do without fail is revising your wordlist. Even if you are 100% confident about a particular word list do not ignore it. Revise it several times before your exam. It may happen that you memorized a particular word list very well but due to lack of revision you now hardly remember any word from that world list. You of course do not want your efforts to go in vain.
So friends try these tricks. If you have some more tricks, you can post it below in the comment box.