The GRE – Word a Day

The GRE – Graduate Record Examination is a test conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Services). The GRE scores are used by universities in USA, UK, Canada & a lot of other countries for admission to their graduate courses.

GRE is available in two formats: Computer-based test and paper-based test. Depending on the candidates’ location, they choose the format they wish to appear for, at the time of registration. Paper based test is available only in selected locations. The GRE score is valid for a period of 5 years.

The GRE exam is divided into 3 main sections –

Verbal Reasoning

Analytical Writing

Quantitative Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning– This section tests the candidate’s comfort level with text, vocabulary and grammar. The Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE exam tests three areas: analysis and evaluation of content, analysis of relationships between different parts of sentences, ability to differentiate between concepts, words, and their relationships. It has 3 types of questions –

Reading comprehension

Sentence equivalence

Text completion

Verbal Reasoning is divided into 2 sections with 20 questions in each section. Maximum time allotted per section is 30 minutes.

VOCABULARY- a crucial part of GRE

A candidate’s reservoir of words, i.e. his/her knowledge and understanding of English vocabulary, has a direct correlation with his ability to score well on the verbal reasoning section. Unlike the older GRE papers, merely memorizing the definition of words may not come to a candidate’s rescue anymore. As they say- “If all that you know about a word, is its meaning, then you hardly know the word!”

Along with the meaning, the usage and the contextual definitions of a word have also become quite important. The RC passages are also not usually frivolous or entertaining; they’re rather dry and serious. Nor can one excel in the writing section without a good grasp of the language and a strong vocabulary.

Also, most students willing to study abroad, whose native language isn’t English, need to submit their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score as proof of their proficiency in English? TOEFL score is accepted at numerous colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Vocabulary plays a crucial role here too, especially in the speaking and writing sections.

Catering to the demands of the test-takers, the internet has been bombarded with a myriad of sites offering GRE word lists, but superficial knowledge and mere mugging up of the meanings is neither easy nor sufficient.

Happy learning!

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