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GRE Verbal section in the new shorter GRE test

The GRE Verbal Section : What is Tested? How to Prepare?

The GRE verbal section can feel like a hurdle for many aspiring graduate students. Fear not! This guide offers a detailed breakdown of the structure of the GRE verbal section, including question types, time limits, and the crucial concept of adaptive difficulty.

Demystifying the GRE Verbal Section

1st GRE Verbal Section12 questions18 minutes
2nd GRE Verbal Section15 questions23 minutes
Total GRE Verbal Sections27 questions41 minutes

In the new shorter version of the GRE, the GRE verbal section throws 27 questions your way, divided across two distinct sections. The first section presents you with 12 questions to answer within 18 minutes. Buckle up, because the second section ramps it up with 15 questions in just 23 minutes. In total, you’ll have 41 minutes to showcase your verbal prowess.

What are the question types in GRE Verbal? Breaking Down the Question Types

Now, let’s delve into the three question types that make up the GRE verbal test:

Reading Comprehension (The King of the Pack): Brace yourself for roughly half the questions to be reading comprehension passages. These passages can cover a wide range of topics, but fret not – your prior knowledge isn’t the key. The GRE wants to assess your ability to comprehend the information presented. Focus on actively reading, understanding the passage structure, and identifying the main points. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint – prioritize comprehension over speed reading.

Sentence Equivalence (The Two-Choice Challenge): Get ready to flex your vocabulary muscles! Sentence equivalence questions present you with a sentence with a single blank. But there’s a twist! You’ll need to choose two answer choices that seamlessly fit the blank and maintain the sentence’s original meaning. From a pool of six options, strategically pick the two that make the sentence logically sound. Think of it as finding the missing puzzle pieces that flawlessly complete the sentence’s logic and flow.

Text Completion (The Multi-Blank Master): Similar to sentence equivalence, text completion is about completing sentences with blanks! These questions present a sentence with one, two, or even three blanks. Unlike sentence equivalence, however, each blank has only one correct answer. The test provides a unique set of answer choices for each individual blank. So, hone your critical thinking skills and select the word that best completes the sentence’s meaning in each instance.

GRE Section-wise Adaptive : Understanding Adaptive Difficulty

The GRE employs a strategic approach called “section-level adaptive difficulty.” This means the difficulty of your second verbal section hinges on your performance in the first.

Disclaimer: The GRE’s algorithm for generating questions in your test is proprietary and is not public knowledge. Therefore, let us take a hypothetical example to illustrate how the section-level adaptive nature of the GRE test works. Let us say that there are three levels of difficulty built into the database of questions from which your test questions are pulled by the computer. The levels are easy, medium, and hard. Everyone starts with a medium-difficulty set of 12 questions in the first section. However, your performance on those initial questions determines whether your second section ramps up to hard or eases into easy territory. The goal? Maximize your score! Harder questions carry more weight, so nailing the first section unlocks the potential for a higher score in the second.

Demystifying the structure of GRE verbal section empowers you to approach the test with confidence. Now, armed with knowledge about question types, time constraints, and the adaptive nature of the exam, you can craft a winning GRE prep strategy. Remember, consistent practice and strategic test-taking techniques are your allies.

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