Effectively Build Up Your Vocabulary
As an aspirant of competitive exams that will propel your career to great heights, you would already be poring over past years’ papers and study materials. With OPUS on your side, as always, you have the right guidance with all the sections including vocabulary and the correct roadmap ahead.
Whether you are taking law entrance examinations like CLAT, AILET, LSAT, SAT or aspiring for premier design institutes like NID, NIFT or want to score high in GRE and GMAT, you are at the right place with OPUS. Each of these entrance exams has, however, a key element and that is testing of you English language skills.
We know that language skills are not built overnight but come with years of interest and practice. That said everyone is not inclined to learn languages equally. OPUS works with you to support your efforts to pick up English skills as you aspire to clear the entrance to these professional courses.
In the following paragraphs let us focus on building the right English language vocabulary skills.
Vocabulary areas largely include questions like filling in the appropriate word or close test, spelling checks, synonyms, antonyms, foreign language words and analogies. There are a few time-tested ways of building English language vocabulary skills, which any one can follow easily.
Reading: The stepping stone to building English language skills ahead of the competitive examinations is reading. If you are not someone who is naturally inclined to reading, start with reading newspapers every day. You need not read each and every page. But do not miss the main page as not only will you pick up vocabulary, you will also know the major news items which will help in the other sections of the competitive exams like CLAT, AILET, LSAT, SAT, GMAT, GRE and entrances for NID and NIFT.Do go through the foreign or international page as you will get an opportunity to read articles sourced from newspaper legends like The Times, London, The New York Times, The Guardian and the like. Also, read the newspaper’s editorial page for sure. The editorial pages provide opinion pieces and are usually written in impeccable English, thus helping you with sharpening your vocabulary. Reading these pieces will help you get a broader perspective while improving your language skills.
Devote a focussed 30 to 45 minutes every day to reading. Include books, journals, and periodicals as well to your daily reading list. With Internet, you need not even buy magazines but can subscribe to them online. More importantly, when you come across new words and phrases, keep a dictionary and a writing pad handy. The dictionary will help you learn the meaning as well as antonyms. In the writing pad, note down the sentence in which the new word/phrase appeared. This will help you learn and remember the context in which a word is used. Improving your vocabulary, learning new words, building up on your English language skills is not a chore. Take interest and you will find your flair, thus helping you approach the exams with ease. You may also use flashcards where you note down the words and their meanings and keep them in a visible place. More importantly, read what you like. That will ensure your vocabulary naturally stays with you because whatever you learn with interest will be yours for keeping.
Samples of vocabulary tests
In the following questions choose the word which best expresses the meaning of the given word.
(C) Living Room
(D) Dining Room
In the following questions choose the word which is the exact opposite of the given words.
While it is important to improve reading skills to pick up vocabulary, work on understanding the passages and context of the sentences. Pay a keen attention to grammar. While Wren and Martin grammar books are considered to be Bible by many, you can also combine it with solving previous years’ question papers.
For the competitive exams, especially for CLAT, the English section is usually divided into
- Reading comprehensions
- Cloze test
- Sentence rearrangement/para jumbles
- Fill in the blanks (1 blank or 2 blanks per sentence)
- Error spotting
- Phrase replacement
- Passage summary
- Spellings test
- Foreign language words
- English vocabulary for questions on synonyms, antonyms, idioms, etc.
Foreign language words
Many terms in the legal parlance as well in common English usage are words and phrases that have been adopted from other European languages. But now they are part and parcel of the English dictionary although many of them retain their original spelling and pronunciation.
Alibi – At another place, elsewhere.
Amicus curiae – A friend of the Court.
Prima facie – on a first view.
Pro bono -done without charge in the public interest.
Pro rata -according to the rate.
Quid pro quo -Consideration; something for something
Sine qua non – an indispensable condition
Status quo -the existing state of affairs
There are several books available in the market on making word power easy. But unless you can develop a flair and interest, you will not retain them in your mind. OPUS classes and courses help you approach the vocabulary section with ease. Try also watching more movies and English programmes. These days most English language channels in India subtitle all their programmes so that people are not confused by the various diction and accents. Following these tele-series is also a great way to improve your vocabulary.
Online you will find a whole lot of audiobooks. Find time to listen in and improve your overall comprehension of English. And added to that you always have the tried-and-tested ways of OPUS helping you score highly in the English vocabulary sections of all the competitive exams like CLAT, AILET, LSAT, SAT or entrances to premier design institutes like NID, NIFT as well as GRE and GMAT.