As you grow taller and older and stronger, your vocabulary grows along with you. Print materials (books, magazines, and newspapers) and TV and radio continuously bombard you with new words there are many ways to improve your GRE vocabulary. Although you have plenty of measures and techniques to choose from you ought to realize that you need something more. Thus, once you have learned a word you also need to remember it. Memory plays an important part in any vocabulary-building technique. Your vocabulary is an important measure of your verbal abilities. In fact, the standardized tests you take usually include a section just for the sake of seeing how strong your vocabulary is. Here is an example:
Directions: Choose the best synonym for the underlined word.
(a) liquid (b) measure (c) wealth (d) importance
The answer-did you know it? – is (c) wealth. This article shows you some strategies for turning challenging words into words you own, words that you can use correctly and easily when you speak and write. By now you have discovered a lot of new words and learned good strategies for figuring out their meaning. But how do you “keep” a new vocabulary word? How do you make it part of your working vocabulary? Try these strategies for remembering the meaning of new words.
Make Up a Sentence
Mnemonics (nuh•MON•iks), named for the Greek goddess of memory, is a system for improving your memory. (For example, the sentence Every Good Boy Does Fine is a mnemonic for remembering the musical notes on the lines of the treble clef, from bottom to top.) Invent a sentence-either funny or serious-that helps you remember a word’s meaning. Here are some examples:
– A garden slug moves sluggishly-very, very slowly or not at all.
– Max was freezing, so he piled on the maximum number of blankets.
– The S.S. Titanic was a titanic-gigantic ship.
– A caterpillar transforms itself into a butterfly, an altogether different form.
– The two l’s in the middle of parallel form parallel lines.
– In a confusing word pair, a sentence can help you remember which word is which.
– Letters are written on stationery.
– Look at the golden dome on the capitol building.
Draw Your Word
Do a sketch that helps you visualize the meaning of the word. You do not have to draw well to do this-stick figures are fine. For example, print the word jovial in large letters and draw a happy smile in the o. Write dissect, and sketch a knife down the middle of the word. Write enigma on a jigsaw puzzle piece.
Use Flash Cards
Remember flashcards? You can make them from index cards or even small pieces of paper. On one side, write a new word you want to remember. On the other side, write a definition and example sentence. Give yourself ten minutes to memorize the definitions in a pile of cards; then test yourself. If you ca not remember the meaning of the word, turn over the card and look. Make a separate pile of the words you have trouble remembering. Keep reviewing those flashcards until you can easily recall each meaning of the word.
Listen to Your Voice
One of the ways you can learn is by listening. Write the word and its definition; then say them aloud to yourself. Make up a new sentence using the word in context, and listen to yourself as you say the sentence. Listening to your own voice reinforces your learning. Saying the words out loud helps, too.
More Vocabulary Building hints and tips can be found here