Wordlists are a nightmare to many GREtakers…
Here’s a simple way to remember the words. It’s not a shortcut though.
See, almost every word in English can be broken into 2 or 3 parts or can be traced to some Greek or latin or some root.
Eg: DISINTER —–à disinter means to dig out.
DISINTER = dis + inter.
‘Dis’ gives a negative connotation to the word “inter”.
To ‘inter’ means ‘to bury something or someone’.
So when u combine dis + inter , you get the opposite of burying ie. exhuming something or someone ….ie. you take someone or something from the ground. And so now you know ‘disinter’ is to ‘dig out’!
Another example: MISOGYNY = mis + gynos
‘mis’ has a negative connotation…. ‘Mis’ means ‘hatred’ and ‘gynos’ has a Greek meaning – ‘females’. So Misogyny means hatred of women.
Try to break the word. Try to trace the roots. Try to feel the connotation ie. whether it is negative or positive.
So, before you start the wordlist, go to the end of the word list of Barrons. There you will find the roots, prefixes, suffixes, etc.
Once you are familiar with that, you can easily remember the words from the wordlist.
Half of the words can be split or can be FELT by their prefixes, suffixes, etc…
Understood??? So, don’t ever directly jump to the wordlist. First create a good foundation upon which you can build your vocab.
Other techniques to remember the words:
1) Create flash cards or use the flash cards available in the market.
Flash cards are basically small chits of paper with one side having the difficult word and the other side having its meaning. So while traveling, it is very convenient to take flash cards with you.
2) Write down. Just like you used to mug up the answers in school, just mug up the words. But after mugging up, make sure that you know what context that word was used in. I would surely advise you to keep note of the sentence too i.e every word in the wordlist would be followed by a sentence. So even if you remember the sentence in which the word was used, you will be able to remember the meaning of the word.
3) Read aloud. Didn’t you mug up the answers in school by reading aloud the answers??
4) Use the words in your day to day life. As I said, DISCOMBOBULATE your friends by using very ABSTRUSE words. And then CONDESENDINGLY APPRISE them of the meaning of the word that you used!
5) Create associations or patterns to remember the words.
Eg: while I was in VJTI, I had a frnd who was very particular about cleanliness, and was very organized. While I was reading the wordlist, I came across a word “STICKLER” which means “someone who is very particular about things”. So I quickly associated the word STICKLER to YOGESH!…. so next time I read the word STICKLER, I know what it means!
Another eg: use human qualities or attributes to remember the words.
Like I have a frnd XYZ who is very arrogant. So while I was reading the words “haughty”, “conceited”, “stuffed shirt”, “presumptuous”, I could easily visualize my frnd XYZ!!!!…get my point?… so in one-go, I now know that “haughty”, “conceited”, “stuffed shirt”, “presumptuous” mean ARROGANT!!!
As simple as that!
Give sufficient time to remember and understand the wordlist. if you don’t know the wordlist, I would advise you to not take the exam…because, seriously, 20 questions out of 30 are going to be based on difficult words… If you are some millionaire, then its ok, go and get low scores as many times as possible!!… Remember that the GRE costs $180!!…
Read Barrons wordlist. It would be great if you got time to read Thesaurus too.
I hope I was able to help u in tackling the wordlists….