Vocabulary through Mnemonics


As you all know, VARC  is a crucial component of almost all B-school entrance exams these days, so having a good vocabulary is quintessential. You may not encounter direct vocab questions in exams, but having a good vocabulary will prove essential to comprehend RC passages.

FMS Delhi is a B-school in the top 5, which does not give any weightage to academics but gives high weightage to verbal components for shortlisting (40%). A good vocabulary helps in GD/WAT/PI too.

When it comes to NMAT, vocabulary plays an important role in selection. VA is the most scoring section in NMAT, there are 36 questions in total, and most of the questions are direct, but if you haven’t done your preparation right, you are likely to miss out on easy scores. (And sometimes 4-5 scores can change the game completely when it comes to cutoffs.)

So, in a nutshell, it pays to have a sound vocabulary.

Having said that, there are around 3500 high-frequency words, knowing the meaning of which will make you a master in vocabulary. But the catch is, it’s just not possible to memorize and retain the meanings of all these words. There is no need to worry as a very popular technique called mnemonic has been used by people for a long to memorize seemingly vast information. Mnemonics work because the brain remembers things much more effectively when you bring attention to them and connect them to images and existing knowledge.

Without much ado, let me try to show you what an awesome technique mnemonic is.

  1. Tepid

Meaning:  lukewarm; slightly warm; half-hearted; not eager; Ex. tepid reaction to the new film; Ex. tepid supporter
Mnemonic : Tepid = te+pid = te(a) + dip (pid ka ulta) when something is dipped in tea, it becomes slightly warm, i.e., lukewarm….So, tepid = slightly warm; lukewarm

Now onwards, whenever you confront the word ‘tepid’ in any passage or anywhere else, instantly it will remind you of ‘tea + dip,’ and in a flash, you will get that it means ‘lukewarm, slightly warm.’ I am sure you are not going to forget the meaning of this word ever in life. Have a look at some more words.

  1. Asinine

Meaning: a lack of intelligence or thought; stupid and silly, e.g., Asinine remarks.
Mnemonic : asinine = ass + 9, a person who writes 9 as 6 & 6 as 9 i.e., a  foolish person

  1. Accretion

Meaning: increase in size by gradual addition; increase by natural growth; Ex. towers and other accretions of the castle
Mnemonic: Accretion sounds like Erection, so your dick grows in size gradually during an erection

  1. Bellicose

Meaning: warlike
Mnemonic: Bellicose = BELLY+CAUSE…if you don’t get food to eat, you will fight for your belly, and you will be bellicose

  1. Benison

Meaning: blessin
Mnemonic: BENISON splits as “Bend” down my “son” when a son asks for a blessing from his father or elder; also, BeniSON- Blessed with a SON

  1. Comely

Meaning: attractive; agreeable; having a pleasing appearance
Mnemonic: KOMAL, take it as a name and also concentrate on the meaning, first it is a girl so it would seem attractive to boys !!! and acc to meaning one who is komal, soft n simple is easily agreeable

  1. Brazen

Meaning: insolent; without shame; bold; Ex. brazen lie; V: face with bold self-assurance or with unshamed confidence
Mnemonic:  Brazen= Bra + Zen. Suppose you went out with your friends and saw a girl in a Zen car wearing only a bra. How was the attempt of the girl? Really bold and brazen!

  1. Antediluvian

Meaning: antiquated; extremely ancient
Mnemonic: AUNTY+DIE+LAVIAN(apply)…hair die lagane wali aunty to obviously old hogi

  1. Bantering

Meaning: joking talk; good-naturedly ridiculing
Mnemonic: bantering=ban+tearing, i.e., ban tears and to ban tears, we crack jokes and do joyful talks

  1. Castigation

Meaning: punishment; severe criticism or disapproval
Mnemonic: CASTE+GATE….in olden days, lower CASTe people were thrown out of the GATE, were criticized & punished

  1. Curmudgeon

Meaning: a grumpy, grouchy person
Mnemonic: a curmudgeon is likely to CURse you, throw MUD on your face and then lock you in a dungeon

  1. Ubiquitous

Meaning: present, appearing, or found everywhere
Mnemonic: As you can see, the letter “u” is ubiquitous in ubiquitous: it’s at the beginning, middle, and end of the word

  1. Incapacitated

Meaning: Unable to act or respond
Mnemonic: No Capacity to Act

  1. Abscission

Meaning: The act of severing/ cutting off something
Mnemonic: Ab scissors on hai

  1. Diffidence

Meaning: timidity or shyness
Mnemonic: You can remember it as the opposite of a more common word- confidence

  1. Hirsute

Meaning: covered with hair
Mnemonic: Imagine someone wearing a “hair suit.”

  1. Inevitable

Meaning: Impossible to avoid or to prevent
Mnemonic: In Every Table

  1. Abnegation

 Meaning: The action of rejecting something
Mnemonic: For perfect abs, one needs to negate tasty food offers

  1. Desiccate

Meaning: Remove all moisture from something
Mnemonic: Ugh! Desi cakes are so dry

The list is never-ending!

Similarly, you can use your creativity and lateral thinking as much as you can to come up with different mnemonics. If you adopt this habit of learning meanings through mnemonics, you can remember it for a longer period of time.

To structure your CAT online preparation in an efficient way consider joining iQuanta which is a top online cat coaching institute and being a part of the iQuanta CAT 21 Course. You can also check out and be a part of their Facebook group for peer learning, doubt solving and free material.

Facebook Comments
Previous articleList of Top 20 MBA Colleges In India For Operations.
Next articleLife at IIM Ranchi: A Crow’s Nest