English is an important language especially if one is a prospective student wishing to pursue education abroad. One of the requirements of studying abroad is an excellent score in the standardized test specific for the country and course of study. These tests form an important part of the International admissions and acing them is not very hard with enough time and preparation. The universities in these countries require high test scores because a certain knowledge of English is required to study and excel, no matter what the field of study!
- International admissions in most countries require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for engineering, technology and science related courses and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) for Business and management related courses.
- English Language proficiency tests include high scores in the TOEFL for admissions in USA and Canada whereas the IELTS is required for the European countries.
- All of these tests analyses a student’s verbal skills and his command over the English language. But the GRE and GMAT also have quantitative sections which tests students on their problem solving skills and analytical thinking. The verbal sections in these tests are usually harder to ace and require more preparation (when compared to the TOEFL and IELTS).
GRE,GMAT & TOEFL, IELTS
The verbal sections of the GRE and GMAT are much more harder than those from the IELTS and TOEFL. This is because the TOEFL and IELTS test only for basic understanding of the language. On the other hand the GRE and GMAT test for advanced understanding of English (this includes vocabulary, analytical thinking, and other skills required in a graduate environment to succeed).
ACING THE VERBAL SECTIONS IN STANDARDIZED TESTS:
The verbal sections in all these exams test the student’s vocabulary skills and the ability to comprehend and understand English as a language. A student can easily score in these verbal sections by following the techniques outlined below.
- The easiest way to improve a language is through reading and newspapers are a good place to start. They not only acquaint you with the current news but also with a good choice of vocabulary helping him to begin his journey through a language. Many complex words can be learned through the editorial sections in the newspapers. The best way to remember them is to write them down, find out their meanings and associating them with examples or scenarios that one is never likely to forget. But not just any newspaper, read good papers such as the Economic Times, and The Hindu, these papers use high quality English in their articles. Additionally papers have articles on a number of topics, by reading them you will improve your ability to solve comprehension related questions (even if the topic of the passage is not known to you).
- Books form an important part of the reading process. Many novels and classics written by excellent authors like Ruskin Bond and Jeffery Archer open up a whole new world of words that are of a high level (Best part is that captivating stories and an author’s wordplay helps committing words to memory).
- Mnemonics is another key to improving memory power to help retain words in your mind. Associating catchy phrases and acronyms with specific words and usage of flash cards are all different mnemonic techniques that help improve vocabulary at any place and time according to one’s convenience.
- Word lists that include uncommon and hi-fi words are available in various preparatory materials. One must make use of them adding to those lists his own set of words that he discovers through everyday reading. Going over them again and again till they become a familiar territory is the key to gaining an excellent vocabulary.
- Familiarity is the trick to acing a language. Use these words everyday be it in conversations to word games to crosswords to writing diaries. Make the words which you learn a part of your day to day activities.
Language skills never go unused and developing them forms an important part of every education. The Verbal sections in all these tests are easy to ace provided one has prior knowledge about the type of questions and excellent vocabulary skills through good preparation.