Reading Vocabulary
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Even if you are a native English speaker, one of the best things
you can do for yourself as you prepare for a standardized test is
to try to increase your vocabulary. English is a rich language; it is
filled with synonyms (words that mean the same thing) and
near-synonyms. The more words you are familiar with, the more
comfortable you will be as you take PRAXIS I.
There are many ways to increase one's vocabulary. Reading a
variety of materials is one. Try picking up one of the more highly
regarded newspapers once a week; the New York Times and
Wall Street Journal are good east-coast picks. Choose a
magazine that doesn't fit your usual taste if you find yourself
waiting for an appointment. Read parts of college-level
textbooks.
Try to keep a list of words you come across that are unfamiliar.
Once a week or so sit down with a dictionary and look them
up. You may not remember the exact definitions if you see some
of these words in a test, but then again, they may seem less
foreign to you.
Your school or local library should have books on vocabulary, if
you prefer this mode of study. If online learning is more
interesting to you, visit
www.number2.com to sign up for their
free vocabulary building program. The software for this program
identifies you level of your vocabulary and gradually introduces
new words. Registration is easy; simply enter you first name, last
name and e-mail address in the correct boxes.
Becoming more familiar with English roots and affixes (letter
placed before or after a word that alter its meaning) is another
way to improve your chances of at least partially understanding
a word you've never seen before. You can use the links in the
upper left-hand corner of this page to explore.
Finally, even though there is no way to know what words you
may encounter in the passages of a standardized reading
examination, there are certain words that will most likely show
up in the questions and answer choices. Use the 'Words to
Know' button in the upper left-hand corner to find definitions for
these words as they are usually used in this kind of test.
Try keeping a list of
unfamiliar words
and looking the up
when you find time.
Try to read a variety
of material.
Take a look at 'Words to
Know' through the link
on the navigation bar.
Try number2.com's
Vocabulary Builder.
This online program
adjusts to your level.