GRE Verbal Reasoning Section

The GRE is a widely accepted exam that plays an important role in how graduate programs choose their candidates. This test determines competence for grad school in many different ways, and one of the sections is centered around a concept known as verbal reasoning. 

As with any part of an exam, it’s important to make sure you are adequately prepared for the Verbal Reasoning section in particular before you sit for the GRE. First, you must understand what it is and what to expect from it. 

GRE Verbal Reasoning: An Overview

Essentially, the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE tests every angle of your ability to comprehend words and sentences and communicate what you learn. 

You must be able to properly evaluate pieces of verbal information given to you and synthesize the concepts you take from it. You must also be able to analyze and recognize the relationships between different parts of sentences as well as between concepts and words. 

A GRE Verbal Section Breakdown

Since the Verbal Reasoning portion of the GRE tests your ability to analyze and execute critical thinking skills in many different ways, there are various types of questions to expect in this section. They can be summed up into three categories: Reading Comprehension, Sentence Equivalence, and Text Completion.

Reading Comprehension

The skills covered in the Reading Comprehension questions on the GRE address a vast range of reading concepts. You must have a strong grasp of the basics of individual words and their meanings as well as an ability to follow sentence structure. 

You must also be able to adequately summarize passages of various sizes and draw the correct conclusions. The information you must read about in this section will span many subjects, including science, business, humanities, and everyday knowledge.

Sentence Equivalence

In the Sentence Equivalence section, you will have to be able to fill in intentional blanks in sentences using your inference skills and your grasp of context clues. You will be able to choose possible words from a word bank of options. 

By filling in the blanks, you’ll be creating a coherent and understandable sentence out of a fragmented concept. During this portion, taking careful notes of the passage and its overall style will be crucial to help you properly complete the ideas. Once you’ve added your words to the blank spaces, read over the passage again to ensure it makes sense. 

Text Completion

The passages you’ll read in the Text Completion section will omit important words that you must determine using your reading comprehension skills. Continuously analyzing what you’re reading will be essential in this portion. 

You will be asked to use the information you’ve gleaned from the paragraph to fill in missing information and create a more coherent block of text. The passages in this section are between one and five sentences long. 

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