GRE Verbal Preparation, Practice Test, Questions, Syllabus, Pattern, Tips


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Jun 02, 2023 07:03 PM IST

Preparing for GRE? But have a handful of questions in mind. Do not worry, this article has in-depth information on GRE Verbal Reasoning section to help you all out with the basic and important things to keep in mind while GRE Verbal Reasoning section prep. So stay tuned!

GRE Verbal Preparation, Practice Test, Questions, Syllabus, Pattern, Tips

GRE Verbal Preparation, Practice Test, Questions, Syllabus, Pattern, Tips: GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Verbal Reasoning is one of the crucial sections in the General Test. GRE verbal reasoning questions require applicants to analyze and respond to reading or to fill in the blanks on a sentence or paragraph with acceptable words offered as possibilities.

You must read passages, understand the meanings of words and phrases, perceive the author's perspective, and synthesize information correctly in the GRE Verbal Reasoning test. You must answer three types of GRE Verbal Reasoning questions, which require analytical and interpretative reasoning. Let us walk you through the GRE Verbal preparation, practice test, questions, syllabus, pattern, and tips that will help you get a high GRE Verbal Reasoning score.

What is GRE Verbal Reasoning?

The Verbal Reasoning section in the GRE exam is one of the important sections of the three vital parameters. The test consists of MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions). The test is scored within the range of 130-170, which contributes to the total GRE score.

This section is fully focused on testing your ability to extract information that is relevant to the data provided. It also tests the ability to understand the connection between words, concepts and different sentences and the students' familiarity with English grammar rules.

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GRE Verbal Reasoning Pattern

The GRE Verbal Reasoning section has two subsections that have a total of 27 questions. Each section has a time limit of nearly 20 to 23 minutes, i.e., the candidates have a total of only 41 minutes to complete the section. As aforementioned, the score of the verbal reasoning section will add up to the final composite score of GRE - out of 340.

The score in this section ranges between 130 and 170 (also known as the scaled score). This scaled score varies from the 'raw' score obtained in the section. These scores, which are computer-adaptive, take into account the difficulty level solved by the candidate.

GRE Verbal Reasoning Syllabus

The GRE Verbal Reasoning syllabus involves three questions:

  • Text Completion

  • Reading Comprehension

  • Sentence Equivalence

GRE Verbal Topics

You must pay attention to the online websites for GRE Verbal topics 2022. You can find a variety of GRE verbal reasoning practice questions online. GRE Verbal questions typically cover the following topics:

  • Nouns, Pronouns, and Adjectives

  • Pronoun Agreement

  • Modifiers and Parallelism

  • Verbs and Tenses

  • Subject-Verb Agreement

  • Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions

GRE Verbal Questions

Reading comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence are the three types of GRE Verbal questions. Half of the questions require you to read, comprehend, and respond to the associated questions. The remaining half of the questions need you to read and interpret the content provided in order to complete sentences or paragraphs.

The GRE Verbal Reasoning syllabus consists of three types of questions:

Reading Comprehension

The reading comprehension question has two-three paragraphs with an aim to test your reading skills and ability to capture the ideas from the texts in the given time. The topics given are mostly general topics of interest. This question type also determines if you can dig out more information from the texts or not.

The Reading Comprehension question comes in various formats. So, before kick-starting the preparation, it is crucial to understand the question types to make a good study plan.

  • Multiple choice questions (select one answer): Here, you will be provided with a set of questions. Each question has five options to choose the one correct answer.

  • MCQ (select multiple answers): Each question will have multiple options for the correct answer. Here more than one option can be correct or sometimes all of them.

  • Select-in-passage: This kind of question format contains a para or two. The answer is usually directed to a sentence in the passage that meets the question's description.

Text Completion

As the sub-head itself suggests, the question type gives five sentences. The paragraph has at least four-five blanks that need to be answered or filled with appropriate answers from a word choice given with the passage.

Sentence Equivalence

The sentence equivalence question type includes a set of sentences with blanks that need to be filled with options given in the passage. At least five options are provided for each blank and the candidate here needs to choose two correct options to complete the sentence. The motive behind the question type is to identify two words with similar meanings.

Answering Strategies for GRE Verbal Reasoning Section

Strategising before sitting for tests is highly recommended. The candidate must prepare how he or she is going to answer the question in such a time-packed period.

Strategies for Text Completion

First of all, start reading the passage carefully and understand what it wants to convey. Then identify the words that focus or emphasise the structure of the para like although, moreover, regardless, etc.

Now start filling in the blanks in your own words and search for the options with similar words and meaning that fit the para or sentence correctly.

Once you are done with the answers, do not forget to check again by reading the para again to fill up the blanks. Ensure that the passage is complete in three senses - grammatical, logical and stylistic.

Strategies for Sentence Equivalence

Keep in mind that here the meaning of the words need not be the same. In this question type, the words may differ but have to be meaningful with the sentence. First try out all the options presented, instead of directly deciding on the correct answers.

You may also try prefixes and suffixes to convey the meaning of words you are unfamiliar with. Try to look for English words and phrases with contrast or comparison.

Always first fill up the blanks with your own words and then look for the words provided. Do not forget to double-check your answers by reading the entire sentences with your words.

Strategies for Reading Comprehension

Here, do not try to read the entire paragraphs initially. Start with reading questions as this will help you to identify answers while reading the paragraphs.

Understand the topic, purpose and scope of the passage and try to differentiate between opinions and facts. Sometimes you can also paraphrase the text, questions and answers. Consider all the options presented as a question may have more than one answer.

The foremost thing to keep in mind here is to not go out of context. Keep your answers within the text and do not let your outside knowledge enter the answers.

Confused About Preparing for GRE Verbal Reasoning?

GRE Verbal Score

The verbal portion of the GRE is scored on a scale of 130-170, with 1-point increments. The average GRE verbal score is 149.97. In terms of percentile, a GRE Verbal score of 80%-90% or more is beneficial for admission to the world's renowned universities.

Examine the GRE Verbal score and its equivalent percentiles in the table below:

GRE Verbal Score

Equivalent Percentile



















Note: Above 160 GRE Verbal scores are considered acceptable by the world's best business schools.

How is the GRE Verbal Score Calculated?

As earlier mentioned, the GRE Verbal score equally contributes to the final GRE score. To calculate the GRE score, the raw score is first calculated, which is based on the number of correct answers.

Now with the help of the equating process, the total score is ranged or scaled between 130 - 170. The scaled score depends on these crucial factors - several correct answers, a total of questions, accuracy and difficulty level are considered.

A good score can help to get admission to top universities in the world. However, for this, the candidates need to have strong GRE vocabulary strategies. Apart from this, GRE Verbal practice is equally important for the best preparation.

Importance of GRE Verbal Practice Test

GRE Verbal practice tests can go a long way in scoring high in the section. However, it is notable that there are no separate practice tests for the Verbal Reasoning section on the GRE. You will have to access the same practice tests while preparing for the exam.

Let us find out why you should attempt practice tests for the GRE Verbal section:

  • While attempting reading comprehension questions in the section, practice tests will enable you to easily distinguish between the different types of multiple-choice questions.

  • Text completion questions require you to completely understand the essence of the passage and find the appropriate options. GRE Verbal practice tests will make it easier for you to select words that lend the correct meaning to the entire passage.

  • Questions based on sentence equivalence assess your ability to deduce the meaning of partial sentences. How GRE verbal practice tests help is that they help candidates grasp the tone of the sentence, which is crucial because two words that have the same meaning, may not fit the tone of the sentence.

How to Prepare for Verbal in GRE?

Solving as much as GRE verbal practise tests can help you to polish your skills and ability to give answers accurately. Here are a few tips to work on GRE English:

  • Try to read English magazines, newspapers, and articles or practise paraphrasing.

  • Each day try to learn new words and phrases and their meanings

  • Work on your time managementskills. Try to solve easy and known problems first.

  • Do not skip any part of the passage as it can break your understanding.

  • If more than one answer is correct for a question, do not forget to mark all the possible solutions.
  • After practising the GRE verbal practice questions, always try to review your mistakes and work on them.

  • Avoid making the same mistakes you made while practising.

With so many things, including the question type and formats, it is always advisable to practise question papers as much as possible to avoid any kind of silly mistakes during the day of the test. It will also help you understand the pattern of the paper beforehand, which will keep you mentally ready.

How to Score 160+ in GRE Verbal Reasoning?

The GRE Verbal Reasoning section accounts for half of the total GRE score. A GRE Verbal score of roughly 160 corresponds to the 90-95 percentile. To achieve your aim, you will need to solve the GRE Verbal practice test every day. The following are some GRE Verbal Reasoning tips that you will learn while solving the GRE Verbal practice tests daily:

  • When assessing your possibilities for an answer, use the elimination method.

  • Complete the GRE verbal practice questions thoroughly.

  • Improve your GRE vocabulary.

  • When answering reading comprehension, multiple-choice questions, choose your options carefully. Paraphrasing will help you in this part.

  • In-text completion, questions do not jump to conclusions just because the words match.

  • Do not presume that synonyms are correct answers when completing GRE sentence equivalence questions because the meaning must be the same.

If you want to know more about the GRE Verbal Reasoning section or have any doubts regarding the same, just write to us at for the best expert advice.

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How do I practice GRE Verbal?

One of the best ways to practice GRE Verbal Reasoning for the GRE exam is by solving GRE practice tests online. There are a plethora of resources available online from where applicants and aspirants can find a pool of GRE practice tests and practice questions to ace their GRE Verbal Reasoning section in the main GRE exam. 

What is the Verbal Reasoning on the GRE?

The GRE Verbal Reasoning section assesses your ability to examine and evaluate written material and synthesize information received from it, understand relationships between sentence component components, and discern relationships between words and concepts.

What topics are covered in the GRE Verbal?

The topics that are covered in the GRE Verbal Reasoning section are as follows: 

  • Nouns, Pronouns, and Adjectives

  • Pronoun Agreement

  • Modifiers and Parallelism

  • Verbs and Tenses

  • Subject-Verb Agreement

  • Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions

The GRE General Test assesses your verbal reasoning, numeric reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing abilities — abilities that have been honed over time and are not specific to any field of study but are essential for all.

Is the verbal section of the GRE exam hard?

Yes, it is true that the Verbal section of the GRE exam is hard. Many test-takers see the GRE verbal section as the most difficult part of the overall GRE exam. As previously indicated, the verbal component assesses your ability to interpret and evaluate written material presented in the form of phrases, paragraphs, and passages.

How long does it take to prepare for GRE verbal?

Keeping all the things in mind, the GRE verbal reasoning preparation will take anything from 4 to 20 weeks. When mock examinations are factored in, the preparation period might range from a minimum of 6 weeks to a maximum of 24 weeks.

Is GRE verbal harder than GMAT Verbal?

Indeed yes, the GRE verbal is harder than GMAT Verbal. The GRE verbal exam is often more challenging than the GMAT verbal section; this difficulty is driven in part by the extent to which the GRE tests difficult vocabulary. GMAT Quant, on the other hand, is thought to be more difficult than GRE Quant. GMAT Quant assesses your problem-solving abilities. Furthermore, the data sufficiency problems are rather difficult. 

Is GMAT verbal similar to GRE verbal?

More or less, it is true that the GMAT verbal is similar to GRE verbal section. Both exams have writing, mathematical, and verbal components that cover a wide range of topics. Most individuals agree, however, that the GMAT has more difficult quantitative problems while the GRE has slightly more difficult verbal ones.

How do you score 145+ in GRE Verbal?

You can score 145+ in GRE verbal by getting at least a minimum of 18 questions or more right in the GRE Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE exam. In other words, if in Verbal Reasoning, an average student is aiming for a minimum of 145 (out of 170), it equates to answering more than 18-22 questions correctly  (out of the 40 spread over two sections).

Is 165 a good GRE Verbal score?

Yes, a score of 165 is a good GRE Verbal score for aspirants and test-takers. A score of 165 is in the 95th percentile, which means that if you get 165 in either the Verbal or Quantitative Sections, you will be in the top 5% of all test takers. If this is the case, your GRE score will be a great resource for your application. 

What is a good score for the GRE Verbal Reasoning?

A good score for the GRE Verbal Reasoning is around the 75th percentile or higher for most programs which is equivalent to having a score of 157+ in Verbal Reasoning and 162+ in Quantitative Reasoning. A 90th percentile or above is required for elite programs: 162+ in Verbal and 168+ in Quant.

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