GRE Verbal Tips & Strategies to Solve Reading Comprehension

GRE verbal is an important section in GRE preparation for all candidates. Below are some pointers for assisting in Reading Comprehension.

Main Idea
Almost every passage in GRE has this question. The main idea is generally present in the opening or ending line of the first paragraph of the passage. Else, it’s found in the opening lines of the last paragraph. Rarely is the main idea present elsewhere.

Questions on tone are usually framed like, “The author’s attitude towards 19th century feminist literature can be described as…?” Answers to questions like these need a handle on the entire passage. If the author mentions two opposing views and does not state which one s/he prefers, then the tone of the passage is unbiased. If the author mentions a theory proposed by someone else and lists his/ her apprehensions about it, then the tone suggests scepticism about the validity of the theory. Remember that the answer is rarely extreme terms like ‘dismissive’ or ‘vengeful’.

Specific data
These are questions like ‘According to the passage, the author finds the movement to be…’. To answer this, you should match phrases from the question to the location in the passage where it occurs. Read a couple of lines above and a couple of lines below the data, that’s where your answer lies. This is the easiest kind of question in the greater scheme of GRE Reading Comprehension passages and questions.

What do you infer from the passage?”, “What is implied in the passage?”, “What does the author suggest?”. These questions are all inference based questions where you need to make use of information in the passage to arrive at a conclusion yourself. So, to answer these questions, eliminate options that repeat what is explicitly stated what is mentioned in the passage.

Which of the following best describes the structure of the passage?” , “What would be the ideal title for this passage?”- These are the kind of questions that are often asked in reference to the structure of the passage. To answer these questions, look at the logical flow of the passage. Words like ‘Moreover’, ‘Although’ and ‘Ironically’ help you understand the structure of the passage.

Extended Scope
Questions on the extended scope of the passage expect you to extrapolate ideas and the data given in the passage to instances outside the passage and make a comparison. They require a logical understanding of the context of the passage. To answer these questions, pick an option that resonates with the author’s conclusion. The option has to mirror the idea presented in the passage.

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