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Preparing for the GRE. Verbal Section October 2008. Geography of the Verbal Section. 30 minutes 30 questions (in no particular order) 6-8 analogies 5-7 sentence completions 8-10 antonyms 2-4 reading comprehension passages (6-8 questions)

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Preparing for the gre

Preparing for the GRE

Verbal Section

October 2008


Geography of the verbal section
Geography of the Verbal Section

  • 30 minutes

  • 30 questions (in no particular order)

    • 6-8 analogies

    • 5-7 sentence completions

    • 8-10 antonyms

    • 2-4 reading comprehension passages (6-8 questions)

    • 0-1 text completion questions (starting Nov 2007)

  • Typically starts with a few antonyms


Analogies
Analogies

  • What is an analogy?

    • light : dark :: pleasure : pain

  • Looking for a clear and necessary relationship between the word pairs

  • Create a sentence to describe the relationship

  • Examples:

    • stone : sculptor

    • aviary : birds


Analogy tips
Analogy Tips

  • Clear and necessary relationship

  • Form a simple sentence between the stem words

  • Plug in all of the choices

  • Eliminate answers with:

    • Triangular relationships

    • Words that don’t have C & N relationship

  • Work backward


Analogies common relationships
Analogies – common relationships

  • Type of

    • elation : emotion (i.e. elation is a “type of” emotion)

  • Used to

    • ultimatum : coerce

  • Degree

    • abhorrence : dislike (i.e. abhorrence is a strong degree of dislike)

  • Characterized by

    • bigot : intolerance

  • Without / Lacking

    • courageous : fear


Analogy question
Analogy question

  • Tile : mosaic

    Form a basic sentence with the two words


Analogy question with the 5 choices
Analogy question (with the 5 choices)

  • tile : mosaic ::

    “A tile is a basic unit of a mosaic.”

    wood : totem

    stitch : sampler

    ink : scroll

    pedestal : column

    tapestry : rug


Reading comprehension tips
Reading Comprehension Tips

  • Read quickly; main ideas, topic sentence

  • Locate trigger words (although, but, however, yet)

  • Use general knowledge & common sense

  • Avoid answers that have:

    • Disputable choices

    • Direct quotes and repetitions


Antonyms opposites
Antonyms – “opposites”

  • When you can define the stem word:

    • Make your own opposite

    • Use POE

    • Down to two? Make opposites and work backward

    • Read all choices to avoid careless errors


Antonyms
Antonyms

  • When you “sort of” know the word

    • Use positive/negative

    • Work backward on choices

    • Guess? Choose the most extreme choice remaining

  • Don’t know the stem word

    • Make opposites for all choices – eliminate those that don’t have an opposite

    • Avoid words that “sound like” the stem word

    • Guess? Choose the most extreme choice remaining


Antonyms no clear opposites
Antonyms – no clear opposites

  • Exhume

    • Breathe

    • Inter

    • Approve

    • Assess

    • Facilitate


Antonyms when you sort of know the stem word
Antonyms – when you “sort of” know the stem word

  • Positive/Negative connotation

  • What is the “stem”?

  • Debilitate

    • discharge

    • strengthen

    • undermine

    • squelch

    • Delete

  • Example (de – away, off, down, reversal)


Sentence completions fill in the blanks
Sentence completions (“fill in the blanks”)

  • Anticipate the word(s) in the blank(s)

  • Find the clue that restricts the meaning

  • Look for trigger words (although, but)

    • A fair AND ______ judge

    • A fair BUT ______ judge

  • Positive or negative?

  • Two blanks: solve one and eliminate


Text completions with 2 or 3 blanks
Text Completions with 2 or 3 Blanks

  • New Verbal Question (added in Nov 07)

  • Passage of 1 to 5 sentences

  • Questions have 2 or 3 blanks

  • Three answer choices per blank


Text completion example
Text Completion example

  • Of course anyone who has ever perused an unmodernized text of Captain Clark’s journals knows that the Captain was one of the most _____(i)___ spellers ever to write in English, but despite this ____(ii)____ orthographical rules, Clark is never unclear.


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