GRE Vocabulary Tips

Vocabulary knowledge is one of the most important parts of the GRE. Much of the exam relies on your knowledge of words, so your understanding of the meaning of words may be the difference between getting a high enough score for entrance into your desired graduate program.

To answer the GRE vocabulary questions, you need to understand what the questions are asking you. Your vocabulary is tested in four sections:

• sentence completion

• word analogies

• antonyms

• reading comprehension

Sense of the GRE vocabulary

The following tips will help you to make sense of the GRE vocabulary section and help you study for success:

1. Break each Task into Manageable Pieces: Break each task into sizes you can manage and it will not be so daunting. If you try to cram hundreds of new words into your head at a time you will have trouble remembering any of them. Try learning up to 30 words a session.

2. Take Study Breaks: Do not spend all day studying without any reasonable breaks. You need to take a couple of breaks of at least two or three hours between each study session.

3. Use your Voice: Say the words out loud. Put them into context in a sentence. Also learn their meanings verbally and you will have a better recall of new words.

4. Use New Words in a Story: It is much easier to remember new words if you put them into the context of a short story. Try using three or four words in a sentence at a time.

Tips to help Study

When you face the prospect of taking the GRE exam, there is much you can do to prepare. Going into a GRE unprepared is a recipe for disaster and delays. Very few people can score well on the GRE without organized study and preparation. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the GRE vocabulary component of the test.

Sentence Completion Tips

Consider these tips while studying sentence completion for the GRE:

• Fill in the sentences before you look at the answers you can choose from.

• Do not rush. Read all the answers before you make a choice.

• Take care if there are negative words in a sentence as they can confuse.

Analogy Tips

Consider these tips when studying the analogy section of the GRE:

• Dismiss any words you know are incorrect.

• Put the two words into a sentence to see if it makes sense.

• If there is an unknown word, try and remember when you have heard it before and in what context.

• Beware of the obvious and anything you think is too easy, they can be traps.

Antonym Tips

Consider the following tips when studying the antonym section of the GRE vocabulary exam:

• Different parts of a word may give you an indication of its meaning.

• Words can have different meanings when used in different contexts. If you cannot find the right antonym, think about other meanings the words have when used in a different context.

• Whenever you read a word, think about its opposite meaning.

Reading Comprehension

Consider the following tips when studying reading comprehension:

• Always focus on the first and last sentences in the paragraph.

• Only form your answers using the information provided.

• Do not spend too much time on one question. If you are not sure, answer the rest of the questions and come back to it.

GRE Vocabulary Practice Questions


1. Which antonym best describes candid?

a. straightforward

b. guarded

c. blunt

d. outspoken

2. Which antonym best describes fervent?

a. obsessive

b. unmoved

c. mediocre

d. indifferent

3. Which antonym best describes neurotic?

a. rational

b. claustrophobic

c. anxious

d. joyful

4. Which antonym best describes specious?

a. erroneous

b. spurious

c. valid

d. good


1. masticate: crush; segment: …

a. measure

b. quantity

c. section

d. percentage

2. princess: maid; queen: …

a. people

b. king

c. prince

d. princess

3. advantage: hardship; …: consent

a. forbid

b. authorize

c. certify

d. card

4. oils: painting; …: writing

a. book

b. penc. pencil

d. magazine

Sentence Completion

1. As long as he lived next to the pub, he could not … drinking every night.

a. surrender

b. abjure

c. accept

d. disown

2. For so long they wanted to move to the country and they are … since the move.

a. unbeaten

b. flourishing

c. lucrative

d. doing well

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