As a teacher working for a CAT prep institute, students often ask if I could help them with learning vocabulary. Well, I won't claim to be an expert on this issue; there are a number of ways to learn vocab and yes, I too have one!
For Vocab, try the Root-Prefix-Suffix (RPS) method. Pick a word, find the RPS related to the chosen word.
There are two important books required to acquire a degree of comfort in building vocabulary: (a) dictionary (my favourite is Concise Oxford Dictionary; it carries root of the word, tracing its origin and development) and (b) thesaurus (Roget’s Thesaurus of Synonyms and Antonyms).
- It is important that you read extensively, on a wide range of issues. This way you will come across known, and also some new, words.
- The next step involves finding the meaning of these words, esp., new words.
- As for the known words, refer to a thesaurus... here you can learn related words – both of the same meaning and opposite meanings.
The above steps involve pretty little effort; at first glance, this may appear difficult but after a week of such practice, I am sure you will feel comfortable.
Put the above to work through the below mentioned method:
- Write the chosen word in the middle of the page (have a 100 page notebook for this purpose) and circle it.
- Drag four arrows on the top side and four on the bottom side of the circle; for each arrow on the top, write one synonym of the circled word. Write four such words.
- Repeat this for the bottom arrows; in this space, write antonyms.
For your benefit, find below one such picture I have created.
Learn one word daily, with four synonyms and four antonyms (may not be exact synonyms / antonyms but could be related).
I think this kind of pictorial method helps in word retention, especially if you look at the picture twice or thrice daily. Yes, it is true that you may forget half of these words but it is unlikely that you will forget all the mentioned words.
Start building vocabulary; this will improve comfort level with language, sentence construction, word usage, grammar, and vocabulary. And yes, this will help in knowledge building too.
Read: BJ's 15-Minute Learning Rule