A large number of entrance exams are conducted throughout US for admission to different courses. The purpose of each exam is unique and this is largely responsible for determining the format of the test. The GRE is for the purpose of admission to a graduate course and has a set syllabus and format according to the requirements. When a student takes admission in a graduation course he is expected to have a certain level of knowledge and capabilities. The GRE is designed such that students can be tested to know if they are capable enough to undertake a graduation course.
Each subject is studied in a different manner and so different abilities of students are required for different subjects. For example if you are to study mathematics then you have to have a good sense of logic, reasoning, clear concepts in mathematics and problem solving capabilities. On the other hand if you have to study history then you need to have good reading skills, a good retention, good learning abilities and a sound background of historical facts. That is the reason why different subjects are classified under science, commerce and humanities. The GRE questions are designed such that they judge how well a student is prepared to take up different subjects in graduation. In the general test the GRE questions do not relate to any subject; they determine your abilities to communicate in English, reason quantitatively and analyze and interpret ideas. As the name suggests it is a test of general abilities and not subject specific abilities. The GRE questions fall under three categories: verbal section, quantitative section and analytical writing section. The verbal GRE questions are related with the usage of English language, the quantitative GRE questions are related with mathematical reasoning and the analytical writing GRE questions are related with analysis and expression of ideas.
GRE exams will now have a new format from August 1, 2011. The old verbal ability GRE questions were of four types. They were antonyms, analogies, sentence completion and reading comprehension. The new format now called Verbal Reasoning will now have reading comprehension, text completion and sentence equivalence questions. The antonyms and analogies have been deleted; instead the reading comprehension has increased from 2-4 passages to 5-7 passages, some of which may be as short as one sentence. In reading comprehension questions you will be given a passage followed by some questions. The questions can be direct or indirect. Hence it is not just important to literally understand the passage but also to understand the deeper meanings, hidden implications and the writer's perspective. Understand the gist of the passage and keep in mind the main points while reading the questions and go back to the passage to answer them.
The sentence completion has now been renamed to Text completion. Though it still requires you to complete the sentences, it has widened in its scope. The first few questions (4-6) will have one blank to fill in from the five options given; the next few questions will have two blanks with three answer choices for each blank while the third set will have three blanks with three options for each blank. The resulting sentence should be both logically and grammatically correct. Here also one has to understand the meanings of the words given. While one option might seem correct you might miss out the correct answer because of not knowing the meanings of other words. Try to complete the incomplete sentence with your own words and then look for similar words in the options. The complete sentence has to make sense. It cannot be an illogical sentence which conveys no meaning. Sentence equivalence will have one sentence with six answer choices; you have to select two answer choices with no partial credit. . Though antonyms and analogies have been done away with you should still focus on the vocabulary to avoid any kind of confusion.
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