So we know the strength of the enemy, and our own strength. We know that a poor vocabulary truly makes life miserable and we know the questions accompanying the reading passages are demonic. What next?
We still need to know what is important in the verbal section and what role each question type plays. That is a good place to start – knowing what is important, and what is each question type like.
Let us begin by reiterating the types of questions you will see in the verbal section.
Types of Questions in Verbal Section
1. Reading Comprehension- 10 questions per section
2. Text Completion Sentences – 5 questions per section
3. Sentence Equivalence- 5 questions per section
Every section has 20 questions, so it is glaringly obvious that Reading Comprehension is at the crux of every verbal section.
Naturally, you may want to start with this and work your way to TCs and SEs. As for the terrible vocabulary we have heard so much about which, for many, is almost synonymous with GRE verbal preparation itself, read on.
Winning the Vocabulary:
A strong foothold on vocab is required to tackle the TC and SE sentences, which are fancy words for ‘fill in the blank’ sentences, and not required for reading comprehension passages.
For instance, look at the sentence below:
Gina had a/an —————– day; all she wanted to do was sleep and not wake up till she felt rested.
Options: A. Tiring B. Beautiful C. Common D. Fruitful E. Sorrowful
The answer of course is obvious and is A. Tiring (since she really wants to rest). Now, let us change it a little bit.
Gina had a/an ———— day; all she wanted to do was sleep and not wake up till she felt rested.
Options: A. Invidious B. Enervating C. Insightful D. Feckless E. Inveterate
Oops, now we are stuck! We know we are looking for something that means ‘tiring’, but which one of these words really means tiring?
Hence, vocabulary is as important as the sentences themselves which are laden with abstruse vocabulary at times. Answer choices will contain plenty of such specimens.
It is important therefore, to practice a little bit of vocabulary everyday so as to complement your preparation of question types.
Incidentally, reading comprehension should be a priority. Also, the answer in the above sentence is B. Enervating, which means “to drain energy and vitality from”.