Word Association Pair Solving Strategy [English Language]

Dear Aspirants,

We are back with yet another English Language topic that is common in most Bank & Government Exams: the Word Association Pair.

The following article explains the concept and how you can improve in it, along with some useful tips:

What is Word Association Pair?

In Word Association Pair, the candidates are given a set of 4 words, which contain one pair that mostly nearly mean the same or the opposite of each other.

The candidates are required to choose the option with the correct pair.

How to approach Word Association Pair?

It’s easy to master the Word Association Pair questions, if your vocabulary is good, especially knowledge in synonyms and antonyms.

Synonyms: Words that have exact/similar meaning as that of the other word.

Antonyms: Word that have opposite meaning as that of the other word.

For example:

Synonyms of the word Massive are: Gigantic, Huge, Giant, Great.

Antonyms of the word Massive are: Tiny, Small

Approach 1:

Read the given words one by one and check if the other words are their synonyms/antonyms.

Approach 2:

Check the given options (pairs) one by one, and choose the one which has a synonym/antonym pairing.

Use the second approach when you’re running out of time.

Word Association Pair Solving Strategy - Banking & Government Exams.

Tips to improve

Word Association Pair Solving Strategy - Tips to improve your english
  • Whenever you come across a new word, look up its synonyms & antonyms online
  • Learn synonyms and antonyms of common English words
  • Refer to ‘Word Power Made Easy’ by Norman Lewis to improve your vocabulary
  • The best resource to learn synonyms and antonyms is the thesaurus
  • Practice Word mapping: Write your word in a circle, connect it with circles containing similar words (image to the right)

Sample question:

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

  1. Menial
  2. Minuscule
  3. Impressive
  4. Massive
  1. A-B
  2. B-D
  3. D-C
  4. C-A
  5. A-D

Meaning of Menial: Something that doesn’t require much skill

Meaning of Minuscule: Extremely Small

Meaning of Impressive: Grand/Evoking admiration through skill/quality

Meaning of Massive: Large/Heavy

If you notice, the meanings of Minuscule and Massive are opposite. Hence option 2 is the right answer!

Hope the above helps you understand and get better at solving Word Association Pair questions.

Further reading:

Strategy to Solve Reading Comprehension

Strategy to Solve Parajumbles


What is word association in English language?

It means relationship between two words that demonstrates a meaningful statement.

What are word association pairs?

It means two words which are associated with each other. For example, “bird” and associated word can be “sky”.


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