Utilities Of Word Lists For GRE

Importance of Using a GRE Words List

The GRE revised General Test is designed to measure your skills in the areas of quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking, in addition to verbal reasoning abilities. The Verbal Reasoning section of the exam has questions that check your reading comprehension and critical thinking skills, along with measuring your vocabulary. Your familiarity with and the knowledge of words are tested both directly and indirectly. All sections of the test being given due importance while scoring, it is important that you focus on this vocabulary aspect, as well. A words list is a great tool for increasing your vocabulary and helping you score high in the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE revised General Test. So what is a words list? Where do you find one and how do you use it? Here's an article answering all these questions for you.

GRE Words List

Words are like bricks while constructing sentences and language; they help you build on meaningful phrases, clauses and sentences and communicate efficiently and effectively. If you do not know the right word or term for a particular phenomenon or thing, you are unable to express it verbally; nor are others able to grasp what you mean. While some are endowed with a good vocabulary, some may not be that articulate in the language. Likewise, in the GRE revised General Test Verbal Reasoning section, the questions on analogies and antonyms depend mostly on your vocabulary skills - how many words you know and how well you understand their meanings. A words list can help you learn new words, with their usages in different contexts; including definitions, exact meanings, and parts of speech.

Improving vocabulary can be achieved in many other ways, as well, like by reading a variety of materials on different topics, listening to television programs, playing word games, or using flash cards. You may find new expressions, words, and their usages in a variety of contexts, in this way. However, with very limited time available for your preparations, using a words list might be the most practical way to enhance your vocabulary. Many previous test-takers and experts also believe that using a words list can considerably increase your chance of scoring high in the vocabulary section of the test.

How to Use a GRE Words List?

A words list may have hundreds of words included in it, along with their meanings and their parts of speech.

  • You may learn the words by memorizing the meanings, and by using them in different contexts or sentences to understand the usage.
  • You may also use mnemonics to memorize new words.
  • Creating associations with words is another easy way to remember them. You may find associations with related words that you already know.
  • Breaking words is another technique many people use to memorize words from a words list.
  • You may plan and execute your own method of learning the words, based on your comfort levels and the time available. For example, you may decide to memorize one list per week or 10 words per day, or so on.
  • Many of the popular vocabulary books comprise words from previous GRE General Tests - including the most tested or high frequency words. Learning these might help increase your chances of scoring high in the Verbal Reasoning section.
  • Today, with the availability of many online vocabulary lists and vocabulary building software programs, memorizing and learning might be easier. However, offline lists have their own advantages as they can be carried anywhere with you, for ease of accessibility and repeated reading.

Where to Find a GRE Words List?

You may find many books and preparation materials focusing on vocabulary. Some of the popular titles which include/focus on GRE words lists are:

  1. The Official Guide to the GRE revised General Test by ETS
  2. Essential Words for the GRE by Barron's
  3. Kaplan GRE Exam Vocabulary in a Box (500 flash cards) by Kaplan
  4. New GRE Verbal Workbook by Kaplan

Many online resources and downloadable software programs are also available for improving your vocabulary; some of these are available free, but some others need to be paid for:

  1. https://www.msu.edu/~defores1/gre/vocab/gre_vocab.htm
  2. http://www.grewordlist.com/
  3. http://store.ets.org/store/ets/en_US/pd/productID.201745600/categoryId.11281300
  4. http://www.powergre.com/
  5. http://www.grevocabulary.com/

In addition to improving your performance in the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE revise General Test, a improves your vocabulary in general, and might be useful for you throughout your life, and not just for test preparation. Hence, even if you need to pay for getting a words list can also help you do better in the Analytical Writing section. With more words in your quiver, it is easier to write well and express your ideas freely and unambiguously.