GRE Verbal Reasoning is one of the main sections in the General test that consists of multiple choice questions. This section of the test is scored within a range of 130-170 and contributes to your total GRE score. Through the course of this article we will provide more information on GRE Verbal Reasoning, so let’s first begin with the three types of questions.
GRE Verbal Reasoning Questions:
- Reading comprehension
- Text Completion
- Sentence equivalence
We will explore each of the sections individually.
- Reading comprehension
The Reading comprehension consists of a paragraph or two, or even more. It tests your reading skills and your ability to grasp the ideas in the text given to you. These paragraphs are based on general topics of interest and are diverse. Moreover, Reading comprehension also tests if you are able to deduce and process large amounts of information within a given time period.
The questions in the Reading comprehension are constructed in various formats. Before you begin your preparation, it is imperative to understand the different question types so that you come with a good study plan. They are as follows:
- Multiple- choice questions (Select one answer) — These set of questions require you to choose one correct answer amongst the five choices provided to you.
- Multiple- choice questions (Select multiple answers) — The questions in this section require you to choose multiple correct answers amongst three choices provided to you. There can be more than one right answer and all of the choices can be the right answer too.
- Select-in-passage — These questions are usually directed towards a specific sentence in the passage. By identifying a sentence that either meets the question’s description or is a reference, you can narrow down your options and select the word or sentence.
GRE Verbal Questions Sample:
A sample question for each of the format, taken from the ETS official site, is provided below:
- Multiple- choice questions (Select one answer):
The passage addresses which of the following issues related to Glass’s use of popular elements in his classical compositions?
- How it is regarded by listeners who prefer rock to the classics
- How it has affected the commercial success of Glass’s music
- Whether it has contributed to a revival of interest among other composers in using popular elements in their compositions
- Whether it has had a detrimental effect on Glass’s reputation as a composer of classical music
- Whether it has caused certain of Glass’s works to be derivative in quality
Correct Answer: E
- b) Multiple- choice questions (Select multiple answers):
The passage suggests that Glass’s work displays which of the following qualities?
- A return to the use of popular music in classical compositions
- An attempt to elevate rock music to an artistic status more closely approximating that of classical music
- A long-standing tendency to incorporate elements from two apparently disparate musical styles
Correct Answer: A and C
- c) Select-in-passage:
Select the sentence that distinguishes two ways of integrating rock and classical music.
Correct Answer: “His music is not a version of popular music packaged to attract classical listeners; it is high art for listeners steeped in rock rather than the classics.”
- Text Completion
This section consists of a passage which is about five sentences long. The passage has approximately three to five blanks which has to be filled with the right choice from a couple of word choices given to you. Here is a GRE practice test sample question from the ETS official site for you to acquaint yourself with the format:
It is refreshing to read a book about our planet by an author who does not allow facts to be (1)__________ by politics: well aware of the political disputes about the effects of human activities on climate and biodiversity, this author does not permit them to (2)__________ his comprehensive description of what we know about our biosphere. He emphasizes the enormous gaps in our knowledge, the sparseness of our observations, and the (3)__________, calling attention to the many aspects of planetary evolution that must be better understood before we can accurately diagnose the condition of our planet.
- : overshadowed, invalidated, illuminated
- : enhance, obscure, underscore
- : plausibility of our hypotheses, certainty of our entitlement, superficiality of our theories
Correct Answer: (1) overshadowed, (2) obscure, and (3) superficiality of our theories
- Sentence Equivalence
This section consists of a set of sentences, each with a blank that has to be filled out. There are five options provided to you and you are to choose two right answers from the same to complete the sentence. The motive here is to identify two words which have similar meanings.
Here is a sample question from the ETS official site, for your reference:
Although it does contain some pioneering ideas, one would hardly characterize the work as __________.
- Orthodox (b) Original (c) Trifling (d) Conventional e) Innovative
Correct Answer: C and F
We have given you a clear picture of how the Verbal reasoning section looks and have briefed you on the kind of questions you have to prepare for and answer. There are numerous GRE Verbal practise tests available on the ETS official site which will help with your preparation and improve your skills. Besides, the GRE Verbal reasoning section requires you to possess a very strong vocabulary and reading skills. However, that is something that comes with consistent practice. So, start planning and practising, after all, practice makes perfect!