GRE Verbal Prep Guide: How to Study for High Score (Section Tricks)

The GRE, also known as the Graduate Record Examination, is an administered test to assess if one is equipped enough to enter and pursue graduate school. One of the three parts of the examination, the GRE Verbal Reasoning Section, will be specially discussed in this article. Business schools, graduate schools, and PhD programs assess the verbal score scale thoroughly. Verbal reasoning skills are the foundation for creating knowledge through thesis and dissertation writing, which are key elements in higher education. People’s problem-solving, reading skills, language skills, English vocabulary, critical and constructive thinking, and general intelligence are also evaluated. Garnering higher school in this section gives more confidence to examinees that their admission process is guaranteed success.

What are the three categories for GRE verbal questions?

The GRE Verbal Section covers the following categories:

  • Reading Comprehension. Under this category, there will be short passages to read, after which you will have to answer general and specific detail questions concerning each passage.
  • Sentence Equivalence. For this portion, an item would include a single sentence with a blank, which will be answered with two options chosen from a list of six possible answers. Both answers should be appropriate enough to fit into the context of the sentence, and the sentences constructed from the answers should mean the same thing.
  • Text Completion. In order to answer this particular part, a short passage containing several blanks needs to be filled in with the most appropriate words chosen from a list of options to make the sentences in the passage make sense.

These three categories aim to measure verbal reasoning: if one can derive necessary and relevant information from provided data, determine how various sentence components are related to each other and tell how words and concepts go together to make sense of it.

What are the question types in the GRE verbal exam?

These question types can be expected to come up in the verbal reasoning section.

  • Multiple Choice.

For the varieties of multiple-choice questions, there are two: the variety where you choose multiple answer options from an array of choices, and the other where you pick one answer only. In the instance where multiple answers are required for a particular question, it is usually an “all or nothing” situation, which means that even if you only get one answer wrong among your other answers that are correct, the item would still be marked wrong. Always remember to read the question and its context thoroughly before picking the most appropriate answer.

  • Select-in-Passage.

A context will be given along with a passage to read, and from that, you have to derive a particular sentence from what you have just read that matches the provided context best. To answer this question type as efficiently as possible, scrutinize the necessary context that needs to be captured by your chosen answer.

It must be considered that while the two aforementioned types are the usual formats of the questions in the examination, how the question and the answer choices are presented may vary from item to item. Therefore, it should be answered accordingly to the question’s specific context.

How difficult is GRE verbal reasoning?

Moderate is the difficulty level of GRE Verbal Reasoning. The questions were intentionally made tricky, causing one to be confused and end up picking out the wrong answer. This scenario happens when the test taker lacks vocabulary and knowledge about various types of questions and context clues. Rest assured that answering this section will be much easier and worry-free as long as one maximizes the GRE vocabulary that they have studied for and knows how and when to use it in choosing the most appropriate answer for each of the items.

How many questions are present in the GRE verbal reasoning exam in total?

The test is divided into two 30-minute sub-sections, both consisting of 20 verbal reasoning questions each. Specifically, it contains 10 test items for reading comprehension, 4 test items for sentence equivalence, and 6 test items for text completion.

What are the best resources to improve verbal skills?

You can check out and utilize the following resources if you wish to level up your verbal skills further:

  • The Official Guide to the GRE General Test: As the title of the book indicates, this GRE guide is the only official one available, which makes it a must-have in preparing for your upcoming examination. In this guide, you can find each of the respective GRE section’s descriptions, four full-length mock tests, tons of sample questions, and tricks on how to answer various types of verbal questions.
  • Khan Academy: This is an educational website that is free to use by all. ETS and GRE prep highly suggest that this be checked out for the reason that, despite the videos on the website being not particularly made for the GRE, it comprehensively tackles all the same topics that you can expect to see on the exam.
  • How to Ace the GRE Verbal: 13 Expert Tips. In this guide are 13 fool-proof tips and strategies from reliable sources and authorities to increase your chance of attaining a great verbal score.
  • 357 GRE Vocabulary Flashcards: Some do well when they familiarize themselves with the material through the use of flashcards. This set of vocabulary flashcards can be helpful for learning the terms you have to know to ace the verbal reasoning section with ease.

The study materials listed above are helpful in obtaining goal scores. International applicants for whom English is not their native language must thoroughly study the English language.

What are the best study books for GRE verbal reasoning?

Here are ten books to help you study for the Verbal Reasoning Section of the GRE:

  • Official GRE Super Power Pack by ETS. A Super Power Pack is by far the most authentic of its kind, as it has four full-length practise tests, 150 verbal reasoning questions that are from the actual GRE, AWA’s section overview, as well as detailed explanations of why and how each question is answered.
  • GREGMAT. Within the guide, you can find Greg Mat’s List, which is an array of the most common GRE words that you will encounter on the examination. You can also find various study plans where you can pattern your habits with practice questions and vocabulary tools such as a “Movie Dictionary” and a “Word of the Day”. Subscribe and get all of these for only $5 a month.
  • Magoosh Online GRE Prep. This online service lets you study anytime, anywhere on any of your available gadgets: PC, mobile, or tablet. It has 1,200 practice questions in total, including the full-length tests, Magoosh apps such as the Flashcards and the Vocab Builder, and detailed lecture videos on the various types of questions in the examination.
  • The Vocabulary Builder Workbook by Magoosh. The good thing about this workbook is that it builds your vocabulary from the easiest words to the most difficult ones in order. It has 1400 GRE words that are essential to keep in mind. Each word is provided with a meaning that is easy to comprehend, along with its respective pronunciation, etymology, roots, tidbits, themes, and sample sentences. To top it all off, there are vocabulary exercises where you can apply and retain what you have learned so far.
  • Manhattan Prep GRE Verbal Strategies. Get your way out of the GRE’s tricky questions through these techniques and strategies that are easy to learn for the Analytical Writing Assessment, as well as a comprehensive analysis of all the GRE question types for the Verbal Section. A list containing hundreds of GRE words is also in there.
  • 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems. This book is packed with more than 600 sample verbal questions and problems, all of which are created to resemble the actual items on the GRE. It comes with online learning tools that you can utilize and a pre-test to measure the level of your skills.
  • 1,027 GRE Practice Questions by Princeton Review. Focused more on the mastery of techniques for the text completion and sentence equivalence portions of the verbal section, contained in the book are verbal drills for the text completion and bonus online vocabulary content for the sentence equivalence to ease the way out of those problem types. There are still mock tests you can practice with and a diagnostic test to assess how ready you are for the examination.
  • Kaplan’s GRE Verbal Workbook. This workbook has a diagnostic tool to assess where your verbal practice should be targeted and contains six sets of full-length verbal reasoning mock tests that comprise hundreds of questions and drills, a refresher course on the basic skills to be mastered, like vocabulary, and tips and tricks to ace the Analytical Writing Section and all of the other sections under the GRE Verbal Reasoning.
  • Verbal Workout for the GRE by Princeton Review. Workout your verbal skills with all these 250 practice questions covering all the question types with their respective answers and explanations. You can also find lots of essential vocabulary words and mini-quizzes to keep your learning in check, as well as effective analytical writing tips and rules.
  • Barron’s GRE Verbal Workbook. This is a typical workbook that comprises a diagnostic test for the students to gauge their strengths and weaknesses, review chapters, two mock texts that cover all three question types, and a GRE Dictionary that has the necessary vocabulary words that need to be familiarized.

You can easily purchase and access all of these either online or by going to bookstores near you to check if they are available. The prices for all books vary. Reasoning practice, taking official practise tests, and answering sentence completion practice questions are a must to be prepared for the actual exam day. For standardized tests like the GRE, it would really pay to go by the books you read to hone your vocabulary and verbal reasoning.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Verbal Prep?

Go all in and get the most out of your verbal prep for the GRE with these tips:

  • Build and strengthen your vocabulary. Having adequate knowledge of vocabulary words is an edge to getting a competitive score in the verbal section.
  • Learn the GRE language: all the terms, how questions and passages are worded, and the like.
  • Practice controlling your pacing by answering question sets repeatedly until you get the hang of it.
  • Interest yourself in researching unfamiliar words you encounter while studying so you can lock them in your memory.
  • Look at questions the way the test authors would formulate them.

It will take dedication and close attention to effectively retain all the learning you accumulate, and these five tips will surely do the trick.

What are the tips for studying for the GRE Verbal Section?

Study efficiently with this step-by-step guide on how to study for the GRE Verbal Section:

  • Learn how the GRE Verbal is formatted. Assess the individual questions and make further observations on the structure of the passage questions.
  • Set your target GRE score.
  • Know your Baseline Score by taking a practice test.
  • From your baseline score, estimate how much of the coverage you need to study.
  • Create and go for a study plan that is most comfortable and feasible for you.
  • Re-examine your ability to read into verbal content.
  • Practice answering sample questions repeatedly until you get the hang of it.
  • Practice answering with time management.
  • Equip yourself with strategies for answering efficiently.
  • Constantly keep your progress in check.
  • Recognize your strengths and work to improve your weaknesses.

Having an organized study plan and following the strategies mentioned are vital to becoming more familiar with the exam pattern and further developing critical reasoning. Discipline and consistency are your allies, and you will never go wrong as long as you stick to these steps for effectively studying for the GRE. It is not impossible to get a perfect score if you follow all the strategies mentioned above.

What are the strategies for answering GRE verbal text completion?

The verbal text completion will be a little less of a trick once you do the following:

  • Grasp the overall theme of the passage by reading through it completely.
  • Take note of words that highlight the important parts of the passage to fully comprehend the context.
  • While reading the blank spaces, try answering them first in your own words, then choose a similar option from the answer choices that is appropriate to make the passage make sense.
  • The blanks, if the statement has two or three of them, do not need to be answered according to which blank comes first. If you have the answer already, all of the other remaining blanks may follow.
  • When all of the blanks for each item have been filled, re-read the entire passage again and make sure that it makes perfect sense grammatically, logically, and stylistically.

Mindfulness is key. Each word that you read in the test is important, so keep your eyes open for details.

What are the strategies for answering GRE verbal sentence equivalence?

For the verbal sentence equivalence part, the seven points mentioned below have to be considered:

  1. Bear in mind that it is the completed sentence that should have the same thought, but the correct answer choices may differ and still have the same meaning.
  2. Check if each answer option is potentially the correct answer before deciding on your final one.
  3. You can know what an unfamiliar word means through either its root word or affix.
  4. Look out for words and phrases that indicate comparing and contrasting ideas.
  5. Attempt to fill in the blanks with your own words first before choosing from the given answer choices.
  6. Constantly make sure that the sentences that you fill in with your chosen answer make total sense.
  7. Definitions of the given words may vary from each other, so consider that.

Taking your time to digest everything you read helps you make sense of the sentences provided. Patience, as well as these tips, are required for an effective prep.

What are the strategies for GRE verbal reading comprehension?

Reading a whole passage and comprehending its meaning can be tedious and would really consume your time in the exam. Here are strategies to maximize the time allotted for verbal reading comprehension:

  1. The meaning of words and sentences must be understood.
  2. Know how to locate the general and specific points in a passage and how each one plays a part in giving out its overall meaning.
  3. Reduce your understanding of a passage after reading it in its most basic form.
  4. Use the summary to come to a conclusion.
  5. Look for the gaps and subtle hints in the presented information and take note of them if there are any.
  6. Identify and analyze the presented information through its strengths and weaknesses.
  7. Create alternative explanations for other possible explanations.

Reading comprehension should not be difficult for you as long as you know what to look for in the passages you read in order to grasp the message they convey.

What should be the higher priority while answering the GRE verbal?

In answering the Verbal Section, a recommended order of test items to prioritize answering first is listed below:

  1. Text Completion Questions with 1 blank, 30-45 secs to answer, 1 point
  2. Sentence Equivalence Questions, 30-45 secs to answer, 1 point
  3. Text Completion Questions with 2 blanks, 1 to 1.5 minutes to answer, 1 point
  4. Reading Comprehension Passage with 3 questions each, 4-6 minutes, 3 points
  5. Text Completion Questions with 3 blanks, 1 point

This is arranged according to which items you get the most accumulated points when you put them first in your answer. Even so, remember not to skip any test items, and once you get the hang of answering quickly, pick up your pace and speed up a little until you finish answering all questions.

How to manage your time well in GRE verbal reasoning?

Answer the questions you find the easiest first, and then the ones you get the most points for. Don’t spend more than 30–45 seconds on an item, but you can always go back to the questions you found tricky. Make sure to not skip any. When reading the passages, take your time to fully grasp the concept before going for the questions. If you finish under the time allotted for the test section, fully utilize the time left and review your answers. Taking English practice Questions with time deadlines will be helpful in verbal preparation.

How can a test taker improve their verbal GRE score?

Look into the following hacks listed below on how to improve your verbal score on the GRE while practising repeatedly taking the test to prepare for the actual one:

  1. Hone your vocabulary.
  2. Make a list of the most common GRE words you may encounter.
  3. List words unfamiliar to you.
  4. Make use of flashcards for better vocabulary memorization.
  5. Consistently set attainable study goals.
  6. Use the words you learn in your day-to-day life to apply and remember them better.
  7. Read quality resources that you can get to practice context analysis skills.

With the help of these hacks, hard work, and dedication, you will surely get that improved GRE Verbal Score.

What are the mistakes to avoid in GRE verbal reasoning?

Refrain from making the following mistakes when taking the GRE Verbal Reasoning Examination:

  • Skimming through the passages and questions and not reading them properly.
  • Looking at the answer choices way before figuring out the question.
  • Not attempting to answer items and skipping them
  • Spending so much time on an item
  • Unawareness of your own strengths and the aspects that you solve the most quickly.

Test takers don’t need to worry. As long as you stick to what you have studied and prepared for, know your strengths and weaknesses, and what to prioritize while you’re answering the actual test, you should be good.

What are the best ways to ace a 160 or higher score on the GRE Verbal Reasoning?

Secure a score of 160 or higher on the GRE with the best tips and tricks we have compiled for you below:

  • Practice answering with no time limit. That way, you’ll know how slow or fast your pace is.
  • Learn the essential parts of a passage.
  • Take note of how wrong answer choices are patterned in questions.
  • Always look into the question’s context.
  • Be mindful of even the smallest details.
  • Look for keywords and you could take the context of a sentence or passage from them.
  • Remember how sentences and passages are punctuated.
  • Turn to authentic and reliable publications for study resources.
  • Interest yourself in knowing about newly-discovered vocabulary words.
  • Make use of flashcards to study words.
  • Construct your own sentences with the vocabulary words you learn.
  • Use your newly acquired vocabulary words in your daily writing.
  • After finishing a practise test, look for where you made errors and set a target to get better in those areas.

There’s no denying that the Verbal Section is a tough and challenging part to answer, but by taking time to primarily hone your vocabulary and comprehension skills and these tips at hand, examinees can achieve higher GRE Verbal section scores.

Can a GRE prep Course help with study for Verbal Reasoning?

Yes, the best online gre prep course are be instrumental in preparing for the Verbal Reasoning section. Such courses offer structured study plans, practice questions, and test-taking strategies tailored to the GRE’s unique format. They provide insights into common verbal question types, such as reading comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence. Engaging in a prep course will boost confidence, enhance vocabulary, and improve analytical skills, all of which are vital for success in the Verbal Reasoning section.

Will a GRE Prep course for Verbal Reasoning help non English Language speakers?

Yes, a GRE prep course for Verbal Reasoning is beneficial to prepare non-English language speakers. While the Verbal Reasoning section assesses language skills, it doesn’t necessarily require native-level fluency. Such courses provide strategies for tackling the unique challenges posed by GRE Verbal questions, including vocabulary, reading comprehension, and critical reasoning. Non-native speakers will learn how to approach these tasks systematically, improve their comprehension skills, and expand their English vocabulary.