GRE Lecture Outline on Vocabulary Building and Sentence

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Verbal Ability
•Vocabulary Building and Sentence Completion
1
Vocabulary Building Strategies
– An improved, strengthened vocabulary is the most
sure-fire way to improve your verbal scores.
• Strategies for enhancing your vocabulary skills.
– Memorize the meanings of as many prefixes, suffixes, and
root words as possible.
» Generate a thorough collection of flash cards of prefixes,
suffixes, and root words.
» Establish a thorough collection of flash cards of words.
2
Vocabulary Building Strategies
– What your flash cards should include and entail.
• Write the word on one side of the card with pronunciation if
necessary.
• Write all of the definitions on the other side.
• Along with the definitions, write down the word’s part of
speech.
• Write down the word in a sentence.
• Optional: Draw an illustration you can associate with the
word.
• Optional: Use word association (the word) with something
memorable.
3
Sentence Completion Strategies
– Realize each section consists of six questions.
• Plan on spending 4-4 1/2 minutes on each of the two
sections or 30-45 seconds per question.
• Memorize instructions and internalize what you need
to do to save precious time.
• Remember you want to indentify answer choices that
LOGICALLY and STYLISTICALLY complete the sentence.
• Select the BEST answer choice.
– Some answer choices work, but they aren’t the most accurate
choice.
4
Sentence Completion Strategies
– Read the sentence carefully and slowly to avoid
skipping anything.
– Fill in the blank(s) with your own word(s) before
looking at the answer choices and then look for a
synonym of that word.
– Eliminate as many of the wrong answer choices as
possible.
• Don’t forget that one of the incorrect answers will
OFTEN be an ANTONYM of the correct response.
5
Sentence Completion Strategies
– Work one blank at a time with sentences with two
blanks.
• Insert the first word for blank one to see if it fits and to
help you eliminate any wrong answer choices.
• Move on to blank two and do the same thing by once
again eliminating any wrong answer choices.
6
Sentence Completion Strategies
– Double-check the correct answer choice to make
sure it is STYLISTICALLY and LOGICALLY correct.
• Know your parts of speech and make sure the answer
choice matches the proper part of speech.
• Use this strategy to eliminate wrong answer choices as
well.
7
Sentence Completion Strategies
– Memorize commonly used key word/signal
phrases and use them as “road signs.”
• “Straight ahead” signs reveal a continuation and
support of the logic and meaning of the sentence or a
result of some sort.
– Also, besides, furthermore, because, since, in addition, in fact,
moreover, accordingly, as a result, consequently, hence, it can
be inferred that, so, this means, therefore, thus, etc.
8
Sentence Completion Strategies
– Memorize commonly used key word/signal
phrases and use them as “road signs.”
• “Detour” signs reveal a contrast or opposition or a shift
into something different.
– As, although, but, despite, however, in spite of, in contrast,
nevertheless, notwithstanding, on the other hand, on the
contrary, rather than, though, unlike, yet etc.
9
Sentence Completion Strategies
– Memorize commonly used key word/signal
phrases and use them as “road signs.”
• “Detour” signs reveal a contrast or opposition or a shift
into something different.
– As, although, but, despite, however, in spite of, in contrast,
nevertheless, notwithstanding, on the other hand, on the
contrary, rather than, though, unlike, yet etc.
10
Sentence Completion Strategies
– Look for other key words that can help you derive
meaning.
• Practice defining words you don’t know by using their
context in a sentence to help you understand them.
• Look for what’s directly implied by the meanings of the
words of the sentence and relate it to the correct
answer .
• Read the sentence literally, not imaginatively and do
not impose your feelings onto the sentence.
11
Sentence Completion Strategies
– Look for other key words that can help you derive
meaning.
• Look for descriptive words or phrases that reflect the theme,
idea or logic of the sentence or the author’s intent.
• Paraphrase long, complex sentences in your own words to
better distill the meaning of the sentence.
• Rely on your knowledge of root words (etymology) to help
you understand answer choices and key words in the
sentence.
• Don’t forget that one of the incorrect answers will OFTEN be
an ANTONYM of the correct response.
12
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