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:
Number of Questions per Section (approximately)
Percent of Verbal Section
1. Sentence Completions (SCs)
2. Reading Comprehension (RC)
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.
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
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.