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Student Post: GRE Verbal Tips for Non-Native Speakers

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 2.06.18 PMThis week, we’re hearing from Karan, a Magoosh student who scored a 331 on the GRE (great job, Karan!). Karan is a lover of academics from Mumbai, India, and plans to enroll in a PhD program in Electrical Engineering. After scoring a 163 on the verbal section, he’s got some great tips for non-native speakers.


Karan’s Verbal Tips


1. Sometimes a study break is all you need: “The quant part was very easy since it was all school level math but it was the verbal section that was tricky.  I found reading comprehension to be the biggest hurdle in my GRE prep. I simply could not seem to get the strategy right and it was really frustrating! Then I decided to take a week off from my GRE prep and come back to it later with a fresh mind, and it worked! After the break, I re-watched all the video lectures pertaining to RC, and solved 15 RC questions a day and thoroughly analyzed those 15 at the end of the session. My scores drastically improved compared to those before the break. If you’re stuck and can’t grasp a certain concept, take a break from it. It helps you approach the problem with a new mindset and then it may not seem so tough after all!”


2. Pay close attention to the passage: “I knew that in RC questions, the answer must be contained in the passage, so you shouldn’t make any assumptions, no matter how reasonable and likely they seem. When I saw the question, and considered the possible answer, I would scour the passage looking for evidence to support my answer. No evidence meant that the answer was wrong and I moved on to the next best option. Of course, the exception to this is inference questions, but those are fewer in number and even then you can’t make too many assumptions, and you can easily remove options using extremes.”


3. Read, read, read!: I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid, so that certainly helps. A tip that I’d like to share with you is that you should read books, articles, etc since those help you understand the meaning of words in context. Just knowing the meaning of a word isn’t enough for the new pattern of the GRE–you must know how to use the word, too. Thus, I didn’t find flashcards to be particularly useful unless each word was accompanied by a sentence using the word.”


4. Review your vocabulary often: “I found Quizlet to be very useful. Whenever I came across an unknown word, I’d add it to my Quizlet set. I’d browse through my set maybe once every 3-4 days, 20 words a day. As I became familiar with the words in my set, I’d remove those words.”


Thanks for the great tips, Karan! 🙂

By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

2 Responses to Student Post: GRE Verbal Tips for Non-Native Speakers

  1. Charan June 18, 2016 at 6:35 am #

    Did u enroll in the magoosh premium package of 1 month or 6 months ?? how helpful was that ?? just askin because i want to review and enroll for that program..

  2. Nitish May 18, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    Hey Karan congratulations for your GRE score !!

    And really thanks for those tips 🙂 !!

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