Any Aptitude Test is a rigorous evaluation of the mental faculties, like skills of comprehension and analysis, powers of logic, deduction and capacity to arrive at a correct decision under severe time constraints. A harmonious blend of speed, accuracy and precision are required to meet this formidable challenge. An Aptitude Test is not a test of academic ability but a test of intelligence. You may easily narrow your choice to two; but choosing the correct one from the two will require practice.
Vocabulary questions also primarily focus on aptitude and comprehension. Hence, you should focus on the basic concepts of English because that will stand you on firm ground and make you capable of attempting more complex of elements of the language. So learn some simple words that you need in your daily life and learn their different meanings. Also, note how they change their meaning when they belong to different Parts of Speech. Start using these words according to core grammar rules (such as Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Action Verbs and Adjectives).
The knowledge of words and their connotation is tested in the form of synonyms, antonyms, one-word substitutions, analogies etc. At a higher difficulty level, knowledge of contextual vocabulary is tested through questions like sentence completion, cloze test etc. To choose the correct one from the two seemingly correct options will require a real feel for words. The choice of the correct options may depend only on the meaning of the words but also on the appropriate part of speech. Remember a synonym or an antonym of a word should be the same part of speech as the given word.
Vocabulary building techniques:
It is a proven fact that no two words mean exactly the same thing—that means synonyms of a word mean only approximately the same thing. It is interesting to discover that a commonly used word has so many words that can be used as an alternative for it. Most of these words have different connotations when used in a sentence.
How do we build an appropriate vocabulary?
Vocab Building is not a short-term work; you need to give a concerted effort to boost your vocabulary. You can employ some of these tried and tested steps.
- Read a lot: Read a book, a magazine or a newspaper Even if you may or may not know the meaning of a particular word in it, it hardly matters. To read, to enjoy, to converse, to understand – for almost everything that deals with language, you require a good vocabulary. It will help all of us to be reasonably good (if not very good) with vocabulary.
- Repeat the words that you need to learn or want to use. You may find the use of flash cards helpful. It is the quickest way to get to see the repetition of a word you want to learn. It will show you the unknown as well as known words until you get acquainted with the words.
- Refer to a Thesaurus: This gives an opportunity to learn synonyms of words based on a concept.
- Use words directly related to the concept in question (cognates words). Cognates are genetically related in origin- they are etymologically related
- Through TV programs, surround yourself with those who speak English as their mother tongue. English soap operas make for compelling viewing, where different colors of life unfold. These are rich sources for drastically differing dictions
- Know English culture and practices. Knowing the culture and practice truly provides meat to bare bones. You should know the language at the back of the hand. English literature, theater, literature, films and soap will take you to the living source of the vocabulary
- A host of English words owes their origin to Greek, Latin or French language. So knowing those root words help predict the meaning of these words. Learn to use root words
- Use themes. Collect words related to a particular theme. For example, if we need words related to Government or Governance we get words such as bureaucracy; communism; fascism; politics; society, absolutism (the theory and exercise of complete and unrestricted power in government), absolutist, absolutistic, anarchism, autocracy, autarchy, despotism, dictatorship, monarchy, oligarchy, etc.
- Many English words are grouped into specially named groups based either on shared characteristics or on evolutionary relationships established by genetic analysis. For example, names of the study of various subjects or words for various male and female animals – you should know about them. Learn the scientific classification of words
- Pick up some books on vocabulary building. Some newspapers carry word games and cross-word puzzles. Play word games with your friends and siblings
- And learn words playfully. Start assigning different words to different characters or traits of the persons you know
- Add to your vocabulary every day
- Aim to learn and master at least one new word every day; why not work your way through the newest additions to the Oxford English Dictionary for vocab that’s culturally on-point
Use key letter or key-sounds to practice for your vocabulary. Think of a word, based on the first or the last syllable of the word. Insert the new words, and learn to use in sentences on regular basis. Practicing sentence completion questions more often will greatly help. Remember without a good collection of vocabulary, your performance in the Reading Comprehension will also suffer.