How to Crack Vocabulary Questions in MBA Entrance Exams?

Vocabulary is an integral part of most MBA entrance exams. Also, this is an area feared by a large number of aspirants due to the reason that a large number of words, their meaning and usages have to be memorized. Therefore, it is better or rather easier to use some tricks to help you remember the words. While, it is important to keep learning new words to improve your vocabulary, but what is even more important is the correct usage of the words you learn. In many competitive exams these days, a lot of questions are asked based on application of vocabulary, e.g. synonyms, antonyms, fill in the blanks etc.


Following is an analysis of vocabulary questions in various MBA Entrance Exams:

MBA Entrance Exam Number of Questions
IIFT 4 questions 
NMAT 5-6 questions 
XAT 6-8 questions
SNAP 5-6 questions 
MAT 10-12 questions
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Thus, we can clearly understand the importance of having a good vocabulary. Improving your vocabulary requires a two-fold approach. Firstly, you need to become familiar with more and more new words. One very important tool for this is reading. Reading from different sources gives you exposure to new and varied words. You should read novels, magazines and newspapers. It is also advisable that while reading, keep a dictionary handy, to understand the meaning and usage of unfamiliar words that you may come across.

The second step is the retention of the words that you have learnt. Few methods which can be used to ensure this are:

1. Association Method

In the association method, logically associate the words to things such as pictures, events, people or other words. For example:

Let us look at the word FINESSE. It can be associated with MARCH PAST as it is a type of walk which requires a lot of skill and practice. Hence, finesse means anything that is done with skill and delicacy.

Using this method, you can easily increase your vocabulary by 500-700 words in a short duration of time.

2. Root method

Using the root method is one of the easiest ways to learn new words. Once you know the meaning of the root, you can easily guess the meaning of the entire word.

For example: look at the root word 'geo'. Geo means 'earth'.

For example-

  • Geology means study of earth
  • Geologist is the person who studies earth
  • Geography means the features of earth
3.Prefix/ Suffix method
Some words have prefixes/suffixes which help us know the meaning of the word. For example, 'BIO' means life.
Hence, Biology means "study of life'. Biography means "features of life'.
Similarly, the suffix 'al' means 'related to'. Hence 'mathematical' means 'related to mathematics'
By using this method we can easily learn 200-300 words.
4.Word Trees

This method can be easily used, and is very useful to learn synonyms and antonyms of words.

For example, consider the word 'speak'. So, whenever you come across any word related to 'speak', note down the words on the same page. This method will ensure that you will always revise all the words related to 'speak' every time. For example, some of the words related to 'speaking' will be: banal, garrulous, cogent, loquacious, reticent, taciturn etc.

To get more tests, snippets, tips and previous year questions, visit Vocabulary Junction.
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  • Tips to crack vocab questions for MBA Entrance Exams
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