How? By fooling yourself that you have prepared for the CAT’s vocabulary based questions. I just checked. There are 1,025,109 words in the English language – with a new word being created every 98 minutes. That’s a helluva word. And there is no way on earth that you will be able to take all of that vocabulary in. No, you can’t really be entirely prepared for what CAT has to throw at you during the online test. What you CAN do is increase the probability of you being able to answer those questions.
But why bother in the first place?
You wouldn’t be asking this question had you had answered a mock CAT or the CAT in the past. Vocabulary based CAT questions are usually black or white – meaning you either know the answer to the question, or you don’t. There isn’t any I might come to know the answer if I “try” answering this question. There also rarely is an I’ll wait for a minute and the answer might hit me. You either know it or you don’t. This is why there’s the inherent huge advantage that you might hit the answer within a maximum of 20 seconds. Imagine that! That’s the closest that you’ll come to your school days in this exam – studying hard and writing from memory. Except for the small complication that internalizing more than a million words and their contexts is a feat better left to the Gods (and computers maybe).
So what can you do to increase your probability of answering these questions correctly?
#1 Read, Read and then read some more
Read whatever you can get your hands on. Is it something that you enjoy reading? Amazing! Read more of it. You’ll find words, idioms, and phrases that you are not comfortable with. Write it down in some notebook. Buy one if you don’t have one. Write it’s meaning on the other side of the page. Use the word in your conversations. Make sure your pronouncing it right. Have fun at it. Read some more. Repeat. Give those Mock CATs. Find more words. Repeat the notebook exercise. Read from your notebook and check how many you remember. Read some more.
Memorize not the way you did in school. Don’t memorize those long word lists. You’d rather print it on a piece of paper and burn it. Memorize it by using those words every now and then in speech and writing. Write to retain new words. Retain new words by writing. Associate every new word you come across with something that you already know. You’ll remember your words better. Make the association comical, silly or even “vulgar”. Anything that can help you remember that word.
#3 Love the process of learning new words
Be passionate about the words you learn and flaunt in your active vocabulary. These words come free, make you sound knowledgeable, and they can help improve your speech and writing. Make it a habit looking out for new words and learn what they mean. Keep adding to your vocabulary and simply love the fact that you are moving towards 1 million words.