GRE Vocabulary

The ETS (the organization that conducts the GRE), believes that there are some words, which an average college-educated adult should know. However, the GRE Vocabulary is a set of advanced words, numbering approximately 3500, which you may be able to read or spell easily, but whose meanings you might not be aware of. The GRE prefers to assess candidates on the usage of words with more than one meaning, which can be used as different parts of speech.

The modern-day GRE does not only test for the meaning of the word. It essentially focuses on how words are contextually a good fit for a particular phrase. However, learning and remembering as many as 3500 words can indeed be an uphill task.
The good news is, you can target a high score even if you know around 1000 high priority words that are used more frequently than the rest.
Click here to download our carefully curated list of the top high-priority words.

Keys to acing the GRE Vocabulary

  • Using a Dictionary – While studying, always keep a dictionary handy. Make a conscious effort to look up the meaning of unfamiliar words, their synonyms, and antonyms. Use a Thesaurus as well, to check for the usage of those words.

  • Create your own list – Make it a habit to jot down the new words that you learn each day. You can revise these words in your idle time and also refer to it during practicing mock questions.

  • Contextual Understanding – It is imperative that you analyze the context of usage of a particular word. Additionally, being able to identify if it’s a noun, verb, adjective or adverb can be more effective.

  • Learn the Roots – One of the time-tested techniques to learn words is by understanding their roots. For example, once you know that “mal” is used as a prefix with words that denote something in the negative sense, even if you don’t know the meanings of words like malicious, malevolent and malignant, you can gauge that these too denote something bad or harmful.

  • Put to practice – Whatever new words you learn on a daily basis, you can make it a practice to use them in your daily lifestyle such as in conversations, over emails or messages. In this way, you may be able to retain these words in your memory and will not forget them as well. Talk to your peers in English, and read articles, journals & storybooks.

  • Adapting techniques – It is practically impossible to memorize the 3500+ words from the GRE Vocabulary. You need to adapt some learning techniques in order to master these words. Use mnemonics, theme-based grouping, pictures and check for usage examples of as many words you can.

Examples of common GRE words

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