How to Study GRE Vocab

Home » Blog » GRE Prep » How to Study GRE Vocab

How to Study GRE Vocab

Your best choice when it comes to cracking the highly technical GRE vocab test questions is to have enough words in your vocabulary arsenal. Words that you know very well. For you to be all prepped up for the big day, let’s take a look at helpful tips that will help you on how to study GRE Vocab;

[wptb id=25435]

Different factors come into play when studying for the GRE vocab test. Now, depending on you and your everyday proficiency with the English language, you might need to turn on your ‘new-words’ tap on full blast or add a few hundred new words to your vocabulary. If you come from a pretty strong English background and understand that ‘ornery’ for example, isn’t talking about flowers, then learning a few more hundreds of new words might be enough.

Whereas, if you’re a non-native speaker that isn’t very much comfortable with the fundamentals of English grammar, you might need to block out a sizeable portion of your study time to ramp up your vocabulary prowess before even registering for the GRE. This is because the GRE vocabulary test can prove to be a little more than intimidating.

  • Structure Your Study-Schedule to Be Long Term

Pulling an all-night ‘crammer’ might be your go-to for some emergency tests, but for the GRE vocabulary, it is most probably a bad idea. This is because it takes time and repeated use to become accustomed to new words and their meanings, not to consider the fact that you are looking at hundreds and probably thousands of new words whose spellings might not be the easiest. Save yourself the mental torture of ‘hoping’ you’d be able to cram two thousand new words and their meanings just three days to the GRE test. You’ll be better off comfortably learning them at your own pace. This way, you’ll be more comfortable with the new words and their usage. This will also give your brain the needed time to create new neural links and generally improve your ability not only to recognize them on the exam day but also increase your vocabulary depth.

  • Use Flashcards More

Some people think using Flashcards looks a little ‘old-fashioned’, but let’s face it. Flashcards are effective. Flashcards help you to be able to learn new words and their meaning whether you are commuting in the public bus or taking a walk alone in the park. You can order for Flashcards specially made for improving your GRE vocabulary online, or you can make one at home. All you should do is write the new word you are trying to learn on one side on the card with its short definition and usage on the other. Using flashcards allow you to be able to refresh your memory visually, and also, there is something with writing words down that makes it easier for you to remember. If you are an auditory learner, do consider opting instead for GRE vocabulary podcasts like the VictorPrep podcasts.

  • Read Extensively from Materials That Use GRE Vocabulary

Reading vast and wide is a skill that is most useful for building your vocabulary. If you are already an extensive reader, all you need to do is add sources that use GRE vocabulary to your literary storehouse. These sources include The Economist, The New Yorker or books like the Best American Series. The magic of doing this beyond being able to pick up new words is that you’ll get to see how the terms are used contextually, which is precisely how the GRE tests your Vocab. Make a habit of looking up words that you don’t quite understand in the dictionary, and it would be worthy of your time to check out the root of those words. Word roots and second definitions are handy tools that will help you crack your vocab tests more easily.

  • Join a Study Group

Days of long-study hours and times when you’ll feel like giving up on your GRE target score are just one of the reasons you need a study group. Study groups not only help you to be committed and consistent, but they also give you the advantage of trying out the new words you’ve been learning with your study buddies. You have access to more study materials, and you might even learn a few tricks from your group that will help you study better and hit higher scores. If finding a study group is not feasible, you should consider going for a study partner. The idea is to have someone you can work together with; partnerships can be a significant boost when preparing for your GRE vocab test.

  • Integrate Your New Words Into Daily Use

Using the words you are learning as a part of everyday conversation is a great way to build your charisma and become familiar with them. Just endeavour to give people a heads up though, so they won’t think you are trying to sound ‘smart’. It is also wise to use your GRE vocab words around friends and family, which will easily know what you are trying to do instead of professional contexts like in your workplace or worse still. With your boss. Chances are, they might misconstrue your intentions, you might use the words in the wrong sense or both. You can try it on your social media, for example, you could start an X-days challenge of using your new GRE words to make sentences, who knows, there might be people who’ll be willing to join your challenge, and it can make your learning very fun.


Studying for the GRE vocab can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. By implementing these tips, you can make preparing for your GRE vocab result-driven, efficient and even fun. Ultimately your aim is to be able to interact with new words, become conversant with their sugar and be able to demystify them in your GRE vocab test. Hopefully, this article has helped you to answer the question of ‘how to study GRE vocab’.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.