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It is imperative that you hold a good vocabulary in order to score higher in the IELTS or PTE test. Many candidates find it to be a daunting task. To begin with, let me share some tips on improving vocabulary:
1. Read the Newspaper: Yes, a decent English newspaper would have more than enough words to learn. As an IELTS trainer from Kochi, I make sure that all my students read an article daily. Believe me, this has worked wonders for many who struggled to get over the 6.5 band score in IELTS.
2. Take baby steps: A list of word meanings is surely helpful but it might not be effective for all. For most of us, this long list would be overwhelming. Instead, consider just three to five words a day, and be diligent in using those words throughout the day. A smaller list of words is easier to comprehend and eventually makes learning more enjoyable.
3. Learn “word usage” instead of meanings: Knowing word meanings is good but what’s the point if you can’t use them? Improve your vocabulary by searching for sentences with the word you intend to learn. Every time I see an unfamiliar word, instead of searching meanings, I try to find sentences with that particular word. For instance, try finding sentences for the word ‘nuance’ in google, your search keywords should be — “nuance in a sentence”. You should see a link from sentence.yourdictionary.com, click on it, and go through a few of the sentences. Try and figure out the meaning of nuance with these sentences. Then, go ahead and search “nuance meaning”.
4. Visualize the word: Another concern here is the retention of words, most tend to forget a word, as soon as they learn it. This happens because you don’t frame a picture with the word. Try to imagine the word, to give you some perspective, the word MEANDER means to follow a zig-zag route, try to imagine a river flowing in a zig-zag path. This picture may help.
5. Add, Multiply and be fruitful: The last tip for today is to use the words you learnt, together. Build a sentence with two or three words that you learnt today. Write it down, trust me, it helps.
Vocabulary 101: To help you begin, I have compiled a picture book (Pictionary) of 101 words with their meanings and also included a simple sentence. A picture which relates to the word presents you with a better understanding.
Download this free e-book with 101 words and meanings with pictures, to improve your vocabulary. Drop-in your name and email id to get the e-book link on your email.