First of all, ignore what the world hypes about the difficulty level of GRE… people unnecessarily keep saying that ‘GRE is getting tougher day by day’..i don’t agree with that. Its your level of preparation that is going to make the exam sound easy or difficult.
There are 4 types of questions that are asked in verbal section :
1) Antonyms (around 8questions)
2) sentence correction (around 7 questions)
3) analogies (around 7 questions)
4) Reading comprehension. (around 8-9 questions)
The first 3 types of questions can be very well handled if your vocab is good.
Of course I m not expecting you to know the whole dictionary! :)..just make sure that you are thorough with the word list given in BARRONS GRE. I really feel that BARRONS GRE is the bible for preparation for GRE!.. you would find many people who would say “ dump that barrons first”.. I wonder what makes them feel that!… I scored 640 2 times by using only barrons!
The wordlist in barrons is of 3500 words!… words like – discombobulated, recidivism, appurtenance, hiatus! WHO ON EARTH USES THOSE WORDS!! …someone tell me!
Anyways, there is no shortcut to learn the word list. You have to spend time to remember the words. You do anything to keep the words in your mind – write the words , use flash cards, make silly associations of words and some pictures in your mind, read out the words loud, start using the words in your day-to-day speaking. Discombobulate ur friends!!
I will give you one example. There is a word –stickler. It means a person who is particular about everything, someone who wants everything to be at its own place.! In engineering college, I had a room partner named Yogesh More who was very particular about cleanliness, neatness!… so I created a mental association of STICKLER and Yogesh More! So next time I see the word stickler, I know what it means!!!…understood?
Create ANY DAMN pattern to remember words. Don’t worry about what the stupidity or foolishness of the pattern. Its only till the time you take the GRE, that you need to remember those patterns!..right? J
Once you are done with the wordlist, you start reading a thesaurus. Thesaurus is mainly to give u an idea about the different shades of any word.
Softwares for helping you improve your vocab for Verbal section:
(this zip file contains very important softwares for GRE (pls change the etxn of this .ppt to zip and then extract the contents and then change the extension .xyz to .exe)
Like, the the example of the word – application.
The normal meaning we know is that of a formal letter to get some work done.
But there is one meaning of ‘application’ that normally all don’t know.
APPLICATION also means DILIGENT ATTENTION.
So, thesaurus will give u all the synonyms of a word.
After you are done with the barrons wordlist, you can directly jump into solving questions. Seriously, once you know how a word is used in different contexts, the above first 3 types of questions would be easy for you.
Reading comprehension has been haunting me since 2003!… I still haven’t been able to figure out what the passage said and what I understood! :)… kidding! There are many ways to tackle RC. I would tell you what I did to handle RC.
First read the passage slowly! Believe me, you will save a lot of time by solving Antonyms and Analogies quickly. So you can use that time in RC. I m not trying to blow my own trumpet, but really I could solve antonyms in just 5-6 seconds. Btw, there are 30 questions to be solved in 30 mins in verbal section. i.e a min a question. I used to save 55 * 8 seconds and I used to use that time in RC…get my point?
Use you strength to save time on easy questions and use that time wisely on the tougher questions. I used to spend arnd 4 mins to read a 70 line passage!.. I know you must be feeling that I was very slowly. But, I took time to comprehend! This is what happens when you don’t have a good reading habit!
When you read the first paragraph, try to judge what the next content is going to be. If the author is disgruntled about something, then be sure that he is going to propose something that is better than the previously mentioned method. And subsequently he will propose why he thinks the other method is good…etc. GRE passages normally follow a pattern. After solving some 50-60 passages , you will come to know the structure of the passage. You will even be able to anticipate what can be asked!…practice is very very important here.
this is the link for 1000 RC:
It’s a sea of RCs. But be sure that you understand what is going wrong after each RC. The NUMBER of ‘RCs solved’ is not important, it’s ‘what you learned’ is important.
After you are done with all this preparation, solve GRE BIG Book. It’s the bible of GRE exams. I had solved some 8 tests and I can surely say that the second question in the main exam came verbatim from the GRE BIG Book.!
And after that don’t forget to solve the tests given in the ETS GRE Powerprep (CD that you get on registering for exam)
This is the link for the GRE-big book: