6 topics you CAN’T miss for a High GRE Score
“This is one of the most frequently asked questions by GRE aspirants and quite a troubling one“
GRE is one of those exams with a vast syllabus, where you can’t afford to skip anything. But due to time constraints arising from ‘n’ number of issues (that is a topic for a separate discussion) it becomes really difficult to cover all the portions. This article is an earnest effort to answer all those questions related to the “unmissable” topics and to offer deep insight into things that go into making a high GRE score. These are things you can’t miss at any cost!
Before we jump to the data, the numbers, and the technicalities, let’s look at the reasons why most aspirants decide to skip certain topics, despite knowing full well how valuable they might be in getting a high GRE score. The reasons:
- They don’t like the topics: Perhaps the laziest of all reasons, but make no mistake in dismissing it as a silly one! There are many who feel bored with a topic and choose to ignore it, finally leading them to totally skip the said topic. You see, a slight dislike can snowball into hate, thus leading to missing out on an important topic, further leading you to scoring less than what you expected.
- They find it too difficult and time-consuming: The second most common reason given by GRE test-takers is that a topic is too difficult to grasp besides consuming a lot of time. They give a big NO to proceeding with the topic when these factors combine.
- They have limited time: As mentioned earlier, time crunch is a factor which can severely affect your preparation. Less time means leaving out on topics, which can be important. In other words, you will be losing out on points in your GRE.
What is the basic objective of this article, you ask?
Well, for starters, going through the blog would help you reduce stress as you can focus on what is absolutely essential, in case you are running out of time before moving to the other topics.
And when you have all essential topics in one place, you can avoid the need to scour every bit of Google to get the data you want!
This blog article aims to cover all the topics to give you an idea of things you can’t afford to miss. So without further ado, let’s take a peek at the 6 topics you can’t miss if you want a high GRE score.
Do you have your notebook and pen near you? Go get them before we hit the road to these unmissable things!
Starting the list with
GRE words are of utmost importance when it comes to answering the Verbal Reasoning section comprising Reading Comprehension, Sentence Equivalence, and Text Completion questions.
- Mastering 3500 words can be challenging, but make efforts to master 1000 high-priority words. Instead of learning words and their meanings by rote, we suggest the use of mnemonics, pictures, audio pronunciations, word usage, and the roots.
You can learn words by these techniques by visiting WordBot offered by GREedge and focus on wordlists 14 and 15.
Click here for the best word learning experience.
- Learn their synonyms, and understand how the word differs from its synonyms.
- Understand well the exact context/situation in which the word is used.
- Every additional 200 words that you learn will be advantageous to you.
Next on the list is
#2. Reading Comprehension
The Achilles’ heel for most GRE aspirants is RC, which can rub them the wrong way. While many fail to comprehend the passage, many others find the idea presented to be alien and hence answering the questions becomes an uphill task for them.
To be proficient at RC and score high:
- You should be comfortable reading small- and medium-sized passages on any topic.
Note: You usually get one long passage in a section. There are instances where students have also got two long passages (though not very common). The rest are small or medium sized passages.
- There are different types of questions in RC, namely, questions that require you to identify the central theme of the passage or main idea questions, questions that demand conclusions from you, factual questions, and so on.
One important type of question among the lot is factual question.
Factual questions, as the name suggests, demand you to provide facts or supporting evidence to back a claim presented in the passage.The information to answer such questions will be explicitly or implicitly stated in the passage. You should be able to solve factual questions.
Besides, questions on main idea and purpose should not be difficult to master.
#3. Text Completion
In these types of questions, you will be required to make sense of the sentence(s) and fill up the blanks with options that would best complete the question statement in a meaningful manner.
Since the blanks are often placed in pivotal places, students face difficulty in comprehending the question statement.
- You should be comfortable in answering single-blank and double-blank questions, even if you find three-blank questions difficult.
- In single-blank and double-blank TC questions, you might be restricted only by vocabulary. You should be adept at identifying the clues from the sentence.
He has _____ for acquiring rare art objects, which led him to commit an act of felony as _____ has no limits.
Substituting the blanks with your own words, the sentence roughly translates to:
His (passion) for acquiring rare arts objects led him to commit an act of felony as (greed) has no limits.
Look at the options and identify the ones that are close in meaning to the words you’d identified:
stupefaction (astound or astonish)
penchant (special liking)
consumerism (protection of consumer interest)
talent (aptitude or skill)
avarice (extreme desire for wealth)
Hence the correct answers are: “penchant” and “avarice.”
Moving on to
#4. Sentence Equivalence
SE questions require you to fill up one blank in a sentence with two similar-meaning words. With each one of these two words, the sentence that forms should make sense. The problem you could face here will arise in choosing words that are synonymous or have similar meaning. Distinct words are much harder to pick. Your answer will be correct if the two completed sentences thus formed using the words chosen convey the same meaning and the tonality of the completed sentences remains more or less the same.
Apart from mastering the technique to choosing the words correctly:
- You should build your vocabulary strong enough to answer SE questions with a fairly high level of accuracy.
- You should read the sentence and try to figure out what should go in the blank to make sense.
- Fill up the blank with words that closely resemble your guess.
Most aspirants commit the mistake of going by the choices provided rather than trying to first fit the blank with a word of their own.
Mannering’s personal diary, a record of ____ preoccupations and domestic details, belies the depth of thought for which he was renowned in the academic world.
Find the clue in the sentence. The clue here lies in the word, “belies,” which means “contradicts.”
According to the sentence, Mannering is known for his depth of thought. So the contents of the diary must contradict Mannering’s deep thoughts. They should be “petty.”
Hence, the correct answers are: “mundane” and “petty.”
These are all the topics in verbal that you can’t miss now moving to
When it comes to GRE Quant, the only way to ensure a high GRE score is going old school—that is, practice, practice, and practice till you perfect your craft.
Along with regular practice, there are certain things you need to keep in mind for a better preparation and a high GRE score.
- You should master all the topics of Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and Data Interpretation. Leaving any topic untouched will have adverse effects. So it is advised that you practice as many questions as required in each of the topics to master.
- Ensure that you learn the basics and are confident of answering the easy and medium difficulty-level questions in Solid Geometry and Coordinate Geometry. Once you’re done with the basics, you can start practicing the difficult questions.
- If you find Permutation/Combination and Probability difficult, learn at least the basic concepts and practice easy and medium difficulty-level questions.
Permutation and Combination questions seem difficult for the fact that most students have been exposed to the concepts via formulas instead of actually understanding the concept.
Another issue that most aspirants face is, often, they are at a loss as to when to use permutation to solve a question and when to use combination.
Go back to the basics, try to understand what these concepts actually mean, and revisit the formulas later instead of starting with them.
- There may not be many questions from Applied Mathematics. Since you are aiming for high scores, you can’t afford to drop this section. If you’re running short of time, you should practice at least the basic questions from Applied Mathematics.
Last but definitely not the least
AWA or the Analytical Writing Assessment section acts as the differentiator between students with the same score during the elimination process for issuing admits.
- You should be familiar with the two types of essays—argument and issue—asked in this section, and have a clear idea of what is expected in these essays.
- Read the popular guidelines for writing such essays.
- Write at least two issue and two argument essays and get them evaluated by an expert.
- Learn how to avoid typical mistakes that you commit from the advice given by the expert.
To manage time better, take at least five GRE-style mock tests in Verbal and a similar number in Quant. There’s no upper limit to taking the tests— the more tests you take the better.
At the same time, it is important for you to develop the necessary mental and physical stamina for a four-hour test. So attempt at least four full-length tests, including two PowerPrep tests.
I hope this consolidated list of the “6 topics you can’t miss” was helpful.
Take the diagnostics test now to find out your strengths and weaknesses and concentrate on exactly what you need to work on.
Do you have any other GRE question that bothers you?
If yes, let me know by commenting below and I will try to provide you solutions.
Keep practicing, keep learning. I’ll be back with more topics like this!