The truth is, there is no magic formula or shortcut to achieving a high GRE Verbal score. However, there are some expert tips that can bring you closer to your target GRE score and achieve your grad school dreams. In this blog, we are sharing some easy tips on mastering the GRE Verbal Reasoning section.
In this blog:
- Revisiting Your Approach to Solve Reading Passages
- Tips for tackle Text Completion Questions
- Steps to Solve Sentence Correction Questions
- GRE Verbal Exam Day Strategies
How to solve GRE Reading Comprehension Questions
When solving GRE Reading Comprehension questions, you may come across unfamiliar material from various disciplines and sources. Don’t worry, as all the questions in this section can be answered using the information provided in the passage, and specialised knowledge is not assumed. You do not need to try to familiarise yourself with every possible topic that may be included.
Before answering any questions, read and analyse the passage carefully. Pay attention to clues that help you understand implicit aspects of the passage. Try to distinguish main ideas from supporting ideas or evidence, ideas that the author is advancing from those they’re merely reporting, and ideas that the author is strongly committed to from those they advance as hypothetical or speculative. Identify the main transitions from one idea to the next, and the relationship between different ideas, such as whether they are contrasting or consistent, whether one supports the other, whether one spells out the other in greater detail, or whether one applies the other to a particular circumstance.
Make sure you understand each question before answering it, and base your answer on the information provided in the passage without relying on outside knowledge. Your personal views or opinions may sometimes conflict with those presented in a passage, so take special care to work within the context provided by the passage. It is not necessary to agree with everything you encounter in the reading comprehension passages.
Also read: What are the best books for GRE prep?
How to tackle GRE Text Completion Questions
For questions on GRE Text Completion, analyse the passage effectively, and avoid considering every possible combination of answers as it is time-consuming and prone to errors. Instead, follow these steps for your GRE verbal practice:
- Read through the passage to get an overall understanding of it.
- Identify significant words or phrases, such as those that emphasise the structure of the passage (e.g., although or moreover) or those central to comprehending the passage’s meaning.
- Attempt to fill in the blanks with words or phrases that appear to complete the sentence, then check if similar words are present among the given answer choices.
- Do not assume that filling in the first blank is necessary. Starting with one of the other blanks may be easier. After selecting a choice for a blank, try to complete another one. If none of the answer choices for the other blank make sense, reconsider your first selection.
- After choosing a word or phrase for each blank, verify that the passage is coherent in terms of logic, grammar, and style.
Also read: 100 high-frequency GRE words
How to Approach Sentence Correction Questions
While answering GRE verbal Sentence Correction questions, avoid simply searching for two words in the answer choices that have the same meaning since this approach can be misleading for two reasons. First, some answer choices may contain word pairs that have the same meaning but do not fit cohesively into the sentence. Second, the correct pair of words may not have exactly the same meaning, as the most critical factor is that the resulting sentences convey the same meaning.
To fill in a blank effectively during your GRE verbal practice, follow these steps:
- Read the sentence to obtain an overall sense of its structure and meaning.
- Identify words or phrases that provide additional information or contrast with other parts of the sentence.
- Attempt to fill in the blank with a word that appears suitable and then look for two similar words among the answer choices.
- If you locate a word that matches your expectations but cannot find a second word, avoid getting fixated on your interpretation. Instead, search for other words among the answer choices that can complete the sentence cohesively.
- After selecting a pair of answer choices, verify that each word produces a logically, grammatically, and stylistically coherent sentence, and that both sentences convey the same meaning.
Also read: GRE Strategies to score 320+
GRE Verbal Reasoning: Exam Day Strategies
Here are some exam day tips to score a 160+ on the GRE Verbal:
- The GRE Verbal section has 40 questions and a 60-minute time limit. This means you have an average of 1.5 minutes per question. So, it’s essential to pace yourself and allocate your time wisely. Don’t spend too much time on any one question. If you’re stuck, skip it and come back to it later.
- The Verbal section includes reading passages, and it’s essential to understand the main ideas quickly. Skim through the passage first and focus on the topic sentence of each paragraph.
- The GRE Verbal section requires you to be attentive to detail. Focus on key phrases, conjunctions, and transitional words, as they hint you on the meaning of the passage.
- A strong vocabulary is critical for success in the GRE Verbal section. Make sure you study, understand and memorise as many high-frequency GRE words as possible.
- If you’re unsure of an answer, try to eliminate answer choices that you know are incorrect. This will increase your chances of getting the answer right.
- Practice is essential for success in the GRE Verbal section. Take as many practice exams as possible, and make sure you review your mistakes thoroughly.
- Finally, stay calm and focused during the exam. Don’t let test-day anxiety or stress get the best of you. Take deep breaths, stay hydrated, and keep your mind focused on the task at hand.
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