GRE Verbal - Tips

For any preparation that you take in your life, start small but start early. The GRE Verbal Reasoning Section is unlike any entrance examination, testing your aptitude in the English language.
It tests for your
  • thought process,
  • vocabulary and
  • your understanding of the English language.
While the general rules for scoring a 160+ in the GRE Verbal Section state that you must integrate the English language into a part and parcel of your daily lifestyle. From reading lots of journals, books, and newspapers, to communicating in English with your peers, from watching English news channels and other TV shows to practicing a lot of GRE Mock Questions, you shouldn’t miss out on anything.

Make it a practice to learn new words every day. The GRE Vocabulary has over 3000 words and it is practically impossible to retain each of those words in your memory. The best way is to adapt learning techniques such as using mnemonics, pictures, theme-based grouping and look for usage examples as well. Use these words as a part of your daily vocabulary and you'll find yourself remembering them a whole lot faster.

Moving on, we’ll go through some points of focus for each topic of the GRE Verbal Reasoning Section.

Reading Comprehension

While this is the most dreaded topic of the Verbal Section, you may try a trick or two to improve your Reading Comprehension skills.

  • The first tip is to read and acquaint yourself to different writing styles. You can do this by reading a loot of books, newspapers, journals and magazines on a daily basis.
  • While reading, try to analyze the thought process of the author and gather the underlying idea of the writing.
  • While reading, take notes for medium to long length passages. Write notes in brief and try to note your analysis as you read the passage.
  • Save time by using abbreviations.

Reading Comprehension demands only your focus. Once you channel your vision to what is not mentioned, the easier it gets while answering the questions that are posed. Click here to download the free GREedge eBook on tackling tough RC passages, along with solved examples of actual GRE-style RC questions.

Text Completion

For Text Completion questions, you may find the steps mentioned below pretty handy. See for yourself!

  • You know there are many blanks in the question. As you read, draw meaning from every word and fill up the blanks with your own understanding.
  • Break the text at any point you feel there is a contrast of thought-process coming in.
  • Check for the usage of idioms and how they relate with the text. Also, check for the use of phrases that express ideas.
  • Hurry not. Take time and make sure that you have checked the text with every answer choice and then analyzed your opinion.
  • Check for differences in the quality of the answer choices.
  • For practice materials, always opt for authentic publications from well-reputed institutions.

Time management is an important aspect of this topic as well so you definitely need to work on that too. Download the ultimate GREedge guide to practicing verbal reasoning questions, including Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence questions now and get started now!

Sentence Equivalence

Here are some simple tips for Sentence Equivalence questions.

  • Try to look for words that are paired. This will help you narrow down the idea that is being expressed and consider answer possibilities.
  • Focus on the category of words that you need by analyzing the tone of the sentences, whether it's positive or negative. You might be unsure about the meaning of the answer choices, but if you know whether the term you're looking for has a positive or negative connotation, you may put to test your knowledge of prefixes and roots.
  • Analyze the context of the question statement. The blank serves the purpose of the statement. Look for hints in the statement and ask yourself the basic idea of the statement. It will help you eliminate the answer choices.
  • While you read, note the usage of conjunctions or adverbs that establish relations between phrases. Look for words such as however, conversely, moreover, nevertheless, secondly, furthermore, etc.
  • Maintain a lookout for the contrast between sentences, and what comes before and after of commas or other pauses. This contrast is usually expressed with adverbs such as “although”.

Time Allocation

While preparing for all these topics, you must keep in mind the amount of time you invest in each question. You have to keep in mind that you have 2 verbal sections to complete, with 30 minutes to devote to each. So taking into consideration the distribution and weightage of questions, you have to plan your time accordingly.
You can see from the data above, the distribution and individual weightage of each topic on the GRE Verbal Section, and how much time students who score a 160 and above, spend learning and practicing each. Taking this into consideration, you can allocate a reasonable amount of time to each topic of the GRE verbal section and plan your preparation accordingly.
Download your free copy of the GREedge eBook on cracking tough RC passages now!

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