GRE Reading Comprehension Tips

GRE reading comprehension tips

The Reading Comprehension (RC) in GRE tests your ability in understanding any passage and answer the questions given based on the passage. The Reading Comprehension is the critical part in GRE Verbal Reasoning weights 50% of the section and one-fifth of RC tests critical reasoning abilities.

The RC tests your absorption, vocabulary, and understanding of the English language and the questions are majorly inference based. The passages will take significant reading time with length 1-5 paragraphs with 1-4 questions.

Before discussing the effective GRE reading comprehension tips, GRE reading comprehension strategies, let’s have a look at the format of the GRE RC.

Question Types in GRE Reading Comprehension

It comprises of three Question types discussed as follows:

Multiple-choice Questions — Select One Answer Choice : The traditional way of questioning in which five choices were given for a given question. You’ve to choose one among them.

Multiple-choice Questions — Select one or More Answer Choices: This consists of questions with three answers for each. Among the three, one, two or all three can be correct. You should select all the correct answers to the given question. No credits were given for partially correct answers.

Select-in-Passage — Select the answer in the Passage: this is new and unique to GRE RC question type, where you were asked to answer a given question through a selection of the sentence determining the answer.

A balance lies among the three GRE RC passages. Each passage ranges between one and five paragraphs. Therefore, you should have a clear understanding of the following three subject matter areas:

  • Humanities
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences

To ace the Reading Comprehension in general, it is essential for you to look at:

  • Topic Sentences
  • Transition words/phrases

These two aspects will provide you with the best ideas and clues on how the ideas were put together in the passage. Additionally, follow some tips to ace the GRE reading comprehension.

So, why to know about Passage types?

  • Having a clear understanding of the passages helps you to:
  • Have a clear understanding of the central idea of the passage.
  • Have an understanding of your answer.

To assist you to solve the questions asked quickly.

A typical reading comprehension passage contains:

1. A clear purpose

2. A logical information flow

3. Contains various kinds of information including:

  • Argument/Claim
  • Premise/Background information
  • Evidence
  • Contradicting Views
  • Concluding Statement

With is, you’ve got a clear understanding of what the Reading Comprehension, its format and elements.

How to Crack GRE Reading Comprehension?

As we discussed earlier, the Reading Section will make a factor that can create a major difference of getting placement from a top university to an average institute to study abroad.

However, many candidates taught that it is the most toughest module in the Verbal Section and holds 40% of the section. With proper planning, high reading/understanding speed, and hands-on vacabulary, it’s not an impossible thing to ace this section of GRE.

Additionally, our experts at will help you with effective coaching and material to ace the GRE Reading Comprehension.

Now, let’s look at some of the proven GRE reading comprehension tips and strategies to master the section.

9 Proven GRE Reading Comprehension Tips

GRE RC Tip #1: Identify the Passage Tone

GRE reading comprehension tips

The choice of words used in the context helps in identifying the passage tone. Even it looks like a neutral one, making you feel confused, don’t worry, assume that it was a complex one tries to find its tone.

One type of identifying the tone is to understand the diction. However, if you still find trouble in finding the tone, ask yourself the following questions:

  • On which aspect the author is criticising in the passage?
  • How does the author feel on a particular topic?
  • Which concerns that author raises in the passage?
  • Mention the adverbs and adjectives that author uses to voice his opinion?

GRE RC Tip #2: Find the Question type

GRE reading comprehension tips and tricks

Understanding the passage is not the only criteria to excel in this section. It is a logic-based reading comprehension GRE tip to understand the question type: the main idea, support the argument or conclusion based, vocabulary based, etc. as the answer method differs from one type to another.

GRE RC Tip #3: Focus more on the First and Last Paragraphs

This is one of the best GRE reading comprehension strategy to answer passage questions. Generally, the central idea of the topic is covered in the initial and final paragraphs. Additional, the last sentence of each paragraph is also important.

The first paragraph should consists of the main point in the story. However, make sure that you have included all the required instances to gain an impression and avoid confusion. Likewise, the concluding paragraph should include the main point of the passage.

[ Also Read: GRE Analytical Writing Guide ]

GRE RC Tip #4: Follow ‘Divide and Rule’ Policy

GRE reading comprehension strategies

The bigger passages were highly difficult to hold when it is created using high vocabulary to understand the central idea. The secret to getting into the central idea of the passage is to break it down into smaller parts and deciphering their meaning. At last, relate all the ideas to understand the passage clearly. If you have a good knowledge of vocabulary, pronunciation, and conjunctions, then you are at the edge than others.

GRE RC Tip #5: Don’t Over speed

If you are having a habit of reading news or books daily, then you can have a better pace to read and comprehend. But speed alone is not a good trick to succeed in this section. In addition to Speed, a proper understanding of the passage is also essential. Having a strong vocabulary along with speed is a good trick to succeed in the test.

GRE RC Tip #6: Use the Context

GRE reading tips

If the question asked is related to any particular line in the passage, reading only that sentence it’s not sufficient to answer. Read the sentence before and after the answer. This helps you understand the idea and to provide the correct answer.

[ Also Read: Top 10 GRE Tips to Score 320+ ]

Reading the before and after sentences helps you to understand the sentence clearly thus, you can answer accurately. Sometimes, the sentences can be inter-linked and dependent on one another. In such instances, this practice helps you to understand the actual situation and answer.

GRE RC Tip #7: Be aware of the Wrong Answers

The wrong answers help you to eliminate the wrong choices and to determine the correct answers when comes to the Reading Comprehension. The wrong choices are probably:

Too extreme

Out of the topic

Too assuming

Involves outside knowledge

Too broad/specific

Answer the Worst at Last

The best trick to ace this section with a good score is answering logically. If you feel any of the questions is critical or logical to answer. Leave it and proceed with the rest. Answer it at last so that you can save the item and avoid losing the marks for the questions you know well.

GRE RC Tip #8: Avoid Skimming

The questions in the GRE RC are the greyest area when compared with other GRE sections. Don’t answer any question without proper understanding. If you feel confused, rephrase the question in your own words and then answer it.

GRE RC Tip #9: Make use of the Scratch Pad

Make notes in the space allotted while reading the passage. Avoid confusing and unnecessary words just used to throw you off. So that, you can understand the context and answer effectively. This even saves you time thus making space to answer all the questions and gain a good score.

Additionally, utilize the best GRE Test Prep resources like, providing effective GRE reading comprehension tips and GRE reading comprehension strategies to ace the section. Register now and take a GRE Reading Comprehension practice test for absolutely free of cost.

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