English is one of the most widely spoken languages across the globe and proficiency in the language requires years of study, strong reading habits and skill-building. We cannot deny its weightage in examinations such as GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS. If a student aims to pursue his/her studies abroad, they need to have a good command over the language which is exemplified by possessing good vocabulary skills.
GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS exams are the popular English language proficiency exams, conducted annually to provide an opportunity for students who want to pursue their studies or opt for a career in a vernacular English speaking nation. So, here are some tips that can help you prepare for these English proficiency exams.
How does vocabulary building help to crack GRE, TOEFL and IELTS exams?
TOEFL is a computer-based exam so there is no handwriting involved. IELTS exams include writing and speaking section, where you have to write a handwritten essay and practice speaking English which means good vocabulary proficiency. You can perform at your optimum if your vocabulary is strong in all the segments.
All the exams will have the four core requirements that involve-
- Listening Skills –You will be asked to listen and comprehend different accents that are prevalent across the globe. This proficiency can be gained by listening to English shows, movies, news and songs. ‘V for Vendetta ‘is a strongly recommended movie that can help you learn good language skills and polish your vocabulary.
- Writing Skills –This segment tests the comprehension skills that the student possesses. You will be required to put into words your thoughts in the form of essays. You can ace this segment by actually practicing essay writing and also sentence formation skills in general.
- Reading Skills – Youwill be required toread long paragraphs and understand the context perfectly. This can be facilitated by reading newspapers, books and periodicals.
- Speaking Skills –You are looking to study and work in a foreign country. You will be required to communicate with a variety of people and the basic skills of speaking legible English are imperative.
Top learning tips to build vocabulary
As mentioned earlier, there are many ways you can build vocabulary, and some of those are highlighted below:
- Mnemonics- Humans have a fascination for identifying patterns, as it is then indelible in their memory. Learning is enhanced when patterns are established. For example remembering the role commas play in sentence structure becomes easy when you use this phrase: “A cat has claws at the end of its paws. A comma’s a pause at the end of a clause”
• Practice- Use the words you learn on a daily basis. Using the words in many ways helps build vocabulary and confidence. You become more efficient at using the language and understanding its many nuances.
• Reading- Reading is perhaps the most important trick in the book to build vocabulary instantly. Reading anything in English helps you learn new words, their usage norms and a smart way to frame sentences. It helps in stringing together phrases coherently. Studies show that our brains are not designed to comprehend single words, so learning phrases instead of words is a better way to master vocabulary.
• Create a journal- Whenever you hear a new word, write it down. You can always go look back and recall the same to help strengthen your vocabulary. It also helps improve writing skills.
• Using a Dictionary- One of the most traditional and useful ways to learn new words is using a dictionary. Smartphone ones are great options too. Opt for English to English dictionary as they help with synonym usage too.
• Flashcards can be a helpful learning option- Flashcards can be a very resourceful way to build vocabulary and learn multiple new words in a short period of time. Flashcard learning has been around for a very long time. They are a strategic way to engage and recall information. Repetition of the process helps drive cognitive thinking and recall is significant. There are new ways to practise flashcard learning like- Memory games, matching games, mobile apps, visual learning aids and so much more. There are specific flashcards available online that are geared towards practicing for IELTS and TOEFL. A good command over the language will be a plus towards creating a good impression in front of your interviewer. Preparation is the key. Following a strategic learning and practice procedure will ensure success and a better command over English at the very least.