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GRE Verbal Preparation: How to Prepare for Verbal in GRE

Updated on 23 February, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

gre verbal preparation

Do you aspire to score 160+ in GRE Verbal? This may look tough, but it is an achievable target. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test students appear for to pursue higher education abroad. The GRE General test exam pattern has three sections – Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The candidate’s language and reading skills are tested in the GRE Verbal Reasoning portion. Read on to learn how to prepare for GRE Verbal 2024 and achieve your dream score.

How to Prepare for GRE Verbal: Important Tips for Aspirants 

The first thing to know if you are wondering how to prepare for the GRE verbal is that you will have to answer vocabulary questions. This will be done after selecting suitable words for any given sentence based on context, reading the comprehension questions regarding main ideas, and interpreting information. The GRE Verbal test consists of 27 questions, with Section 1 comprising 12 and Section 2 comprising 15 questions, respectively. You will get 18 minutes for completing Section 1 and 23 minutes for Section 2. This is scored on a 130-170 scale with increments of one point each. It is a section-adaptive test, i.e., the performance in the first subsection will determine the difficulty of questions in the second subsection.

Those thinking of how to prepare well for GRE Verbal should note these tips carefully: 

Learn suitable vocabulary

You should strive to learn proper GRE vocabulary for acing the section. This will help you understand tough passages in the reading comprehension portions. You can rely on flashcards and other sets for simple learning. Make sure that you memorize words and their meaning, i.e. to help you use them in the suitable context. You can try writing sentences with several words as a form of practice. 

Reading comprehension preparation

Try and read a wide range of content and articles in several publications like the New York Times, Atlantic, Nature, Economist and more. Science passages should also be practiced as much as possible. See if you can capture the main idea of any passage and supporting evidence for the same. 

Focus on signal words 

Signal phrases and words inform you contextually about any passage or sentence. This will help you choose correct answers since signal words are mostly transitions, indicating whether any earlier information will be countered, supported or clarified. Some major words include however/although, furthermore/indeed and rather/by contrast/instead

Make use of official materials 

The best material for preparing for the section will be the official materials released by ETS. You can also get assistance with practice tests online. 

Identify and smoothen out weaknesses

Upon completion of questions in the GRE Verbal section (when you are giving practice tests), make sure you find out where you went wrong. Patterns of wrong answers will help you closely find out strategy-related or any content-linked weaknesses that you have. This will help you iron them out likewise. 

Always pace your examination properly

Make sure that you practice writing the GRE Verbal answers in a timely manner and with the right strategy. Make sure you take timed practice tests and track areas where you are losing out on time. Create your own blueprints for choosing the right answers as well. 

Create a passage-based strategy 

It is vital that you possess the proper strategy for GRE passages. You should practice proper time management for this section as well. Swiftly skimming through the passage prior to reading the questions will help greatly. Read the questions and then watch out for information to give you the correct answer. Skimming is more important for quickly absorbing the core points. You will only spend a huge amount of time reading through the entire passage carefully before going onto the questions. 

Mark and return should be properly used 

You will have similar points for all types of questions, be it easy or hard ones. This means that you should complete easier questions at the outset. If any question seems tough initially, mark it likewise and return to it later on. This strategy will make sure that you do not end up wasting any valuable time and points in the examination. 

Answer each and every question

The GRE does not have any negative marking for guesses or incorrect answers. It is advantageous to answer each and every question carefully. Always track the time spent carefully and whenever you have some minutes in hand, swiftly skim through the questions that remain before choosing your answers. 

Smart guesses are the need of the hour

You should try and guess smartly, putting into play your knowledge, insights and process of elimination for coming up with answers. You should make sure that you try and eliminate wrong answers as much as possible. 

Stay calm and remember to do as you have practiced

You have already taken practice tests and studied well. Now, it is important to remain cool and calm when you take the real examination. You should prepare suitably and maintain a positive approach, even when faced with difficult questions. If you cannot tackle a few initial questions? Move onto ones which are easier for you.

Recommended Reads:

GRE Exam fee in IndiaGRE Exam Registration
Best Books for GRE PreparationHow to Send Official GRE Scores to Universities
How to Score 170 in GRE QuantGRE AWA Essays

This was all about preparing for GRE Verbal 2024. Following the tips mentioned in this article can pave your way toward a successful GRE result. If you do not have much time in hand and are worried about beginning your GRE preparation, check out our article on how to prepare for the GRE in 2 months. Here's wishing you all the best!

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Important Resources For PTE/SAT/ACT Exam

PTE Examination Eligibility Criteria

There are no specific PTE exam eligibility criteria set by Pearson VUE – the organizers of the test.

PTE Eligibility

PTE Academic Syllabus

PTE syllabus includes various sections such as Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.

PTE Syllabus

PTE Exam Pattern

The PTE exam pattern is designed to test whether candidates can study at international institutions that have English as the main language for instructions.

PTE Exam Pattern

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.