How to Crack GRE Verbal Section | TestPrep

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GRE test has 3 sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative reasoning and Analytical Writing.

GRE Verbal reasoning tests your high-level reading and language skills. Of course every section needs cultivated skills, but  verbal reasoning has substantial role that can either boost your record or slide you down.

Already feeling vexed with verbal reasoning? Let’s have a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know to get a good score.

An overview of verbal section

The GRE verbal section assesses your ability to understand written content, synthesize information, and gauge your grasp of the relationships between words and concepts. Within this context, you will encounter vocabulary questions that require selecting the fitting word for a given sentence, as well as reading comprehension questions that involve dissecting concrete ideas and interpreting the significant nuances within intricate passages. This verbal section encompasses a 40-question test divided into two 20-question subsections. Scores range from 130 to 170, with increments of one point.

Verbal reasoning question types

This section contains three type of questions

  1. Reading comprehension
  2. Text completion
  3. Sentence equivalence

Reading comprehension

This section evaluates your aptitude for reading prose and condensing it while employing your understanding of words and phrases. It also assesses your ability to deduce missing information and derive conclusions from given data. The test encompasses around 10 passages, varying in length from a single paragraph to multiple paragraphs. The passages cover everyday topics and material typically found in academic and non-academic books and periodicals. The number of questions per passage ranges from 1 to 6. These questions mainly follow the standard multiple-choice format, where you choose a single accurate answer. However, there are also questions where you need to select multiple correct answers, along with another type requiring you to pick a specific sentence from the passage.

Text completion

An adept intellect doesn’t merely absorb the information conveyed in the content; it also engages in analysis, weaving together the pieces to form a comprehensive understanding and adjusting it as new insights emerge. This section requires you to fill in the gaps within the passage with the most appropriate words, constructing a coherent and meaningful narrative. In instances with a single blank, you are presented with five word options. For passages with two or three omitted words, each gap provides three potential answer choices.

A quick tip for dealing with text completion:-

To begin with, determine the tone conveyed by the passage and select words that align with it. It’s important to note that you don’t have to fill in the first blank initially; sometimes, another blank might be simpler to complete first. After making your selections, read through the passage to ensure it embodies the intended tone.

Sentence equivalence

Sentence equivalence is similar to text completion, and tests the understanding of vocabulary in the text. The section consists of one sentence with a blank and six choices to fill it up. You need to pick two words from a selection of six and produce two respective complete sentences of equivalent meaning.

Tips for sentence completion:-

While the words seem like containing same meaning but you can narrow down your choices by eliminating those you think doesn’t fit for the equivalent. The test makers usually put multiple synonyms deliberately to vex you, so do not assume that you have made right choice on picking up synonyms. Once you have made the selection of the choices, make sure that both screens produce logical and stylistically coherent meaning.

How to study for GRE verbal reasoning?

There are few skills that you need to cultivate for the GRE verbal that might help to boost your score.

  1. Enrich your vocabulary :-  As you may realize, selecting suitable options for the blanks can be quite challenging if you’re not acquainted with the words. Flashcards prove to be an effective method for memorizing words, and there are numerous online resources available for this purpose. However, truly learning a word involves comprehending its usage within a sentence. Mastery of a word isn’t complete until you can apply it appropriately. To solidify your understanding, consider crafting sentences using your vocabulary words to ensure you grasp their contextual usage. This approach greatly enhances the likelihood of retaining the words in your long-term memory.
  2. Expand your reading habits:-  Reading does not only apply to the quantity but you should read what topics similar to what you have to deal with on the GRE. You can read articles on newspapers that will provide you a diverse range of topics like in The Atlantic, New York Times, The Hindu. And prepare an abstract of what you have grasped to make sure that you understand it.
  3. Work with a pace:- Spinning your head on the difficult question and burning minutes on struggling between option B and  C, is a general complexity everyone face. To work on the pacing, you can do GRE practice tests that will help you get a handle on any timing issues.
  4. Identify signal words :- Signal words convey crucial contextual information regarding the passage. They serve to reveal whether the content is leaning towards a positive or negative connotation. Typically functioning as transitions, these words provide insight into whether previously introduced information will be reinforced, challenged, clarified, and the like. Examples include terms like ‘however’, ‘although’, and ‘instead’. Pay close attention to the direction these words are guiding you towards. Over time, consistent practice will sharpen your ability to discern their underlying purpose.

Engaging in reading and writing activities for a brief period of 1 to 2 months might not significantly impact your performance on the test. However, it’s important to consistently cultivate strong writing skills and a rich vocabulary. Implementing the strategies mentioned above in your daily routine can greatly enhance your preparation. Otherwise, attempting to recall and apply a vast amount of knowledge within a short timeframe can feel overwhelming. Incorporating online practice papers while maintaining a steady pace, acquainting yourself with new words to enhance your vocabulary, and tracking your progress are beneficial steps. Maintaining a positive and composed mindset is crucial when tackling intricate questions that often demand more time. Ultimately, by adhering to effective preparation techniques, excelling in GRE Verbal is attainable. Every small effort you make in your test preparation journey can yield significant results.