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It’s not a well-kept secret that the GRE reading comprehension section can be one of the most challenging parts of the test. Not only are you expected to read long, complex passages, but you also have to answer questions that require you to identify main ideas, make inferences, and draw conclusions based on the information presented. So, in this blog, we’ll discuss some effective strategies that can help you approach GRE reading comprehension questions in a way that boosts your overall GRE Verbal score


  1. GRE Reading Comprehension: Tips To Solve One-Answer Choice Questions
  2. GRE Reading Comprehension: Mastering Qs With One-Or-More-Answer Choices
  3. GRE Reading Comprehension: Tips To Solve Select-In-Passage Questions
  4. GRE Reading Comprehension: Practice Questions
  5. GRE Reading Comprehension: Answers and Explanation

Mastering One-Answer Choice GRE Reading Comprehension Questions

One-answer choice GRE reading comprehension questions are traditional multiple-choice questions with five answer choices, of which you are required to select one. Given below are some expert tips on how to answer these questions.

Tips for Answering: One-Answer Choice GRE Reading Comprehension Questions

  1. Don’t assume you know the correct answer and read all the answer choices before selecting one.
  2. The correct answer is the one that fully and accurately addresses the question, so don’t be tricked by answer choices that are only partially correct or appear to be true statements.
  3. When answering questions about word meanings, make sure the answer choice reflects the specific way the word is used in the passage, as some words may have different meanings in different contexts.

GRE Reading Comprehension: Mastering Questions With One-Or-More-Answer Choices

GRE is hard enough with MCQs that expect you to pick one answer, but then there are questions where need to select more than one right answer. These questions provide three answer choices and ask you to select all that are correct. And of course, one, two or all three of the answer choices can be correct. To gain credit for these questions, you must select all the correct answers and only those. As you might have already guessed, there are no marks for partially correct answers.

Tips for Answering: GRE Reading Comprehension Questions With One-Or-More-Answer Choices

  1. Look at each answer choice by itself and judge it on its own merits. Don’t compare it to the other choices when making your decision.
  2. Make sure the answer you choose completely answers the question and isn’t just partially true. Don’t pick an answer just because it’s true in general, but make sure it specifically applies to the question at hand.
  3. It’s possible for questions to have multiple correct answers, so don’t worry if you think all three answer choices could be right.

Mastering Select-in-Passage GRE Reading Comprehension Questions

Select-in-passage questions ask you to select the sentence in the passage that meets a certain description. To select a sentence, you can click on any word in the sentence or select the sentence with the keyboard. In longer passages, the question will usually apply to only one or two specified paragraphs, and you will not be able to select a sentence elsewhere in the passage. Since the nature of these questions demands the use of the computer, they do not appear on the paper-delivered, alternate-format test.
Tips for Answering: Select-in-Passage GRE Reading Comprehension Questions

  1. Look at each relevant sentence in the passage individually before choosing an answer. Ignore any sentences that are not in the relevant paragraphs.
  2. Only select a sentence that matches the description given in the question completely and accurately. Don’t pick a sentence if any part of the description doesn’t apply to it. However, remember that the question doesn’t necessarily have to describe every aspect of the sentence.

Find out how exactly GRE-ready you are!

GRE Reading Comprehension Practice Questions

  1. Questions 1 to 3 are based on this passage.

Reviving the practice of using elements of popular music in classical composition, an approach that had been in hibernation in the United States during the 1960s, composer Philip Glass (born 1937) embraced the ethos of popular music in his compositions. Glass based two symphonies on music by rock musicians David Bowie and Brian Eno, but the symphonies’ sound is distinctively his. Popular elements do not appear out of place in Glass’s classical music, which from its early days has shared certain harmonies and rhythms with rock music. Yet this use of popular elements has not made Glass a composer of popular music. His music is not a version of popular music packaged to attract classical listeners; it is high art for listeners steeped in rock rather than the classics.

1.1. Select only one answer choice.

  1.  The passage addresses which of the following issues related to Glass’s use of popular elements in his classical compositions?
  2. How it is regarded by listeners who prefer rock to the classics
  3. How it has affected the commercial success of Glass’s music
  4. Whether it has contributed to a revival of interest among other composers in using popular elements in their compositions
  5. Whether it has had a detrimental effect on Glass’s reputation as a composer of classical music
  6. Whether it has caused certain of Glass’s works to be derivative in quality

1.2. Consider each of the three choices separately and select all that apply.

  1. The passage suggests that Glass’s work displays which of the following qualities?
  2. A return to the use of popular music in classical compositions
  3. An attempt to elevate rock music to an artistic status more closely approximating that of classical music
  4. A long-standing tendency to incorporate elements from two apparently disparate musical styles

1.3.  Select the sentence that distinguishes two ways of integrating rock and classical music.

GRE Reading Comprehension: Answers and Explanation

The passage describes in general terms how Philip Glass uses popular music in his classical compositions and explores how Glass can do this without being imitative. Note that there are no opposing views discussed; the author is simply presenting his or her views.

Question 1: One of the important points that the passage makes is that when Glass uses popular elements in his music, the result is very much his own creation (it is “distinctively his”). In other words, the music is far from being derivative. Thus, one issue that the passage addresses is the one referred to in answer choice E — it answers it in the negative. The passage does not discuss the impact of Glass’s use of popular elements on listeners, on the commercial success of his music, on other composers or on Glass’s reputation, so none of Choices A  through D is correct. The correct answer is Choice E.

Question 2: To answer this question, it is important to assess each answer choice independently. Since the passage says that Glass revived the use of popular music in classical compositions, answer choice A is clearly correct. On the other hand, the passage also denies that Glass composes popular music or packages it in a way to elevate its status, so answer choice B is incorrect. Finally, since Glass’s style always has mixed elements of rock with classical elements, answer Choice C is correct. Thus, the correct answer is Choice A and Choice C.

Question 3: Almost every sentence in the passage refers to incorporating rock music in classical compositions, but only the last sentence distinguishes two ways of doing so. It distinguishes between writing rock music in a way that will make it attractive to classical listeners and writing classical music that will be attractive to listeners familiar with rock. Thus, the correct answer is the last sentence of the passage.

Don’t get disheartened if you are unable to solve these questions! Regardless of your current level of proficiency and individual learning style, consistent and dedicated practice can improve your skills on GRE verbal. Sign up for a free GRE Verbal demo class with a Jamboree expert and ask your doubts directly from our experienced faculty.

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