How to Study Vocabulary

When you’re facing a lot of new vocabulary terms, and you know you only have a little time to learn them, you need some concrete methods. Below are several techniques to help you learn them.

  1. Written Repetition
    The more you repeat a word, the more like you are to remember it. Write the word several times; write the definition several times. But be careful: don’t simply write the word mindlessly. You have to think about what you’re doing as you do it.
  2. Oral Repetition
    Say the word and its definition several times. Mutter it to yourself as you’re walking down the hall. You’ll look foolish, but only until you get that 100 on your vocab quiz.
  3. Stems and Affixes
    Use your knowledge of stems and affixes (prefixes and suffixes). Look for these things; don’t just assume they’ll jump out and rap you on your head.
  4. Repetition
    I thought I’d use repetition to make my point.
  5. Flash Cards
    Create flash cards (word on one side; definition on the second side). Carry a few flash cards with you always. Throughout the day, review the cards. It only takes a few moments a few times a day.
  6. Art
    Draw pictures beside the words. Use images you associate with the word.
  7. Dramatization
    There’s a lot of drama in life, but why not add a little more? Act out some words. Say the word as you’re acting it out. (Close the door if you have an older sibling who already thinks you’re a little crazy.)
  8. Repetition
    Or have I already mentioned that?
  9. Music
    Create a song that uses the words and their definitions. Write a rap that helps you remember the word’s spelling, definition, or both.
  10. Study with a partner
    Take time to study with a partner. Quiz each other.
  11. Create mnemonic devices
    Mnemonic devices are sentences, words, images, songs, or anything else that helps you remember something. “ROYGBIV” is a mnemonic device for the colors of the rainbow. “All Good Boys Do Fine” is a mnemonic device for remembering the treble clef notes in music.
  12. Repetition
    The most important technique to help you remember something is to repeat it. The most important technique to help you remember something is to repeat it. The most important technique to help you remember something is to repeat it. The most important technique to help you remember something is to repeat it. The most important technique to help you remember something is to repeat it. The most important technique to help you remember something is to repeat it. (Get the point?)

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