GRE Verbal: Pass It With Flying Colors
Planning to go to graduate school? Then you probably facing the Graduate Record Examination, more commonly known as the Graduation Record Examinations or GRE. It is a required test for entering graduate school in the USA and requires you to master the abstract use of vocabulary, math and writing skills. In order to have a fighting chance at passing the GRE verbal here are some valuable tips to help you pass this part of the exam.
A bit of history: In 2011, the GRE was given a major overhaul. Previously, the test was adaptive on a question-by-question basis. Today, it is adaptive on a section-by-section basis. This means that your performance on your verbal and math sections end up determining the level of difficulty for the rest of the test. All the more reason to study and prepare as much as possible for the verbal portion! Your first step is learning Advanced English Grammar.
In addition, the score on the verbal portion of your GRE, is extremely critical if you want to pursue an advanced degree in liberal arts. Although every school varies on how they weigh your GRE scores, your verbal performance does play a significant role in the admissions process. Why? Because all fields of study require excellent communication skills. Especially if you decide to teach, write, go into law or work in government. Although you may be wondering, GRE vs. GMAT Comparison: Which One is Harder? Nonetheless,your ability to communicate effectively is one of the pillars of success.
The Verbal GRE
This section of the GRE is split into three areas. The first is reading comprehension which as the name suggests, requires you to read and understand several paragraphs of different text. You will then need to answer questions on each paragraph. These paragraphs can be drawn from almost any area such as science, business or humanities. The second section of the verbal GRE is text completion. In this part you will need to fill in the gaps in short pieces of text by using the parts you are given to logically formulate the missing words or phrases. The final section is called sentence equivalence, and it requires you to complete a sentence using two choices from a selection of six possibilities.
As you can see from the description of the sections, the key to this test is a very good grasp of vocabulary. Moreover, if you don’t know what the words mean it will be very difficult to choose the right answers. There are many different ways to learn vocabulary, and you will have to figure out the best one suited to you. It is essential, however, that you practice using your new words as soon as you learn them within the context of a sentence. This way your learning is reinforced and the retention percentage increased. You can use tools like the Barron wordlist as a base for the words you need to learn in addition to An Introduction to the GRE.
Flashcards are very valuable tools in learning vocabulary, so get a big stack of index cards and write a new word one side and either a definition or better yet a sentence using the word in context on the other side. Review the flash cards several times a day for five minutes, and set aside ones that you are certain you can use and remember. Replace the set aside cards with new ones so that you are constantly adding to your vocabulary. At the end of the week, schedule a longer time to review all the cards you have set aside to make sure that you still know what each word means and can use it proficiently.
Read Quality Publications
You need to stretch your usual reading horizons to prepare for the GRE. Start reading quality and diverse publications such as the Economist and the New York Times. These are useful tools because the language is sophisticated and the subject matter very diverse, much the same as the GRE verbal. Take notes as you are reading on anything that you don’t fully understand to look up later. The key here is to grasp the context of any new words that you find in an article.
When you register for the GRE you be given some practice questions, tutorials and some practice tests. There are further practice questions and tests available online. Use these to gain a familiarity with the type of questions you will be facing. When doing the free practice test you need to time yourself to see which areas take you the longest. Time management in these types of exams is critical and knowing where you are stronger and weaker allows you to allot your time accordingly.
Make a Time Commitment
Part of preparation is setting aside time to study. Try to figure out how many words you want to learn each week and how long it will take. If you have eight weeks before the test, you should study a minimum of two hours per day. Keep in mind that if you do well, you will soon be on your way to pursuing your life’s goals. You should focus on How to Learn and Memorize the Vocabulary of Any Language.
Create an Insightlful Study Plan
Once you have gathered all the materials you are planning to use in preparation for the test, calculate how much time you have between that moment and the exam and divide it into weekly goals. Assign parts of your study materials to each week including an even number of practice questions and tests. Make sure you leave a week at the end before the exam to spend re-doing all of the practice questions and test that you have already completed and some that you haven’t yet attempted. This will help reinforce all you previous learning.
Passing the GRE is all about confidence and preparation. If you allow yourself enough time before the exam and are diligent in setting aside the time to study all the required skills each day, you should be able to pass successfully without having to drastically disrupt your life. One of the most important skills for passing the GRE verbal is confidence
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