Tips for Learning New Vocabulary Words

How to Prepare for a Vocabulary Test


Learning new vocabulary words can be a tedious assignment for many students and it is not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the number and difficulty of words.  However, having a specific process in place for learning and preparing for an upcoming vocabulary test can relieve anxiety, promote confidence, and best of all, help students ace every test.  Luckily, if a student follows these simple tips, he or she can earn top scores on any vocabulary test.

Start Early
For the best results, students should begin preparing for the test the day the words are assigned. The more time students give themselves, the more often they will be able to get the words in front of them.  Additionally, beginning to study as soon as the words are given reduces the amount of anxiety that develops as the test approaches.  As a result, start early and spend less time studying each day.

Write Words Multiple Times
It may sound monotonous, but writing the words and their definitions several times in a row is a great way to commit them to memory. This technique works best when the student writes both the word and its definition five times each. Remember, trying to come up with shortcuts for this writing exercise will only have a negative result.  As a result, memorization is enhanced by thinking about the words and definitions as you actually write them.

Create Flashcards
Flashcards are an excellent and easy way to memorize anything. Simply write the vocabulary word on the front of a card and the definition on the back. To start, look at the definitions and try to think of the correct word. Repeat both the words and definitions aloud to engage visual and audio learning techniques. As the cards become easy, try flipping them around to display the words while you say the definitions from memory and make multiple flashcards of difficult words in order to see them more often.

Study Daily
Look at the flashcards you created every day. Doing so ensures that the material you learned stays fresh and you will not forget it before examination day. Sometimes, students think they have something memorized when in fact they do not. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to reproduce the information on a test. With this in mind, review the word list daily, as it may only take twenty minutes of studying each day to ace the test.

Don't Cram
Sometimes students will wait until the last minute to study for exams, trying desperately to cram all the information into their brains in one evening. This often leads to confusion and poor test results.  Even students who have prepared early and worked on the information daily may be tempted to cram the night before the test.  However, it is far better to spend a normal amount of time studying the material and then let it go. Get a good night's sleep and relax your mind to be free from anxiety and able to recall the material.

When studying new vocabulary words, students who follow these methods have found they never forget the words.  As a result, they are truly learning and not just memorizing for a short time. Because of these techniques, students are receiving better grades on tests and developing richer vocabularies.