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Dictionary skills (General)

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At Standard Grade you are allowed to use your dictionary in the Reading and the Writing Papers. It is of great use to most students but you must be able to use it effectively! This Revision Bite will give you tips on how to get most benefit from your dictionary, with particular reference to the Reading Paper.

Using your dictionary - the basics

You need to know your dictionary well!

If possible, use the same dictionary all the time so you know how to find your way around it. Some people have a mental block about alphabetical order. But don't worry! If this sounds like you, you can make things a bit easier for yourself! Write the alphabet on the inside cover of your dictionary or on a bookmark which you can keep in it.

Add labels marked with the alphabet at the first page of each letter in your dictionary.

Other people take ages to find the word they're looking for. You might find it worthwhile adding labels marked with the alphabet at the first page of each letter in your dictionary, so that each label sticks out rather like an address book. This makes it easier to open your dictionary at the right place and could save you valuable time. You can buy dictionaries like this but they are more expensive.

Remember that your dictionary is divided into two sections.

Have a look at yours now. Most dictionaries have the French section at the Front and the English section at the End. Try not to waste time by looking up a word in the wrong section! If the middle is not marked by coloured pages, you may find it useful to mark the beginning of the English section with a bookmark or divider.

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