Does the GRE Reading Comprehension of the verbal section confuse you? Worry not! We are here to help you. Reading Comprehension is one of the three question types asked in the Verbal Reasoning of the GRE exam. These questions account for approximately half of the total questions in the Verbal Reasoning section. Hence, solving as many questions from this Reading Comprehension will help you score well in the GRE Verbal. 

Through the course of this article, we will acquaint you with the reading comprehension section, provide you with some sample questions and also give you some tips on how to go about answering this question. So, keep reading!

About GRE Reading Comprehension 

Reading Comprehension questions are designed to test your ability to read and comprehend a written passage, understand the meaning of individual sentences and words, draw conclusions from the data provided, etc. Each question presents a passage of four or five paragraphs based on a general topic such as social sciences, physical sciences, biological sciences, business, arts, humanities, etc. These written prompts are followed by some questions and answer choices. You are required to carefully read the passage and choose the best possible option from the answer choices. 

The Reading Comprehension consists of three types of questions, they are as follows: 

  1. Multiple choice questions – Select one answer 
  2. Multiple Answer questions – Select multiple answers
  3. Select the Sentence question 

The first two questions are self-explanatory. For the first multiple-choice question, you have to select one answer from the five choices given to you. 

In the second multiple answer question, you are to choose more than one appropriate answer from the three choices provided. However, it is not necessary that you have to pick more than one answer for the second multiple-choice question, if you feel only one is the right answer you can choose just that.

For the third question — select sentence, you are required to choose a sentence from the passage that matches the description provided within the question. 

GRE Reading Comprehension Passage with questions and answers!

Commonly Asked GRE Reading Comprehension Question Types

Given below are the most commonly asked Reading Comprehension question types.

  • Inference Question – As the name indicates, in this question type, you are required to make inferences on the basis of what you’ve read in the passage. This is one of the most commonly asked question types in Reading Comprehension. While attempting this question, keep in mind that the inferences must be based on the passage only. You need not look for something outside the passage.
  • Main Idea Question – In this type of question, you’ll be asked to identify the main idea, purpose, or theme of the passage. This can be done by reading the passage as a whole and then re-reading the paragraphs to identify the main element. 
  • Highlight the Sentence Question – Here, you will be asked to identify and highlight a sentence,  which serves a specific purpose from the passage.

GRE Reading Comprehension Strategies

Reading comprehension questions challenge a lot of test-takers. Reading the passage and understanding what the author is trying to convey itself might take a lot of time for you, especially if you are a non-native speaker. Some of the reasons for this could be: the content of the question passages might be unfamiliar to you, the way in which the questions asked can be confusing, and the time you get is limited. Hence, Reading Comprehension questions of the GRE are generally considered as one of the most challenging GRE verbal question types. But with proper practice, you can efficiently tackle these questions. 

To begin with, below are some GRE Reading Comprehension Strategies that will help you during the GRE exam and the preparation phase. 

  • Read the passage carefully: If the question presents a short passage, the approach should be straightforward. You can thoroughly read the prompt, comprehend the theme, and reread it when moving on to the questions. However, if it is a lengthy passage, then you have to follow a conscious approach and read it carefully. But, reading everything and comprehending the meaning in a short duration could be difficult. You can use the method of skimming here. Skimming is another term for quick reading. While you read the passage, you need to scan the paragraphs and text as well to understand the meaning and connection between the sentences. The reading comprehension can be based on topics that are completely new. But don’t let that intimidate you! All the answers are within the passage, so do a close reading and pay attention to the information provided to you.
  • Make notes – As you skim through the paragraphs, try to note down the main ideas, words, or any other important information you come across. Consider each paragraph as a whole and critically evaluate what the author is trying to convey. However, do not waste your time by noting down all the unnecessary details. The point here is to recognize where to find the information needed to answer the questions. Look out for explicit statements, evidence for a particular statement, and the main idea that the passage is trying to convey. 
  • Understand the question – It is essential to understand the task and what is required of you. Most of you tend to approach the question in a way. You read the question and then go back to the passage to find out the answers without even understanding the question properly, which is a wrong approach. Once you read the question, rephrase it in your own words, try to understand the nature of the question, and then search for the answer.
  • Pay close attention to the answer choices – Once you understand the question, examine each answer option carefully. Use the elimination process to eliminate the choices that are not related to the passage. Try to find out the exact reasons to eliminate the answer choice, and eventually, you’ll reach the correct answer. 

Besides this, you can also download information regarding Reading Comprehension from the ETS website, if you are looking for additional information. ETS has culminated all information regarding the GRE Verbal Reasoning section into a pdf which is made available on the ETS website.

The GRE reading comprehension questions might look difficult, but with consistent preparation from the right resources such as GRE reading comprehension books or practice tests, it’s a lot easier to ace that section. So, practice till you are perfect.


  1. Is the GRE Reading Comprehension difficult?

How difficult this section is varies based on your ability to read and comprehend. This question type aims to test your ability to read and comprehend a written passage. Most people find it hard to read and comprehend the passage and end up spending time just reading and understanding what the author wants to convey.  Though the paragraphs might seem harder to comprehend, you can easily tackle this question with constant practice.

    2. How many questions from RC will be asked in the GRE verbal section?

The Reading Comprehension accounts for approximately half of the questions asked in the verbal section. Hence, it is really important to answer as many questions as possible. 

    3. Where can I find the practice questions for this section?

The best resource for the practice questions are ETS GRE official website or The GRE Official Guide. 

Good luck!


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