Overview of GRE Verbal Section: Reading Comprehension

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is a test that is conducted for admission into a Graduate course or a management course, across the world. It is conducted all throughout the year in different test centers. Educational Testing Services (ETS) conduct the GRE, their official website is this: https://www.ets.org/gre.

The GRE is divided into three sections:

  1. Verbal Reasoning
  2. Quantitative Reasoning
  3. Analytical Writing

The test durations is for 3 hours and 45 minutes. The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning each have 2 sections and each section has 20 questions. The Analytical Writing section has two topics that you need to write on. The score range for GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning is 130-170; total score range is 260-340. Analytical Writing section is graded between 0-6.

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The verbal reasoning is further divided into three question types: Reading Comprehension (RC), Text Completion (TC) and Sentence Equivalence (SE).

The Reading Comprehension section questions are based on passages. The passages maybe long or short. Long passages will be composed of 300-350 words and will have about 3-4 questions based on it. Short passages will be composed of 200-250 words and will have 1-2 questions. You can expect about 5-6 passages in both the sections.

The topics that the passages will be based on will include the following subjects: Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities. One does not need to have any outside information on any of these topics to approach RC questions. All the information that you need to answer RC questions are given in the passage itself. So be careful not to use outside information other than what has been presented in the passage to answer RC questions. And do not be anxious if you come across a topic that you have no prior knowledge on, as that is not required to answer RC questions.

The RC tests your ability to comprehend written material, understand the meaning and logic of the passages and your inference skills. There are three question formats that you will come across in RC:

  1. Multiple choice select one (there will be 5 answer choices and you have to select one correct answer).
  2. Multiple choice select-all-that-apply (there will be three options and you must select all that maybe right).
  3. Select-in-passage (lines to be selected in the passage).
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