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Is a killer GRE score hiding within your brain? It is! Unleash your inner wordsmith and logician with these battle-tested tactics to crush the GRE Verbal reasoning. 

In this blog

  1. GRE Verbal Beyond Vocabulary
  2. GRE Verbal Process
  3. GRE Verbal Context
  4. GRE Verbal Key Elements
  5. GRE Verbal Strategize Learning

GRE Verbal Beyond vocabulary

One of the most common misconceptions surrounding GRE verbal is one can ace the exam if one has a strong hold on vocabulary, and remembers the meaning for most words. However, that is not the case. 

An important point to remember while preparing for GRE verbal reasoning is that you do not just have to mug up all kinds of difficult, twisted, and overwhelming words. What you need to do, actually, is remember the essence of its meaning so you know how it may change depending upon the context. 

For example, the meaning of words susceptibility and characteristic may turn out to be the same when we talk about an organism and how they end up doing the same thing over and over again. This understanding of contextual vocabulary is especially required when it comes to GRE verbal. Two words may not mean the same, yet contextually they fit perfectly, and that is the goal.  

GRE Verbal Process

At Jamboree, we often say that to truly ace your GRE verbal, you have to put on the Sherlock Holmes hat and zoom into the details of the passage to find clues. With those clues, begin the ‘Art of Deduction’, and eliminate anything that does not fit the context. What you are left with is your answer. This works for all the sections in GRE verbal – Sentence Equivalence, Text Completion, Reading Comprehension, and Critical Reasoning. 

Process is the only way to get to your correct answer. You may get tempted to look for biases, and choose an answer that YOU believe is correct. However, only following the process strictly and correctly will bring you to your correct answer. The key here is not the knowledge YOU carry, but what the passage is asking of you. Your clues all lie within the answers. 

We always suggest reading the question/passage first and look at the options only AFTER you have completely understood the requirements of the passage. 

Trust the process and you will eventually get to your destination – the correct answer.

Also read: Which GRE resources are worth your time?

GRE Verbal Context

From achieving accuracy in your GRE verbal preparation to learning vocabulary – all of it starts from understanding the context. Deciphering the context of your passage will get you to the answer quicker, and you are less likely to make mistakes. You can make sense of your context by looking at the key elements we have mentioned further in the blog. 

Watch this video for a quick run through of the process, with an example.

GRE Verbal Key Elements

For your GRE verbal reasoning, you have to learn to identify the key indicators given in your passage for what your correct answer is going to be. We specify them into three broad categories that generally provide clues to what the answer could possibly be. There are three different key elements that you can look for in your passage: 

  1. Keywords

    These can be anything that denotes a certain change in the intent of the sentence. For example, if we see a word like ‘but’, we can understand that there is a certain contrast depicted in the sentence. Depending on where the blank is, we will try to find out the answer. There are three different types keyword to look for in your gre verbal section questions:

    1. Contrast – They tell us that there will be opposite meanings in the passage. If one has been provided, most likely the answer for our blank will be the opposite of what has been given to us.
    2. Similarity – These are keywords that imply that the blank will have the same meaning as the passage indicates. 
    3. Cause and effect – Keywords like ‘because’, ‘so’, ‘therefore’ gives an idea of a certain cause and effect happening in the passage. There will be an element of X leading to Y, and that is what will help us find the answer for the blank.
  2. Also read: Role of GRE in graduate school admissions

  3. Tone words

    Tone words can be positive, negative, or neutral. Generally, if there are no clear keywords present, these tone words can be our clue to the answer. If the words used in the passage generally carry a positive tone, our blank will also have a positive word. In that, we can eliminate any answer choice that has a negative tone. 

  4. Punctuation 

    A comma, a semi colon, a hyphen, a colon, while they seem too small and insignificant, they actually provide massive clues to the answer. If there is a comma, we know that the sentence after comma gives us an explanation which we can use as a clue for our blank. 

GRE Verbal Strategize Learning

The learning process for the GRE verbal section cannot be abrupt, and definitely not sporadic. Your learning has to have a strategy that can help you get the desired score. You must remember that your goal is not just getting a 310 or a 320, it’s to get into the college of your dreams. So, you not only have to study regularly but also strategize in a manner that balances your quants as well as verbal. You can take into account the following tips- 

  1. Dedicate enough time to GRE preparation and schedule regular study sessions to stay on track.
  2. Regularly take practice tests under timed conditions using official ETS materials or reputable prep resources. Analyze your mistakes and identify areas for improvement.
  3. Consider enrolling in a GRE prep course or working with a tutor for personalized feedback and strategies.
  4. Familiarize yourself with all question formats (Reading Comprehension, Text Completion, Sentence Equivalence) and understand the specific skills each type tests.
  5. Carefully analyze answer choices, identify illogical options, and avoid being tricked by tempting but incorrect answers.
  6. Practice answering questions under timed conditions to avoid rushing at the end.

Checkout: How to create an effective GRE Study Plan?

Remember, the GRE Verbal Section is just a hurdle, not a roadblock. With the right tools and determination, you can leap over it and land firmly in your dream program. Acing the GRE Verbal preparation takes time and effort. Be patient, consistent, and keep practicing with the right strategies to achieve your desired score. 

For more information, book a free counseling session with our GRE expert to know your way forward. 

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