This video will answer what you should study for the GRE. Watch it and ACE the GRE!
What to Study for the GRE [Video Transcript]
Moderator: What about you all? Are you all actually filling out applications for graduate school right now? What courses of study are you pursuing?
Respondent: [Inaudible 00:00:20].
Moderator: [Inaudible 00:00:22].
Moderator: Psychology. Anyone else?
Respondent: Physical therapy.
Moderator: Physical therapy. In graduate school everybody has to take the GRE, right? So it’s good to learn each section of the general tests so that you can get the highest scores possible. Admissions departments, admissions committees in specific departments, legal departments, psychology departments whatever university, they use GRE scores in different ways. Some departments choose your two highest scores, combine those, and they expect for that number to add up to a certain mark. So back when I was applying for graduate school, I was expected to have probably around a 1200, 1300 GRE score, combined scores on two sections in order to be competitive. And of course, those things are changing as the GRE evolves. But you want to do as well as you can on each section so that your overall score will be as high as possible. Speaking of the GRE and standardized tests in general, what makes standardized tests hard to take?
Moderator: Spoken like an overachiever, right? You think about what’s riding on the exam, the outcome, the result. So that creates a lot of anxiety. People experience intense anxiety while taking standardized tests, especially those ones [Inaudible 00:01:53]. Other things that make taking standardized tests difficult. So we have anxiety?
Moderator: Length. Sometimes you have to take… well, the GRE now requires you to take test sections, right? So there’s one section you have to take, and it’s not even going to be part of your score. But it is for the GRE so that they can do research on student work and performance. And that just makes the test even longer. So people dread sitting through the whole test. So length, anxiety…
Moderator: To what?
Respondent: The time restrictions.
Moderator: The time restrictions which also create anxiety. I’ve got to finish this in a certain amount of time. If you know about these things beforehand, you are already operating at an advantage. The best way to tackle your concerns about standardized tests is to become familiar with the tests in general. Familiarity with the test is a tool. Now how do you get that familiarity? The first way is to take sample tests. And because the GRE is a computer-adaptive test, it is important to use action taken in an electronic format as you would in real time. Great thing about ETS is they provide sample tests on their web page. Powerprep software, you can download, and if you get this GRE guide that’s published by ETS & McGraw-Hill in the back, you can actually see the Powerprep software, put it in your computer, take sample tests in real time, and practice with the actual exam. Those can help, all to build your familiarity with the exam, so you feel more comfortable, you can fight the anxiety of making it a high score. Another thing you should do is purchase a guide if you don’t win the guide coming to some of these sessions. You can buy the ETS official guide which is published by McGraw-Hill. Kaplan and Princeton review are companies that make their own GRE textbooks. It’s a worth the investment considering how much the exam costs to make that, the first time that you take it as meaningful and worthwhile as possible. The session you are here for this evening is the GRE Verbal Section in particular. And I want to focus on specific strategies, tips for success on that part of the test.
* Here’s number one. The number one tip for success on the GRE verbal section: build your vocabulary. Build your vocabulary. And I have a number of ways you can do that. Here’s an easy one. Number one, study Greek and Latin roots of words. English as a word, many of our words…English is a language containing many words derived from other languages. Greek and Latin are two of those languages. If you learn some of these Greek Latin roots, you can unlock the meanings of words that you might not think you understand that might seem unfamiliar. So let me give you a couple of examples of some Greek and Latin roots. If you see “A” at the beginning of a word, it usually suggests without. Indicates absence, right? So ‘Atheist’ is without belief in a higher power or God, right? ‘Agnostic’, without knowledge of the existence of God, that’s another one, ‘Amoral’, without a moral system or moral principle, different from immoral. If you know some of these Greek Latin roots, it can make it easier for you to understand especially polysyllabic multi-syllable complicated words.
Let’s look at some others. I’ve written a few down that came from a web page maintained by Michigan State University. If you just Google ‘Greek Latin roots’, you’ll find several sites. Michigan State University is one of these sites that might be useful to you. Here are some others. “AMI.” Does anyone want to take a guess what this particular root might mean? This is the time to draw on some of your foreign language experience. Any of you that studied a romance language? French, Spanish, Italian? Have you heard the word “Amine” before, “Amigo”? It’s friend, right? “Ami” suggests friend. That would be really good to know if you see this word on the test. Amiable; it’s friendly. And if you can connect those words to other large words that mean roughly the same thing like gregarious, your vocabulary will start to expand. Some other roots. You’ve seen this one before, right? “ANTE”. What do you think that that root means or suggests?
Respondent: Like before?
Moderator: Absolutely, before. Now, can you give me an example of a word they use in English employs that root?
Moderator: “Antebellum”, right? ‘Gone With The Wind’. History students, American history students often use that word. It means “before that war,” the Civil War. Postbellum: after the Civil War. Other words we use in English that contain that root? Can you think of others? Have to think of architecture for this one. Have you ever heard of ‘Anteroom’ before. It’s kind of like a foyer. ‘Anteroom’ or ‘antechamber’, something that you enter before you get into a main room of the house, yeah? “ANTE”-before. Good, maybe another one. If you think of grammar, ‘antecedent’. Your English teacher said make sure that your pronoun antecedent relationships are clear. Pronouns and the words they refer to, the words that come before the nouns, antecedent. I put some others up. What do you think about this one? Good, right? And again, think of your language experience if you had to take a foreign language “BENE” suggest good. Italians amend it, right? What are some words in English that employ this root?
Moderator: ‘Benefit’, right? For the good of something. If something benefits you, it does you good. What do we call a person who shows good will to others? Sometimes churches have whole ministries that are devoted to this sort of thing, doing good deeds for other people. You ever heard of ‘benevolent’? ‘Benevolent’. ‘Benefit’, ‘beneficial’, all the other examples. “CHRON”. Take a stab at that one?
Moderator: Time, Greek root. So ‘chronometer’ measures time. ‘Anachronistic’ means out of chronological order. ‘Chronological’. “FID,” another root. You all have heard the word ‘fidelity’ right? It’s being faithful to someone or something. ‘Fidelity’ suggests faith or trust. What’s the opposite of faithful? ‘Unfaithful’. And if you were thinking of a noun form, ‘infidelity’. The word ‘infidel’, someone who does not believe, someone who does not have a particular faith, yeah? Another word that employs that same root. There are lots of others. Let me just give you one more for now. We can do this forever. This is a more unfamiliar root. Again, the more you think of your experience with modern languages, French, Spanish etc., the easier it is to kind of find the root. Do what?
Moderator: Yes, ‘Salutations’. And Italians when they toast each other, they say ‘salute’. It means ‘to your health’ and “SALU” suggests health. Back in the 19th Century, when people were sick, they were told to go to warm climates so that they could recover. They were going to ‘salubrious’ climates, so they recover their health. ‘Salubrious’ employs this particular root. “SALU” is also related to “SALV,” which suggest health or safety, salvage. You recover pieces that would be destroyed. ‘Salvation’ would be another example. How can you find a list of Greek and Latin roots? Tell me again.
Moderator: Our friend Google, right? Michigan State University has a list of a lot of these. Some of these terms came right off of that list, the words and also the roots. Some GRE study guides for the verbal section contain lists of Greek and Latin roots. So if you want to invest in a particular study guide for a particular section of the general test, this might pay off. Because really, the GRE verbal section is a vocabulary test. Most of the questions test the words that you know. Text completion questions as well as the sentence equivalence questions. And then there are the reading comprehensions, which are much more difficult to study for. You can boost your verbal score if you build your vocabulary. One way to do that, study the Greek and Latin roots. How else can you build the vocabulary? This is the second way. Use GRE vocabulary lists. This is another thing that you can find in special study guides, like the Kaplan Guide. The Kaplan Guide for the verbal section lists the most popular words on the GRE, based on earlier tests. If you learn these words, memorize them, start using them in sentences, it can pay off when you take verbal section on your own.
You should also just learn new words every day as a matter of course. If you are reading something for class and you come across a word that you do not know, look it up immediately. It is so much easier to do this now than it was when I was in school because we used paper dictionaries. You all can just use the internet. Just look it up on Google, you can find a definition of a word. The sooner that you start working it into your conversation, in your writing, the more likely it is it will stick to the back of your brain, and you will remember it when you need to know them. The last thing that you can do to build your vocabulary; this is number three: read more often. So if you watch the news on television or if you stream the news on an electronic device, why don’t you read news stories instead? At least for a while as you are studying to prepare for the test. The more familiar you are, familiar you are with text format, the more likely it is that you will see a lot of new words, you will be able to pick those up and work them into your vocabulary. Remember them when you see them on exams. I would make a list of unfamiliar words when you encounter new ones. The more you write these things down and see them, the more likely it is you will remember. Do these things seem useful, these strategies? So to build your vocabulary, one of the key strategies for success on the GRE verbal section, you need to number one, study some Greek and Latin roots. It is easy to get lists. Number two: use GRE vocabulary lists and study guides. And number three, read more often.
The other thing that you can do to ensure success on the GRE verbal section is to know the question types. There are three kinds of questions you will find in the GRE verbal section: text completion, sentence equivalence, and reading comprehension. The reading comprehension will probably take you more time to complete than the other kinds of questions. So you should work on managing your time effectively. And that means getting through the text completions and the sentence equivalence questions as quickly as possible. Don’t waste time on those. If you just stare at a word that you are unfamiliar with, you don’t know what to do with it, you are wasting time that you can use to read a passage which you will have to answer three or four about. So what can help you use your time wisely? Well, if you don’t know a word but you can identify some roots, you can get pretty close to figuring out what a word means. See how this might help you save time? We don’t have a lot of time to discuss reading comprehension. It’s kind of tricky to look at individual sections, discussing them in detail. But I do want to give you some strategies to use for answering these kinds of questions. Reading comprehension.
Number one, use scratch paper. Treat the reading comprehension questions the way you would math problems. You have to scratch paper at the test facility. Use it to note keywords and the topics of the paragraphs in writing selections. If you mark the topic for each paragraph for a reading selection, you will be able to find a particular passage when you see a specific question, instead of having to re-read the whole passage and find what you are looking for. So take notes, note keywords, important terms, topics, and paragraphs, so that you can use those notes as a guide for answering the questions. The other thing you should do for the reading comprehension questions: read the questions carefully. That one’s obvious. It doesn’t do you any good to rush through the reading comprehension section, because if you start missing questions or if you start answering incorrectly, you can sort of roll into a snowball, right, as you move from one to the next. You’ll have some misinterpretation of passage that is fixed in your mind, and that’s going to shape the way you respond to the other questions. Avoid that by reading the questions carefully.
The other thing you should do is watch out for extreme language in the answer selections. So if you are asked what a particular passage means, and in the answers, you see words like ‘never’, ‘always’, be wary of them, because they are probably overstatements. It’s not always the case but you need to read carefully and watch out for that kind of language. We will go over these one more time. Strategies for reading comprehension. Use the scratch paper, note the key terms and topics or paragraphs, read the questions carefully, and then watch out for extreme language–‘always’, ‘never’, etc.–you might find in the answer selections. I want to devote most of our time to text completion and sentence equivalence strategies because we actually have time to put some sample questions on the board and try to solve them together. Let’s begin with the text completion. The first thing that you want to do when you see a text completion question, you will have a sentence there will be a blank or blanks and you are to supply the words that fit in the blanks. One question might ask you to supply one answer. There might be one question that has three blanks in it and you’ve got to choose three words for the answers. Just read carefully and know what’s being asked. You want to make sure that you read, find important words and phrases in the original sentence.
So an important word could be ‘however’, which suggests a shift. You also want to think about punctuation. A colon means that what follows the colon is a continuation of what was said before. It’s not a shift, it is not a turning away of what the original insight was. You will also want to think about key terms that reveal something about the subject described. So you are going to find the important words, signal words, and phrases, in the actual sentence. Then fill in the blank yourself. Don’t look at the answers, try to fill in the blank yourself, blank or blanks, without looking at the answers. Once you have answered the question or filled out the blanks in the sentence by yourself, then look through the answers and try to find a match for the answer you’ve anticipated. Look for a match, words with similar meanings. And before you answer, choose, and move on to the next question, plug in all the answers to double check, just like a math problem. Treat these like math problems. You know how you can plug in answers and solve for X? You can answer sentence equivalence questions the same way. Plug in all of the answers just to make sure that you are not missing something, that you are not wrong.
The strategy for text completion also works for sentence equivalence. So I’m going to start with text completion problems and then we’ll look at some sentence equivalence. Does that sound like a good idea? Alright, I’m going to take the sample questions from this book. Some of you already have it; some of you might win a copy of it. If you don’t have a study guide, you should purchase one. It’s really worth the investment, cause you don’t want to be taking the GRE over and over again; it’s kind of pricey. Give me a little time here, I will get one of these on the board. Again, this is a text completion question. The job is to fill in the blanks with words that complete the meaning of the sentence. So here’s the sentence that you’re supposed to complete. ‘Vain and prone to violence, Caravaggio could not handle success; the more his blank as an artist increased, the more blank his life became.’. Sorry about that. So you’re going to have to supply two words. And we are not going to look at the answers yet, so I’m not even going to put them on the board. Can you try to complete this sentence? What do we know based on the words we have?
Moderator: Okay, prone to violence. He is a difficult character. He’s vain. Why would he be vain? Because he is a good painter. And he experienced success, but his personality created trouble for him, he couldn’t handle his fame. So could we say, ‘Vain and prone to violence, Caravaggio could not handle success. The more his fame as an artist increased…’? Does that work? Now he can’t handle success and he’s growing more and more successful, what do you think his life became?
Moderator: Destructive, troubled, right? Trouble or destructive? Keep destructive there too. ‘Vain and prone to violence, Caravaggio could not handle success. The more his fame as an artist increased, the more troubled his life became.’. Does that seem to make sense? It does. Now we can figure pretty much out what we needed to know on our own before we look at the answers. This makes the second part easy. So let’s look at the answer options that ETS gives us. You’ll see two columns, and the Roman numeral at the top corresponds to the blank in the text completion sentence, right? So these are our options for blank one, temperance, notoriety, and eminence. Then for blank two, tumultuous, providential, and dispassionate. Those are our options. And they are lettered for you. A…A, B, C, D, E, F. We’ve got to choose two, right? One in column one, the other in column two. So the words that we picked, ‘fame’ and ‘troubled’. We want a word that matches fame in meaning. We have ‘temperance’, ‘notoriety’, and ’eminence’. Which do you think it is?
Moderator: Notoriety, maybe. What about eminence? Does notoriety typically have a negative connotation? ‘Notorious’, it might not be exactly what we are looking for. Would ‘temperance’ fit? It doesn’t even seem relevant. So we can probably discard that one. At the very least, we have a 50/50 chance of getting that one right. The answer they are looking for is ’eminence’. He’s renowned as an artist increases his fame, as an artist, increases. ‘Notoriety’ has some connotations that make it not the best choice. Now what about that second term, ‘troubled’? We’ve got ‘tumultuous’, ‘providential’ and ‘dispassionate’. ‘Dispassionate’ cannot be a word to describe a guy like Caravaggio, can it? So it’s wrong; that won’t work at all. And again, we’re down to 50/50. Those aren’t bad odds. Which do you think it is? ‘Tumultuous’. ‘Providential’ seems irrelevant. Tumultuous, storming, passionate, etc. That would describe someone who can’t really handle his eminence as a painter. His growing fame, right?
That’s one example. Let’s try another one. Let me read this description here. This might better explain why ‘notoriety’ was the wrong option as far as the ETS people are concerned. It says in that sentence that was on the board, what follows the colon must explain or spell out what precedes it. So roughly what the second part must say is that as Caravaggio became more successful, his life got more out of control. When one looks at the words that fill in the blanks, it becomes clear that ‘tumultuous’ and ’eminence’ are the right answers. The best choice is ’eminence’ for blank one since to increase in eminence is a consequence of becoming more successful. It is true that Caravaggio might also increase in notoriety, but an increase in notoriety as an artist is not as clear a sign of success as an increase in eminence.
If any of you know about the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, the respectful term for a cardinal is ‘His Eminence’, right? Someone who has reached a really high pinnacle point in his career as a cleric. Notoriety doesn’t have the right connotations in order to make it the best answer. So some answers might work, but the ETS folks, they tell you the best answer, right? In that case, ’eminence’ is what they’re looking for. What about this one? ‘In parts of the Arctic, the land grades into the land past the ice so [blank] that you can walk off the coast and not know that you are over the hidden sea.’. No Roman numerals here because we have only one blank, right? Now, here are the options the ETS folks give you. So what’s our strategy? If you read the sentence carefully and look for signal words, then we try to fill in the blank on our own before we look at the answers. So let’s do this.
‘In parts of the arctic, the land grades into the land past the ice so blank that you can walk off the coast and not know that you are over the hidden sea.’. What word do you think belongs in the blank? If I had to find a signal word in this passage, I think grade would be one of them. I have to figure out exactly what this means. You’ve heard of gradation, it’s like a gradual change. And if the shift from the land and the land past the ice was really gradual, it would be hard for us to notice the change. So we could walk out onto this land past the ice and not realize that we were just standing over the sea itself if the change was occurring gradually. If you’re having trouble coming up with a particular word to put in the blank, B seems to be the right answer that would work. I was thinking about finishing this particular sentence before we moved over the answers. It’s kind of hard to come up with the word, isn’t it? If you can’t, don’t waste time. Look at the answers, right? We’ve already found a signal word and we get a sense of what the sentence means.
So we’re going to go to the answers. And you say B seems to suggest the meaning that…let’s plug it in and check it. ‘In parts of the arctic, the land grades into the land past the ice so imperceptibly, that you can walk off the coast and not know that you are over the hidden sea.’. Does that seem to make sense? You can’t perceive the change because there’s this gradual shift from land past the ice to land? It perceptively seems to work. Are we done? You tell me. Are we done? Do we just answer it and move on?
Respondent: [inaudible 00:32:47].
Moderator: Treat it like a math problem. Check the other answers just to make sure. So let’s try it. Imperceptibly is the one we like so far. Let’s try permanently. ‘In parts of the arctic, the land grades into the land past the ice so permanently that you can walk off the coast and not know that you are over the sea.’. I doesn’t fit at all. ‘In parts of the arctic, the land grades into the land past the ice so irregularly that you can walk off the coast and not know that you are over the hidden sea.’. Irregularly can’t be right. You notice it, right? Try D. ‘In parts of the arctic, the land grades into the land past the ice so precariously that you can walk off the coast and not know that you are over the hidden sea.’. Precarious suggests danger. It’s not the kind of meaning that we’re looking for; it doesn’t really fit. One more. Even if we only get this far, you’ve got a 50-50 chance of getting it right. I like those odds, right? ‘In parts of the arctic the land grades into the land past the ice so relentlessly’, it doesn’t stop, ‘That you can walk off the coast and not know you are over the hidden sea.’. It doesn’t seem to make any sense. Imperceptibly is right. You see how this signal word led us there? If it grades, it’s a gradual change that we wouldn’t notice. That’s why we could end up on this little sheet of ice over the sea, and not even be aware of what we’ve done. Another text completion question there. Would you like to try a couple of more of those before we move onto some sentence equivalence?
Respondent: Try one more.
Moderator: One more text completion? Okay. This is another one from the same book here. And this one has one blank. Are the boards getting too messy? Can you read the writing on the board? Let’s try this one. We’re going to finish this sentence right down here. ‘Dominant interests that benefit most from blank of governmental interference in business since they are able to take care of themselves if left alone.’. Oops, let me read that again. ‘Dominant interests often benefit most from blank of governmental interference in business since they are able to take care of themselves if left alone.’. What’s the antecedent of ‘they’? It’s a pronoun, right?
Respondent: Dominant interest?
Moderator: The dominant interests. They, the dominant interests, are able to take care of themselves if left alone. So what’s happening with government interference in the sentence?
Respondent: [inaudible 00:37:26]
Moderator: From what? Being left alone. So government is not interfering or not interfering as much. Can we complete the sentence ‘Dominant interests often benefit most from reduction of governmental interference in business.’? And is that the meaning that we’re looking for? Because if they’re left alone then the government is not interfering in their business. So we’ve got a word in mind. What are the words that we can choose from? Intensification, authorization, C, centralization, improvisation, and elimination. So what are we doing now? We’ve already put a word in the blank, we’ve anticipated the answer. Now we go through the list of answers and we look for a match. So which word is closest in meaning to reduction?
Moderator: Elimination. They’re not the same, right? Reduction might suggest that there’s still some level of government interference. But elimination will also complete the meaning of this sentence. We’re going to hold on to this, but we’re going to check to make sure that the others don’t work. So let’s take intensification. ‘Dominant interests often benefit most from intensification of governmental interference in business since they are able to take care of themselves if left alone.’. Well, if government interference intensifies, they’re not being left alone. Doesn’t work. Dominant interests often benefit most from authorization of governmental interference in business since they are able to take care of themselves when left alone? Centralization suggests expanding power. Improvisation is just…you see how it helps to try to fill in the blank? It helps you narrow down the answers. It increases the likelihood that you will get the right one.
Let’s move on to some sentence equivalence questions. The same strategies apply to sentence equivalence even though you’re doing something slightly different when you answer those from what you do while answering the text completion questions. In sentence equivalence questions, you will have a sentence with a blank or two, usually one, and your purpose is to choose two words that would make the sentence mean the same thing if you selected them and plugged them into the blank. So let’s look at an example. * ‘Although it does contain some pioneering ideas, one would hardly characterize the work as blank.’. We’re going to look for signal words. Although suggests the shift. So even though the work contains some pioneering ideas, it’s not a pioneering work. What word do you think we might put in this blank? If I say pioneering and I looked for a synonym, I could name groundbreaking. Something new, fresh, original. Now, let’s see what options. Remember, with these sentence equivalence questions, you’re supposed to choose two words that you could put in the blank to make the sentence mean the same thing. So we’re looking for synonyms in the answer column. And the synonyms need to match the word that we put in the blank ourselves. So we’re looking for a synonym for groundbreaking, two synonyms. We’ve got orthodox, eccentric, original, trifling, conventional, and innovative. What do you think?
Moderator: Innovative, right? It’s new, original, groundbreaking. That seems to be a synonym. Do you see another one? To be the original is to be first, right? Two answers that work, but we’re going to plug in the others to make sure. ‘Although it does contain some pioneering ideas, one would hardly characterize the work as orthodox.’. That’s the opposite of what we’re looking for. ‘Although it does contain some pioneering ideas, one would hardly characterize the work as eccentric.’. Is that the meaning we’re looking for? Eccentric means strange, off-beat. That doesn’t necessarily mean original, that just means weird. ‘Although it does contain some pioneering ideas, one would hardly characterize the work as trifling.’. Do we all know what trifling means? The British like to use this word often. ‘Oh, it’s a trifle.’ It’s insignificant, right? It has nothing to do with the word that we’re looking for. It might be trifling but that has nothing to do with its originality. ‘Although it does contain some pioneering ideas, one would hardly characterize the word as conventional.’. That would be the opposite of groundbreaking, wouldn’t it? Convention means in-step with accepted practice. That’s the opposite of pioneering and groundbreaking. So plug in the other answers, we can narrow down to see the two words that we can put in the blank to complete the sentence, and get a sentence that’s two sentences roughly equivalent. See how these work? Try another one and we’ll be done, alright?
‘It was her view that the country’s problems had been blank by foreign technocrats so that to ask for such assistance would be counterproductive.’. Before we look at the answers, we’re going try to fill in the blank. ‘It was her view that the country’s problems had been blank by foreign technocrats so that to ask for such assistance would be counterproductive.’. We’re looking for keywords. Technocrats has a negative connotation, the word that you might use for people who screw something up. So what did the technocrats do with the country’s problems? Fix them? The opposite. We could say bungle, messed up, intensified, worsened. They got worse, so it would be counterproductive to ask for assistance when things are a mess. Here are the options that we have. Look at that. Sometimes the word that you put in the blank is the word that appears in the answer options. But we still have to find another one, right? Because sentence equivalence is all about finding two words. When you plug them in, the two sentences that you create mean the same thing to the equivalent. So we need to find a synonym for worsen. We’ve got ameliorated, ascertained, diagnosed, exacerbated, and overlooked.
Can we rule some stuff out? Is ascertained a synonym of worsen? To ascertain is to grasp something, to understand it. It doesn’t really seem relevant. To diagnose is to identify the roots of a problem. That doesn’t have anything to do with worsening. Does it? We think diagnose and we think disease, bad. So sometimes our brains might lead us to think along those negative lines to worsen. But technically the word itself doesn’t really have anything to do with the decline, things getting worse. Exacerbated, have you seen that word before? Does it mean to get worse or to make worse? If you’re not sure, we still have another option here. Overlooked. Is overlook a synonym for worsen? They’re not necessarily related. What about ameliorate? I’m assuming if there is some unfamiliar words in here, ameliorate and exacerbate are unfamiliar. And can you ever think of a moment in which someone said the word ameliorate and you remember a context? Have you ever seen it before? Well, one of the things you’ve got to do to improve on the verbal sections is to build your vocabulary. We’ll do it right now. Ameliorate means to make better. It’s the opposite of what we’re looking for. Exacerbated means to make worse, to get worse. His fumbling efforts to help exacerbated the problem. And the keyword in that sentence would have been bumbling, right? He’s messing things up instead of helping out.
Now did you notice? Even those of you that couldn’t eliminate all the words that you needed to, you’re still increasing your chances of getting the right answer by getting rid of words that won’t fit at all. That is good, that is progress alone. It’s more likely that you’re going to be getting the score that you want. So don’t feel helpless. If you look at a list of words, you see two or three that you don’t know, at least, you can get rid of stuff that won’t match at all. Everybody can do that. Now to avoid finding yourself in a situation where you see a lot of words that you don’t know, you build your vocabulary. And there are a number of ways to do that. All the questions that I put on the board came from this book. As I said, the official guide of the GRE. ETS, people make the GRE, put out this book, and McGraw-Hill published this. Some people will win copies of this book. You can purchase one on your own if you don’t win one. Other books that are available for you, Princeton Review for the GRE, Kaplan Review for the GRE. I think buying the study guides is a worthwhile investment because the test itself is expensive. It would good not to have to take it more than once. So if you study, you make it count, you’ll be better off.
You want me to review one more time the basic strategies that I gave you? So increasing your score on the GRE verbal section: build your vocabulary, number one. You could build your vocabulary by studying Greek and Latin roots, using GRE vocabulary lists, and reading more often, adding words to your vocabulary. The other thing that you can do to increase your score on the GRE verbal section is to know the section itself, the kinds of questions that you will encounter. You take sample tests; you’re going to get better at this. You apply some of the strategies that we talked about for text completion and sentence equivalence, you can save time for those reading comprehension questions. You want to get through the sentence completion and text equivalence as quickly as possible, that way you can focus on reading the passages for those longer questions, and you don’t actually re-read them. That’s the way you start losing time, is when you’re re-reading the passages. Do you have any questions at all?
Respondent: [inaudible 00:53:45] two-part question. Is it still all or nothing?
Moderator: I’m not exactly sure about how the scoring works now. But that’s addressed in this book, in the introduction. [inaudible 00:53:58]. Sorry, I’m not able to answer that.
Respondent: I think I’ve read that somewhere.
Moderator: Another thing. That’s taking the PowerPrep version on the computer will help you with is you can learn how to turn off the clock. It doesn’t stop the clock, but it’s not just blaring at you, right? Sometimes people sing when minutes slip away; it makes them more and more anxious. There are features on the actual test and test format that you can use to your advantage. Anyone else? Well, that’s it for me.