This is very important area of the vocabulary section. This section tests widely and exhaustively one’s knowledge of the language and word power, but goes beyond that to test your ability to remember words with similar meanings or opposite meanings. Or, alternately, to discover the similarity or proximity between the meaning of the given word with one of those in the options.
These exercises can get confusing sometimes because more than one option may appear as the right answer or none of them may look like the right answer. For such questions a student may consider the following strategies:
If you do not know the meaning of the given word, think of a context in which you might have used it, that may help you to figure out the meaning, for example, in the question below find the word nearest in meaning to
(a) Forgive (b) diminish (c) swell (d) extract
Now if you do not know what magnify means think of a magnifying glass and what it does. It expands or makes a thing look bigger. So the right answer will be (c).
If you cannot find a correct antonym in the given option think of the antonyms you know of and subsequently check if there is any word in the given options which is synonymous to the antonyms in your mind. For example
(a) stupid (b) harsh (c) indolent (d) complex
If you don’t know any of the words given as options think of antonyms you could think of, like lazy, idle, etc. Now think of synonyms of lazy and you will know indolent is a synonym of lazy. So it will be the antonym to industrious.
Formula SYNONYM of ANTONYM is another ANTONYM.
Look at the part of speech of the given word. A word may exist in various parts of speech. For example precipitate exists as a verb which means send rapidly into a certain state and also as a noun, precipitate, which means a substance de posited from a solution.
(a) ruthlessness (b) honesty (c) indolence (d) gaucheness
Now is this the verb polish or noun polish? Since all options are nouns, this cannot be the verb polish related to shoes but noun polish which means culture and sophistication and the antonym to this would be gaucheness.