GRE verbal section and ensuring higher scores

Crack GRE Verbal by understanding its structure

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Have you been lately going through a GRE wordlist to crack Verbal Section on GRE? Even after cramming thousands of words were you not very confident in facing the Reading Comprehension or guessing the blanks on Text Completion? Read along. After training 2000 students on their endeavour to crack GRE, we have explained vital points to exploit GRE Verbal Structure.

Here is an attempt to share the best strategies to crack GRE verbal section just by concentrating on its structure.

Essential Learnings on GRE Verbal

You are going to face 2 compulsory verbal sections and one probable experimental section on GRE. All sections will have 20 questions to answer in 30 minutes each.

Note: It is not necessary that the last section will be an experimental section. In case you have faced 3 verbal sections, any section could be an experimental one.

‘Don’t take experimental section lightly.’

Question types in each GRE Verbal section

Each section of verbal section will have following question types

Reading Comprehension on GRE Verbal

Reading comprehension passages are drawn from the physical sciences, the biological sciences, the social sciences, the arts and humanities, and everyday topics, and are based on material found in books and periodicals, both academic and non-academic. The passages range in length from one paragraph to four or five paragraphs.

You are asked multiple choice questions to test your understanding of theses passages.

For example,

… Massachusetts was the first British colony to legally recognize slavery in 1641. In 1662 Virginia passed a law that children of enslaved women (who were of African descent and thus foreigners) took the status of the mother, rather than that of the father, as under English common law. This principle was called partus sequitur ventrum. …

Question: What can be inferred about inferred about English Common Law?

  • It was established in 1641 by Massachusetts.
  • It established that the child took the status of the father rather than that of the mother.
  • It can be inferred that the laws were not strict.
  • British parliament had hold on US colonies.
  • Massachusetts changes the British common law

Text Completion on GRE Verbal

Text Completion questions include a passage composed of one to five sentences with one to three blanks. There are three answer choices per blank, or five answer choices if there is a single blank. There is a single correct answer, consisting of one choice for each blank.

For example,

Choose one choice out of the five options.

Slavery had been _____________ enshrined in the U.S. Constitution through provisions, commonly known as the 3/5 compromise.

  • plausibly
  • tacitly
  • tediously
  • not
  • specifically

Sentence Equivalence on GRE Verbal

Sentence Equivalence questions consist of a single sentence, one blank, and six answer choices. These questions require you to select two of the answer choices.

For example,

Choose two answer choices out of the six options.

The corporation expects only _______ increases in sales next year despite a yearlong effort to revive its retailing business.

  • dynamic
  • predictable
  • expanding
  • modest
  • slight
  • volatile

How to tackle GRE verbal?

Now while reading these examples, many of you have attempted to solve the above questions. Now, while solving if you re-read the question, to understand it well, you have lost precious moments in re-reading.

Let’s say you need 15 seconds to read a sentence and understand the meaning well, however, under pressure you read it in 13 seconds and miss the meaning completely. Now, you need to re-read the sentence and spend another 13 seconds on the same task and you get the meaning well, still you have put 26 seconds instead of 15 seconds. Additionally, remember repetitive task becomes boring and can hamper your concentration.

GRE is designed in such a way that students who can understand the given content in first read are rewarded the most.


Discipline your mind to understand the given information in first read. Re-reading takes unnecessary time.


Further, most of the students who undertake GRE feel overwhelmed by the variety of topics that you may read. However, it is essential that you take genuine interest in what author has to say. Such interest shall help you to focus well on the given information. Understand! If you get bored of the content you will feel exhausted and bogged down.

Take genuine interest in what the author is trying to communicate with you.


Advance Learning from GRE Verbal

If you are already aware of the basic structure of the GRE Verbal section, you may have notices an important aspect of structure of verbal section as follows:

Question NumbersTypes of Questions
1 – 6Text Completion
7 – 11Long Passage +/ Small passage
12 – 16Sentence Equivalence
17 – 202 or 3 Small passages

Now most of the students solve these questions in the same order as they come. However, smart students plan better. You can observe that there are about 11 questions on Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence. Such questions need not be as demanding as Reading Comprehension on GRE and hence, it is advisable that you solve these questions first. Even if you can solve 11 questions on Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence in first 15 minutes, you can concentrate well and dedicate rest of the 15 minutes on remaining nine questions on Reading Comprehension.

Here is the better order of solving these questions.

Question NumbersTypes of QuestionsOrder of solving
1 – 6Text CompletionSolve first
7 – 11Long Passage +/ Small passageSkip initially and solve last.
12 – 16Sentence EquivalenceSolve second
17 – 202 or 3 Small passagesSolve third


Solve the questions in optimum order to save time.


We hope that you are benefited with these observations and learnings. Our classroom coaching in Pune has helped numerous students to score well on GRE. You can join these batches too.

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