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6 Easy Ways to Memorize Barron’s GRE Words

If you are planning to take a GRE Exam, believe it or not, you need to have a good vocabulary to pass it.

If you have the good habit of reading novels, magazine and English newspapers, then your vocabulary will be high compared to others.

However, not everyone reads a lot and to improve one’s GRE verbal skills, memorizing GRE verbal words is something you have to do.

Not everyone has equal abilities when remembering words. For instance, Barron’s GRE book has 50 verbal word lists and it’s not an easy task to remember all those words.

Some students have the natural capacity to read word lists a few times and remember all the 3,500 words in 1 to 2 months’ time.

Here are 6 different ways to memorize Barron’s GRE words to help students efficiently tackle the GRE verbal section.

Memorize Barron’s GRE Verbal Word Lists

  1. Brute Force Memorizing (if you are good at it)
  2. Word – Word Associations
  3. Word to Picture Association (Time-Consuming)
  4. Use Flash Cards
  5. Word Deconstruction
  6. The 80/20 Way

Brute Force – Word Memorizing

Just memorize all the words lists one at a time. Have a target of 3 to 7 word lists per week or 1 word list per day. Read 5 word lists, then make sure you can recollect all the words before starting the 6th word list.

You can mix it up by starting with nos. 1 to 5 then 46 to 50 and back to 6 to 10 and so on.

If you plan to follow this approach, you would need at least 4 to 5 months of GRE Exam preparation time.

Word – Word Associations

Pretty much all the words are associated to others words (synonyms). When you read a word, find all the synonyms related to that and try to remember at least 1 synonym.

This does not as easy as it sounds, but if you are struggling to find a way to remember, then this approach could really help.

Within the 3,500 Barron’s GRE words, you will find thousands of related words.

If you find a word in List 1 and if you read a synonym for that word in List 25, go back to List 1 and write the word you found in List 25.

Word to Picture Association

There are a few companies that sell products that facilitate word to picture associations. Do you have to spend lots of money to buy something that will help you remember words?

Honestly, it’s just a waste of money. How long it would take for you to associate a picture to a word? Not that much time!

Seriously, if you cannot find an image to associate with a word, you better reconsider if you really want to take a GRE exam.

This is another way to remember Barron’s GRE Words, but it’s time- and money-consuming. You might even be spending more time trying to remember the picture than the words.

GRE Verbal Flash Cards

Using flash cards is one the best proven ways to help remember vocabulary words. There are many different techniques that you can use along with flash cards to memorize GRE verbal words.

All you need for this is to buy some flash cards and a marker. Just buy a few packs of plain visiting cards and use them as your flash cards.

It’s a simple approach and it stays on with you. Read more about using flash cards to memorize GRE verbal words.

Word De-construction

Use suffixes or root words to find the core meaning of a word, then put that in context to find the right word. To do that, you would have to know as much root words as possible.

The 80/20 Way

Well, this is one of the commonly used methods for studying for the GRE exam. Read as many words as possible, then just stop somewhere.

Go and take the exam. During the GRE test, be ready to accept anything you get in the GRE verbal section. However, don’t feel bad if you didn’t score well in the verbal section.

There are many who have put a lot of effort just to memorize and still ended up scoring less. But that’s just how the GRE exam is designed.

It’s not really that the exam was tough on a specific day, it’s just how much one can score it the test.


  1. rahul kumar on December 17, 2012 at 7:14 AM

    very article i must use it my blog

  2. rahim on November 20, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    hi,am rahim from Ghana.please kindly enlist to me some of the US universities that offers msc/mphl in petroleum chemistry,thank you

  3. Sasha on November 19, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Here is something that I found to be a great help in learning GRE vocab. Its a blog that actually has a story where each sentance contains one of these words. Its a great tool because it not only gives you the definition, but provides some context and in-use examples in a funny story. Check it out:

  4. neeraj on September 2, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    This article is not particularly encouraging. Its crude and the author needs to seriously think about rephrasing some sentences.

  5. sanjeev on August 7, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    First get the words that are common to you and rewrite the meaning and the sentences that are given. And make two sentences in different version in your own. Then go for the relatively tough words so on. Also it will be good if you can go with 10 words per each day,
    it is suitable to me and hope it will play for you. Remind all the words in each day before start new session.

  6. Amar on June 2, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    How can I memorize all those such big words

    • sanjeev on August 7, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      first enlist all the words that are common to you and rewrite the meaning of the word given and also the sentences over there and make additional 2 next sentences of different styles in your own. so you can enjoy the that will play for you.

  7. farzu on December 10, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    fallen love with 80/20 post

  8. a q on August 16, 2011 at 5:17 AM

    I am really surprised that no one has mentioned the Mnemonic Dictionary here.
    It has a lot of easy to remember mnemonics that you can use to learn the word meanings!
    Though it is highly specific for Indian students because most of the mnemonics are in hindi, but its very useful. I would recommend everyone to atleast give it a try.

  9. M. J. Lopez on June 11, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    Wish your hints and exercises reflected the changes in the 2011 GRE.

  10. Hasan Awal on April 8, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Hi this is awal, would you tell me about fees structure in USA and Canada. Please send me list of universities for M.S (in Economics) along with fees and scholarships (with GRE score).

    • Anuj Saxena on May 22, 2012 at 7:33 AM

      Hey check out USnews, you can begin yr research there. I am also planning on doing MS(Economics)…are there any more for this course in yr knowledge?

      • tunde on September 8, 2012 at 6:31 PM

        wrong tread, why dont you post dis on d right place.

  11. Hari Krishna Veturi on February 20, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    I would like to suggest another method… Though its a bit hard, but this is what I did for my SAT. Pick a word and know its meaning. Frame a sentence with it. This way you'll remember the word without any hassle and will flash into your mind on the day of the Exam! 🙂 Happy Exams. 😛

  12. sandeep kumar on January 28, 2011 at 9:38 AM

    i like 2 share my views 2wards this exam we can memorize words by grouping them into different categories like friendly all such words under one context pain under other like that dividing the different types of emotions under different categories for ex friendly people sustains a amicable relnship so are amiable persons by this way u can get a grip of half of the gre words

  13. Prateek Pandey on October 25, 2010 at 8:44 AM

    sir i m b.pharm final yr student ,plz tell me about fees structer in usa ,is it affordable for middle class student.sir plz send me list of uniersities for m.s(pharmaceitics)along with fees.

  14. vinod r harkal on August 6, 2010 at 2:59 AM

    sir i m b.pharm final yr student ,plz tell me about fees structer in usa ,is it affordable for middle class student.sir plz send me list of uniersities for m.s(pharmaceitics)along with fees.

  15. shreyas ghadyalji on July 19, 2010 at 6:59 AM

    i am student of 3rd yr of B Pharm, i want to do my post graduation in USA . Can you tell me what is the best option for it PharmD or MS , and what are the jobs and sallaries available there. also want to know that , is the study in US affordable for middle class students?

  16. ketan on July 1, 2010 at 8:06 AM

    Hello ,

    I have found a nice method to remember GRE words and would like to share the same. As you mention the picture way there is also a mnemonics way where you can relate a sentence of break word to make a sentence. But its not easy to make mnemonics on your own and takes a lot of time also so there is a better way. Please not that am not intending to spam this blog or advertise anything or anyone. Just want to share. I have found this nice software name "Mnemonic Vocabol " on . Really nice one speeds up your vocabulary building.

    • SESHI on December 17, 2010 at 11:14 AM

      hey thank u for this info..

      but it's a demo version. the code u mentioned was not working. if u have any other code please update it.

  17. sravan on April 4, 2010 at 1:44 AM

    this is sravan.And i am happy that this website providing me all the information regarding GRE and TOFEL exams.I request you to provide me information whether any universities in US or in UK provide admission only with TOFEL scores.Also i need information regarding the eligibility required for studying in Germany.

  18. [prabhu] on March 6, 2010 at 9:50 PM

    Hello Sir,Am Prabhu, ECE final year student preparing for my GRE. I am really very happy with this site Happy Schools, it gives the entire details reg GRE and has helped a lot for my preparation.

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  19. Saurabh on February 15, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    I had used the 1 st technique of learning ie . straight learning from word list and also used audio word list in my mobile I find it best for revising word lists just plug into ear those word list you have already read before.

    taken almost 2 months learn whole Barron list finaly end up ok score of 630 in verbal.

    • Ahmad on June 6, 2010 at 4:51 PM


      I would like to ask you about the best source to read for the verbal in GRE.

      Does all the verbal question come from the Barn's word List?


      • Pradeep on March 26, 2011 at 1:34 PM

        I would like to ask you one thing. What kind of audio list are you talking about and from where did you got it? Kindly share this info.

  20. pranshu rana on February 15, 2010 at 3:00 AM

    hello friends , i found out one new method to memorize the barrons wordlist , you can listen the audio wordlist of barrons word list and also put it into your mobile phone, so that you can easily listen in a day when you want , i am giving the link below to download those audio files.

    • Andrie Tanusetiawan on February 15, 2010 at 6:06 AM

      Thanks for the link, Pranshu! I also find that reading a lot of books and novels really helps me with improving my vocabulary.

      Jesus bless you,

      Andrie Tanusetiawan

      • yeanur rahman on November 6, 2010 at 2:04 AM

        Sir I am greatly motivated by your instructions about how a good email should be. It is true we show our business in a clumsy way which ironically reveals our lack of common etiquette.

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