The Best Ways to Study and Practice Vocabulary for the GRE Exam

Test PrepThe Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, contains three sections. One of those sections tests a student’s verbal reasoning skills. Within the Verbal Reasoning section, students encounter questions that ask them to identify antonyms and synonyms. Also, they must select the appropriate word or words to complete various sentences. In short, many of the questions in this section test a student’s vocabulary skills.

Fortunately, there are several ways that students can practice GRE vocab words as they prep for this important test:

Review Lists of GRE Vocabulary Words
There are many lists that reveal groups of words that are frequently seen on the GRE. Vocabulary practice can take the form of learning these high frequency words along with their definitions. It’s a good idea for students to divide a vocabulary list into groups of ten words. Learning ten words every week is a lot more effective than trying to absorb all of the words on a list in a short period of time.

The professional instructors at Veritas Prep are experts at teaching students how to learn and remember vocabulary words that may appear on the GRE. In addition, we provide strategies that narrow down and simplify the possible answers making a question in the verbal reasoning section easier for a student to tackle.

Get GRE Vocab Prep with Practice Tests
Taking a practice GRE is another way of learning vocabulary words that may appear on the actual test. Along with introducing students to the subject matter in the verbal reasoning section, they can become familiar with the types of answer options offered on the exam. A student may use mnemonic techniques to remember words on a practice test. For instance, a student who sees the word dissonance can remember it by looking at its prefix, “dis”. In Latin, “dis” means to take apart and the word “sonance” means sound. These clues can remind a student that the word dissonance means inharmonious sound. A student may not see the exact same words on the actual test, but the exam may include words that are similar to the ones on a practice test.

Use GRE Vocabulary on Assignments
The best way to study vocabulary words for the GRE is to use them in everyday life. For instance, a student who is a senior in an undergraduate program can use some GRE vocabulary words on essays and other writing assignments. Or, students who write personal blogs each day can use some newly learned vocabulary words in their articles. A student is more likely to remember a vocabulary word and its meaning if he or she uses it in context. Using these vocabulary words often keeps them fresh in a student’s memory.

Get GRE Vocab Practice with Flashcards
Making flashcards takes a little time, but they are effective study tools when learning unfamiliar vocabulary words. Create flashcards by writing a word on one side of a card and its definition on the other side. Some students prefer to create flashcards via their computer. Flashcards provide students with a convenient way to study GRE vocabulary. Practice with the flashcards while on a break at work or between classes at school.

It’s a good idea for students to quiz themselves using just ten flashcards at a time. Studying ten flashcards at a time is one way to prevent a student from feeling overwhelmed. Students may also want to enlist the help of a roommate or friend when learning new vocabulary words. Two friends who plan to take the GRE can quiz one another with flashcards.

Read Newspaper and Magazine Articles
Many of the words used in newspaper and magazine articles are the same ones found on the GRE. Vocab practice can be as easy as going online each morning to read several articles from a news magazine. When students encounter a word they learned from a GRE vocabulary list, they are able to see it used in context. This further solidifies the meaning of the word in a student’s mind.

Finally, students who want assistance expanding their vocabulary in preparation for the test can contact us regarding GRE prep courses. Our Frequently Asked Questions section is also helpful to students who want to know more about Veritas Prep’s services. We provide students with excellent learning resources and study tips that can help them to master questions on the Verbal Reasoning section as well as the rest of the GRE.

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

How to Start Studying for the GRE

GMAT PracticeMost students who intend to go to graduate school understand that taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is an important step in the process. But, many of them wonder how to start studying for the GRE. At Veritas Prep, we offer online courses that help students prepare for this critical exam. Here are some valuable tips for students as they begin the process of studying for the GRE.

Complete a Practice Exam
Students who are wondering how to start studying for the GRE can take a step in the right direction by completing a practice test. Doing this allows them to see the type of material that’s on GRE. For example, they can get a sneak preview of the types of geometry and algebra questions on the Quantitative section of the exam. Also, students have their reading comprehension and vocabulary skills tested in the Verbal Reasoning section.

The Analytical Writing section requires students to write two essays. One of them is an issue piece while the other is an argument essay. After finishing a practice GRE, students can look at the results of the test to gain insight on what skills they need to improve.

Identify Weaknesses and Strengths on the GRE
Students working with one of our Veritas Prep instructors have the advantage of reviewing the results of their practice test with an expert. A student who needs to brush up on his geometry skills can learn lots of practical tips from his instructor to make geometry questions more manageable. Alternatively, a student who needs help in the area of reading comprehension can garner strategies from her instructor that serve to simplify lengthy written passages. Practice test results are invaluable for a student who wants to make the most efficient use of his or her study time. Practice test results also reveal a student’s strengths. Understandably, this portion of the test results can give some students a much needed confidence boost!

Implement Test-Taking Strategies
Taking more than one practice test is valuable for students who sign up for the GRE. Studying tips and strategies learned at Veritas Prep can be put into practice. One test-taking strategy involves eliminating answer options. Since many of the questions on the GRE are in multiple choice form, this strategy can prove very useful on test day.

For example, there are several questions in the Verbal Reasoning section that ask students to identify the pair of words that would make the most sense if plugged into a particular sentence. A student starts by reading the sentence and then looks at all of the answer options. In many cases, a student will see a pair of words that have nothing to do with the subject matter in the sentence – this answer option can be eliminated right away. Eliminating options helps students to focus their concentration on the most valid choices.

Enhance Study Time Using Various Resources
When studying for the GRE, students can use aids to help them strengthen various skills. For instance, it’s a good idea for students to make flashcards to learn vocabulary words found in the Verbal Reasoning section of the test. A student must find lists of vocabulary words that are likely to be on the GRE. Next, he or she creates a flashcard for each unfamiliar word and its definition. Students who quiz themselves every day with five or ten flashcards are able to absorb a reasonable number of new words each week.

Newspapers and magazines are other study aids that help students to prep for the GRE. Students who get into the habit of reading newspaper and magazine articles are likely to encounter some of the vocabulary words they are learning for the GRE. Seeing these words in context is tremendously helpful to a student who is trying to remember them for the test. Geometry and algebra textbooks are other examples of useful study aids. Students can complete various exercises in the textbook to sharpen their skills in these areas.

Finally, our instructors can be invaluable to students preparing for the GRE. Studying tips, strategies, and encouragement are just three of the things that we offer to our students at Veritas Prep. We are happy to answer questions about our services and encourage students to contact our team with inquiries about our online GRE prep classes. Students who sign up with Veritas Prep are giving themselves an advantage on the GRE.

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

Sample GRE Questions

tutoringStudents planning to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) need to make sure they are ready when test day arrives. At Veritas Prep, we know that practice exams are valuable resources for students. Completing a set of GRE example questions serves many purposes. For one, answering GRE prep questions allows a student to see the topics that will appear on the GRE – test sample questions serve as a preview of the exam.

Today, students have the convenience of finding GRE practice questions online. Take a look at some examples:

The Verbal Reasoning Section
These GRE practice test questions include reading comprehension, sentence equivalence, and text completion question types. The reading comprehension portion of the test includes several written passages. Students answer various questions based on the information in a passage by choosing from a set of multiple choice answer options. After reading a lengthy passage, students may be asked about the theme of a passage or the intent of its author. Or, they may be asked about the implied meaning of a passage or the reasons behind a statement.

Alternatively, the sentence equivalence portion of the test asks students to choose two words that would correctly complete each sentence. For example:

Example 1: The artist known for her picturesque landscapes once commented that she ____ nature. 
A) idolizes
B) abhors
C) reveres
D) despises
E) detests
F) scorns
Answers: A, C

Example 2: A student who tries to cram for a biology final exam in one night will become _____ because it’s impossible to learn an entire course in so little time. 
A) exacerbated
B) inspired
C) exasperated
D) lethargic
E) complaisant
F) dispassionate
Answers: C, D

The text completion questions feature a passage consisting of four or five sentences. There may be one or several blank spaces in the passage. Students have a choice of three or more options for each blank. If a student is not sure about the definition of a word, sometimes looking at a word’s prefix can offer clues. Our professional instructors provide tips to students who need help on this or any other section of the GRE.

Example: The horse and rider emerged from the woods and cantered up a hillside ______ by the moon. The horse made a sharp turn sending the rider tumbling to the ground. The rider slowly stood up, cursing under his breath. He was ______ at his lack of talent as an equestrian.
A) ill-lighted:abhorred
B) illuminated:vexed
C) darkened:appalled
D) enlightened:humiliated
E) obscured:angered
Answer: B

Looking for GRE practice questions online can be helpful when reviewing for the analogy section. In this section, students choose the pair of words that is most similar to the pair of words in the example. One of the strategies we teach our students is to determine the relationship between the words in the example to arrive at the correct answer option. For instance:

Example: ASSAUGE : SORROW 
A) counsel : exacerbate
B) withhold : appreciation
C) companionship : loneliness
D) endear : criticize
E) console : aggravate
Answer: C

The Quantitative Section
There are a variety of math questions in this section of the GRE. Practice test questions may challenge a student’s algebra, geometry, arithmetic, or data analysis skills.

Example 1: Which of these numbers is the average of the first ten even numbers?
A) 9
B) 13
C) 11
D) 16
E) 15
2+4+6+8+10+12+14+16+18+20=110/10
Answer: C

Example 2: (12/3) x (8/4) =
A) 18
B) 10
C) 8
D) 12
E) 14
Answer: C

Example 3: If 8t + 5t +2t + 4t=114, then 5t + 3= 
A) 20
B) 33
C) 25
D) 32
E) 40
Answer: B

The Analytical Writing Section
This section requires students to write both an issue and an argument essay. Students receive a prompt for both essays. A sample prompt for the issue essay may ask students whether they agree or disagree with the idea of paying high school students for perfect attendance. Alternatively, a sample prompt for the argument essay may center on the argument of legalizing medical marijuana. Regardless of what side a student takes, he or she should create a well-organized essay and a convincing argument.

We are experts at helping students prepare for the GRE. Test sample questions are easier to manage when students partner with one of our online instructors. Email or call us to find out more about our prep classes for the GRE. Our helpful team at Veritas Prep gives students the tools to succeed on the GRE!

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

How to Prepare and Practice for the GRE Verbal Reasoning Section

stressed-studentThe Verbal Reasoning section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) challenges a student’s reading comprehension, vocabulary, and sentence completion skills. Our talented instructors at Veritas Prep teach students how to prepare for GRE Verbal Reasoning questions. There are several practical strategies available to students that can help them conquer even the most difficult questions in this section.

Check out some valuable tips that students may use to prep for the Verbal Reasoning questions on the GRE:

Complete One or More Practice Exams
Taking a practice test is an important step in preparing for the GRE. Verbal Reasoning practice questions give students a sneak preview of what to expect on the test. Furthermore, students can look at the results of a practice test to determine which skills they need to work on.

Some students may do well on the reading comprehension questions, but need a little help with questions that involve analogies. Other students may experience success with questions that involve antonyms and synonyms, but have trouble with questions that ask them to identify the main point of a written passage. Our Veritas Prep professional instructors are able to provide students with techniques on how to improve specific skills tested in the Verbal Reasoning section.

Put Tips and Strategies Into Practice
After working with a Veritas Prep instructor for a time, it’s a good idea for students to take another practice test. This helps them get into the habit of using our strategies on the GRE. Verbal practice questions are much easier to handle when a student employs our strategies.

One example of an easy test-taking strategy is to look at the question, as well as all of the answer options before reading a passage. Skimming the question and the answer options gives a student an idea of what to look for in the passage. Perhaps the question concerns the main idea of the passage or asks a student to notice something about its supporting details. Our instructors are experts at providing strategies that help students pinpoint the most important parts of a passage.

Another simple strategy can be used on sentence completion questions in the GRE Verbal section – look through all of the answer options and eliminate choices that are obviously incorrect. In addition, it’s helpful to plug each answer option into the sentence and read it to see if it makes sense. Students who want to take advantage of these and other strategies for the GRE are encouraged to contact our offices to sign up for a prep course today.

Read Magazines and Newspapers
Reading magazines and newspapers is another way for students to prepare for the GRE. Verbal practice questions require a student to be familiar with a lot of vocabulary words. A student who reads magazine and newspaper articles is likely to encounter some of the same vocabulary words that appear on the GRE. Art, science and news magazines are ideal choices for students who want to see these vocabulary words in context. Seeing unfamiliar vocabulary words used in context is an effective way of retaining a word as well as its definition.

Students who study online with Veritas Prep are giving themselves an extra advantage on the GRE. Verbal prep exercises can help them to feel less anxious about the test. Our team uses effective study resources to help students thoroughly prepare for the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE.

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

What is an Average GRE Score?

GMATIndividuals who want to take the Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, must do a lot of prep work. Most students have many questions about the test, among them: What is the average GRE score? They want to know so they have an idea of the scores other students around the country receive. Take a look at some average GRE scores, and learn how our talented team at Veritas Prep helps students to highlight their academic skills on this test.

What Is the Average GRE Score?
Before looking at the average scores on the revised GRE, it’s helpful to know the scoring range for each section of the test. A student can receive a score of anywhere between 130 and 170 on the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative sections. On the Analytical Writing section, students can score from 0 to 6 points, in half point increments. On the GRE, average scores are as follows: 150.2 points for the Verbal Reasoning section, 152.5 points for the Quantitative section, and 3.5 points for the Analytical Writing section.

Most schools display the average test scores of their applicants on their official websites. Students who visit the website of a particular school to read its admission guidelines can often find out the average GRE scores of students who gain acceptance into the institution. This is a good way for a student to find out what he or she needs to achieve on the GRE in order to make it into a particular graduate school.

Growing Stronger in Every Subject on the GRE
Taking a practice test is one of the most effective ways of finding a student’s strengths and weaknesses on the GRE. With the help of his or her instructor, a student is able to pinpoint skills that need improvement. This prevents a student from devoting too much study time to skills that he or she already knows.

Once a student realizes what needs improvement, he or she can receive guidance from a Veritas Prep instructor regarding how to sharpen those skills. In many cases, our instructors provide students with a whole new way to approach a reading question or a math equation. Not surprisingly, many students continue to practice the skills they learn at Veritas Prep all of the way through graduate school! Once students begin to strengthen specific skills for the GRE, they gain a new sense of confidence and a more positive attitude toward the test.

Strategies and Tips for the GRE
We understand that most students want to excel on the GRE. Average scores are seen as a baseline by ambitious students who want their graduate school application to stand out in a crowd. The strategies our instructors share with students help them to complete the test in the most efficient way possible.

For instance, we teach students how to filter out the most significant parts of a written passage so they can determine the correct answer option. We also offer students strategies that assist them in simplifying complicated math equations. We guide students in learning how to jot down an outline that includes elements that will help them to create two organized essays for the test. Our professional instructors are very familiar with the GRE, so they are able to convey tips to students based on their own test-taking experiences.

The Night Before the Test
Veritas Prep students benefit in a number of different ways from our GRE prep courses as well as our first-rate study resources. But, there are additional things they can do to feel ready for the test. For instance, the evening before the test students can be sure to eat a nutritious dinner with plenty of protein as well as fruits and vegetables. A healthy meal the night before the test can set the stage for a successful test day. Also, students are wise to get to bed early so they feel well-rested the next day. Trying to cram information the night before the GRE is non-productive and adds to a student’s stress level.

Students can contact our staff by telephone or email to find out more about our GRE prep services. We are glad to offer more information about our online or in-person courses. At Veritas Prep, we want all of our students to perform at their very best on the GRE!

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make in the GRE Verbal Section: Text Completion Questions

GRE VERBALIf you’re studying for the GRE Verbal section, you’re probably thinking a lot in terms of vocabulary. Both the Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence question types involve selecting a word that fills in a blank – a classic vocabulary-type setup.

While you do need a healthy vocabulary to be able to succeed on the Verbal section, people that overemphasize vocabulary (who are memorizing as many obscure words and definitions as possible) tend to feel a bit underprepared when they get to the test for the amount of critical thinking and work you need to put into some of these questions.

Before you continue, check out Part 1 of this lesson here, then keep reading or check out our video explanation of this concept below:

One thing to think about with GRE Verbal questions is how much work and critical thought you’ll need. It’s not just a quick response of, “Oh! I know that meaning; I know that word!” As you’ll see with the example below, a lot of times you need to be flexible in your thinking, willing to split hairs on the meanings of words that you already know, and have that willingness to start over and take a fresh look at the problem.

Now let’s take a look at what we mean by this concept with an example question:

Because of the author’s (i)______, many readers consider his latest work (ii)______ but, in reality, as many knowledgeable critics point out, the piece (iii)______.

Blank (i)
A) eloquence
B) prejudice
C) verbosity

Blank (ii)
D) inaccessible
E) poignant
F) polarizing

Blank (iii)
G) lack coherence and lucidity
H) has no discernible conclusion
I) is the most succinct on the subject

This is a classic Text Completion problem where you have three blanks and three answer choices for each. Now let’s talk about how people tend to approach this question:

Test-takers tend to find that the first two blanks agree with each other. “Because of one thing, someone will think another thing that is related.” As such, they start to see relationships between some of the answer choices. They might say, “Because someone is so ‘eloquent’ we think that their point is ‘poignant.'” Or, they might say, “Because someone is so ‘prejudiced’ people find their work is ‘polarizing.'” Or you may even say, “Due to the ‘verbosity’ – because someone uses so many words – their work is ‘inaccessible’ and difficult to get into.”

Now, the trick (or trap) with this kind of a setup is that test-takers tend to fall in love with their favorite pairings of the first two answer choices (A/E and  B/F). Maybe this is because people tend to start with answer choice A (eloquence) and then find a nice match for it (poignant). Then they just want to wedge in one of the last answer choices. A lot of times, test-takers will answer this question with “eloquence,” “poignant,” and “no discernible conclusion” or “lacks coherence.”

Here’s where you need to think critically about this question, and where the work really comes into play. Is it the really the case that the opposite of “poignant” is “doesn’t have a discernible conclusion” – that this is the counterpoint that comes with the transition word “but” in the middle of the sentence?  What if there isn’t really a conclusion because the author’s work is open-ended? It’s up for interpretation, but it could still be poignant. This is at least a possibility you might want to think about.

This also gets into one other thing that people tend to be underprepared for: making sure that every word in the prompt matters. In writing this test, the question writers aren’t getting paid by the word. If they put in something about “knowledgeable critics,” you should be asking yourself, “Why would these critics be the ones to point this out?” If you’re at this point still thinking about the first two answer choices maybe you’re right, but you should also see this as an invitation – you have to know, particularly if there’s a third blank space, with 5-7 words in some of the answer choices, that the Testmakers put that there, not because of a vocabulary word, but because of the meaning of the sentence. You’re really looking for one combination that has a very clear, very logical meaning.

So if we focus on these knowledgeable critics, again, you should ask yourself, “Why would they need to be the ones to point something out?” What you’ll find is that the correct logic for this question is that because of the author’s “verbosity” people find the work “inaccessible” and hard to get into, but, as the “knowledgeable critics” will point out, “We know this topic inside and out. This is actually the most succinct work you’re going to find on this dense topic. It’s not the author’s fault for being verbose.” So the correct answers are options C, D, and I.

The overall lesson of this question is important: when you have multiple blanks, a lot of times this means you need to go to work. You can’t fall in love with a strategy like, “Oh, great! I went from left to right, I found an answer for Blank 1 that I like that fits with an answer from Blank 2 that I like. Now I’ll just try to take a square peg and put it in a round hole with Blank 3 so I can be done…” One of the great virtues with multiple blank text completion is that you need to have the patience to say, “This is an okay triplet or pair, but I may be able to do better,” and then to start over and really go to work.

So as you approach GRE Verbal, make sure you have a robust vocabulary to go into it, but don’t let that come at the expense of your willingness to roll up your sleeves, really think of the meaning of the entire sentence, and maybe start over and look for different combinations. Because in a lot of ways, GRE Verbal is about your willingness to work.

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

By Brian Galvin.

The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make in the GRE Verbal Section: Sentence Equivalence Questions

08fba0fLet’s talk some GRE Verbal. Now, if you’re studying for the GRE Verbal section, you’re thinking about Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence as two major question types that you need to be ready for. And as you’ll see, you can talk about them in terms of the word “vocabulary,” because the right answers tend to be an individual word or a short phrase that is some kind of “vocabulary” –  a word you need to know the meaning of and fit into the meaning of the sentence.

Here’s where students tend to study wrong, ineffectively, and inefficiently: they over-study their 500-word flash card decks (the most ridiculous and obscure words they can find). Yes, you do need to have a decent vocabulary to do well on these questions, but what these students don’t study enough as they’re chasing really strange words over and over again – which they may only see three or four of on test day – is knowing that, very often, these questions require you to work.

Continue reading or check out our video explanation of this concept below:

It’s not about knowing some memorized definition of a weird word – often, the test will use words you know, but you will need to work a little bit to figure out exactly what type of meaning you need in that sentence, and whether that word you’re looking at (a word you probably use in sentences every day, week, month, etc.) has the precise meaning you need in that particular space.

Now let’s take a look at this Sentence Equivalence example that will shed some light on what we’re talking about:

While the cost of migrating to more automated piloting and air traffic control systems is substantial, the eventual cost savings are large enough that the up-front expenditures are not as ______ as opponents claim.

Select the two choices that fit the meaning of the sentence and give the sentence the same meaning.

(A) fiscal
(B) imprudent
(C) reasonable
(D) excessive
(E) massive
(F) paltry

Now, if you look at what’s going on in this sentence, we have a contrast (and the word “while” sets this up). The sentence is saying that even though the cost is substantial – we’re agreeing this will cost a lot of money – what you’re going to save in the long run means that it’s not as *blank* (as big of a deal) as opponents claim.

What tends to happen with this problem is people look for synonyms. They say, “We think the cost is big, but maybe not as big as we once thought,” so they’ll look and see “excessive” and “massive” –two words that in some way mean “big”. Then they’ll pick those answer choices and get this question wrong. Why are these choices wrong? It’s about a little, subtle difference in meaning, and the Testmaker wants to reward those who pick up on it.

The word “massive” means “big,” while the word “excessive” means “too big.” If you look at what’s going on in the sentence, anytime there’s a comma (or two sentences in one prompt), the part that is not near the blank space really does matter. This is a classic “Think Like the Testmaker” moment – you should be thinking, “Why did they put that part there? To reward those who are thinking of the meaning of the whole sentence.”

Nobody is arguing that changing to automated piloting is not a big cost. Nobody is saying, “Hey, while it’s big, actually it’s not big.” What they really want to say is, “Hey, this is going to cost you a lot of money – it’s a big expenditure up front – but in the end, you’re going to save enough money that it’s not too big of an investment or an unwise decision.” So what you really want here is “too big”. We’re not debating whether the expense is big or not; we’re only debating whether it’s a wise investment, or too much to spend up front.

With this in mind, answer choice E, “massive” or “big,” is wrong, even though it’s really tempting. “Imprudent,” on the other hand, means “impractical” or “too big,” which is what we’re looking for. So the answers are B and D. Again, what this question really comes down to is that tiny, subtle difference between the meanings of words that you know. In this case, we want “too big,” so the test tries to hit you with a word that means “big.” That’s what we mean when we say you need to prepare to work on these questions. It’s about understanding the meaning of the sentence as a whole, finding those subtle differences, and holding up the words you’re putting in the blank and saying, “Is that really the exact word I need, or are they just overall related?”

As you study for the GRE Verbal section, you do want to have a good vocabulary, but don’t let that come at the expense of your willingness to really go to work on subtle differences in meaning with words that you know.

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

By Brian Galvin.

Strategies for GRE Reading Comprehension

SATThe Graduate Record Examination, or the GRE, has three sections – one of them is the Verbal Reasoning section. Within this section, there are sentence equivalence, text completion, and reading comprehension questions. The reading comprehension questions test a student’s ability to understand the type of reading material they will deal with in graduate school courses. Look at the types of reading comprehension questions found on the GRE and learn how to effectively study for them:

What Skills Are Needed to Master Reading Comprehension Questions on the GRE?
Many of the reading comprehension questions on the GRE require students to summarize passages and draw conclusions about what they’ve read. Students need to be able to find the strengths and weaknesses in a position taken by the author of a passage. Recognizing vocabulary words used in sentences and understanding how they contribute to the overall meaning of a passage are other skills a student needs to know. Also, they have to be able to distinguish main ideas from minor details.

In order to find success with these types of questions and others, students must know how to read in an active way by asking questions and drawing conclusions as they go. These skills will prove invaluable in graduate school, as well.

The Types of Reading Comprehension Questions on the GRE
The types of questions on the test help to measure a student’s skills in reading comprehension. GRE questions are mostly multiple-choice. There are traditional multiple-choice questions where a student chooses one option out of several. Also, there are reading comprehension questions that ask students to choose more than one answer – there may even be three correct answers to one question.

Select-in-passage questions are also included on the GRE. To answer this type of question, a student must read a passage and click on or highlight a particular sentence that fulfills a given description. Select-in-passage questions are only found on the computer-based GRE. Individuals taking the paper-based version of the GRE will answer multiple-choice questions that measure the same skills as select-in-passage questions.

GRE Reading Comprehension Tips
Along with contacting Veritas Prep, students can do many things to prepare for the GRE. Reading comprehension practice questions are a necessity for any student who wants to fare well on the test. Students can go online to find GRE reading comprehension practice questions that can help them to determine what skills to work on.

Another thing to do when preparing for the test is to study vocabulary words found on the GRE. Becoming familiar with these words and their definitions can help students better understand the sentences and passages on the test.

In addition to learning vocabulary words, it’s a good idea for students to make it a point to read magazine and newspaper articles. A sample GRE reading list could include The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Popular Science, and The Economist. Seeing various vocabulary words in context is helpful when a student is trying to retain new definitions. One of the best GRE reading comprehension tips for students to follow is to establish the habit of becoming an engaged reader, whether you’re reading fiction or nonfiction. Asking questions and looking for the meaning within a piece of written work is something every reader has to learn and practice.

At Veritas Prep, we provide GRE tutoring services to students who would like some help preparing for the reading comprehension questions on the exam. Each of our instructors has achieved a high score on the GRE, so students who work with us are learning from individuals who have mastered the reading comprehension questions, along with all of the others, on the GRE! Reading comprehension strategies play an important part in our GRE prep classes. We show students how to simplify the process of arriving at the correct answer option.

Our professional instructors at Veritas Prep know how to prepare students for the GRE. We review reading comprehension questions with students to determine both their weaknesses and strengths. Consequently, we can make the most efficient use of a study period. And we are proud to offer both online and in-person GRE prep classes to meet the needs of our students. Contact Veritas Prep today to sign up for success on the GRE!

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

Tips for Mastering the GRE’s Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion Sections

EssayThe Verbal Reasoning section is just one of three parts on the Graduate Record Examination, also known as the GRE. In this section, students must answer both sentence equivalence and text completion questions.

Take a closer look at what these types of questions entail, and learn some strategies for arriving at the correct answers:

What Are Sentence Equivalence Questions?
For each sentence equivalence question, a student is given a sentence with a blank space. Instead of choosing just one answer option to put into the blank space, a student must choose two – when put into the blank space, each answer option should create a logical sentence. Furthermore, both complete sentences should have the same meaning. There are a total of six answer options for each sentence equivalence question.

Strategies for Mastering Sentence Equivalence Questions
There are many things students can do to improve their performance on this part of the GRE. Sentence equivalence practice should start with reading the entire sentence and scanning all of the answer choice options. One of the most effective GRE sentence completion tips for students to keep in mind is to look for words and phrases that reveal the meaning or tone of a sentence. It’s easier for a student to choose the most appropriate answer options when they grasp the overall meaning of a sentence.

For example, the words “however” and “although” can be clues that the second part of a sentence conflicts with the first part. Take a look at this sentence: “The trial attorney was known for his grandiloquent speeches in the courtroom; however, his demeanor was ____ while spending time at home with his family.” The word “however” in the sentence should signal a student to look for an answer option that means the opposite of “grandiloquent.” Alternatively, a student who sees the words “moreover” or “similarly” in a sentence should bear in mind that these words indicate agreement.

Students looking for other useful GRE sentence completion tips may want to try coming up with a few words that would fit logically into a sentence. After thinking of a short list of words, students can peruse the answer options to find two words that are similar in meaning. Another technique to try as a student participates in GRE sentence equivalence practice is to cross out answer options that would definitely not fit in the sentence.

What Are Text Completion Questions?
GRE text completion questions measure how well students evaluate and interpret reading material. Each GRE text completion question features a short passage. There are one to three blank spaces within the passage, requiring a student to choose the best answer option for each one.

For instance, if there are three blanks in a passage, then a student will have three answer options per blank. Alternatively, if the passage consists of just a single sentence with one blank space, then the student will receive five answer options to choose from. In the end, a student should end up with a passage made up of logical sentences.

How to Master Text Completion Questions
The first step in a student’s approach to a text completion question should be to read the entire passage. This gives a student an idea of the tone and structure of the passage. The next step is to look for words in the passage that can help a student select the answer option that leads to logical sentence completion. GRE questions in this section challenge a student’s ability to consistently create coherent sentences. Some words to look for include “moreover,” “although,” and “however.”

When working on a text completion question, it’s not necessary for students to start with the first blank and finish by finding an answer option that fits the third blank. Sometimes, filling in the blanks out of order can simplify the process of determining the correct answers for each one.

Our staff at Veritas Prep stands ready to help students who want to put forth their best performance on the GRE. At Veritas Prep, we teach our students practical strategies that prepare them for the GRE. Furthermore, students who take advantage of our prep courses learn from instructors who’ve mastered the exam.

We provide expert guidance on all of the questions on this challenging test, including the ones that involve text and sentence completion. GRE courses are available to suit the busy schedules of our students. We give our students the tools they need to excel – contact Veritas Prep today and let us help you master the GRE!

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

Getting Your GRE Scores

Letter of RecommendationMost students who plan to take the GRE have a number of questions about the exam. One of the most common questions is, “When will I receive my test scores?” Also, students want to know how to get GRE scores sent to the schools they are applying to. Other students want to find out about the sections and the scoring system on the GRE. Let’s look at the answers to these questions, along with others related to this important exam.

Test Sections and Scoring on the GRE
Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing are the three sections on the GRE. Questions in the Verbal Reasoning section measure a student’s skills in understanding and evaluating written material. The Quantitative Reasoning section contains geometry, algebra, arithmetic, and other basic math problems. The Analytical Writing section requires students to write an issue essay as well as an argument essay. These essays reveal a student’s critical thinking skills and ability to write in a clear, organized way.

Students can score from 130 to 170 points on the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections. Scores for both of these sections are in one-point increments. Alternatively, students can earn from zero to six points on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE. This section is scored in half-point increments.

Getting GRE Scores
Before leaving the testing location, students who take the computer-delivered GRE have the opportunity to see their unofficial scores for the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections. However, Analytical Writing scores are not available on test day – 10 to 15 days after test day, students can find out their official scores via the account they opened to register for the GRE. Alternatively, those who take the paper-delivered version of the GRE must wait six weeks before having access to their official test scores.

Students who prepare for the GRE with Veritas Prep are very likely to be happy with their test scores. Our students receive instruction from professional tutors who have taken the GRE with great success! Our instructors can offer students inside tips to help them conquer every test question. We also review practice test results with students so they can study in an efficient, logical way. At Veritas Prep, we combine first-rate instruction with excellent study resources to give our students the tools they need to get GRE scores they can be proud of.

Sending GRE Scores to Schools
Students headed to graduate school know the importance of getting GRE scores to the schools they want to apply to. A student who takes the computer-delivered version of the GRE will have their scores sent out to schools approximately 10 to 15 days after the testing date. Students who take the traditional paper version of the GRE will have their test scores sent to schools about six weeks after taking the test. All students receive a notification when their test scores have been sent out to the schools on their list.

How to Get GRE Scores Sent to Additional Schools
Students who register to take the exam can get GRE scores sent to as many as four schools – this is included in the test fee. But what if a student wants to send scores to more than four schools? Students can go online to order additional score reports or arrange for them via fax or mail. There is a fee for each additional score report.

Information Displayed on a Score Report
There are several pieces of information on a student’s score report. A student’s name and other basic contact information are on the report, as well as when the person took the GRE. A student’s GRE score and percentile rank are also on their score report. Score reports sent to schools feature a student’s contact information, test date, intended focus of study, GRE scores, and percentile rank.

At Veritas Prep, we offer a variety of tutoring options for the GRE so you can be satisfied with your score. We have both online and in-person courses available so students can choose the best study option for them. Our students receive the instruction and encouragement they need to earn their best possible score on the GRE!

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

Firm Up Your Vocab Skills for the GRE: The Most Common GRE Words

Test PrepThere are many things that students must do to prep for the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE. Becoming familiar with vocabulary words used on the GRE as well as their definitions can help students to master many Verbal Reasoning questions. Fortunately, students have several options when it comes to studying the most common GRE words. Consider some creative ways that students can become familiar with vocabulary words used on the GRE:

Word Games
Many students find online word games helpful as they prepare for the GRE. It may be a simple matching game that asks students to pair GRE vocabulary words with their definitions. Or it could be a more familiar game, such as Hangman, that incorporates words seen in Verbal Reasoning questions. Some students like to play online word games with a friend. Competition can make the process of absorbing new words more fun. Plus, a friend can offer encouragement and support that can push a student to learn even more words for the test.

Memorable Sentences
Creating memorable sentences is another way for students to learn high-frequency words for GRE questions. For instance, a student can bring in personal experience when creating a sentence for the word “indelible”: “My mother was angry when my little sister wrote on her bedroom wall with indelible marker.” The student is more likely to remember the definition of the word “indelible” because they created a sentence based on something that happened in their family. Plus, the act of writing sentences on paper further helps a student absorb words and their definitions.

Veritas Prep tutors are experts at helping students prepare for the GRE because we hire tutors who excelled on this exam. In our courses, we give students valuable tips like these for how to learn high-frequency words for GRE questions. Because our students learn test strategies from professionals who have practical experience with the GRE, they get the tools they need to succeed.

Reviewing Flash Cards
Flash cards are effective study tools for students who are learning the most common GRE words. Some students like to make traditional flash cards using a marker and index cards. They write the vocabulary word on one side of the card and its definition on the other. Other students prefer to find an app for GRE flash cards that they can access via their smartphone.

Either way, students can review their flash cards during free moments throughout their day. This can increase the total number of GRE words a student can learn per week. Students can also enlist the help of friends as they review flash cards – a friend can hold up a flash card and ask the student for the definition of the word. Reviewing flash cards with a friend can make study time more effective.

Using New Words on School Assignments
The next study method is perfect for undergraduate students who plan to take the GRE. High-frequency words found on the test can be incorporated into daily assignments for classes. For instance, a student might use several GRE vocabulary words while writing a paper for a literature class, or an individual can use GRE words to complete the essay section on an exam for a history class. Including GRE vocabulary in assignments gives a student additional practice with these words and may even impress a professor or two!

Additional Reading Material
Putting in some extra time reading is another way to prepare for the GRE. High-frequency words seen on the test can sometimes be found in newspapers, nonfiction books, and magazines. Science and news magazines are especially useful for students learning GRE vocabulary. Some classic novels also contain many GRE words. Reading these types of materials gives a student the opportunity to see GRE vocabulary used in context. Once again, this boosts the chances that a student will remember the word when they see it on the test.

Our team of instructors at Veritas Prep knows how to guide students toward success on the GRE. For the convenience of our students, we offer both online and in-person prep courses. We can help students increase their supply of GRE words so they can excel on Verbal Reasoning questions. Our talented instructors address the specific needs of each student. Contact our offices today!

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!