Vocab for GRE




Vocabulary defines a person’s reading, writing, verbal interaction and in effect, improves his analytical and reasoning skills. Vocabulary is recognised in two ways – written vocabulary and verbal vocabulary. It improves the comprehensive and reading skills and acts as an indicator of a person’s intelligence and sets him apart from others. A person of high literary intellect is always well-admired and respected for his knowledge. Standardized tests like the GRE gauge a candidate’s skills by his vocabulary.

An easy way of getting a high GRE score is a good vocabulary that really helps you in scoring in the verbal section of the exam. The Sentence Completion, the Reading Comprehension, and the Text Completion sections test your reasoning skills. Most of the questions in this exam test your reasoning skills. The best way to improve your vocabulary skills is to study the words in context. You can always write the tough words down.


Reading magazines, journals, and newspapers definitely helps in developing your vocabulary skills. Publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, etc also help in enriching your word power. After reading any of these publications for a month or so, you will be amazed how much more improved your vocabulary skills are. Studying word lists can be daunting and you would be wary at first. Try to start off with 10-20 words each day, then slowly try to increase the number of words that you can remember. After studying a particular list of words each day, you can review those words. Sometimes, you might come across a word that you know the meaning of but cannot define it verbally. Once you adopt this method, you are sure to find your vocabulary increasing by leaps and bounds.

Flash cards also help you in memorising words easily. Repetitive learning in fact is made easier by the use of flash cards to improve your vocabulary. Once you are actively learning from Flash cards, you constantly try to compete, to find out whether your answers are right. A major portion of the GRE test content is present in the Flash cards including those in the Verbal and Quantitative sections. The Flash cards are portable making it easy for you to study whenever you are free. The content in these Flash cards are explained in simple terms making it very easy to learn. Flash vocabulary cards is the conservative way of learning words. Today, online interactive games make learning more fun and effective. You can devise new ways of enhancing your vocabulary by learning from flash cards, playing vocab games, and also looking up word lists on the Internet.

An innovative way of learning new words is through vocabulary software of GRE. One such software is the Ultimate Vocabulary software. It has a personal tutor who guides you in learning words. There is a 7-step method; for this a process of speed reading is adopted. In fact, the words in this software were prepared by the ETS  who conduct the exam. This software gives you the option of customized word lists, where you can add or delete words. It also tracks your learning process and does not repeat words that you know. The features of the Ultimate Vocabulary software include word lists, learning techniques, visual help, pronunciation tips, etc. This software is considered to be at par with the GRE Kaplan course and has a free trial period of 90 days. You can definitely improve your vocabulary skills with the use of this software. For GRE candidates, there is an extended trial offer to use the Ultimate Vocabulary software until the tests are over. Vocabulary software in general consists of word lists, online games, tests, training sessions, encyclopaedias, etc.


  1. Dictionary.com is a free online dictionary that makes learning words really easy. Once you sign up, new words will be mailed to your inbox with pronunciation, meaning, examples of sentences, word roots, etc.
  2. Offline word games such as scrabble and crossword puzzles also aid you.
  3. There are a number of websites with GRE words where you can memorize the words. Most of the words given in the websites are often repeated words in the exam.


Start with a list of 10 GRE words to be learnt every day. The tough words can be noted down and memorized and try to frame sentences for them. You need to devote an hour a day to improve your vocabulary. Three months before the test would be an ideal time to enhance your word power. Another popular method is the use of word webs which shows how words are related to each other with graphic presentation. Adopting the use of etymology makes learning tough words easier.


Word lists help GRE candidates getting a good score in the Verbal section of the test. Some of a few sample word lists include Barron’s GRE Wordlist, GRE Big Book Word List, Kaplan’s top GRE word list, etc., that can be learnt online. The words with meanings are in the form of different parts of speech such as verbs, nouns, adjectives. You can also try to form sentences to test your knowledge of the words. The words are listed alphabetically. Barron’s Wordlist consists of 50 word lists made up of 3500 words. Barron’s Book has a list of root words to make it easy for you to understand the meaning of these words. An easy way of memorizing these words include the following:

  • Creating a picture dictionary in your mind of the words.
  • Using flash cards to memorize the words.
  • Following a rigid schedule of studying the words.
  • A concept of understanding the words.
  • Breaking up the words in order to understand their meaning.


Other than this, there are a range of word lists that you can refer to on the Internet for better understanding. You can also try to form your own word list by noting down difficult words or new words that you have not come across before. Every subject has a word list that helps to define it better. Vocabulary acts as the foundation for a learning process.