METHODS OF IMPROVING VOCABULARY
A good vocabulary is a prerequisite for doing well in SSC and BANK entrance exams. Even if the exam does not have questions on synonyms or antonyms, there can still be questions on word-pair relationships, fill in the blanks, etc. where good vocabulary is a must for the student to do well.
A good vocabulary will also be of immense help to the student in the Reading Comprehension section because it will help him follow the ideas expressed by the author very well, which directly contributes to reading speed. Further, a good vocabulary will always be an asset in one’s professional life. Keeping all this in mind, the student has to make sure that he builds his vocabulary. That happens only by regular and determined effort. Vocabulary improvement involves two activities both of which are equally important. The first is the adding of new words to your vocabulary and the second is revising meanings of words that have already been learnt.
ADDING NEW WORD
New words will have to be learnt – on a daily basis – along with their meanings. This addition should be done in a manner such that by the time the student appears for the examination, his vocabulary has at least 2000 words. Depending on how many days are left for the exams from the day the student starts his vocabulary improvement exercise, he should calculate the number of words to be learnt per day and accordingly speed time each day.
At SA and BA both, We provide daily word list based on the Hindu newspaper. You can read these words to start with, but the best way of improving vocabulary is to refer to a good dictionary regularly. Take a few words from the word list each day or any new word that you come across in your daily reading (of newspapers, magazines, etc.) and refer to the dictionary for meanings. Along with the meaning, also concentrate on the root (origin) of the word, pronunciation and the usage of the word (which some dictionaries give). Different meanings of the words also should be studied.
When you refer to the dictionary for a particular word, other words in the dictionary will also catch your attention; make a conscious effort to add those words also to your vocabulary. The origin of the words, if understood, will be helpful because the student then can derive the meanings of other words, which are based on the same roots.
REVISING WORDS ALREADY LEARNT
The second part of vocabulary improvement is revising the meanings of words already learnt. This is very important because words disappear from memory very easily. This happens to every one of us – so do not get disheartened if you forget the words or their meanings in the initial stages. But, if you revise the meanings of words on a regular basis, you will not forget the words or their meanings. Then all such words become a part of your “self”. So, revising the meanings in a systematic manner should be made a part of your learning process.
For this purpose, follow the procedure given below:
➤➤Read a lot – Start learning the words slowly and start reading newspapers editorials, magazines, online articles and magically the words you remember will start appearing in these texts.
➤➤Use the words – Talk to your friends using these words. If not fluently, be funny while using words, but USE THEM. write sentences using these words.
➤➤Use mnemonics/Association – Associate the words with things or events or people. A very useful and scientifically proven technique is VISUAL LEARNING. Associate words with photos and Voila! you learn faster and retain longer. Ever wondered why we almost never forget names? Because we associate them with faces and voices.
➤➤Flash cards or similar app – To learn on the go. But try to use ASSOCIATIVE flash cards or apps which are not just rote learning. On our Adda247 App, we provide a daily vocabulary list. You can always read on the go.
Always maintain a Vocab diary, and note down all the new words in it and it must be done whenever a new word is learned. When you write a new word and its meaning on one of the sheets of paper, make it a point to revise all the words that have already been written on that sheet of paper. Then put the sheet back on the same page in the dictionary.
This will ensure that you revise all the words you learn provided you do this exercise regularly. You are expected to spend about 30 minutes per day on vocabulary. You will get best results if you split this 30 minutes over five to six parts of the days – each time spending about five to six minutes.
In addition to words, you will also have to learn the meanings of phrases and idioms. A list of phrases and idioms is given in the Vocabulary note. In addition to this, whenever you refer to the dictionary for the meanings of words, you should make it a point to learn the meanings of any phrases or idioms that you come across and note them down for revision like you do for words.