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How to Study Vocab for the GRE

  • by John
  • Jun 10, 2011
  • GRE Blog

When the revised GRE comes out in August 2011, vocabulary will no longer be nearly as important for the test. Until then, the simplest and most boring way to improve your verbal GRE score is to memorize several thousand words’ worth of vocab. Here’s how to get to work on that.

  • Buy a book with a list, and work through it steadily. Any GRE prep book worth the paper it’s printed on will have an extensive list of vocab which tends to come up on the GRE. Count how many words there are, divide that by the number of weeks you have to study, and figure out how many vocab words you should be learning a day.
  • Fill your idle hours with flashcards. You can study vocab anywhere– on the train, in the doctor’s office, in the shower. Just make flashcards and quiz yourself whenever you have a moment.
  • Make up sentences with the words you’re studying. You’ll never remember vocab if you don’t put it to use. If you’re memorizing ten words a day, try making up a story about your day using those ten words. It sounds hokey and boring, but it works!
  • Focus on problem words and make up mnemonics for them. Everyone has a few problem words which they always seem to get wrong. Focus on those words and destroy them. Or, you know, memorize them. But intensely.

Next Step Test Preparation offers complete packages of one-on-one GRE tutoring for less than the price of a packed prep course.  For more information, see our GRE tutoring page, contact or call 888-530-NEXT.

Photo credit Peroshenka under a Creative Commons license.

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