How to Improve Your Vocabulary for SSC Exams

Learning is ceaseless and there are a lot of good strategies for building your vocabulary. Create habits which help you learn and use the most accurate words in your language; it will make your communication, writing, and thinking a lot easier. Vocabulary plays a vital role in learning and understanding any language. Words are the building blocks of a language. Knowledge of words is undoubtedly a prerequisite for expression of ideas. It is therefore critical to learn not only the meanings of words but also how to use them in sentences, especially if you want to do well on the SSC Exams.


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    Improve your visual vocabulary/phocabulary. It is often said that a picture conveys more than a thousand words. It presents an image which our brain can more easily relate with. Using a picture or mental imagery can help a student connect with a certain word and memorize it.
    • For example, one can relate the word "veracity", which means truthfulness, with the image of Mahatma Gandhi.
    • Similarly, the word "intrepid", which means fearless, can be associated with Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
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    Understand word roots. Word roots are the simplest forms which can't be broken down any further. Understanding word roots definitely helps a student to develop a strong link with the word to be memorized. It also helps one to simultaneously link the same word root to other related words, thereby creating a web of words.
    • One such web of interlinked words can be woven using the word root "bio", which means "living" or "alive". Abiotic (non living), biology (study of living beings), biodiversity (presence variety in various living forms) etc. are a part of this web.
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    Learn the origins of words. Language has a definite sociocultural and historical context. Quite often it is from this context that words originate. Viewing words in the context which they originate from is indeed an interesting and potent method.
    • The word "laconic", which means brief and to the point, has its origin in a place earlier known as Laconia.
    • The word "salary" derives its origin from “salarium", the quota of salt which was given to Roman soldiers as monthly wages.
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    Play word games. Scrabble, crossword puzzles, hangman, jumbled words etc. are some all time popular word games. These games make the task of vocabulary improvement, which at times seems a little tedious to some, joyful and entertaining. You need not shy away from such games, as often work made fun gets done.
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    Take online word quizzes. Playing word quizzes, which are available on many websites, can help a student zero in on the right word from the given options. The experience of attempting these quizzes is quite similar to what one finally experiences in the exam. The great benefit with such quizzes is that a lot of words can be learned in limited time.
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    Build your contextual vocabulary. Reading is an activity which can do wonders to a student's vocabulary. While reading newspaper editorials, weekly magazines, fictional and non fictional works etc., a student is bound to come across new words. These words must be looked up in the dictionary and a database of such words should be prepared. For better comprehension and recall, one can also include, in this database, the sentences (context) where such words appear. This method is certainly the most appropriate one for developing usage skills.
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    Use word lists. Quite often students rely on memorizing standard word lists containing high frequency words as a time saving and highly productive method of vocabulary improvement. The words starting with "SPICE" letters (S, P, I, C & E) are considered to be the most important ones from the exam perspective. Memorizing them does make a lot of sense. However, it is noteworthy that this method has but limited efficacy in terms of improving one's overall verbal ability skills, such as word usage.


  • To sum it up, no matter which SSC coaching institute a student may be studying at the methods of vocabulary improvement discussed here are indeed relevant and highly beneficial.


  • If you use big, uncommon words with your friends, they might not understand you, and definitely will think you’re putting on airs.Cater your vocabulary to the circumstances and pick words that will allow you both to express yourself and make yourself understood, while being engaging and setting your listener at ease. Never assume a shared vocabulary and know your audience!

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Categories: Tests and Exams