The GRE, or Graduate Record Exam, is a pre-requisite for graduate school applicants. GRE scores measure your abilities as a student and reflect your educational background. Although it is not necessarily a valid gauge to determine your academic success in graduate school, the GRE is still an important assessment tool to evaluate your analytical and quantitative skills, verbal communication skills and vocabulary.
Improving your vocabulary is one of the easiest ways to improve your GRE score. The GRE tests vocabulary on several components of the verbal section:
- Your sentence completion scores will be improved if you know the vocabulary words being tested.
- Your antonyms and analogies are much easier to complete if you know the words used in the questions and answer choices.
While it is not possible to learn every word in the English language (although that might be a fun challenge for the very ambitious!) certain words tend to appear over and over on the GRE.
If you study some of these GRE vocabulary word lists and learn these oft-used words, you'll have a leg up on the competition when it comes time to take the test.
GRE Vocabulary Review Sites
- Test Prep Review - This site offers a list of high frequency vocabulary words found on exams such as the GRE. The website also offers you advice on creating a study schedule that will help you memorize the words and their definitions, and hopefully excel on your exam. Examples of words found on this site include:
- aberrant - Markedly different from an accepted norm.
- aberration - Deviation from a right, customary, or prescribed course.
- abet - To aid, promote, or encourage the commission of (an offense).
- GRE Guide - This site not only offers lists of vocabulary words to study but it offers general tips on taking the GRE exam. It provides a comprehensive and complete guide for strategic preparation for each exam section. They also offer free practice tests with sections on reading comprehension, analogies, antonyms, problem solving and comparison.
- MSU - Another site that also offers a list of vocabulary words, parts of speech and definitions.
- SoundKeepers - This site offers a fun way of learning your vocabulary. They have a special feature that allows you to create personalized flashcards. Simply select the vocabulary words you want to learn from the lists and create your virtual flashcards (they have a simple step-by-step guide for this). You may also link your flashcards to create a flipcard page as your browser’s homepage. Now every time you open your browser, you learn a new word!
- The Princeton Review - This site offers a free online demo. You will receive a sample lesson from their interactive online courses plus a full-length computer-adaptive GRE practice exam.
- Graduates Hotline - This site offers a free online GRE vocabulary practice test, simulating the actual GRE exam. The test is constantly updated by regularly uploading additional words. The test consists of random questions taken from their database of 1300+ words. You have to choose the right synonym of the word. Each time you begin taking the test, GRE Crawler will automatically input new questions taken randomly from their pool of questions.
- TestPrepPractice - The site offers downloadable practice books containing one full-length paper-based GRE test, test strategies, verbal and quantitative topics and questions, sample analytical writing, and sample essays. A GRE verbal guide may also be downloaded for tips, samples, and tutorials for analogies, antonyms, sentence completions, reading comprehension, comparison, problem solving, and data analysis.
- ETS - This site offers free, official test preparation materials for the computer and paper-based GRE tests for those who sign up and register on their website. For a modest fee, additional test preparation materials are available.
- FreeVocabulary - This site offers 5000 alphabetically arranged collegiate words with brief definitions. Words were originally created for SAT vocabulary study; but, they also provide an excellent base for GRE vocabulary study. Examples of words include:
- wreak - verb. To inflict, as a revenge or punishment.
- wrest - verb. To pull or force away by or as by violent twisting or wringing.
- wretched - adjective. Deeply distressed or unhappy.
- writhe - verb. To twist the body, face, or limbs or as in pain or distress.