Mastering the GRE Verbal Section: Tips to Get You Started!

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the GRE verbal section? Don’t worry, as mastering it is easier than it seems. There are some key strategies that can help you get a headstart on conquering this important part of the exam. Here we’ll discuss how you can use careful reading and understanding of text structure, as well as familiarity with vocabulary words, to do well in this

Read Strategically and Carefully

The most crucial step when doing the verbal portion of the GRE is to read each question carefully and make sure you understand what it’s asking before attempting to answer it. This will save you time and prevent errors in interpretation. Once you have read the question, start looking at the answer choices accordingly and eliminate any that you know are incorrect right away so as to focus on finding the right one. Moreover, be mindful of wording such as headings, subheadings, transitions, etc., which authors use to shift topics or arguments; spotting these patterns can help quickly locate relevant passages for answering questions about a text’s content or structure.

Understand Vocabulary Words

In order to tackle the verbal section efficiently, it is extremely important to have a strong understanding of English language vocabulary—especially those related to academic subjects such as literature, science, history and mathematics. Knowing common prefixes, suffixes, synonyms/antonyms, root words and their meanings is essential; being able to recognize them without having to search for definitions or look up unfamiliar terms will definitely give an advantage. Furthermore, don’t underestimate context clues—they can provide valuable insight into usage within a given sentence or passage which
will lead to greater accuracy when responding appropriately.

Comprehension Is Key!

In short: comprehension is king! The key element when acing the GRE verbal portion is reading with clarity and actively engaging with texts rather than passively skimming through them. Take note of pivotal words or phrases that indicate points made in passages; ask yourself relevant questions about its content and take your time processing information so that you fully grasp what’s being said. Effectively executing these steps will set up for success on this part of the exam.

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Are you afraid of GRE Verbal? Don’t be

Are you afraid of GRE Verbal? Don’t be

Alright, first things first – begin by freezing your target score for GRE. One way to do that is, take a diagnostic test to know your current level and use that to figure where you’d like to reach. Alternatively, you can reverse that process i.e. set your GRE target score first and then take the diagnostics to figure out strengths and weaknesses.

Now, say your GRE target score is 320 and your strength is Quantitative Reasoning, you would barely need a 150-155 score in Verbal to achieve your target. A 150-155 score is very achievable and really easy provided you follow a structured approach towards your GRE Verbal preparation.

Don’t fret over vocabulary! (Visit Here)

One of the biggest mistakes is to waste a lot of time on vocabulary. There is this general assumption or myth about GRE Verbal that you CANNOT score good without mugging up some random 1500-2000 words which you would NEVER use in your future. Over a number of years as a teacher I have seen GRE test-takers cram words like anything, as if there life depended on it, and still end up scoring 140-145 in GRE Verbal. What’s the point? Disclaimer: I am not against vocabulary! All I am saying is please first focus on sentence structure or Reading Comprehension (things that really matter) before touching vocabulary. Make sure you pocket 150 before pushing for 160!

Focus on the rest, 150 guaranteed!

Be practical in your preparation approach, it is the primary differentiator between your aim and your ability. Focusing on Sentence structure and typical Text completion strategies will help you get minimum 40% accuracy in the Sentence Completion category of GRE Verbal. Rest, Reading Comprehension and Critical reasoning are devoid of advanced vocabulary, so you need not devote precious preparation time in vocabulary building. This approach is less risky, less painful and yields better scores.

A caveat to this is that since you are completely ignoring vocabulary, you must make sure you focus on understanding strategies and applications for solving Reading Comprehensions. Once you start this approach, your fear towards Verbal will surely feel misplaced and unnecessary.  

Stay tuned for the next article on sentence structure, Happy studying till then!