Starting next week, “It’s not GREek!” will be spotlighting a new vocabulary word–or words–that is likely to appear on the verbal section of the GRE. We will not only give you a new word to study, but also give you some strategies for remembering the word so you can get a good score on the new GRE. Before we get into that, though, let’s talk about some strategies for memorizing vocabulary. Everyone has their own style, but this is what has worked best for me.
Don’t waste your time reviewing words you already know. Go through your vocabulary list and quiz yourself on the meaning of every word on the list. Just because you’ve seen a word before or you may think you know what it means does not necessarily mean that you do. Plus, what’s more excellent than realizing that you already know the meaning of half of the words on your list?
Quiz yourself all day, every day. Every day, take five new words from your list of unknown words, make flash cards–there are a ton of iPhone/Android apps for this–and take them with you everywhere you go. Review the words several times throughout the day — while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, working out, sitting at a particularly long red light, or any other time you have a minute or two to spare.
Put the words in context. Each week, we will not only be giving you a new word, but also putting the word in context to help you easily remember it. When you’re making your flash cards, in addition to writing the definition, write a sentence using the new word. (Here is a great example from a list of fancy words found in New York Times articles.) A catchy sentence will help you not only learn the definition, but also remember it better on test day. Remember, the more vocabulary you know, the better your new GRE score will be.
Read. Reading books with tough vocabulary is a great way to learn–and remember!–new words. The trick here is to find a book you actually want to read that also has challenging vocabulary. Reading won’t be such a chore, and you’ll be much more likely to remember the words in context if you were enjoying the storyline. If you’re reading on your Kindle or iPad, you can automatically pull up the definition of any new word you encounter. Otherwise, some old-fashioned flipping through a dictionary works, too.
Click here for the free TestMasters list of over 2,000 GRE Vocabulary words, and make sure you come back next week for our first Word of the Week!