GRE verbal is one of the crucial sections that you must focus on in order to get a good GRE score. The section measures the ability of the non-native English speakers to comprehend long reading passages and language skills. In all honesty, this section can be a little tricky to crack and many students struggle with this section - even English Majors! If you are someone who is thinking on the lines of “how to improve my GRE verbal score”, this blog is for you! Read this blog till the end to get all the details about how to improve GRE verbal score.
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Overview of GRE Verbal Section
GRE general test is the most widely accepted graduate admission test worldwide. It is accepted by thousands of graduate, business and law schools across the globe. You will be scored on 3 sections in the GRE - analytical writing, verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning.
The GRE verbal section is regarded as difficult by many test takers. The verbal section evaluates your ability to read and analyse written content in the form of phrases, paragraphs, and passages. This section also contains a lot of jargon, which is why it is rated as 'difficult.' For some students, the unfamiliarity of attempting this section and encountering a significant number of new terms may be overwhelming.
The GRE verbal section consists of two 30-minute sections, containing 20 questions each.
We will discuss everything about how to improve your verbal score in GRE in this blog further.
Types of GRE Verbal Questions
The score range for the entire GRE verbal section is 130 - 170. There are 3 types of questions in the GRE verbal section, namely:
- Text Completion: fill in the blanks and complete the text using correct options.
- Sentence Equivalence: choose two answers, that when used to complete the sentence, fit the meaning of the sentence as a whole, and produce completed sentences that have the same meaning.
- Reading Comprehension: read the given passages and answer the questions based on the passage.
Every GRE verbal section will have the same format, i.e - Text Completions, then a block of Reading Comprehension questions, then Sentence Equivalence, and finally a second block of Reading Comprehension.
From these components, reading comprehension forms the majority of the questions you will encounter in GRE verbal reasoning. Therefore, the best way to improve GRE verbal score would be to prepare very well for reading comprehension.
Let us now understand how to improve GRE verbal scores. We have some amazing tips in store for you which can tell you how to improve verbal score GRE.
Suggested: Know how to prepare for GRE Verbal?
Tips To Improve Your GRE Verbal Score
If you are wondering how to improve verbal section of GRE, here are some helpful tips which can help you with just that. We have divided the tips according to each sub-section in the entire GRE Verbal section.
Keep on reading to know how to increase verbal GRE score.
How To Nail The Text Completion Section?
It is important that you don’t waste much time on this section by trying to consider all the possible answer combinations. It can also increase your chances of making an error. Thus, it is recommended that you analyse the text in the following ways:
- Read everything carefully: Students must first try to understand the gist of the text. Think on the lines of what is the message being sent by the text? What is the tone of the text? What is the text’s contextual meaning? This will ensure that you have a better understanding of the text.
- Note significant words: words like but, however, indeed, nevertheless etc may emphasise the passage structure or can help you understand the context of the passage.
- Break down the questions: students should break down the questions in parts rather than attempting it all together. This can help with understanding the questions better and one can grasp the probable meaning of the missing text quickly.
- Vocabulary: knowledge of GRE words and meanings is a must in order to ace this section. This will help you deduce the meaning of the passage easily.
How To Nail The Sentence Equivalence Section?
- Read the sentences carefully: read the sentence at least twice two make sense of it and don’t make the mistake of just glancing at the statement and jumping to the options.
- Don’t fill in the blanks with your own words: many students fill in the blanks using their own words. This increases the chances of making mistakes and losing marks. Your mind will automatically offer word choices as you go through the process of sentence comprehension to determine if the sentence makes sense with the words. Then you can compare it to the available answer possibilities to see if you can get closer to your objective faster.
- Signal words: look out for signal words like however/although/but as they may imply a contrast in the sentence. While words such as furthermore/ additionally/ indeed lend support to the accompanying arguments. Such signal words will help you understand the context of the sentence quickly.
- Fill in the blanks with appropriate answers: Students should be aware of the answer choices that are synonymous. Even though two words have the same meaning, the statement may not be logical or even grammatically correct if you use the words. Thus, make sure you choose the correct words and make sure that the overall sentence makes sense.
How To Nail The Reading Comprehension Section?
- Read the questions before reading the passage: it would be better if you read the questions based on the passage before you read the passage as it will help you find answers in the passage quickly.
- Summarise the passage: read the passage very carefully and in detail and make sure you have a mental mind map of the passage, i.e its gist/essence/the message it was trying to give etc. Underline or highlight certain themes or words in the passage that are important. This will help you save time on finding the correct answers.
- Consider all the answer choices: in multiple choice questions, make sure to carefully analyse all the options. The difference between options might be very minimal but consider all the options before arriving at the right answer.
- Stick to the passage: there may be some answer options that provide similar information or state general facts/opinions on the same topic as discussed in the passage. Thus, make sure that you only stick to options that have actual passage information.
- Review your answers: there are 2-4 questions on each passage. After answering all the questions, make sure that you review your responses and change your response if you feel you chose the wrong answer.
Those were all the tips on how to improve GRE verbal score. Make sure that you are calm and don’t rush through the questions. We also have a few bonus tips which will help you prepare effectively for the GRE Verbal section.
Bonus Tips For Overall GRE Verbal Section
Some bonus tips to keep in mind while attempting the GRE Verbal section are:
- Memorise a lot of vocabulary
- Keep finding new words and make a list of words that you don’t recognize.
- There are many apps which have GRE words. You can flip through these apps in your free time.
- Incorporate new words in your thoughts and conversations so that you can remember them better.
- Start reading articles from newspapers like The New Yorker, Scientific American, The Atlantic & The Economist. This will help you master the reading comprehension section.
- Don't skip any question in the GRE Verbal section as there is no negative marking.
Suggested: Best apps to prepare for GRE
If you prepare well and use the above suggestions in your GRE preparation, there’s a great chance that you will see a significant improvement in your scores. Studying smartly and using the right techniques to study is the key to achieving a great GRE score. Remember to keep calm and not stress out and ace your exam by taking Yocket’s GRE Prep!.
All The Best!
Frequently Asked Questions On How To Improve GRE Verbal Score
Ques. What is important in GRE Verbal?
Ans. Focus and work on reading comprehension skills because that forms the majority of the questions in the GRE Verbal section.
Ques. How to increase GRE Verbal score?
Ans. Your GRE verbal score will increase significantly if you score well in the reading comprehension section as that comprises the majority of the GRE verbal section.
Ques. What are the questions types in GRE Verbal?
Ans. There are 3 types of questions asked under GRE Verbal - text completion, reading comprehension & sentence equivalence.
Ques. What should be the highest priority while solving GRE Verbal?
Ans. Solve the text completion and sentence equivalence questions first as they take less time and then move on to reading comprehension.
Ques. Which books should I refer to for GRE Verbal preparation?
Ans. You can refer to books like - ETS official GRE guide, Manhattan Verbal, Barron’s Verbal Book.