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The Importance of Reading for the GRE

We’ve exalted the benefits of reading many, many times on this blog, as it’s truly one of the best ways to improve your verbal score. Reading helps build your vocabulary. It teaches you how to use words in context. It introduces you to complex sentence structures and improves your comprehension. Dare I say, it makes you a more educated and intelligent person. However, many students simply don’t take the time to read, and instead choose to focus on more obvious GRE study methods- taking practice tests, memorizing words and formulas, and the like. While these tasks are important too, reading should also be a part of your routine. Below, you’ll find links to articles about reading. Hopefully, they’ll inspire you to make reading a daily part of your life, too 🙂

1. An Ode to Reading: In this Huffington Post blog entry, Evan Manning discusses the importance of reading not only for the improvement of our intelligence, but also for the enhancement of our emotions and our knowledge of ourselves.

2. JSTOR begins offering free access to its online academic library: JSTOR is an online digital library that contains thousands of scholarly articles.  You’ll find hundreds and hundreds of GRE-level articles here.  As a History major at UC Berkeley, I used (and loved) JSTOR on a very frequent basis. So I was thrilled to hear that I could gain free, albeit limited, access to JSTOR by signing up for its Register & Read program, which is discussed in this link.

3. An app that helps you read faster?: This Business Insider article highlights an app called ReadQuick that claims to help you read faster.  Although I have yet to try it, it seems like it could be good for those who find it hard to complete the verbal section in the allotted time.

4. Reading suggestions for the week: There are a lot of things you can read to improve for the GRE. Want to read the classics? Go for it! Alternatively, you could try reading the most interesting news snippets from the week.

Time to hit the books!

PS. Don’t forget to learn how to read in 2013.

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 The Importance of Reading for the GRE

  1. ST February 3, 2014 at 5:27 am #

    Hi Rachel:

    Insightful post. Thanks.

    As part of preparing for reading comps and critical reasoning, at various time folks at Magoosh have suggested one should read a vary of literature across the board — ranging from New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, New Yorker, The Economist, Scientific American, among others. I find The Atlantic’s writing style most nuanced, and this is helpful in practising for GRE reading comps (New Yorker is close second). The Economist is more lucid (and unfortunately, I feel has declined in quality, but perhaps can be useful for sentence construction and writing concisely for the writing section of the GRE.

    Anyway, can you suggest additional and more reading materials/magazines/newspapers (preferably non-fiction in addition to the above — aside the above Magoosh has suggested, as a former Finance student, I read the WSJ, FT, Guardian, Huffington Post) that have a good mix of difficult vocabulary and are more nuanced in their writing (regularly reading more nuanced writing, and requiring the mind to form summaries and draw conclusions is a healthy, mental exercise in my view)?

    I want to (and actually do) avoid Fortune and other glitzy-glossy magazines/publishers, where arguments and rationale are specious in nature and more “marketing” focused.

    Anyway, sorry for my verbose (and any tangential) comments.


    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel February 4, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

      Hey ST!

      It sounds like you’re already reading quite a lot! Have you checked out the Best American Series? In particular, the Science and Nature Series is great for beefing up your vocab / improving your RC skills:, but there are other topics as well (Travel writing, for example).

      Hope that helps!


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