Following GRE Verbal Strategies shared by Vinay.
It is quite distressing for most readers of this blog to open their mails from HSB and read about how horrific the Verbal Section and RC’s were.
I was very baffled by the scores that I was seeing here and quite frankly I was quite worried reading about various test takers grievances.
Couple of weeks back I started my preparation for my exam scheduled on 28th of this month.
First Week of GRE Prep
I took quite a few practice tests( Section wise) for a week.
- Had a 80-70% success rate in SE’s and TC’s but RC’s were horrible.
- Hardly used to get 50% correct.
Second Week of GRE Prep
In my second week I started taking full length exams online. In my first practice test my Verbal score was around 450 and Quant was 660.
I analyzed the whole exam and realized that I was reading and understanding the passages very poorly. But I dint let this get me down.
Next day I decided to try my hand at another full length exam, only this time I decided to concentrate correctly. I, like most people sat reading the passages based on the question. And at the end of the exam again I got Verbal-470 and Quant 640. I was about to give up.
Being a stubborn child all my life I couldn’t accept the fact that I was being so very average.
Couple of days late I tried another full length exam but this time I decided to experiment a bit. This is the strategy I employed
My GRE Verbal Strategy
- Strategy for Sentence Equivalence Questions and Text Completion
- Strategy for Reading Comprehension
Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion
- Finish all SE’s and TC’s first.
- Set a time limit of maximum of 10 minutes to do the 10 questions (5 each of SE’s and TC’s).
Managed to finish those 10 questions in almost 10mins.
For Sentence Completion always look for synonyms while answering the blanks.( Even though some words feel perfect for the blank if they don’t have a supporting word then its useless).
For Text completion always try filling in your own words first and try making sense of the whole text.
Then fill in the words you feel are appropriate and read the whole sentence out loud and check whether the text still makes sense. If it does then more often than not you would have got your answers spot on.
Coming to the RC’s. There will be 10 questions. Hopefully 20mins of time left to do these.
- Go to the biggest passage in the section.
- Do not bother reading the question first.
Because by doing so you would limit your reading to only certain parts of the passage and eventually screw up the following questions about that same passage.
Now with the longest passage you have in front of you start analysis para wise.
Start with the 1st para, note down certain KEYWORDS or important points in that para. Repeat the same for the subsequent para’s.
You may start to feel this is very time consuming and may lead you to run out of time. But put aside this fear and give it a good try.
It will take you about roughly 4-5mins to finish a brief summary of every para. Once you are done with this without your knowing it you would have understand what the passage is trying to say.
This knowledge will help you in answering the 4-5 questions that follow for the long passage within 2mins.
In all you would have totally spent 7mins on a long passage.
My time spent on long passage through earlier method was around 9mins for the long passage and yet I got most of them wrong.
Now for the other short or very short passages follow the same procedure.
You should be able to answer most correctly.
Because as I said earlier by following this procedure you will avoid the total brain freeze that happens when trying to comprehend the passage as a whole.
Following this method you should be able to complete the whole verbal section with a minute or so to spare.
The first time I tried this strategy I got a verbal score of 660!!!!
A huge leap, all the way from 440-660. But I wasn’t sure whether this was a fluke.
Was still quite apprehensive about it so I tried again the next day.
This time did only the verbal section and managed to get 650. Was absolutely thrilled. And mind you, all this without going through hundreds of word-lists like most do.
My vocabulary is not that great but instead of trying to develop that I attempted at developing my comprehension instead; and I am glad to say it worked pretty great. Been taking a full length exam every alternative day and since I started using this method my score has never dipped below 600 in verbal.
Cheers to all. Hope this helps. Give me a shout out if it does/doesn’t help. All the best
PS: I would suggest not to try doing RC’s first and then the rest. Because your chances of getting the right answer in a short span of time in SE’s and TC’s are better.
Also I believe in taking my sweet time to conquer the worst.