In our last series of newsletter articles, we looked at how vocabulary is developed throughout life. Our next series will focus on how to use vocabulary building to increase your chances for personal success in life. We will begin our series by examining how to expand vocabulary for entrance examinations.
The verbal part of the SAT exam tests a student’s vocabulary and reading comprehension. About half of the questions in the verbal section will be specifically to test vocabulary skills, but even the reading comprehension section depends heavily on the reader’s ability to figure out unfamiliar words in context. Colleges and universities take into account many factors when deciding who to admit to their student body, but the SAT can often be one of the key elements that make or break a student’s chances at higher education. The single best way to ensure your success in the entrance exam is to grow your vocabulary. This can be done by reading widely, studying Greek and Latin roots, taking high school courses that help you increase your vocabulary, and by spending 10-15 minutes a night working on word attack skills. Another idea is to use vocabulary building software, such as Ultimate Vocabulary for the SAT Exam.
Getting into college can be difficult. Getting into college as a non-native-English speaker can be especially challenging. Many colleges and universities in America have adopted an exam to evaluate potential attendees’ abilities to speak and understand standard American English at a college level. This exam is called the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL. A strong knowledge of English vocabulary is understandably important in scoring well on the TOEFL. All four areas of the exam involve reading and understanding the meaning of many English words and phrases. To prepare for the TOEFL, students must make English vocabulary a strong focus of study, involving reading widely, actively listening and participating in conversations in English, and improving your writing skills. There are also computer software programs, such as Ultimate Vocabulary for the TOEFL Test, especially designed to help potential test takers prepare for the exam.
Most graduate schools in the United States require the GRE exam as an entrance qualification. This test assesses the verbal, math and analytical skills of the applicants. Testing experts agree that the single most important way to increase your verbal scores on the GRE are to increase your vocabulary. The GRE includes two sections on analogies and antonyms, both which depend largely on the test-taker’s grasp of vocabulary. Another section on sentence completion also relies on an expansive knowledge of words. There are courses specifically designed to prepare you for the GRE Exam, but you can also improve your word power by reading widely, studying vocabulary with a friend, and studying word roots and etymologies. GRE vocabulary software (our favorite is Ultimate Vocabulary for the GRE Exam) is an excellent platform where you can pick up new words, practice through different exercises, and test yourself.
No matter which entrance exam you are preparing for, you can have fun developing your vocabulary by playing the games on Vocabulary.co.il. These games are specifically designed to increase your word knowledge and bring the power of words as close as your personal computer.