The Verbal section of the GRE tests your ability to analyze written material, as well as relationships among component parts of sentences, including words and concepts. Verbal Reasoning questions appear in several formats. Each Verbal section will follow the same trajectory: Text Completion, then a block of Reading Comp questions, then Sentence Equivalence, and finally a second block of Reading Comp.
Brushing up on GRE vocabulary and learning how to efficiently handle the long (and sometimes not very interesting) Reading Comp passages is key to a high score on Verbal.
Text Completion (TC) questions ask you to fill in the blank to complete sentences. Variations include 1-, 2-, and 3-blank questions. You’ll encounter approximately six of these in each Verbal section, and you should aim to complete each in about 1–1.5 minutes. To master these, you’ll need to build your vocabulary as well as develop your skill at using context clues from the sentence to make predictions for the blanks. There is no partial credit: you must answer correctly for all blanks to receive points for these questions.
Sentence Equivalence (SE) questions require you to fill in a single blank with two choices that create two coherent sentences that are logically similar in meaning. You will encounter approximately four SE questions in each Verbal section. Aim to complete each in about 1 minute. As with TC questions, you’ll need to work on building your vocabulary and identifying context clues in order to master SE questions.
Reading Comprehension (RC) questions are based on passages of one or more paragraphs that develop an explanation or argument on a topic. RC questions require you to understand central ideas presented in the text and the structure of a text, as well as to research details in the passage and draw valid inferences from it. RC questions require strategic reading and paraphrasing skills.
Each Verbal section will contain approximately 10 RC questions associated with five different passages, and you should aim to spend an average of 1–3 minutes on reading a passage and 1 minute per question.