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Antonyms, Not So Fast

So a few days ago I finished the analogies section in Barron’s. All’s well that ends well–I want to check out my Princeton Review book for more exercises because, frankly, it’s really nice to take practice portions of the GRE and do well.

Antonyms, however, are quite different.

Scores from Barron’s (out of 4 exercises, A-D)

A: 16/20

B: 16/20

C: 16/20

D: 16/20

Do you see how frustrating this is? Every single time I take a practice quiz, I get exactly the same number of answers wrong. Every time. How is that possible? How? Why? (Agony.)

But before I start hyperventilating again–I mean, come on. There are definitely explanations for my constantly boring performance. Firstly, I’m probably not focusing enough. Doing an antonym exercise while sitting in a dining room full of boisterous morning people probably won’t enhance my performance (however, eating two breakfasts while reading about sentence completions is pretty great). Secondly, I’m not making an effort to learn words that I get wrong. And thirdly, I’m just not memorizing enough words.

There, I said it. I must confess. I’m only on Word List 4.

Antonyms are tough because unlike sentence completions or analogies, if you don’t know the word’s definition, you are 50% screwed.*  It thus makes sense that I’m getting 16/20 on every exercise–I only know about 80 percent of the test’s vocabulary!

So the plan this weekend (besides writing a Shakespeare essay. Oh, thank goodness summer school ends next week. I can’t take anymore Twelfth Night movies) is to get to at least Word List 10. If I do that, I’ll get myself back in track to learn 2 or 3 word lists a week.

* That’s an arbitrary number, by the way.

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