The Challenges in the Verbal Section of the Revised GRE Test (Hint: It has Gotten Tougher)

Verbal ReasoningWhen the Revised General GRE test was launched (way back on 1 August 2011), a whole host of changes was introduced. One consequence was a revamped Verbal Reasoning part in which there are now:

  • two Verbal sections in the test with a total of 40 questions, instead of one section with a total of 30 questions
  • no Antonyms and Analogy questions – these have been replaced by more Reading Comprehension passages.
  • Text Completion questions (which require you to fill up to 3 blanks in a passage which can contain up to five sentences) and
  • Sentence Equivalence questions (which require you to select two correct synonyms to fill in the blank in the sentence out of the 6 options given)
  • Sentence Completion questions with single- and double-blanks

To sum up, Reading Comprehension is now more important, the Sentence Completion type questions got a little harder to get right and Vocabulary is more or less just as important as it was earlier – so, you still have to learn that GRE word list!). As a result of those two changes, students also find the Verbal section harder to complete on time. So, how do you handle that difficulty?

Verbal Reasoning

Tips for Handling the Verbal Section

  • Get plenty of practice with computer-based tests: no matter how much practice you have done on paper, a whole computer-based test is a very different thing – and take at least a few tests along with the essay (Analytical Writing) section.The Analytical Writing section puts a heavy drain on your time, energy and concentration, and you should not encounter that for the first time in your actual GRE test!
  • Focus on the easier questions first – don’t get stuck on the difficult ones and waste time on them in the beginning. Start by quickly answering the questions that you find easiest.
  • On the other hand, don’t leave questions unanswered – you may not have time to come back to unanswered questions in the Verbal section So, even if you are not very sure about the answer to a question, mark in your best guess and if there is time come back to it.

But, beyond that what are the specific challenges involved in the Verbal section of the Revised General GRE and more important how do we gear up to meet them? Read more on our next posts on the difficulties in the Reading Comprehension and Sentence Completion, and how to get an edge in cracking them?

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