Verbal Question Types
Verbal Question Types
The GRE Verbal section has four types of questions. On the next page you can look at our chart, which also provides the approximate percentage of the section devoted to each type:
Question Type Number of Questions per Section (approximately) Percent of Verbal Section
1. Sentence Completions (SCs) 6 20%
2. Reading Comprehension (RC) 8 27%
3. Antonyms 9 30%
4. Analogies 7 23%
Total 30 100%
Within the Verbal section, the question types will be interspersed—that is, you might see an Antonym question, a couple of Analogies, a Reading Comp passage, some Sentence Completions, and so on. The Reading Comp questions will naturally be grouped together since they all relate to the same passage, but the others function as stand–alone questions and thus will appear randomly. We’ll give you a brief introduction to these question types below, saving the strategies and directions for the individual chapters devoted to each.
1. Sentence Completions
Sentence Completions, or SCs, test your knowledge of words and their proper contexts. These questions emphasize logic: You’ll be asked to determine which words make logical sense in the sentence. Some sentences will require one word or phrase to complete them; others will contain two blanks to be filled in.
2. Reading Comprehension
Reading Comprehension consists of a prose passage followed by questions. The test makers take the passages from all academic disciplines, including English, history, philosophy, natural science, and psychology. Some passages are fairly long and come with four or five questions; others are shorter and may be accompanied by only two questions.
3. Antonyms
Antonym questions are fairly straightforward in structure, although that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re easy. You’re given a word followed by five choices and will have to select the choice that most closely expresses the opposite of the word provided. These questions are certainly easier if you know the meaning of the word at hand. However, since this question type tests reasoning as well as vocabulary, there are ways to narrow down the choices and improve your odds even on questions containing difficult words. We’ll review those strategies in the Antonyms chapter in this book.
4. Analogies
Analogy questions test your ability to recognize the relationship between two words and to locate pairs of words containing similar relationships. You’ll be given one pair of words in the question and five pairs of words in the answer choices to choose from. The correct choice will be the one with the pair of words exhibiting the same logical connection as the original pair. Word order matters: A pair that contains the same basic relationship but in reverse won’t be correct. In the Analogies chapter, we’ll show you how to recognize the common types of relationships tested and how to reason out the relationships so that you can spot the parallel pairs and eliminate the imposters.
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