advice for memorizing vocab words

larry burns
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:12 pm

advice for memorizing vocab words

Postby larry burns » Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:17 am

any thing that helped in particular for you guys? since i'm trying to memorize hundreds of words, i dont want to use flash cards since that will be too messy

dooes learning words in groups help alot? like memorizing 5 new words, at a time, that all have similar definitions?

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Re: advice for memorizing vocab words

Postby quizivex » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:05 am

I found that remarkably, that trick where you associate an image or scene with a particular word is extremely effective... For instance, for "assiduous," I imagined someone trying really hard to scrape dirt off a floor with an acid-soaked brillo pad...

And for "adage" I pictured someone wearing a badge that had a proverb engraved on it...

As stupid and random as those types of things sound, I found that my retention rate for words memorized in that manner was extremely high. If instead, I just memorized the word and its definition in words, the results were poor... this latter method was good enough for vocab tests in high school where you had 20 words per week only tested once (so you could cram the words in the class before the test)... but if you really want to increase your vocab permanently, which is useful in life since some of those wacky words do show up sometimes, and get the side benefit of doing well on the VGRE, I suggest practicing the picture method.

As from teh two examples, I chose images (or mental videos) that rhymed in some way with the word itself... and I found that when I saw the vocab word, the associated image automatically came to mind, and I was able to reconstruct the exact verbal definition most of the time. I still remember most of the words 3 years later.

Give it a try.

larry burns wrote:dooes learning words in groups help alot? like memorizing 5 new words, at a time, that all have similar definitions?

Hmm... I'd have to advise against that... Memorizing words with similar definitions that often look similar, it will be easy to confuse them with each other... A good way to find new words is to look a given word up in a thesauras... and assuming you're keeping lists of words to memorize (I recommend having mini notebooks), it'd be best if you separate similar words from each other on different pages so you learn them as independent entities.

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