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What to Memorize for the GMAT Verbal: Business/Logic Vocabulary

Posted in Test Prep on May 27, 2011 by



gmat vocabularyYou’ve probably heard that the GMAT doesn’t require math or verbal skills beyond the high-school level and that it tests your analytical ability as opposed to your knowledge of a particular subject. All this, while true, may lead you to think you don’t have to memorize anything for the test. But this isn’t true, particularly with the verbal section.

This series of posts will focus on areas where you can’t necessarily rely on your reasoning skills or intuition. Yes, memorization can be a pain, but the good news is once you know this stuff, you know it, and you can check it off your list of things to master before the big day.

First, up: business and logic vocabulary.

Unlike the GRE or SAT, the GMAT does not contain a sentence completion or analogies section; memorizing large amounts of vocabulary, as a result, is not an efficient way to study. You certainly shouldn’t be poring over your old SAT flashcards in preparation for the test.

That being said, it will be difficult to manage the Reading Comprehension or Critical Reasoning section without a decent vocabulary and a facility with “logic” and “business” words in particular.

So, if you don’t know the meaning (and by “meaning” I don’t mean a general, vague understanding of the word; I mean, a cold hard definition) of any of the following words, be sure to look them up.

overhead
income
stock
option
contractual
diversification
incentive
municipal
hierarchy
insurance
demand
labor
investment
indicator
commercial
merger
transactions
customers
sales
profit
net
gross
resources
human resources
manager/management
model
technique
disruption
supply

Brushing up on your vocab skills can also help you on the AWA. One thing I’ve noticed in the process of evaluating hundreds of AWA essays is that many students do not express themselves precisely because certain words are not actively a part of their vocabulary. To make things easier on yourself and improve your AWA score, get to know the following words and practice incorporating them into your essays:

conclusion
evidence
assumption
claim
basis
judgment
opinion
support
deny
weaken
undermine
strengthen
advocate
dispute
reject
agree
disagree
likelihood
probable/probability
adequate
prediction
position
authority

The introduction of just a few of these new words will strengthen your AWA essays, eliminating vagueness and allowing you to convey complex arguments more clearly and succinctly. For more AWA tips, check out this post.