How to Study for GRE Verbal: 11-Step Guide • PrepScholar GRE

not surely how to prepare for the GRE Verbal section ? The Verbal department is an authoritative part of the GRE, and if you ’ rhenium not indisputable what or how you should be studying, it can be unmanageable to begin your homework.

That ’ sulfur where this scout comes in ! W e’ll give an overview of GRE verbal section, then walk you through every step you need to take in order to develop the best study plan and get the Verbal score you want. We end with tips to make indisputable your study plan is ace so you can reach your GRE Verbal goal mark .

Overview of the GRE Verbal Section

Verbal Reasoning tests your critical reading skills and your ability to analyze and synthesize the information you read. About half of the questions in Verbal Reasoning will be based on passages, while the early half requires you to read and answer questions about given sentences or paragraph .
On the GRE, you ’ ll have two 30-minute Verbal sections, each with 20 questions. ( You may besides have a third experimental Verbal section that won ’ t reckon towards your mark, but since you won ’ thyroxine know which department is experimental, try your best on all the questions. )
Quant and Verbal sections are randomly ordered after the Analytical Writing section, which constantly comes first base. Verbal and Quant are both scored the same way: on a scale of 130-170 in 1-point increments. Currently, the average Verbal score is 150 .
There are three types of verbal questions :

  • Reading Comprehension: For these questions, you’re given a passage and asked both big picture and specific detail questions on it.
  • Text Completion: Text Completion questions have a short passage with several blanks in it. There will be a list of words you can put in each blank, and you’ll have to choose the most appropriate word.
  • Sentence Equivalence: For these questions you’ll be given a single sentence with one blank, as well as six answer options. You’ll have to select the two options that both fit in the sentence and produce sentences that have the same or similar meaning.

How to Study for GRE Verbal: 11 Steps to Follow

In this section, we go over each footfall you should follow in order to study for GRE Verbal and get the score you want .

#1: Learn the Format of GRE Verbal

If you ’ rhenium not certain how to improve GRE verbal scores, before you begin studying, you should have a solid understanding of the GRE Verbal section’s format. This helps you know what to expect and the types of information you ’ ll be tested on .
We give a brief overview of the section above, but for a more in-depth look, check out our guide to acing the GRE Verbal section which besides includes an example of each doubt type you ’ ll experience in this segment .

#2: Figure Out Your Goal Score

Next you need to find the average Verbal scores for each of the schools you’re interested in applying to. Look for this information on each platform ’ south Admissions page. not all schools list this information, and, if you can ’ triiodothyronine find it, you can try emailing or calling an admissions person at the school directly to see if they can tell you more .
Make a list or chart of this information for all the schools you ’ re concern in. Next, find the highest Verbal score on the list. Add two points to it to get your goal score.
Following this method ensures that, if you meet your score goal, you ’ ll be above the satisfactory grudge range for all the schools you ’ re matter to in, but it besides doesn ’ metric ton set your finish score so high that you ’ re wasting a bunch of time trying to get an unnecessarily senior high school mark. To learn more about finding information on school GRE averages and setting goal scores, check out our scout “ What Is a commodity GRE Score ? ”

#3: Take a Practice Verbal Section to Get Your Baseline Score

The next step is to figure out how well you ’ re presently doing on the GRE Verbal section. To do this, you’ll need to take a practice GRE.  It ’ south best to use an official GRE resource for this pace to ensure your score is accurate. A good source to use is GRE PowerPrep which includes two full-length practice GREs. The PowerPrep tests are made by the same people who make the substantial GRE, so the exercise screen will be identical like to the actual examination .
Choose a PowerPrep test to take for your baseline test (you’ll take the other one later). As you take the test, try to recreate a veridical examination environment. This means you should find a silence place to take it and avoid pausing the test or taking any unscheduled breaks. once you ’ re finished, record your Verbal and Quant scores. The Verbal score you get will be your baseline score or how well you ’ re presently doing on that section .

#4: Calculate How Much You Need to Study

nowadays, you ’ ll use your service line and score goals to figure out how many hours you should study for the Verbal section. Subtract your Verbal service line score from your goal sexual conquest. How many points away from your goal score are you ? Find your difference below to see about how many hours you’ll need to study for this section:

      • 5 points = 40 hours
      • 10 points = 80 hours
      • 20 points = 160 hours
      • 30 points = 240 hours

For case, if your Verbal baseline score is 140 and your goal grade is 150, you ’ five hundred want to improve 10 points, which means about 80 hours of sketch for your GRE Verbal homework .
Remember that you’ll likely need to do some studying for the Quant section as well. You can use the like guidelines above to figure out how many hours you need to study for Quant so you know how many hours total you ’ ll need to spend studying for the GRE .

#5: Make a Study Plan

immediately that you know how many hours to study, you need to figure out how to make the most of them. A study plan will help you use your time efficiently and allow you to set study goals and track your build up. Three months is a full sum of time to prepare for the GRE, although you may study for shorter or longer depending on your score goal and schedule .
name out how many hours you want to study per workweek, and try to schedule this for the same time every week. Keeping a consistent schedule will make it easier to prep for the GRE because you ’ ll know ahead of fourth dimension when you should be studying and can fit the rest of your schedule around it. For more tips on how to study for the GRE, check out our GRE discipline plan guide .

#6: Review Verbal Content

once you have a good idea of what your study design will look like, you can get to work on your GRE verbal preparation. To do well on this section, you ’ ll need to have solid vocab and reading inclusion skills. If you ’ rhenium not sure how to study for GRE Verbal, below are some of the best official and unofficial sources to use when you’re working to bolster your Verbal skills.

      • A prep book can be your most useful tool during your GRE Verbal prep. The best ones include lots of useful information about what to expect on the test and strategies to help you answer difficult questions more easily. To find the best prep book for you, check out our guide to the best GRE prep books. Each of them will have useful information for GRE Verbal.
      • The Official Guide to the GRE General Test: This is the only official GRE guide available, so you should seriously consider using it. It costs about $25 and includes descriptions of each section of the GRE, four full-length practice tests (two of which are the same as the PowerPrep tests), several hundred practice questions, and tips for solving each Verbal question type.
      • Khan Academy: This is a free educational website recommended by ETS for GRE prep. While it doesn’t have videos created specifically for the GRE, many of its videos cover the same topics you’ll see on the exam. For GRE Verbal prep, we recommend using their eight Reading videos to study. You can also learn more about how to study for GRE Verbal with Khan Academy by reading our guide on it.
      • Additionally, we have guides designed specifically to help you master GRE Verbal and get your best score on it. Like this one, all of our guides are free.
        • How to Ace GRE Verbal: 13 Expert Tips: This guide contains all the best tips and strategies for getting a great Verbal score.
        • 357 GRE Vocab Flashcards: Vocab is an important part of doing well on GRE Verbal, and these flashcards make it easy to learn the words you should know for this section.
        • The best GRE Verbal practice: If you’re looking for more Verbal prep resources, this guide has the best ones to use.


#7: Answer Practice Questions

It’s important to answer practice questions throughout your GRE Verbal preparation. The results from these practice tests will allow you to track your progress and see where you hush need to improve. Official homework sources are the best to use since you can be sure they give you an accurate theme of what to study for on the GRE, but we ’ ve besides include high-quality unofficial sources equally well .
here are some of the best resources for GRE Verbal practice :

        • GRE practice test PDFs (2010-2012 and 2012-present): These full-length paper practice tests offer numerous Verbal questions. Since they overlap a lot with the PowerPrep tests, it’s best to tear them apart for additional Verbal practice and not use them as full-length tests.
        • Old GRE practice test PDF (pre-2010): Another source of free official GRE Verbal practice questions is the practice book for the old, out-of-800 GRE. The catch is that because the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE has changed quite a bit from that test, you can only use the following questions from the practice book PDF:
          • Section 2: 4-6, 17-27
          • Section 4: 2, 5, 17-27
          • The other questions are no longer used on the GRE and won’t be useful to you.
      • Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions, Volume 1: This book contains 150 unique Verbal practice questions. At under $12 for the paperback or ebook, it’s the best source for non-test GRE Verbal practice questions since questions are grouped by skill level (easy, medium, or hard) and by skill type (reading comprehension, sentence equivalence, or text completion)
      • Manhattan Prep’s 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems: This unofficial guide, which costs $15-20, offers many practice Verbal questions that are all high quality. With this book, you get more than 800 Verbal questions, detailed answer explanations, and various quizzes.

#8: Learn Strategies

If you ’ ve been following the previous steps but want more guidance on how to improve GRE Verbal scores, you may find it useful to brush up on some important strategies for the GRE Verbal section. Knowing strategies can help you get more questions right, answer questions more easily, and use your time more efficiently on the test. Check out our steer to the 13 tips to ace GRE Verbal, and read over the key Verbal strategies to know below :

Strategy 1: Look Over Questions You Got Wrong

For every interrogate you answer incorrectly, you should review it to figure out why you got it improper and how to get the correct answer. This may seem like a harass, but it ’ sulfur one of the best ways to stop yourself from making the same mistakes over and all over again .

Strategy 2: Pace Yourself

many students struggle with answering all the Verbal questions in time. You’ll have about 90 seconds to answer each Verbal question, but that doesn’t take into account the time it takes to read passages. If you find yourself struggling to answer questions in time, design out what ’ mho taking up most of your time. Does it take you awhile to read the passages ? Do you get stuck on a motion and spend a bunch of time trying to answer it ? Do you keep going back to reread portions of the passage ?
Identify where you’re losing time and work to prevent this from happening. besides, if you ’ ve spend more than two minutes on a question and have no estimate how to answer it, skip it and come spinal column to it at the end. This prevents you from spending a batch of time on a single interrogate .

Strategy 3: Figure Out How to Attack Reading Passages

When you know how to tackle the reading passages, you ’ ll be able to get through them faster and answer questions on them more quickly. Some people like to skim the passage then go to the questions, going back to reread important portions as needed. Some like to cautiously read the passage once then focus on the questions, and others like to read the questions foremost then focus on the passage. Try a few techniques to figure out which one works best for you to help you answer all the questions in clock time and get the best score.

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Strategy 4: Read Every Answer Choice

The Verbal section is wide of answer choices that sound right or are about good, but that aren ’ t the right answer. It can be easy to see these answer choices and mark them as compensate without reading the other options. Don ’ t fall into this trap ! Always read every answer choice for a motion so you know all the possible options and can make the best choice .

Strategy 5: Answer Every Question

You don’t lose any points for answering a question incorrectly on the GRE, then you should always answer every single motion on the test, even if you have no theme what the answer is. Marking down some answer gives you a shot at getting it right, which you wouldn ’ t get if you skipped the motion .

#9: Check Your Progress

nowadays that you ’ ve been following your study plan, reviewing Verbal content, and answering practice questions, it ’ randomness clock time to check that you ’ re getting closer to hitting your Verbal goal score. Take another full-length practice test ( like you did to get your baseline score ). ideally, you ’ ll take the second PowerPrep test, as this is the most accurate free GRE practice screen out there. Again, take this examination under naturalistic testing conditions : in a repose board, timed, and in one sit .
When you ’ ve finished, record your Verbal and Quant scores and c ompare your new Verbal score to your baseline score. Did you improve ? If sol, by how many points ? How close are you now to reaching your goal score ? Use these results to make any necessity changes to your study design .

#10: Identify and Strengthen Your Weaknesses

You now know how to prepare for GRE Verbal section well enough to narrow the focus of your homework and zero in on the areas you need to improve in.  Go through the practice questions you’ve answered, and look at every question you answered incorrectly. Do you see any patterns ? Did you do well on sentence completion questions but struggled with reading comprehension ? Next, look more specifically. Why did you answer those questions incorrectly ? Did you go through the answer choices excessively promptly and miss the chastise one ? Did you not read the passage closely adequate ? Did you just run forbidden of prison term ?
Once you’ve figured out where your weaknesses are, target those areas with your studying. This will help you focus your studying on the topics you need to improve the most in, and frankincense, can get you the biggest increases in seduce .

#11: Repeat Steps 9 and 10 as Needed

As you continue studying for the Verbal segment, keep working to improve your biggest verbal weaknesses, and take rehearse tests regularly to check your build up. There are only two PowerPrep tests available, but you can use early official exercise tests from gradation 7 or some of the unofficial tests we recommend here .

3 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Verbal Prep

You now have a solid plan for how to study for GRE Verbal. In order to make sure you ’ re study is a effective as it can be, follow these three tips to get the most out of your Verbal prep.

Read Higher-Level Texts

The recitation passages on the GRE come from academician text, so you want to make sure you have a batch of experience with this type of writing before the examination. good sources of high-reading degree include the Atlantic, the New York Times, the Economist, and Nature. Because there are frequently skill passages on the GRE, you can besides try reading abstracts from scientific studies on PubMed. Read texts on a variety of subjects in order to be good prepared for whatever type of passage you see on exam day .
As you read articles, make sure you actually understand what ’ s being said. What ’ s the main theme of the article ? What evidence does the generator promote to support their position ? Do they present any counterpoints ? If you can understand the argumentative and rhetorical structure of complex articles, you ’ ll be well fix for GRE Verbal Reasoning .

Don’t Forget to Study Vocab

even though many people focus most of their Verbal study time on reading comprehension skills, fully half of the Verbal Reasoning section tests your knowledge of some pretty obscure and sophisticated vocabulary. Throughout the Verbal sections you ’ ll be asked to select words or sets of words to fill in the blanks in sentences .
even if you did well on vocab questions on the SAT or ACT , the GRE has more challenging vocabulary and tests more vocab words, so you ’ ll likely however need to do some inspection. To help you with this, we have a list of 357 best vocab words to know for the GRE, and you should besides check out our lead to the best GRE vocabulary games .

Get Additional Help If You Need It

If you ’ ve been following all the above steps and placid aren ’ t reaching your goal score for GRE Verbal, you may want to consider getting some outside help for your homework. many people find that they study better when they have external back and structure to follow .
One option is to try our on-line GRE homework course. Our program is completely customizable to suit your sketch needs and even comes with a 7+ point guarantee. You may besides want to consider hiring a GRE coach if you ’ rhenium struggling with how to prepare for GRE verbal section and raising your score to where you want it to be .

Summary: How to Prepare for GRE Verbal Section

It can be difficult to know how to study for GRE Verbal. Start by learning the format of the Verbal section and finding your service line and goal scores. once you ’ ve got a solid learn plan developed, begin reviewing contented you ’ ll need to know, answering practice questions, and learning strategies .
adjacent, check your advance with a practice test to see how much you ’ ve improved and where you hush need to work on. As you get closer to your examination date, focus on your weaknesses by completing more practice questions, reviewing key Verbal topics, and practicing strategies .
As you continue your GRE verbal readiness, remember to read higher-level texts, spend fourth dimension studying vocab, and get outside serve if you hush guidance on how to improve GRE Verbal scores .

What’s Next?

What score should you be aiming for on the Verbal section?  Learn precisely what your goal score should be by reading our usher to what ’ s a dear GRE Verbal score .
Struggling with text completion and sentence equivalence questions? Strengthen your Verbal Reasoning skills with our typeset of GRE vocabulary words .
The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE is important too. Want to know how to study for it ? Check out our guide on how to study for the GRE mathematics .

Read more: Clarkson University

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generator : Christine Sarikas

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master ‘s from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries. View all posts by Christine Sarikas

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