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How to tackle the verbal reasoning section of the GRE

Posted on July 23, 2020
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Students who attempt the GRE are a little unnerved when it comes to handling the verbal reasoning section. Students from science and technical backgrounds consider it tough to tackle this section of the GRE. The fact is this section is not a test of the English language or vocabulary, it is rather a test of logic and reasoning and the candidate’s use of his language abilities.

Types of questions in the verbal reasoning section:

Reading Comprehension- You will have to read a passage and answer questions related to it.

Sentence Equivalence– You will have to read a sentence and fill in the blanks with two answer choices that will give the sentence the same meaning.

Text Completions– You will have to fill in the sentence with one, two or three blanks from the options given.

The right preparation will help you gain a reasonably good score in this section.

Improve reading skills

Good reading skills are important to score well on the Verbal Reasoning section. You must learn how to read critically. This will help you not only develop the ability to read but also understand, analyze, assess, and pinpoint the information in order to get solutions. This is the most important skill you must learn to successfully tackle this section of the GRE.

Vocabulary continues to play a vital role in scoring well on the verbal reasoning section.  This section focuses on the contextual meaning of the word rather than testing the mere rote memory of the word. Every word that is tested is based on its meaning within the context of the question that is asked. So, you must learn the meaning of words based on how they are used in context.

Learn the right way

The best way to prepare would be to make reading a regular habit. Read newspapers, magazines, good books on a regular basis. This will automatically increase the vocabulary. Take a high-frequency GRE word list. Learn 30 words daily. Learn their meaning as well as their contextual usage through sentences. Learn through word clusters. Look up the words in the dictionary – add 3 to 4 words as its synonym from a thesaurus. Multiply your words. Every third day revises the words picked up in the last 2 days. Take every unknown word from the GRE practice questions checkout its meaning and learn – revise.

Learning vocabulary is an ongoing process and cannot be mastered in a day or two. Ultimately, one must understand verbal reasoning is not a test of vocabulary. It is a test of critical reading plus vocabulary.

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