As a GRE tutor, I have worked with many students who believe that they have a large vocabulary and they typically do, but they lose points on the GRE because they do not know the official definition of a word. The way we use words in spoken English isn’t always true to the original meaning.
For example, take the word “momentarily”.
How many times have you been on a train and heard the train announcer say: “We will be moving momentarily.” Well, this actually means: “We will be moving for a moment”, not the intended “We will be moving in a moment”. Due to the common misappropriation of language, our understanding and usage of vocabulary sometimes deviates from the official defintion. These distinctions matter on tests, so focusing your standadized test preparation on memmorizing (or re-learning) vocab helps.
These kinds of traps are common on the GRE. To get started, download our Vocabulary hotlist.
Now that you’re armed with every GRE word that could possibly show up on the test, we recommend that you:
• Create GRE vocab flashcards. Yes, there are pre-made flashcards out there, but here’s the thing: They cost money and they just don’t work as well. Nothing beats index cards + an old-fashioned pencil (or pen) when it comes to vocab.
• Get started on a vocab schedule. Even if you only write 2 or 3 new flashcards a day, that’s better than zero flashcards and it’s better than buying a whole stack and cramming for a week.