How to improve your vocabulary for GRE or Living in US ?

In Application Info by KumarUpdated : 7 Comments

Having good English vocabulary is very important for success in the western world. To be more specific, for success in USA, you need good American English vocabulary. There are some subtle variations in usage of words and meanings in American English when compared to British.

If you are a student and preparing for GRE, you are all excited and you buy the GRE book and open it and look under verbal section and see a unending 3,500 word list and get scared… “How in the world will I remember all these words?”.  You ask your friends and they suggest you Flash Cards. You are busy creating new Flash Cards every day and may be looking at these and by hearting . Some of you might be just by hearting or cramming each alphabet a day. Guess what ?  Some of them may learn the words and some may probably do well in GRE, but the words do not sustain in your memory or find a place to apply. The goal is not to chew and vomit. Your goal is to learn, apply and use them effectively. Honestly, the few who cram or by heart hardly succeed in usage.

What are the best ways to increase your vocabulary for living in US ?

Online News Papers :

First thing, most of you might read news papers like Hindu or other domestic news papers. You might want to start reading American News paper only like The New York Times , Wall Street Journal or CNN . You will not believe how many words you will find in them. The goal is to get exposed to new words.  Especially with The New York Times, as you select a word by highlighting with cursor or double click  a word, it will say give a question mark and you can click on it to get the meaning right away.  You can just skim through the articles. The goal is to get the usage context. It helps you how to use variety of words. It helps in every day and also for GRE comprehensions.

Read English Novels by American Authors :

One of the things I highly recommend is start reading novels by American Authors. As you read along, you will come across different words. It will improve your ability to understand the context of words. For instance, you can read novels by Sidney Sheldon. You can read any kind of novels, just pick up something by American Authors and you will find it useful. Just skim through.  It is very effective way to learn new words.

Goal of reading News papers and Novels :

Remember, your goal is to learn the words usage and context. You do not need to know the exact precise meanings of each and every word. You goal is NOT to become a Dictionary but become a Thesaurus. What it means is, know the synonyms of  words rather than exact meaning of each and every word.  As you get to know more words, your brain will classify them and you will know the usage. This is exactly what you need for GRE verbal section or increasing your vocabulary in general.

There are other ways to increase vocabulary like watching American movies, Watch American Channels…they do help.  But, the above two are my preference.

Building vocabulary could be a time taking process. It can take you a long time depending upon how much you read and your interest level.  It is very rewarding to know many words, it helps you  sound professional!

   

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Comments ( 7 )

  1. Subrata Kumar Das

    Especially with The New York Times, as you select a word by highlighting with cursor or double click a word, it will say give a question mark and you can click on it to get the meaning right away.

    To find meaning of a word, I did it; but they did not show any question mark. Why?

  2. administrator
    RedBus2US Admin

    Srikanth,
    1)why usa?
    You will have to look up the degree you are coming to US and tell why that particular degree is better in US than in India. Try to put in technical words and create a good answer.

    2) why less gre score ? (as i got less score in gre that is 970)
    3)why less acads? ( as i have 61%,STREAM EE)
    4) why so many backlogs ? (as i have 6 backlogs,STREAM EE)

    May be you can say for backlogs, that you had exam clashes with project works and assignments of other classes. All the above three questions are related to your personal studying situation. Sorry Srikanth…I cannot provide you a good answer. All I can tell you is, try to tell a logical reason. Good Luck for the Visa interview !

  3. SRIKANTH

    plz frds do answers few visa question so that i can answer in my visa interview….
    1)why usa?
    2) why less gre score ? (as i got less score in gre that is 970)
    3)why less acads? ( as i have 61%,STREAM EE)
    4) why so many backlogs ? (as i have 6 backlogs,STREAM EE)
    plz answers them frds accordingly ,so that i can use them in VI ???
    do this favour frds as i am havin VI on dec 18th ………

  4. Krista

    As someone who recently wrote the GRE, I can confirm that its not about how many words you know…its how many words can you relate to a given word. The GRE doesn’t ask for straight definitions, it asks for antonyms and contextual meanings.

    The suggestion to read — and read as much as you can — is the best advice for exposure to new words. When you read you don’t analyze each word individually, you look at the sentence or paragraph as a whole and find the meaning. Even if you have not seen certain words before, you can understand by context, and next time, you’ll know!

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