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How important is vocab for the GRE?

Hi all, my GRE is coming up, and I'm wondering how much of a focus I should put on building my vocabulary. Are there any good resources or approaches to help me effectively increase my vocab before the test?

6 months ago

Vocabulary plays a significant role in the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE, particularly for sentence equivalence and text completion questions. However, this section is not solely about memorizing lists of words—you also need to understand the context in which the words are used.

There are several strategies and resources you can use to efficiently build your vocabulary for the GRE:

1. Use GRE-specific vocabulary lists: Many resources, both online and in print, provide lists of commonly tested GRE vocabulary words, including some by ETS, the test's maker. The Magoosh GRE Vocabulary Flashcards are popular, as are the "Manhattan GRE 500 Essential Words" and "Manhattan GRE 500 Advanced Words" flashcard sets.

2. Read widely: Reading high-quality publications like The New York Times, The Economist, The Atlantic, or academic journals in your field of interest can expose you to new words and their usage in context. Make a habit of highlighting unfamiliar words in your readings and reviewing their meanings regularly.

3. Keep a vocabulary journal: Whenever you come across a new word while reading or practicing, write it down in a notebook. Include the definition, an example sentence, and any related words or synonyms. Review this notebook regularly to reinforce your learning.

4. Use spaced repetition: Spaced repetition is a learning technique that involves reviewing new words at increasing intervals to help them stick in your long-term memory. You can use apps like Anki or Quizlet, which have GRE vocabulary sets, to help with spaced repetition.

5. Practice with real GRE material: To become familiar with the types of vocab questions you'll encounter on test day, use official GRE materials from ETS, such as the Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions and Powerprep Online practice tests.

6. Engage with the words: Try using new words in your everyday conversations and writing. This will help solidify your understanding and make the new words part of your active vocabulary. Additionally, you can engage with words through games like crosswords and Wordle, word searches, or apps like Words with Friends.

Overall, building your vocabulary will help you do better on the GRE, especially on verbal reasoning questions. So, make sure to integrate vocabulary study into your GRE preparation plan, and implement the strategies mentioned above for effective learning. Good luck!

6 months ago

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