GRE Verbal Prep
- English grammar
- Reading comprehension
- Critical reading
- Extract relevant information from written data presented
- Identify relationships between different components of sentences presented
- Recognize the relationship between words and concepts.
Structure of GRE verbal reasoning section
- The GRE verbal section consists of two subsections of 20 questions each
- It is a computer-adaptive test. In other words, the difficulty level and the highest possible score of second sub-section depends on your performance in the first.
- You get 30 minutes to attempt each sub-section
- Each sub-section consists of the following types of question:
- Text completion – 6
- Sentence equivalence – 4
- Reading comprehension – 10
A skilled reader can interpret the overall sense that a passage conveys, without having to read every word used in the passage. This subsection of the GRE verbal reasoning measures the test taker on this. The assessment is based on your ability to fill in the crucial words that have been left out from the text presented to you. This section consists of:
- Passages composed of one to five sentences
- Each passage may have one, two or three blanks
- You would be presented with three or five options for each blank
- Each blank has exactly one correct answer
- Answer for each blank is independent of the answer chosen for other blanks.
Your aim is to not just select the word that keeps the sentence grammatically correct but also to ensure that the passage remains logical and stylistically coherent.
Answering strategies for Text Completion
- Start by reading through the complete passage and get the overall sense it conveys.
- Identify words that either emphasize the structure of the passage (although, moreover, regardless, etc.) or words that are central to the understanding the context being addressed.
- Fill in the blank with your own words, and then look at the options provided for a similar word or phrase that fits the passage correctly.
- Blanks need not be filled in the order of appearance. If a passage has three blanks, may be filling up the third one would be the easiest to start with.
- Once you have selected answers for all the blanks, double-check by reading the completed passage again and ensuring that it remains coherent in all three senses – grammatical, logical and stylistic.
Let us now look at an example question and how to answer it.
This sub-section of GRE verbal reasoning assesses the test taker on their ability to form conclusions from partial sentences. This section consists of:Single sentences with a single blank in each
- You have to select two ways the sentence can be completed.
- The meaning should remain the same in both the cases.
- The sentence should also remain grammatically correct.
- Six options are presented for each blank.
- Both the correct answers have to be selected for a credit. No partial credit is provided if only one correct answer is selected.
Answering strategies for Sentence Equivalence
- Remember that the correct answer choices need not have words that have the same meaning. It is the completed sentences that should have the same meaning, the words themselves may differ.
- Make sure to consider all options presented before deciding on the correct answers
- You can use the root words, prefixes and suffixes to derive the meaning of words you may be unfamiliar with
- Look for English words and phrases that suggest a contrast or comparison being made
- Try to fill the blank with your own words, before you look at the options provided
- Always double-check by reading the complete sentence with your selected option to ensure that the sentence is coherent
- Also, consider slight variations in the meaning of each word
The reading comprehension sub-section of the GRE verbal section is designed to assess your ability to:
- Understand the meaning of words and sentences.
- Understand the meaning of larger blocks of text like paragraphs.Identify minor and major points in a passage.
- Summarize a passage.
- Draw conclusions from the text presented.Deal with incomplete data and infer missing information.
- Identify underlying assumptions an author works from.
- Analyze an argument and identify its strengths and weaknesses.
- Develop alternative explanations.English Vocabulary.
The passages section consists of about 10 passages. Most of the passages are just one paragraph long. These are derived from periodicals, magazines, and books on:
- Physical sciences
- Biological sciences
- Social sciences
- Arts and humanities
- Everyday topics in popular culture
Answering strategies for reading comprehension
- Start by reading the questions, this primes you to identify answers while reading the passage.
- Identify the topic, scope, and purpose of the passage while reading it. Isolate topic words where possible.
- Distinguish between factual details and opinions.
- Paraphrase, if needed, to better understand the text – including the questions and answer choices.
- Consider all the options presented as some questions may have more than one correct answer.
- Do not let your opinion or outside knowledge color your reading of the text presented. Work within the context presented.
Answering strategies for reading comprehension
- For the GRE verbal reasoning section:
- The score ranges from 130 to 170 points, with 1-point increments.
- No partial credits are given for any of the questions.
- Remember that the percentile score is more important than your actual score – as universities are looking at the relative performance.
- For clarification, a 90-percentile score indicates that you have scored more than 90% of the test takers, and are placed in the top 10%.
- Based on the last few years, average verbal scores corresponding to different percentiles are as below:
Percentile Scaled GRE Verbal Score Top 10% of all test takers 162 Top 25% of all test takers 157 Top 50% of all test takers 151 Below 50th percentile of all test takers 150
- The mean score for the GRE verbal reasoning section is at 151.
GRE Verbal Target Score
Your target GRE score depends on the program you are aiming to get admission in. Check out the average score of applicants admitted to the program of your choice to understand the score that will make your application competitive.
Generally speaking, a score over 160 is considered ideal for most GRE applicants. Nevertheless, you can get into good universities even with a score of over 150. Anything below that is below-average and may hinder your chances of being admitted in a reputed university.
Below is a list of a few universities and the average GRE verbal score of the candidates accepted:
|Name of the University||Average GRE Verbal Score|
|San Diego State University||150|
|University of Arizona||152|
|Arizona State University||155|
|University of Buffalo||157|
|University of North Carolina||159|
|University of Florida||163|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||165|
|University of Utah||165|
Remember that the exact score that a university would accept depends on the scoring pattern that year. Therefore, the exact score is less important than the percentile score. A good guide to deciding your target score is to look at the average score over the last 5 years for the program you are applying for. This would account for the variation is accepted scores each season. It is told that the more you practice GRE Verbal Section, the more marks you will score in the final exam.
GRE Verbal Practice Tests
One tip that we give to our students is: o as many Verbal practice tests as possible before you start your prep. This helps you in identifying your strengths and weaknesses on various topics. Click here to access the GREedge Verbal practice tests that have some of the toughest questions.
People ask the following questions when they want to understand GRE verbal reasoning topic completely.Q. How many questions are present in GRE verbal reasoning exam in total?
Ans. In total, there are 2 Verbal Sections and each section comprises of 20 Verbal Reasoning Questions. There are in total 10 RC Questions, 4 Sentence equivalences, and 6 text completion questions.Q. What is the average score of verbal test?
Ans. The average score of verbal is 155 to 160.Q. Is verbal exam hard?
Ans. Yes. If you are not familiar with the writing style and the words used, it is a very tough section.Q. Is there partial credit in RC questions?
Ans. No. There is no partial credit. You have to answer all the options correctly to get the allocated marks.Q. Are there flashcards for Verbal prep?
Ans. Yes. WordBot is an app where all the important GRE words are explained with pictures. It has questions for practice in various formats.