GRE Verbal Reasoning Section

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Verbal Reasoning GRE

GRE or Graduate Record Examination is an admission test required for taking admissions in master’s and doctoral degree courses in various countries i.e US, UK, Canada, Singapore, and Australia. Students who want to take admitted to the top universities around the world must prepare with utmost dedication to ace the GRE with great marks. This blog includes everything you should know about the GRE, from GRE Exam Pattern to Verbal Reasoning Tips.

GRE Graduate Record Examinations
Purpose To take admission in Masters and Doctoral PhD Courses
Duration  3 hours and 45 minutes (Including 1-minute breaks after each section and a 10-minute break after the third section)
Required by US, UK, Canada, Singapore, Australia, etc.
Validity 5 Years
Sections Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing
Average Score 292+
Maximum Score 300+
GRE Exam Fee $213 (INR 15K)
GRE Exam Eligibility  No specific eligibility criteria.
Age Limit 18 years or above.
Academic Qualifications A Bachelor’s Degree

GRE Exam Pattern

The GRE takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the test. There are 6 sections with a 1-minute and a 10-minutes break after each section and the third section respectively. Mentioned below is the GRE General Test Pattern:

Section  Number of Questions Allotted Time
Analytical Writing(1 Section with 2 Tasks) Task 1- Analyse an Issue
Task 2- Analyse an argument
Task 1- 30 Minutes
Task 2- 30 Minutes
Verbal Reasoning(2 Sections) 1 Section- 20 Questions
2 Section- 20 Questions
1 Section- 30 Minutes
2 Section- 30 Minutes
Quantitative Reasoning(2 Sections) 1 Section- 20 Questions
2 Section- 20 Questions
1 Section- 35 Minutes
2 Section- 35 Minutes

Also Read: GRE Test Prep

Verbal Reasoning in GRE Score Measures

The following detailed list is how the GRE scores are measured usually:

Section Score Scale
Analytical Writing 0–6, in half-point increments
Verbal Reasoning 130–170, in 1-point increments
Quantitative Reasoning 130–170, in 1-point increments

Also Read: GRE Syllabus

GRE Verbal Reasoning – Basics

The Verbal Reasoning portions are intended to assess a student’s ability to assess written content, synthesize collected knowledge, examine connections among sentence component components, and recognize linkages between words and concepts. The Verbal Reasoning parts of the GRE assume competence in English and are meant to assess the ability to interpret language in complex ways. Non-US test-takers outscored US test-takers in Quantitative Reasoning in 2013, but US test-takers outperformed non-US test-takers in Verbal Reasoning.

Two of the GRE’s five scored portions are Verbal Reasoning, while the sixth “experimental or research” section might be Quantitative Reasoning or Verbal Reasoning. Because the GRE is adaptive on a section-by-section basis, the content of your second Verbal Reasoning portion will be determined by your performance in the first. The first portion will consist of a combination of simple and challenging questions; the second segment’s difficulty level will be changed depending on your performance. Test takers who perform well will be able to “level up” the test and face increasingly challenging questions in the second portion. When calculating the final score, the difficulty level of the second portion is taken into account; more difficult exams have the potential to get a higher final score.

Structure of GRE Verbal Reasoning Section

  1. The verbal component of the GRE is divided into two subsections, each with 20 questions. It is a computer-adaptive exam. In other words, your performance in the first sub-section determines the difficulty level and greatest potential score in the second.
  2. Each subsection has a time limit of 30 minutes.
  3. The sorts of questions in each subsection are as follows:
    1. Text completion – 6
    2. Sentence equivalence – 4
    3. Reading comprehension – 10

Answering Strategies for GRE Verbal Reasoning Section

The GRE Verbal Reasoning Strategies for each sub-section are shown below.

Answering Strategies for Text Completion

  • Begin by reading the entire chapter to gain a feel of the overall message.
  • Identify terms that either underline the structure of the piece (despite, moreover, anyhow, etc.) or are critical to comprehending the situation being addressed.
  • Fill in the blanks with your own words, then check through the possibilities for a similar term or phrase that is appropriate for the chapter.
  • It is not necessary to fill in the blanks in the order in which they appear. Filling in the third blank in a section with three blanks can be the simplest, to begin with.
  • Once you’ve chosen solutions for all of the gaps, read the entire section again to make sure it’s still coherent in all three meanings — grammatical, logical, and stylistic.

Answering Strategies for Sentence Equivalence

  • Remember that the correct answer choices need not have words that have the same meaning. The words themselves may alter, but the whole phrase should have the same meaning.
  • Before choosing the correct responses, make sure to think about all of the possibilities.
  • You can deduce the meaning of unknown terms by using root words, prefixes, and suffixes.
  • Look for English words and phrases that imply a comparison or contrast.
  • Before you look at the selections, try to fill in the blanks with your own words.
  • To ensure that the statement is coherent, always double-check by reading the entire sentence with your chosen choice.
  • Also, take into account minor differences in the meaning of each term.

Answering Strategies for Reading Comprehension

  • Begin by reading the questions; this will prepare you to recognize answers when you read the material.
  • While reading the paragraph, identify the passage’s topic, scope, and purpose. Wherever possible, isolate theme terms.
  • Make a distinction between facts and views.
  • If necessary, to better comprehend the content, including the questions and response options.
  • Consider all of your alternatives because some questions may have many valid answers.
  • Allowing your perspective or outside information to influence your understanding of the content given is not a good idea. Work within the constraints of the situation.

Syllabus for GRE Verbal Reasoning

Three questions are included in the GRE Verbal Reasoning syllabus:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Sentence Equivalence
  • Text Completion

GRE Reading Comprehension

The GRE verbal portion’s reading comprehension component consists mostly of three sorts of questions:

  • There are five possibilities for each question, but only one correct answer. You must extract facts from the passage.
  • You must choose all of the right answers to multiple-choice questions with three possibilities. You will need to compare thoughts and ideas and draw conclusions.
  • Choose the correct statement from the passage that corresponds to the provided description.
  • Determine the link between the highlighted sentence and the available alternatives.
  • Determine the relationship between the bolded and non-bolded portions of the passage.

GRE Verbal Topics

  • Modifiers and Parallelism
  • Verbs and Tenses
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions
  • Nouns, Pronouns, and Adjectives
  • Pronoun Agreement

GRE Text Completion

  • One to five sentences make up the reading passage for the verbal component of the GRE.
  • There are five options for each blanked question.
  • Three answer options are provided in double-blanked questions.
  • The passage arts are linked.
  • Three response options are provided for triple-blanked questions.
  • For each blank, only one response is correct.
  • You can fill in several blanks with the same answer.

GRE Sentence Equivalence

  • GRE Sentence Equivalence There is only one statement and one blank in Verbal Reasoning.
  • There are six possible answers from which you must choose two.
  • If you select only one option, you will receive no credit.

Types of Questions in the Verbal Reasoning Section

The Verbal Reasoning Section is supposed to test a student’s ability to evaluate, analyze and combine the information obtained from the given written material. The Verbal Reasoning Section has 3 Sub-Sections i.e Reading Comprehension, Text Completion, and Sentence Equivalence. 

Reading Comprehension for Verbal Reasoning in GRE

This section contains questions specifically designed to test a student’s ability to read and understand the following range of abilities:

  • To understand the meaning of individual words and sentences
  • To understand the meaning of paragraphs
  • The ability to distinguish between minor and major points
  • The ability to summarize a passage
  • The ability to conclude from the information provided
  • To understand the reasoning from incomplete data to infer missing information
  • To understand the structure of a text in terms of relating parts to one another
  • The ability to identify the author’s assumptions and perspective
  • The ability to analyze a text and reach conclusions about it
  • The ability to identify strengths and weaknesses of a position develop and consider alternative explanations

Reading Comprehension Question Structure

Passage Length The majority are one paragraph
One or two have more than one paragraphs
Number of Passages 10 Passages 
Passage Type Academic 
Passage Topics Physical sciences, Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, Business, Arts  Humanities, and everyday topics
Types of Questions Standard multiple-choice questions where you select only one option
Multiple choice and select the ones that apply
Select-in-passage questions where you select the sentence that applies to the passage description

Text Completion

Text Completion Questions are designed to test a student’s ability to select words or short phrases to complete and fill in the blanks to create a meaningful paragraph or sentence. 

Text Completion Question Structure

Passage Composition 1-5 Sentences
Blanks 1-3 Blanks
Answer Choice  3 Answer Choice per blank
5 Answer Choice for a single blank

*Please remember that selecting one answer choice for one blank will not affect what answer choices you will select for another blank. The answer choices for each blank function independently and there is no credit given to partially correct answers.

Sample Question

Vain and prone to violence, Caravaggio could not handle success: the more his (1)__________ as an artist increased, the more (2)__________ his life became.

Blank 1 Blank 2
notoriety providential
temperance tumultuous
eminence dispassionate

Correct Answer: eminence and tumultuous

Sentence Equivalence for Verbal Reasoning in GRE

Sentence Equivalence Questions are designed to test a student’s ability to conclude how a passage should be completed with the given partial information while focusing on the meaning of the passage as a whole. 

Sentence Equivalence Question Structure

Sentence Composition Single Sentence
Blank 1
Answer Choices 6

*You are supposed to choose 2 of the answer choices, there is no credit for partially correct answers. 

Sample Question

Although it does contain some pioneering ideas, one would hardly characterize the work as __________.

  1. orthodox
  2. eccentric
  3. original
  4. trifling
  5. conventional
  6. Innovative

Correct Answer: 3 and 6

Tips to Ace Verbal Reasoning in GRE

  • Time Management is the most important thing to keep in mind while preparing for an exam. While preparing for the GRE, you must keep a track of yourself while preparing and taking the sample tests. So that, at the time of the examination you can manage well and complete all the sections at the given time.
  • For the Reading Comprehension Section, you must focus more on the first and the last paragraphs. As the introduction and concluding paragraphs tend to contain the core ideas in most of the passages.
  • To strengthen your Reading skills, prepare and read from newspapers, academic books, and research papers as passages are used to test a student’s critical reading things and the passage material can be taken from any context be it Physical sciences, Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, Business, Arts  Humanities or everyday topics.
  • While attempting the Reading Comprehension Section, always remember to read the questions first. 
  • Focus equally on your vocabulary as some of the RC questions ask for synonyms.
  • For Text Completion Questions, read the whole passage to conclude or get a general idea of it.
  • Do not waste your time thinking more about completing the first blank. Instead, choose and fill in those blanks that seem easier to fill in first.
  • After filling in all the required blanks, make sure you double-check and read the whole passage to conclude that it is logically and grammatically correct.
  • When attempting the Sentence Equivalent Section, read the sentence to get a sense of what the sentence is trying to convey.
  • Fill in the word that you feel is the most appropriate based on the context of the sentence. Even if you feel that the word chosen by you is correct, you must consider the other choices too as it may help you come across a more suitable word. 

GRE Verbal Score

Verbal Score Percentile
135 3
140 12
145 27
150 48
155 69
160 86
165 96
170 99

Tips for getting a 160+ Score for the Verbal Reasoning Section in GRE

  • Practice sample test papers daily.
  • Take a shortcut for Reading comprehension questions, make sure you read the questions first, and then look for answers. 
  • Always consider the given information. Do not go around thinking about any outside source of information.
  • Attempt the Text completion section first as it is considered much easier than the other two sections and it takes less time as well. 
  • Read newspapers, and research papers to gain knowledge about everyday topics and academic contexts. This will not only help you in the reading comprehension section but will help you increase your vocabulary skills to ace other verbal reasoning sections as well. 

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How many times can I attempt a GRE?

You can take the GRE test 5 times a year, once every 21 days.

How long do the GRE Scores last?

The GRE Scores last for about 5 years of validity.

What are you not supposed to bring along when coming for the GRE?

You are not allowed to bring any personal items i.e phones, wearable technology of any kind, jewelry, electronic, recording,  scanning, or photographic devices.

Now that you know everything about the GRE, it’s time for you to take a free online demo of our exclusive test prep classes. Get in touch with us at Leverage Edu to register for the same. As soon as you get in touch with our experts, all your questions about how to prepare for the GRE will be resolved. At Leverage Edu, we will first evaluate your profile and will prepare a personalized study plan as per your dream score.

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