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How can I improve GRE Verbal Score?



The Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE General Test contains three types of questions:

1) Text Completion. Fill in the blanks of a sentence with the right word so that the sentence

2) Sentence Equivalence. Figure out which two words from a list of six fit a provided sentence.

3) Reading Comprehension. Answer comprehensive questions about short passages.

While the Reading Comprehension questions appear in sets, the Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence questions are independent.

Text Completion

1) Choose to fill in the easy answers first, this would help you understand the possible intention of the sentences thereby making it much more manageable to consider the words that would fit the context of the given text.

2) Understanding the tone of the sentence is paramount in text completion. Identifying and understanding whether the missing word in the text should carry a positive or negative connotation is necessary to figure out the word.

3) Breaking down the sentence will help the test takers to segment the text and avoid the hassle of numerous answer choices per blank. Thus, proceeding to find the choices after breaking down the sentences would prove more fruitful.

4) Slowing down and reading all the answer choices will help the test takers identify the stronger answer choices for the given text and avoid the pitfall of speed, blinding a wrong answer.

Sentence Equivalence

1) Eliminating a set of answer choices for synonyms is a good idea. But one has to have a cautious approach with this regard. A test taker should also be willing to reconsider an eliminated answer choice that might have an alternate meaning, but still would fit and make sense in a sentence.

2) Multiple synonym pairs might be present to trip up the test taker. So never assume that the first pair of synonyms you’ve found out to be the right answer.

3) While there might be lot of individual words that might make sense in the context of a sentence, one needs to find two words to give the sentence, the similar meaning. This is bound to eliminate and narrow down the choices.

4) The GRE verbal tips would point the test taker to the purpose of the sentence. Identifying the context through the hints and the adverbs would lead them down the path to finding the correct answer.

Reading Comprehension

1) Observation and critical reasoning skills are paramount in identifying the premises, assumption, context, purpose and conclusion of the given argument. Pretending that one is about to debate the author of the text will help contextualise the content and helps engage one’s critical reasoning skills.

2) Always choose an answer that is backed up by concrete evidence present in the passage. There are chances of a test taker being tricked by answer choices that don’t directly contradict the passage but don’t have any evidence present. So, always rely on the evidence given in the passage.

3)Since GRE passages are short in lengths, concentrating on the opening and closing paragraphs and skimming through the middle ones can be considered a time conservative strategy.

4) To answer questions based on a particular sentence, one must endeavour to read the preceding and proceeding lines to understand the context and flow of information.

General Tips:

Reading a lot: One must endeavour to read a lot, for only through reading, and reading challenging, thought-provoking content would one be equipped with the skills to navigate the treacherous waters of the verbal section.

Focus on identifying where you are going wrong: One must persevere to Identify the specific areas in which they struggle with regards to verbal. Only this will help one to work on it and boost their score.

Improving one’s vocabulary: A test taker can prepare for the GRE vocabulary section by simply trying to expand one’s own vocabulary. Working on one’s vocabulary in tandem with improving one’s critical reading a proven successful strategy. Anytime you read an article or an editorial, if you come across a word you do not know, mark it. So that after you finish, you can go back to the marked words to actively memorize them. Practice by writing down your own definitions, synonyms, example sentences, and associations and actively pursue to use these words in real life context in conversations and messages.

With the different types of questions and formats, it’s a good idea for the test taker to practice each type of question as much as possible to avoid mistakes come test day. Go into the test with a positive attitude and focus to ace GRE Verbal Section.