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How do I study for a vocab test?

With the school year starting to wind down, many of our students are focused on finishing strong with important “end of the year” assignments and tests. Getting through these exams successfully is crucial to being able to enjoy summer vacation!

In both English and Foreign Language classes, many of our students encounter tests and quizzes that address VOCABULARY. Below are some suggestions to prepare for this kind of assessment.

Tips to Help Study for Vocab Tests

Create a Word Wall. 

See a picture of an example HERE.

Review the list of vocab words the student must know.

Pick a few words each day and make foldable note cards to put on a word wall using a cork board or white board.

On one side of the card include the word and an illustration as a clue. On the other side, list items such as the definition, part of speech, and a sentence to reveal the word’s meaning and how it should be used grammatically.

As a family, spend the days leading up to the test trying to use the words in fun and creative sentences.

Gain Frequent Exposure. 

  • Place vocabulary words strategically throughout the house.
  • One example is posting words on bathroom mirror to review briefly while brushing teeth or on location that match the definition (like “mesa” on the dining table).

Sing it. 

  • Set the word and its definition to a song or rap!

It’s all Greek (or Latin) to me.

  • Consider if roots, prefixes, or suffixes can be cues for a word’s definition. Here’s a helpful guide.
  • As an example, the word abyssis defined as “a deep, immeasurable space or gulf.”
  • In Latin, the word can be broken into two parts: a- and byssós.The prefix “a” often translates as “without” and “byssós” translates as “bottom of the sea.”
  • Putting it all together – abyss essentially means “without a bottom”!

Create mnemonic devices. 

Here are a few examples:

  • “Melange” means a mixture or medley.Think of a melon mixing with an orange and you’ll never forget the definition of this word!
  • “Enervate” means to weaken. If you never ate, you would feel weakened…or enervated.
  • “Winsome” means attractive. Her winsome smile helped her win some dates!

A girl or a boy? 

In many foreign languages, it is important for students to learn the articles associated with each noun.

  • One tactic is to create a picture in your mind to help you remember.
  • For example, la chaise, the word for chair in French, is feminine. In Spanish, la silla, is also feminine!
  • Since these words are feminine, try picturing a woman sitting in a chair.

Now come up with your own! Any visual representation can help you remember the gender associated with the noun.


Vocab Test Tips

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