Have a vocabulary strategy
For many SSAT students, the key issue is how to learn and commit to memory a large amount of vocabulary. The brain is able to process a large number of words into short term memory but flushes out much of it for long term memory. A common complaint I get is that so many words are learned but forgotten a day or two later.
It is important to know that the brain requires a number of conditions to move any piece of information from short term to long term memory.
Here are a number of conditions:
1. Notice. If you actively notice the word and want to process it, you are more likely to remember it.
2. Interest. The word must be of interest to the receiver. If there is no sense that the word is either useful or could be used, it will be harder to remember.
3. Decision. If you have made some decision made about the word. Maybe you classified it by which group of words it is, or maybe by the type of word it is.
4. Understand Context If you understand the how & why it is used, you are more likely to remember it.
5. Repetition. Repetition does make a word easier to remember, especially if you see the word again in a different situation.
6. Connection. If you can connect the word to another word either in English or another language or use mnemonic (shortcut trick).
7. Use. If you have used it a ‘real’ way you are more likely to have it in your long-term memory.
Therefore if you do some of these things you have a way higher probability of remembering a word forever
1. Know the meaning of the word
2. Classify it – perhaps by kind of word (adj, v, n, adv), number of syllables, positive or negative word, abstract versus concrete etc…
3. See how it is used in sentences
4. See it in a number of different sentences. Recite it every few minutes
5. Use a shortcut trick to remember it. Think of a similar word in your mother tongue or see if a syllable shares the same sound as another
6. Write it into a sentence. Make sure that the sentence is real to you not just made up
7. Go through it again a few days later