– GRE vocabulary is an extremely large world that any student who has been preparing for this certificate will face difficulties in learning GRE vocabulary. Although the vocabulary in the GRE is very difficult, it is an extremely important part in conquering the exams, especially the Verbal section.

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Difficulties in learning GRE vocabulary

Unlike TOEFL or IELTS, GRE vocabulary is more intensive, academic, and less common. Although you have reached intermediate English or above in English language certificates, that is just the beginning of the GRE exam preparation process with the following difficulties:

For more: GRE exam preparation for beginners

  • Huge vocabulary: Currently, there are many resources that provide a list of thousands of words for GRE preparation. There is no denying that the more vocabulary you know, the higher your chances of conquering the GRE. However, the “cramming” of hundreds and thousands of words is really not easy.
  • Memorize vocabulary: You memorize 20 words per day and the next day after reviewing, you only remember about 5 to 10 words. This is a difficulty that everyone must face because GRE vocabulary is often long and difficult to remember, for example, ambivalence, a connoisseur (knowledgeable person), grandiloquent (bragging), hyperbole (exaggerated words)…
  • Difficult to apply: GRE vocabulary is usually academic, so it is rarely used in everyday life, so you will have difficulty in applying it in practice and will quickly forget the vocabulary that you have learned. For example, we often use “improve”, but in GRE, it’s “ameliorate”.
  • Words have many different meanings according to the context: A word has a meaning depending on the situation of use, sentence, or idiom… Therefore, you often have to learn a phrase or sentence.

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How to learn GRE vocabulary effectively?

After knowing the difficulties in learning GRE vocabulary, next, we need to have the appropriate method to overcome the above difficulties and achieve high results when learning GRE vocabulary as follows:

  • Determine the amount of vocabulary to learn, for example, you can set a target of 300 words, then 500 or 800 words. These are the minimum vocabulary levels you will need when you want to get a good GRE test score. After that, you need to keep studying and review the vocabulary you have learned every day.
  • Read a variety of articles, textbooks, and research papers to increase academic vocabulary.
  • Systemize and divide by groups, by topics, synonyms…
  • Use flashcards to learn words or supporting software like Quizlet or Anki.

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