Vocabulary is one of the important aspects tested in CLAT.

It can be developed by reading regularly and inculcating a habit of marking out unknown words and checking for their meaning in dictionary. It’s hard work, but that’s how the champions go about their work!

For those of you who might be too lazy to pick up a dictionary every time you come across a new word, keeping a diary and pen nearby might prove helpful.

Note down the words and come back to the list later. Make sure you update the list regularly and review older words.

In case you can’t find your dictionary just download an app [1] on your mobile phone or tab. The Oxford Dictionary and Merriam Webster Dictionary are two free apps which can help you in this task.

Scrabble [2] is another game you must play if you want to learn while having fun.

Try solving crosswords [3] if you are interested and attempt the cryptic crosswords if you are in the mood for some code breaking.

You don’t have to start reading big, fat non-fiction books just because you want to learn new words (although non-fiction might help you with your reading comprehension section).

Pick up a good book from whichever genre you like and start reading. If it is good enough you should come across a ton of new words.

Even if you find no new words in one book do not feel disheartened. Pick up another book and try again. Remember the purpose is for you to learn while having fun. So while you are reading also try to work on your reading speed!

Now suppose you do read a few books and make a big list of words with their meanings, what should you do next?

Tell a friend, sibling or relative to take your list of words [4] and read out any word he/she feels. Your work is to tell him/her its meaning. Remember to time yourself.  The faster the answer comes to you, the better you are getting at this.

If you want to make it a little bit more interesting find someone with some time in hand and willing to help you. Tell the person to help you prepare flashcards [5].

Write the word and its meaning on a piece of card and draw something relevant to its meaning on the card. Then ask the person to flash each card before you for 5 seconds each and read out the word loudly.

Remember the image or design on the card must be prominent enough to catch your attention. This is meant to utilize your visual senses to help you retain the meaning of a word.

Each time you come across a new word and find out its meaning you should try and use it in a sentence as soon as possible. This will increase the chances of you remembering the word.

A good practice is to write a paragraph each day using all the new words you come across. You will find that this will help you greatly when you are presented with a question regarding the meaning of a particular word.

The fact that you are placing a sentence within a passage will force you to ascertain that it fits in well in relation to the rest of the passage.

This in turn will ensure that you remember its meaning because you have made yourself learn about its usage within a particular context. In fact if you do this seriously you can also develop necessary skills in logical reasoning!

Another very good practice is to look at the roots or origin of a new word [6].

Let us consider the word ‘geology’. The word is a combination of the words ‘ge’and ‘ology’.

‘Ge’is Greek for Earth while ‘ology’ means a branch of knowledge. Now combining the two we can reasonably understand that geology broadly stands for study of the Earth.

The fact that you now know the meaning of ge and ology can help you find out the meaning of many more words. For instance take the word ecology. You know that eco is used in relation to the environment.

Now using your newly acquired knowledge of the meaning of ology you can arrive at the answer that ecology is the some form of study of the environment.

Although this is not a full proof technique it can help you form an idea about the basic group to which the word belongs and differentiate it from the other incorrect options provided to you.

You should understand that it is not possible for you to learn up the entire dictionary but do not give up. A diligent effort on your part can lead to an incredible expansion of your vocabulary!

Make sure you try out these techniques and come up with a strategy that best suits you with regard to answering Vocabulary questions.

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