GRE Verbal is a very crucial part of the entire GRE test. The first thing to know if you are wondering how to prepare for GRE verbal is that you will have to answer vocabulary questions. It may look easy, but most students report that they find the GRE Verbal section a bit tricky, and unlike the quantitative section of GRE, the syllabus for GRE Verbal cannot be enumerated. You could be quizzed on the many thousands of words that make up the English language.
Therefore, it is crucial for your study plan to be top-notch so that you can reach your desired GRE score target easily.
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GRE Verbal: Overview
The 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 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.'
The GRE verbal section consists of two 30-minute sections containing 20 questions each.
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 the 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 with 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, Sentence Equivalence, and the second block of Reading Comprehension.
From these components, reading comprehension forms the majority of the questions you will encounter in GRE verbal reasoning. Therefore, preparing very well for the reading comprehension section is recommended.
We have discussed some of the best GRE verbal section tips below, which can help you understand how to ace GRE Verbal section. Keep on reading to know more!
Top Tips On GRE Verbal Preparation
Here are the GRE Verbal tricks & tips that will help you ace the section. Take a look at the best preparation techniques for GRE Verbal below.
Understand The Format Of the GRE Verbal Section
The first and foremost thing to do before you even start studying is to understand the format of the GRE Verbal section. This will give you an idea of the questions you will face, and you will know what to expect in the entire section.
Figure Out Your Target Score
The next step is to determine the average Verbal scores for each college you wish to apply for. This information can be found on each program's Admissions page. Make a list or a chart with all this information for each college you're considering. Then, on the list, find the highest Verbal score. To get your goal score, add two points to it.
This way, you'll be above the allowed score range for all of the colleges you're interested in. It also ensures you're not spending a lot of time trying to get an unnecessarily high score.
Take A Mock Test
One of the best ways to study for GRE verbal is by giving mock tests. You can use GRE PowerPrep to find mock tests. The PowerPrep tests are made by the same people who make the real GRE, so the practice test will be very similar to the actual exam.
The verbal score you get in these tests will determine how well you are doing currently in the GRE verbal section & will give you an idea about how much you need to practice and which areas that need more focus.
Make a Study Plan
Depending on your target score, you must make a study plan. It will assist you in making the most of your time by allowing you to set study goals and track your progress. Three months is a good amount of time to study for the GRE. However, depending on your score goal and schedule, you may study for more or less time.
It will be easier to prepare for the GRE if you keep a consistent schedule because you will know when you should be studying and can fit the rest of your schedule around it.
Review Verbal Content
Once you prepare your study plan, you can start studying for the GRE Verbal section using various resources. To do well in this section, you will have to practice a lot of reading comprehension and have a solid vocabulary. You can study from various GRE prep books and the official GRE guide or refer to Khan Academy, a free educational website recommended by ETS for GRE prep.
Make sure you also solve many practice questions from various official GRE prep resources.
Another best way to prepare for GRE Verbal is by learning strategies. There are various strategies that can help you ace the GRE verbal section. These strategies include figuring out how to read passages quickly yet carefully, solving the questions on time, reading all the answer choices, answering all the questions and so on. You can find many more strategies in GRE prep books as well.
Identify Your Strengths & Weakness
After you are well-versed in how to answer GRE Verbal section, identify your strengths & weaknesses. Look at all the questions you answered incorrectly and if you notice any pattern, look for ways to improve it. Similarly, look for the questions where you have performed very well too. This will help you understand how to prepare better for the GRE verbal section.
Those were all the verbal GRE tips you can keep in mind while preparing for the section. In addition to the verbal GRE tips mentioned above, there are also a few Dos & Donts when preparing for the GRE verbal section. We have mentioned them in the next section of this blog.
Dos & Donts Of The GRE Verbal Preparation
Here are the basic and most common do’s & dont’s that you must keep in mind whenever you attempt the GRE verbal section.
Let us first look at all the things that you are NOT supposed to do during the GRE verbal prep, followed by all the things that you should do.
Here are the things that you should avoid doing during your GRE Verbal prep:
- Do not mug up words without understanding their meaning. By doing this, there is a great possibility of you forgetting everything during the test.
- Do not try to remember the words alphabetically, as there are chances of missing some words in the sequence.
- Do not trust every online site that comes your way. Only study from the official GRE guides or any other official resource.
- Do not try to learn more than 10-20 words per day. Be patient and understand it as a process.
- Do not just read words and move on to their meanings. Understand everything in detail & look at the spellings too.
- Do not mix up words.
- Do not guess if you don't know the answer while giving mock tests or even during the actual test.
- Lastly, do not get extremely stressed out during your studies. Take small breaks and, move around, go for walks.
Here are the things that you should do during your GRE verbal prep:
- Focus on strengthening your vocabulary.
- When you learn a new word, try to frame sentences using that word so that you can remember it better.
- Prepare only from official resources.
- Try solving as many practice questions as possible & also give GRE mock tests.
- Read a lot of English books and articles, watch English movies, news and TV shows and think and speak in English.
While these tips and tricks are great to get started with, they become easier when students have an efficient tool that can help put these tips to practice. Yocket GRE Prep is one such tool. The aim of this free tool is to help students conduct mock tests on all sections of the GRE verbal test. Upon completion, the tool will generate a detailed scorecard with reference to the complete GRE score, verbal score, correct question count, etc.
However, if you wish to get detailed access to prepare for the GRE verbal test, we suggest opting for our premium version of this tool, Yocket GRE Prep+. This tool unlocks all required tests, such as mini GRE tests, 4 Mini and 3 Full-length GRE® Mock Tests with timed/untimed modes and more.