So the other day, one reader says to me,“I don’t have much time to prepare for the GRE, but I don’t want to postpone my exam date either. The word lists from Barron’s is pretty huge with 3600+ words. How do I prepare for the Verbal section under these constraints?”
I said, “Even under these circumstances, it won’t be hard for you to prepare decently well for the GRE.”
Remember the Pareto 80:20 rule: 80 percent of your score will come from 20 percent of your effort. That doesn’t mean that you should automatically cut your GRE prep time by 80%! What the rule would translate for your case is that if you were going to get a score of let’s say 100, with your full and unhindered preparation, it is possible to build up your GRE Vocabulary to score 80 with just 20% of the time of your full preparation. I hope that gets your confidence up. GRE Verbal prep is more about usage and less about absolute meaning of single words.
Now the question is, how to study in this short time that would maximize your GRE score to that magical 80% out of your potential 100%?
Stop thinking that you cannot learn important words and usage in a short period of time. The problem is with the way people have become accustomed to studying – trying to memorize each and everything they read. This is not how we learned to speak as children, no one ran behind us with a dictionary! How then, do you explain our ease of communication in our own language? Verbal reasoning is a function of how we interpret words into reality.
The way the human brain learns language best, is by usage and visual association. We are putting together a list of synonyms (words with similar meanings) with their usage in real life. It is not a long list, but the usage will help you visualize and learn the words. The meaning of the word is understood from the usage example which depicts a scenario.
Stay tuned for our FREE PDF which will give to you common GRE words, arranged in synonymous fashion and with the correct usage in sentences. Go through this list once, twice, even thrice – Then start using the synonyms in the proposed sentences. Try imagining the sentences as if you are the one actually saying them in response to something you have just seen/heard. This is the correct way to build your GRE vocabulary.
Download the file by using the link at the end of the post.
Directions: Pay more attention to the usage, it is your goal to understand it as thoroughly as possible. Use your internet resources to find out usage of the synonyms also, time permitting.