How To Ace In The GRE Verbal
"This article is written by Indian student (Perumal Gandhi) who got 164 in GRE Verbal"
The new GRE Verbal is a test of, first your vocabulary, second your ability to understand and complete a sentence, and lastly your ability to analyze the sentences and paragraphs provided. If you want to score high in this section, your preparation must start a few months in advance.
The GRE Verbal consists of three separate areas of testing:
While test strategies for each of the three sections will be discussed in detail, just by increasing your vocabulary, you will drastically increase your chance of scoring high on all of the sections.
How to Ace The GRE Verbal - Vocabulary
A high vocabulary directly correlates to a higher understanding of the English language. Additionally, a high vocabulary will allow you to express your ideas and views in a more cogent and articulate manner. Do the following to increase your vocabulary (note that it will take a minimum of two months to do this properly):
- Barron's Word List: The entire list consists roughly 4000 words, if you want a score higher than 160, then it will be necessary to wade through the entire list. But since the New GRE places a lower emphasis on Vocabulary, even if you just complete the high frequency "Ubiquitous 800" word list, you will be able to score a 150+.
Use the Words Regularly: Continuous revision is a necessity if you hope to learn the entire word list, so make use of the words which you hear every day when even the opportunity presents itself. Additionally once a week, revise all the words which you learned the previous week.
- Use Flash Cards: A easy and fun way to revise on the go, is to use flash cards. While you do get them ready made, if you make your own they will prove to be more effective, since you will be writing them down as well.
- Mean GRE verbal score is 150.4.
- Recommended book: Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions volume 1 - second Edition. The book is from ETS and has detailed explanations with hints and tips.
How to Ace the GRE Verbal Text Completion
The only things which are checked in the text completion section is your ability to understand the complete picture i.e. your ability to select words which will fill the blanks completely and make sense to read. Clues to the answer will be found within the words present in the passage itself, so read carefully before answering.
How to Ace the GRE Verbal Sentence Equivalence
This is by far the easiest of the three sections, mostly because with a strong vocabulary you will be able to answer most of them correctly. An important tip for this section is that you must select two words which mean the same thing, complete the sentence perfectly i.e. of the 6 answer choices provided, 3 will be obviously wrong, the other three will fit, but only two will be synonyms, so always select the synonyms!
How to Ace the GRE Verbal Reading Comprehension
This is by far the toughest of the three sections in the GRE Verbal since it requires a high vocabulary, a high understanding of the English language, and a high reading/understanding speed. The only way to score high in this section is to:
- Read classic books where the use of language is exceptionally good
- Read newspapers articles of high quality i.e. The Hindu Editorial Section
- Understand the flow and reasoning behind the text
- Read about the different types of questions which are commonly asked; this will save you time and allow you to find the answer faster
- Practice, Practice, and more Practice (try as many questions as you can)
While all of the above will take a lot of time and effort from your part, it will pay off big. If you manage to do all of the above, you are guaranteed a 160+ score.