Word Association Pairs

It is a type of test of any language vocabulary. Word association pairs is a way in which words associates with each other. And it influences the learning and remembering of words. This word association pair is an important part of the evaluation of English vocabulary knowledge during various competitive examinations. The term association refers to the connection or relation between words, ideas, and concepts, which exists in the human mind and manifests in different ways. Let us discuss it in detail.

Word Association Pairs

In Word Association Pairs, candidates are given a set of 4 words, which contain one pair that most nearly mean the same or the opposite of each other. The candidate has to choose the option with the correct pair. Traditionally subjects give a stimulus word ask to produce the first response which comes in the mind.

The use of word associations holds a great deal of promise in the areas of language vocabulary research and measurement. Many examination bodies use word association pair’s procedures as an alternative way to test vocabulary.

Word association theory looks for latent relationships that words have with other words, images and thoughts. Sometimes word association pairs system is like a spider web in which words in the mental network are related to other words.

In order to take test people to use the Word-Association-Pairs test as a strong technique. Psychiatrists also widely use this technique in psychology. After analyzing the data, they claimed that there was uniformity in the organization of associations and people shared stable networks of connections.

The underlying assumption in a word association pair is that the order of the response retrieval from long-term memory reflects at least a significant part of the structure within and between concepts. In a word association pairs, the degree of overlap of response hierarchies is a measure of the semantic proximity of the stimulus words.

Browse more Topics under Vocabulary

Some Characteristics

Word association pairs as a means of assessing proficiency in a foreign language have always something of an inherent appeal to it. Some points should be kept in mind that

1)  It should be relatively quick and easy both to conduct and to score,

2)  It should be a nice complement to other methods of assessing learner performance,

3) It should tend to suggest that there may be something of a connection between knowledge and language proficiency.

Word Association Pairs

Source: freepik.com

The approach of Word Association Pair

It’s easy to expertise in the Word Association Pair questions if vocabulary is strong. Especially knowledge of synonyms and antonyms is very much essential for it.

Synonyms: These are words with exact or similar meaning as that of the given word.

Antonyms: These are the words that have the opposite meaning as that of the given word.

For example:

Synonyms of the word Massive are as follows:

Gigantic, Huge, Giant, Great.

Antonyms of the word Massive are as follows:

Tiny, Small

Tips to improve the skill

  • Whenever come across a new word, look up its synonyms & antonyms online and adopt it.
  • Learn synonyms and antonyms of common English words on a regular basis.
  • Regularly study ‘Word Power Made Easy’ by Norman Lewis to improve your vocabulary
  • Thesaurus is the best resource to learn synonyms and antonyms.

Two Approaches:

First Approach: One should read the given words one by one and check if the other words are their synonyms/antonyms.

Second Approach: One should check the given options (pairs) one by one, and select the option which has a synonym/antonym pairing. Use this approach when time is running short.

Solved Example on Word Association Pairs

Q.1: Four words are given below. Select the pair which mean the same or opposite of each other:

  1. Menial
  2. Minuscule
  3. Impressive
  4. Massive

Answer: Here option 2 is the right answer. Because Meaning of Minuscule is Extremely Small on the other hand Meaning of Massive is Large/Heavy.

Q.2 Government must not be partial to its citizen. Find the synonym word of the underlined word.

  1. Unequal
  2. Favoring
  3. Fairless
  4. Biased

Answer: Here Biased has a similar meaning as Partial. So the answer is Biased.

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