Exams Know-how

How To Prepare For GRE Reading Comprehension: GRE RC Practice, Tips & Strategies

Yocket Editorial Team

The GRE verbal section is often regarded as one of the most difficult sections in the entire GRE test. This section consists of three parts - text completion, sentence equivalence and reading comprehension. Out of these, reading comprehension makes up for the majority of the GRE verbal section. Thus, you must perform well in this part to score well on your GRE. If you are confused about how to start your GRE RC practice, read this blog to get all the tips for GRE reading comprehension as well as GRE reading comprehension strategies.

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Table of Contents
  1. GRE Reading Comprehension: Overview
  2. Top Tips To Prepare For GRE Reading Comprehension
  3. 5 Best Books For GRE Reading Comprehension

Let us first understand a bit about the GRE RC (reading comprehension) section before discussing the GRE RC tips.

Overview of GRE Reading Comprehension

GRE reading comprehension is a part of the GRE verbal section. In the GRE reading comprehension, you will be given a passage which can be academic or non-academic and you will be expected to answer 1-6 questions based on the passage. The total amount of reading comprehension questions in the GRE Verbal section can be anywhere between 10-13.

Each GRE RC passage is constructed on four building blocks, namely:

  • The point: carries information that the author is addressing.
  • The background: highlights the information to develop a deeper understanding of the passage.
  • Support: additional information in the passage such as evidence or examples.
  • Implications: contains a conclusion or a solution or an effective statement to end the passage.

GRE RC has three question types: choose one correct option out the all the options, choose multiple correct options out of the options given or select an appropriate sentence from reference to the passage.

You can click here to see some sample GRE reading comprehension questions.

Now that we know what GRE reading comprehension is all about, let us move on to understanding GRE RC tips and tricks.

Top Tips To Prepare For GRE Reading Comprehension

Practicing for GRE is crucial and a solid preparation will help you get an excellent score in the GRE Verbal section. Here are some of the top tips for GRE reading comprehension that will help you get a stellar score on your GRE.

Read a Lot

The first and one of the most obvious tips for GRE RC would definitely be to read as much as you can and to read actively. You can read academic texts which will help you get used to the high level of reading and will also improve your critical reading skills. You can read various academic textbooks, newspapers or research papers to hone your skills. You should also learn to identify the key phrases and words that will help you understand the main idea behind whatever you are reading.

Understand Strategies

It is very important that you know all the GRE reading comprehension strategies and methods that you can use while solving the section. You can refer to various GRE reading comprehension books that talk about these strategies. The strategies usually include an ideal approach to reading the passages, how to solve the questions on time, how to answer and so on.

Take practice tests

We cannot stress enough how important it is to take GRE reading practice tests or mock tests as much as you can. You can use the official GRE reading practice tests as they’re both highly accurate and similar to what you’ll see on test day. This method will give you a very good idea of how you will perform in the test. Make sure that you don’t forget to time yourself while taking these tests.

Identify your strengths & weaknesses

You will understand the areas you are really good at and the areas that need more focus, after giving practice tests or mock tests. Based on that, you can easily work on your weaknesses and score well in GRE.

Work on your vocabulary

Yet another important tip that you must remember, not just for solving the GRE reading comprehension but the entire GRE Verbal section, is to expand your vocabulary knowledge. You will be asked questions about words and their meanings. Thus, it is crucial that you have good knowledge about a variety of words used in the English language.

Pay attention to link words

When solving GRE reading comprehension questions, focusing on words like yet, but, however, in addition to etc is very important because these are link words which help you to establish a structure to the texts. The words introducing a contrast are particularly important. If you see the word “however” in a passage, you know the direction of the text is going to change. Ideas, and perhaps opinions, will change.

Do not focus too much on irrelevant information

No matter what the topic of your passage is, avoid dwelling too much on details. The test makers set the questions in such a way that may slow down your progress. However, you can solve the test successfully by working from the questions back to the passage. Once you have read the questions and know exactly what you are looking for, it will be easier for you to find relevant answers from the passage.

Suggested: What is the Best Time to Take GRE?

Give evidence for your answer

It is very important that you provide evidence for your answers. You must find evidence for your answer in the passage. All correct answers must be supported by the passage.

Those were all the tips that you can follow for GRE practice reading comprehension. These tips will definitely help you ace your GRE reading comprehension.

We have compiled a list of the best books you can refer to for GRE practice reading comprehension.

Suggested: Know All About GRE Home Edition 

5 Best Books For GRE Reading Comprehension

Wondering which books to refer to for your GRE reading comprehension preparation? We have got you covered.

We have prepared a list of books along with their key features. We have also mentioned a few additional resources apart from books for GRE RC prep.

The best books for GRE RC are as follows:

1. Official GRE Super Power pack By ETS

Key features: 

  1. Most authentic source of study for GRE.
  2. 4 full-length practice tests
  3. 150 verbal reasoning questions
  4. Authoritative overview of AWA section
  5. Detailed explanation of everything

2. Barron’s GRE Verbal Workbook

Key features: 

  1. Contains diagnostic tests which can help students learn about their strengths & weaknesses.
  2. Extensive practice & review chapters that cover all 3 question types - text completion, sentence equivalence & reading comprehension.
  3. GRE RC practice questions
  4. GRE reading comprehension practice tests and explanations to ans
  5. Concise GRE dictionary for practicing vocabulary

Over 3,000 students have attempted more than 30,000 GRE practice questions with Yocket Prep! Where are you at? Check out Yocket Prep for an in-depth section-wise analysis of how you fair well in your GRE preparations! Take a FREE diagnostic test, and get Yocket Prep+ at just Rs 99/-!

3. Manhattan Prep GRE Verbal Strategies

Key Features: 

  1. In-depth analysis of all three GRE verbal question types.
  2. Strategies to help you solve tricky questions
  3. List of plenty of GRE words & roots

4. Magoosh Online GRE Prep

Key features: 

  1. Detailed video lessons on all types of questions.
  2. Option to study anywhere online.
  3. 1200 practice questions
  4. Full-length practice tests
  5. Magoosh Flashcard app & vocab builder app


Key features: 

  1. Very affordable
  2. Live & recorded classes along with study plans, practice questions & tools.
  3. Dictionary with GRE words
  4. Greg Mat’s List - selection of most common GRE words

You can get the above-mentioned books easily from Amazon.

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Apart from these books, you can also refer to previous year’s GRE question papers to practice more. You will get many GRE reading comprehension practice test free. Doing this will ensure that you get a stellar score on your GRE RC.

Those were all the GRE reading comprehension tricks and tips as well as books that you can use to prepare for GRE RC. Get in touch with Yocket counsellors for more guidance on GRE or any other entrance exam.

All the best!


Frequently Asked Questions About GRE Reading Comprehension Preparation

How do I study for reading comprehension on GRE?

How can I improve my GRE RC score?

How do I approach long passages in GRE?

Is GRE reading comprehension difficult?

Which books can I refer to study for GRE reading comprehension?

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