Right Approach to GRE Verbal Preparation

3 minute read

GRE is an uphill task for many aspirants as learning thousands of words in Vocabulary list becomes a nightmare for them. A non-native speaker finds it extremely hard to learn tons of words and their meaning, especially if they have few weeks to appear for the exam. However if studying in U.S. is your dream then this is unavoidable that you crack GRE exam. We must perform out best on both the sections – Math & Verbal. Students who come from the engineering background generally do not have many issues with the math section but finds it difficult to crack verbal section. Non-native speaker takes this as a disadvantage to appear for such vocabulary heavy exam.


There are many straightforward tips and strategies to boost your score on GRE verbal section:

  • The first step is to improve your reading skills. You should start reading stuff from diverse range of topics. You can take subscriptions for magazines like Scientific American, The Economist, The Guardian, The New York Times. Start reading articles, newspaper and journals from most popular places say MIT Technology Review, IEEE, Oxford university press, JMIR publications etc.
  • Good books and novels are best source of enhancing reading skills and learning new words. You can make it a practice to read a book, at least few pages, before you go for sleep and you may continue this habit even after your GRE Exam. When you read a new word, immediately look up for the meaning and try to re-read the same sentence, this will help to remember that word for a longer time. Few good books to start with are The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, Future shock by Alvin Toffler and many more….
  • Many of us find it difficult to read and learn, but learning by hearing works well for most of the human being. You can start watching American Television series and British movies. Such Audios and videos will introduce plenty of new words to your ears. Few recommendations are The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Sherlock, House of cards, Once upon a time, Boston Legal and many more…         Alert: This suggestion is only for the beginners and you must not waste time on watching unnecessary and out of context movies and shows. And you must continue reading the magazines and journals.
  • Create your own journal and keep a record of all the words that you encounter while Reading books, watching shows or solving GRE type questions. Revise them on regular basis to incorporate them in your long term memory. You can make use of apps like notepad on your smart phone to make your revision sessions handy.
  • There are many resources on the internet also to improve your word bank. You can play word games on websites like Merriam Webster, Word Games, Vocabulary.co.il, knoword etc…Instead of wasting your times on games like Temple run, League of Legends etc.
  • Mnemonics is another fantastic way to remember the meaning of new words that you learn on everyday basis. Many students use this as a tool to learn the meaning of common words that are tested on GRE.For Example: Melange can be thought as Melon + Orange and the word ‘Melange’ means ‘mixture’. This way you will be able to remember the word and recollect that later.
  • To boost your performance on reading comprehension section of GRE, it will be a good practice to write the summaries of whatever you read in magazines, newspaper and books. Try to cut short the long journals or top stories you read and write them in your own language in six to seven lines.
  • Vocabulary building is not the only task on GRE prep list to succeed on the test. Focus on improving grammar skills, reading habits and solving authentic GRE questions. Continuously appear for full length tests to understand you weakness and strengths on all important areas of the test.

Although, it is important to score high in each section, it is also important to have a balanced score in all sections. Neither of the individual sections can be given advantage over one another. Test takers are advised to focus on scoring good in all the sections.

Chinu Vasudeva,

Head- Academics,

[email protected]


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