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Introduction to the Verbal Reasoning Measure

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Introduction to the Verbal Reasoning Measure

Information for screen reader users:

This document has been created to be accessible to individuals who use screen readers. You may wish to consult the manual or help system for your screen reader to learn how best to take advantage of the features implemented in this document. In particular, numerous hyperlinks have been added to assist in moving easily between explanations of questions and the parts of the question referenced by the explanation. Please consult the separate document, GRE Screen Reader Instructions.doc, for additional important details.

This document describes the types of questions contained in the Verbal Reasoning section, gives you strategies for answering them, and presents some worked examples.

Purpose and Format of the Verbal Reasoning Section

The Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE® measures your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, to analyze relationships among component parts of sentences, and to recognize relationships among words and concepts.

Verbal Reasoning questions appear in several formats, each of which is discussed in detail below. About half of the section requires you to read passages and answer questions on those passages. The other half requires you to read, interpret, and complete existing sentences, groups of sentences, or paragraphs. All of the questions are multiple choice, with the number of choices varying, depending on the type of question.

Verbal Reasoning Question Types

The GRE Verbal Reasoning section contains three types of questions: Reading Comprehension, Text Completion, and Sentence Equivalence. In this section you will study each of these question types one by one, and you’ll learn valuable strategies for answering each type.

Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension questions are designed to test a wide range of abilities required to read and understand the kinds of prose commonly encountered in graduate school. Those abilities include: 1.understanding the meaning of individual words

2.understanding the meaning of individual sentences
3.understanding the meaning of paragraphs and larger bodies of text 4.distinguishing between minor and major points
5.summarizing a passage
6.drawing conclusions from the information provided
7.reasoning from incomplete data, inferring missing information 8.understanding the structure of a text, how the parts relate to one another 9.identifying the author’s perspective

10.identifying the author’s assumptions
11.analyzing a text and reaching conclusions about it 12.identifying strengths and weaknesses
13.developing and considering alternative explanations

As this list implies, reading and understanding a piece of text requires far more than a passive understanding of the words and sentences it contains—it requires active engagement with the text, asking questions, formulating and evaluating hypotheses, and reflecting on the relationship of the particular text to other texts and information.

Each Reading Comprehension question is based on a passage, which may range in length from one paragraph to several paragraphs. The test contains twelve to fifteen passages; the majority of the passages in the test are one paragraph in length, and only one or two are several paragraphs long. Passages are drawn from the physical sciences, the biological sciences, the social sciences, the arts and humanities, and everyday topics, and are based on material found in books...
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