Building English Vocabulary For Competitive Exams


There is always a section for English in every competitive examination in India, whether State-wise PSC exams , UPSC RRB or Banking exams.  And if you want to crack into a good Job position, vocabulary skill is a must. The English language tests are conducted to analyze the vocabulary skills of the candidates. With proper practice, English vocabulary skills can be easily developed and can be used to get good grades in examinations.

Vocabulary skill is the amount of words known or understood by a user from a particular language. How many English words do you know? The active vocabulary of an average adult English speaker is around 20,000 words as per lexicographer and dictionary expert Susie Dent. Since most of us are not active English speakers, what do you guess our average English vocabulary would be? Anyway, it can’t be around 20,000 for sure and we would have a five times greater number of unheard words than heard. So we need to build our English vocabulary so that when a question comes in a competitive exam we shouldn’t be unsure about its usage. Learn English Section for SBI PO by downloading Entri.

Why English Vocabulary Troubles Job Aspirants

It is easy to understand a word’s meaning while reading a book or newspaper because we know the structure and context it is used in and we also assume the meaning of the word by the content.  But, it’s entirely different when it comes to exams because we are not given any context, structure or even related content. When asked for synonyms, antonyms, it becomes difficult for even the fluent ones. Questions are from hard English words, and the chances of you making mistakes are high. Most likely their I’ll be 5-6 questions from this part alone and this can become a great barrier in achieving high sectional marks and overall marks when a mistake will cause you negative marking in many examinations.

Ways To Improve Your Vocabulary

There is no other way to improve your English vocabulary than to practice, train yourself to remember difficult words. Go through previous year question papers, and check the synonym and antonym questions, and find out other words related to it.

  • Read English Classic Novels: classic novels will not only boost your imaginative power, but it also can help you get familiar with new words.
  • Read newspapers daily: Reading newspapers daily not only gives a boost in general knowledge but also helps in bringing new words, idioms, phrases and usage to your vocabulary. Try to read editorials and articles from renowned personalities.
  • Watching English films: Our Idea of watching English films is to entertain ourselves or fight boredom. But what if we can use it to improve our vocabulary and speaking skills, put on subtitles and watch the film, actively listen to how native speakers pronounce words and find the meaning of new words you heard.
  • Keep Dictionary Handy: Always keep a small pocket dictionary in your hand so that when you find a new word you are not familiar with, you can immediately check its meaning without putting it later to find out.
  • Note down five words daily: Buy a notebook, note down five new words from the dictionary, and make sentences with that word. so that word becomes a part of your vocabulary. Revise every week. Also, try to find words beginning with root usage.
  • Use online platforms and websites that provide coaching on words and meaning, with quizzes and games.

Final Thoughts

How you understand reality is through words, the more words you know the more your understanding of reality will be, so take improving your vocabulary seriously. It’s a never-ending learning process so treat it such that every day you will learn a few new words that will improve your understanding.