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GRE Verbal Topic-wise Weightage

GRE® Verbal Reasoning section comprises
  1. Two subsections with a total of 27 questions
  2. Three types of questions- Sentence Equivalence (SE), Text Completion (TC), and Reading Comprehension (RC).
  3. Here, you might wonder how many TC, SE, and RC questions will be asked in the GRE. What is the topic-wise weightage of verbal questions? Read on to find out.

How many RC Questions in GRE® Verbal?

The weightage of Reading Comprehension or RC in GRE® is roughly about 50 -55% of the total Verbal Section. You can expect 12 to 13 RC questions*, out of a total of 27 questions in GRE® Verbal. Typically, GRE® RC questions are based on a passage, which can be up to 450-words long, followed by 1 to 4 questions. RC usually has multiple-choice questions with 1 or more correct answers. Sometimes, you will be asked to select a sentence from the passage to answer an RC question. RC topics can be wide-ranged, and you should be able to read larger bodies of text and respond to the questions appropriately.

How many TC Questions in GRE® Verbal?

The weightage of Text Completion or TC in GRE® Verbal is roughly about 25% of the total Verbal Section. You can expect 6 to 7 TC questions* out of 27 in GRE® Verbal. GRE® TC questions are short texts with interspersed blanks. They are usually 1 to 5 sentences long with 1 to 3 blanks. These are multiple choice questions and the correct answers will have to be chosen from the given set of options. Having a good grasp of sentence structures and getting an overall sense from the given information will help answer these questions.

How many SE Questions in GRE® Verbal?

The weightage of Sentence Equivalence or SE in GRE® Verbal is roughly about 20% of the total Verbal Section. Out of the total 27 Verbal questions, 5 to 6* can be SE.

*Note that we, at AdmitEdge, have arrived at these numbers with inputs from our students, since they are not clearly stated anywhere.

GRE<span class='sup'>®</span> Verbal Text Completion
GRE<span class='sup'>®</span> Verbal Reading Comprehension
GRE<span class='sup'>®</span> Verbal Sentence Equivalence

Difficulty Levels in GRE® Verbal

The GRE® is a section-level adaptive test. It means that the difficulty levels of the questions you get in the examination depend on your own performance in the previous sections. That is, you would get easier questions in Section 2, if your performance in Section 1 is poor. Alternatively, you would get more difficult questions in Section 2 if you answer most of the questions correctly in Section 1.
While we do understand that the terms ‘easy’ and ‘difficult’ are subjective, for ease of understanding, we have tried to define them here in this table. Take a look.
GRE<span class='sup'>®</span> Verbal Question Level
At AdmitEDGE, we have carefully curated a large number of questions in various difficulty levels, on a range of topics. Having mentored thousands of students in the course of more than a decade, we have analyzed and marked the difficulty levels of every single question in our content using the milli-second technology and sophisticated data-analysis. This has helped us in facilitating our students to prepare for their GRE® effectively, besides ensuring that they learn better and upgrade themselves to face higher difficulty levels and score better in the GRE®. Take a look at some sample questions in each difficulty level.

Levels 1 & 2: Easy Questions

TC Question

I truly appreciate Martha's spirit - not one to ______ not being recognized, she strives relentlessly to be the best at whatever she does.

A. contemplate over
B. hesitate about
C. shudder about
D. vacillate on
E. agonize over

In order to answer this question correctly, you should be able to understand Martha’s state of mind from the information provided in the question statement and identify the differences in meanings between the options - contemplate, hesitate, shudder, vacillate, agonize.

Contemplate: To think over or mull about something
Hesitate: To be reluctant or indecisive about something.
Shudder: To be afraid of something.
Vacillate: To waver in mind in making a decision.
Agonize: To worry about something.

We can see that Option E fits better than the other options. It means that Martha does not agonize (worry) about not being recognized for her work, but strives to be the best at whatever she does

That was easy, wasn’t it? Let us see another one.
SE Question [Hint: You have to pick two synonymous options]

We know that water is our potential ______ since it is widely agreed that if there were to be another World War, it would be waged over this precious resource.

A. nemesis
B. relief
C. affliction
D. antagonist
E. manipulator
F. competitor

The question statement talks about the important role that water plays in our lives. We know that if there were to be another World War, it would mostly be fought over water.

The blank will have words that describe the role of water in human lives.

To choose the right options, it is important to know the meaning of each of the given choices.

Nemesis - The cause for someone’s or something’s downfall.
Water has been described as the most probable reason for the next World War. Therefore, this word definitely fits the blank.

Relief- Respite or break.
Since, water could be the cause of the next World War, the word ‘relief’ would not be the right fit. In fact, the blank will have a word that is quite the opposite in meaning.

Affliction - Something that causes pain, damage or harm
Synonym alert! This word could surely fit as water is a precious resource that can be the root cause for the next World War, causing great devastation.

Antagonist - Opponent or Rival.
Water would become so scarce that people would fight over it. Thus, it might be an indirect cause of destruction, not a direct antagonist.

Manipulator - Someone who controls or influences others.
This word is unrelated to the given context, mainly because the scarcity of water would be the root cause of the next World War. Water, having no mind of its own, will not directly influence or manipulate the course of events.

Competitor - Contestant or Rival
Again, this word is a synonym of the word ‘Antagonist’. Water is not a competitor, but it is the object of competition. So, it doesn’t fit the blank.

Thus, the right options are Nemesis and Affliction.

Level 3 – Medium Difficulty Questions

SE Question [Hint: You have to pick two synonymous options]

With 25 plays, pageants and operas, in a span of three years, Beth has been ______ in her creations as a professional dramatist.

A. Creative
B. Prolific
C. Gradual
D. Profound
E. Profuse
F. Imaginative

The question statement states that within three years, Beth has created 25 plays, pageants, and operas.
Here, you can derive that she has achieved quite a lot in a span of just three years. It implies that she has really kept herself busy as a professional dramatist. The blank will have words that describe how much Beth has achieved in a short span of time. The words will describe the volume or magnitude of her achievements. Let us look at the options and see which ones suit this blank the best!

Creative: Imaginative or Resourceful
While this word describes the quality of work, it does not describe the magnitude of work she has accomplished. Besides, we cannot be sure whether she had been creative in her creations or not. since the question statement does not provide any clues to that effect.

Prolific: Producing in large numbers
This word is a correct fit for the blank because it describes Beth's productivity in just three years.

Gradual: Slow and steady
Beth has created 25 works within three years. This progress cannot be termed as gradual or slow. It is in fact quite quick. Besides, there is no word synonymous to this one among the other choices. Since you need two similar-sounding words to fill up the blank, you cannot choose this.

Profound: Deep or insightful
The passage only gives a count of Beth's performances. We cannot be sure about the quality of her creations―whether they were profound or shallow.

Profuse: Abundant
This word is a synonym to the word prolific and it fits the context perfectly!

Imaginative: Inventive or resourceful
Once again, we cannot comment on the resourcefulness and imagination of Beth only on the basis of the number of her creations.

Thus, Prolific and Profound are the correct options!

Levels 4 & 5 – Hard Questions

TC Question

One of the constant sources of ______ concern for most governments is that of tax evasion. The problem lies in the fact that as a taxpayer, you know what your income is, but the revenue collector does not. So you have an incentive to ______ your income report.

A. ethical
B. legal
C. fiscal
D. manipulate
E. be truthful of
F. estimate

Now you have a multilayered question. Understand the meaning of the text that is given to be able to fill in the blanks. The question talks about tax evasion, which is a major cause of concern for the government. It states that as a taxpayer, you should know what income you get. And when you do not pay taxes, the government loses in some way.

Now, let’s look at the first blank

”One of the constant sources of _________ concern for most governments is that of tax evasion.”

This means that tax evasion causes some kind of concern for the government. What kind of concern can it be? Let’s look at the options.

Option A: ethical It cannot be an ethical concern, since the person who is evading tax should be worried about ethics and not the government.

Option B: legal It cannot be a legal concern either, since this too applies to the one who evades tax. They should be worried about the legal tangles they could get into by their act.

Option C: It should be a fiscal concern, since matters of the economy can suffer when the government fails to get revenue in the form of taxes. So, “fiscal” is the right answer for the first blank.

“The problem lies in the fact that as a taxpayer, you know what your income is, but the revenue collector does not. So you have an incentive to _________ your income report”

The second sentence describes what the problem is. It says that as a taxpayer, you know what your income is, but the revenue collector does not. So, this implies that you get an opportunity to do something to your report.
What would you do to your income report? You can tamper with it, since your intention is tax evasion. So, options that closely mean ‘tamper’ are the right options.

Option D: Yes, you can “manipulate” your report by changing, editing, or hiding information. This is the right option for the second blank.

Option E: You would not “be truthful of” the information you provide in your income report, if your motive is tax evasion. If this were the correct answer, the question statement would not have used the words, “concern for the government” or “the problem lies in the fact…”. These words hint that you are not being truthful, but are being evasive. So, this option fails to suit the context.

Option F: What would you estimate in your income report? An estimation is an educated guess one makes. This meaning does not logically fit in the context.

Therefore, the right options for the two blanks are fiscal and manipulate.
You must have a fair idea of the various difficulty levels of questions that you might encounter on your GRE®. Though there is no fixed pattern to prepare for the GRE® Verbal section, for your own peace of mind, it’s a good idea to have a decent understanding of the topics. You can also help yourself by taking a sufficient number of mock tests in the course of your preparation, to keep a track of your own progress. Head over to our next page to find out some handy tips and tricks to help you reach your target GRE® score, in the least amount of time .

Take a look at the AdmitEDGE progress tracker below. When you enrol with us, you can evaluate your performance real-time by comparing it with that of other students who have achieved your target score! GRE<span class='sup'>®</span> Verbal Time Spent on Reading Comprehensions

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