Magoosh GRE Verbal Diagnostic Test

Magoosh GRE Verbal Diagnostic Quiz

In this post, we have a short GRE Verbal practice test. You can use this free practice to assess your basic GRE Verbal ability, as an important early step in your GRE Prep. Knowing your GRE Verbal level will point you in the right direction for test day success.

If you want to learn a little more about what this GRE verbal diagnostic contains, scroll down to see the practice question types you’ll encounter. Otherwise, you can get started now!

Take the Magoosh diagnostic test for GRE Verbal

Welcome to the Magoosh GRE Verbal Diagnostic Test! This quiz has 10 questions; instructions for each prompt will appear above the question. After you take the quiz, we will email you your results along with custom GRE prep recommendations. Like the GRE itself, this Diagnostic is challenging. Take a deep breath and do your best.


Question 1 of 10

1) Read the passage and choose the option that best answers the question.

People associate global warming with temperature, but the phrase is misleading—it fails to mention the relevance of water. Nearly every significant indicator of hydrological activity—rainfall, snowmelt, glacial melt—is changing at an accelerating pace (one can arbitrarily pick any point of the hydrological cycle and notice a disruption). One analysis pegged the increase in precipitation at 2 percent over the century. In water terms this sounds auspicious, promising increased supply, but the changing timing and composition of the precipitation more than neutralizes the advantage. For one thing, it is likely that more of the precipitation will fall in intense episodes, with flooding a reasonable prospect. In addition, while rainfall will increase, snowfall will decrease. Such an outcome means that in watersheds that depend on snowmelt, like the Indus, Ganges, Colorado river basins, less water will be stored as snow, and more of it will flow in the winter, when it plays no agricultural role; conversely, less of it will flow in the summer, when it is most needed. One computer model showed that on the Animas River an increase in temperature of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit would cause runoff to rise by 85 percent from January to March, but drop by 40 percent from July to September. The rise in temperature increases the probability and intensity of spring floods and threatens dam safety, which is predicated on lower runoff projections. Dams in arid areas also may face increased sedimentation, since a 10 percent annual increase in precipitation can double the volume of sediment washed into rivers.

The consequences multiply. Soil moisture will intensify at the highest northern latitudes, where precipitation will grow far more than evaporation and plant transpiration but where agriculture is nonexistent. At the same time, precipitation will drop over northern mid-latitude continents in summer months, when ample soil moisture is an agricultural necessity. Meanwhile the sea level will continue to rise as temperatures warm, accelerating saline contamination of freshwater aquifers and river deltas. The temperature will cause increased evaporation, which in turn will lead to a greater incidence of drought.

Perhaps most disturbing of all, the hydrological cycle is becoming increasingly unpredictable. This means that the last century’s hydrological cycle—the set of assumptions about water on which modern irrigation is based—has become unreliable. Build a dam too large, and it may not generate its designed power; build it too small, and it may collapse or flood. Release too little dam runoff in the spring and risk flood, as the snowmelt cascades downstream with unexpected volume; release too much and the water will not be available for farmers when they need it. At a time when water scarcity calls out for intensified planning, planning itself may be stymied.

The passage is primarily concerned with

Question 1 of 10

Question 2 of 10

2) For each blank select one word from each column that best completes the sentence.

Managers who categorically squelch insights from low-tiered employees run the obvious hazard of (i) ____________ creativity; conversely, these very same managers are more likely to (ii)____________ any ideas that flow down from the top brass.

Question 2 of 10

Question 3 of 10

3) Select exactly two words that best complete the sentence and produce sentences that are alike in meaning.

A knack for ______, it can be argued, allows one access to a whole range of careers, many of which require one to forsake direct, honest speech.

Question 3 of 10

Question 4 of 10

What little scholarship has existed on Ernest Hemingway—considering his stature—has focused on trying to unmask the man behind the bravura. Ultimately, most of these works have done little more than to show that Hemingway the myth and Hemingway the man were not too dissimilar (Hemingway lived to hunt big game so should we be surprised at his virility, not to mention that of many of the author’s—chiefly male—protagonists?). In the last few years, several biographies have reversed this trend, focusing on Hemingway near the end of his life: isolated and paranoid, the author imagined the government was chasing him (he was not completely wrong on this account). Ironically, the hunter had become the hunted, and in that sense, these latest biographers have provided--perhaps unwittingly--the most human portrait of the writer yet.

4) It can be inferred from the passage that the author considers the latest Hemingway biographies a departure from traditional biographies in that these latest biographies

Question 4 of 10

Question 5 of 10

5) For each blank select one word from each column that best completes the sentence.

Just as consummate chess players must hold in their minds the positions of each piece on the board, and know too the ramifications of each move, so must skilled politicians have an awareness of the choices at their (i)____________ and the ability to anticipate the (ii)____________ of their actions.

Question 5 of 10

Question 6 of 10

6) Select exactly two words that best complete the sentence and produce sentences that are alike in meaning.

Through mere ____________, Hirasaki, in her delightful vignettes of a childhood spent living in two divergent cultures, is able to communicate far more cogently about alienation and belonging than those of her contemporaries who believe verbosity is tantamount to profundity.

Question 6 of 10

Question 7 of 10

7) For each blank select one word from each column that best completes the sentence.

The movie comprises several vignettes, each presenting a character along with his or her foil: a staid accountant shares an apartment with a(n) (i)____________ musician; a tight-lipped divorcee on a cross-country roadtrip picks up a(n) (ii)____________ hitchhiker; and finally, and perhaps most unconvincingly, an introverted mathematician falls in love with a(n) (iii)____________ arriviste.

Question 7 of 10

Question 8 of 10

8) Choose the option that best answers the question.

The average size of marine life that washes up on the shore of the Japanese island Ryukyu is smaller than the average size that washes up on the Western coast of Australia. Giant squid have recently been found washed up on the shores of Ryukyu as well as the Western coast of Australia. It can be concluded that the average size of the giant squids on the shore Ryukyu must be less than that of giant squids washed up on the shores of Western Australia.

The argument above can be attacked on the grounds that it does which of the following?

Question 8 of 10

Question 9 of 10

9) Consider each of the choices separately and select all that apply.

Vladimir Nabokov, the scientist and the author have been treated as discrete manifestations of a prodigious and probing mind, until now. In her recent biography on Nabokov, Temoshotka makes the bold assertion that these two apparently disparate realms of Nabokov’s polymorphous genius were not so unrelated after all. While Temoshotka cannot be faulted for the boldness of her thesis—Nabokov’s hobby as a lepidopterist (a butterfly collector) and his experience as a novelist informed each other—she fails to make a convincing case. Surely, with enough ingenuity, one can find parallels, as Temoshotka does, between the creative products of Nabokov the naturalist and Nabokov the writer: the intricate butterfly wings that he pored over in his laboratory and the intricate prose that he crafted with sedulous care. But to say the prose of Lolita and Speak, Memory would not have coalesced into their current incarnations had Nabokov’s hobby been, say, lawn tennis is simply reaching too far.

According to the author of the passage, Temoshotka, in her estimation of Nabokov, does which of the following?

Question 9 of 10

Question 10 of 10

10) Select exactly two words that best complete the sentence and produce sentences that are alike in meaning.

Unlike many poets, who are inspired by ____ settings, Harrison relied on urban backdrops to summon his muse.

Question 10 of 10


The Practice Question Types in this GRE Practice Test

This test is a short quiz (10 questions), but we’ve covered the basics: Sentence Equivalence, Text Completion, and both kinds of GRE Reading Comprehension: regular Reading Comprehension passages and logic-based GRE RC paragraph arguments. For an even more complete coverage of the various question formats and types in GRE Verbal, check out Magoosh’s full-length free GRE practice test.

Both this diagnostic quiz and our full practice test were assembled with careful data analysis. We’ve done our best to analyze real GRE practice questions from ETS, the makers of the test. During your GRE prep, be sure to also check out other free GRE practice tests and resources.

On that note….take the verbal diagnostic!

The Different Types of GRE Multiple Choice Questions You’ll See on This Verbal Diagnostic Test

GRE Verbal consists entirely of multiple choice questions. You won’t find any free-form answers, although non-multiple-choice answers do appear elsewhere on the GRE. (Specifically, you have numeric entry questions in GRE Quantitative, and long-form essay responses in GRE AWA.) There are a number of different formats for multiple choice questions in GRE Verbal. Standard Reading Comprehension questions offer five answer choices, one of which is correct. Some questions based on Reading Comprehension passages also have just three “select all that apply” answer choices, in which one, two, or all three of the questions may be correct.

For the multiple choice questions where you fill in the blanks in sentences, there is even more variety. Sentence Equivalence questions have 6 answers, two of which will be correct. Single-blank text completions have five answer choices and one correct one, much like standard GRE Reading Comprehension. Double-blank and triple-blank multiple choice questions, on the other hand, have three answer choices (with one correct answer choice) for each blank in the prompt.

Other Free GRE Practice Tests and Free GRE Prep Resources

Magoosh publishes a list of recommended free GRE practice. These resources can help you do some targeted GRE prep, based on the results and recommendations you’ll get at the end of our Verbal diagnostic quiz. From that list, I especially recommend GRE PowerPrep. The PowerPrep GRE tests, which are made by ETS, come very close to the real GRE you’ll see on test day. These GRE practice tests have adaptive difficulty, just like the real exam (and just like Magoosh GRE!). And the software for these web-based tests is designed to mimic the GRE test day computer interface very closely.

Once you’ve got a good set of prep materials, this GRE Verbal diagnostic test can help you choose a study plan that’s right for you. Check out Magoosh’s list of GRE study plans for examples of how you can organize your GRE prep and map your road to test day.

(And don’t forget, this quiz comes with a similar GRE Quantitative diagnostic quiz, and a guide to using the two diagnostic tests together.)

P.S. Ready to improve your GRE score? Get started today.

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31 Responses to Magoosh GRE Verbal Diagnostic Test

  1. Aakash January 30, 2020 at 10:12 pm #

    I got 9/10 in verbal diagnostic test. Should I consider it can translate to a very good GRE verbal score and book my dates for the test?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 3, 2020 at 10:25 am #

      Hello Aakash,

      Nice job! Since this diagnostic test is only 10 questions, though, it doesn’t really provide enough information to predict what your verbal score will be. One reason is that there will be many more questions. Another is that it is a lengthy test, so students need to keep their brains working at full power for a few hours.

      If you’re interested in predicting what your score might be, the ETS PowerPrep tests are the most authentic practice tests available (since they come from the test writers themselves).

      Also, what constitutes a “very good GRE verbal score” depends on what schools and programs you are applying to and what scores you need to meet your personal goals.

      We wish you success with your GRE preparation, Aakash! 🙂

  2. Allison S. Zhao November 4, 2019 at 4:20 pm #

    Hello. I practiced the GRE Verbal Diagnostic test a few times, and I seem to be getting better. I have done two sets of Verbal only and Math only practice tests for the GRE. But I always turn out to score below average on the verbal portion, and I get above 60% (60/100) on the Math portion.

    In addition, I always get too scared when I think about the GREs and I get a terrified freeze on my face. I have had bad experiences with standardized tests, the SAT, and I don’t know if I will be smart and/or strong enough to take the GRE. I know that with standardized tests, I get scared, anxious, and terrified, and it becomes a huge problem for me. Please help me with my test anxiety!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 6, 2019 at 10:49 pm #

      Hi Allison 🙂 If you’re struggling with verbal, I have a few suggestions. First, make sure to learn vocab and read real-world, non-GRE text, like a news article or a book chapter. Engaging with language can make a big difference. Next, review lesson videos on topics that still need work. You might have missed a tip or piece of info that can help. Finally, go back through the Review tab and re-do problems you got wrong in the past. For extra help, record what you learned from looking through and/or re-doing past questions in an error log so you can watch for any themes in your test prep habits.

      As for anxiety, test prep is a huge undertaking. You are certainly not alone in having bad associations with standardized tests. Just know with the GRE that you just need to do your best. Focus on one problem at a time, and skip around if you’re feeling stuck. Also, if you don’t do so well, the absolute worst thing that happens if you have to take it again. You can choose not to send a bad score to your school of choice, so there isn’t too much of a downside beyond the cost. Try to keep that in mind and focus on learning and improving. It’s ok if it takes time!

    • Muntaha Al Arini December 11, 2019 at 8:30 am #

      Look for EFT for test anxiety on youtube. you will be surprised of how fast you anxiety will vanish.

  3. Soumya Mathew October 7, 2019 at 12:20 am #


    I gave my GRE exam and scored 316, 153 in verbal. I wish to retake the exam next month to get an improved score in the verbal section. Is there any plan only for the verbal section? Please help.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 25, 2019 at 1:10 pm #

      Hi Soumaya,

      We don’t have a verbal-only plan, but you can adapt any of our study schedules to fit your needs! The easiest way to do this would be to just complete the verbal tasks each day (though you will want to set aside some time to keep your math skills up to date). The 90-day verbal focused plan also has some extra emphasis on verbal, so it’s a good place to start!

  4. Laurel Butler September 15, 2019 at 10:35 am #

    hmm.. it says I got 8 out of 10 correct, but when I scroll through, I only see one red x out of 10 questions. Any insights into why?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 17, 2019 at 8:33 pm #

      Hi Laurel!

      It looks like we may be having some issues with the Verbal Diagnostic grades at the moment. I’m sorry about that. I’ll give you an update when we have more information on the problem. 🙂

  5. shankar August 6, 2019 at 6:54 am #

    I scored 1/10 in this practice test, its really deceit for me to look that score…. i want to know self preparation is helpful or not to reach my goal.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 9, 2019 at 8:26 pm #

      Hi Shankar,

      The GRE is a very learnable test, but it’s important to have high quality preparation materials. I’m not sure what you mean by “self study”–does that mean that you will learn everything on your own without any program? Some students do that and are successful, but I think it’s more difficult and takes a lot of work! If you’re looking for a high quality and affordable study program,I recommend giving Magoosh a try!

  6. Elspeth May 17, 2019 at 10:41 am #

    Q2: “Note that the new electronic databases are described as potentially insightful and powerful— the implication being that they are not living up to their potential.” I disagree, the sentence gave me a positive impression of the databases. Please explain?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 20, 2019 at 7:31 pm #

      Hi Elspeth!

      I see that you’re a GRE Premium student, so I’ve forwarded your message to our Test Prep Experts.

      You’ll be hearing from someone in a different message shortly. 🙂

  7. alex van djong December 31, 2018 at 8:42 am #

    i got a big zero, i have test in a month, what should i do? i think i will give up

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 1, 2019 at 11:52 am #

      Hey Alex,

      Definitely don’t give up! It can be discouraging not to do well, but remember that this is only a diagnostic test. The real test will have many more questions, giving your more opportunities to get points. Instead of treating this like a bad sign, use it as a wake up call. You have some work to do, but that applies to every GRE student out there! 🙂 Make sure you’re studying vocab and reading real-world text every day. Check out the blog to find resources to help you improve. Keep track of what you do well on and what you need to work on, and keep working on it! It will be a lot of work, but is absolutely possible! Best of luck with your studying 🙂

  8. Jane October 22, 2018 at 1:03 pm #

    If i got a 4/10 what would you estimate my gre official score can be? I need to score at minimum a 154.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 26, 2018 at 10:32 am #

      Hi Jane,

      This is a diagnostic test that is meant to help students determine which study plan would be best for them. We can’t provide score estimates based on this quiz because it doesn’t give us enough information! The GRE is a long and difficult exam that tests your knowledge of a wide variety of subjects. The GRE requires pacing strategy, mental stamina, and a knowledge of many different methods and strategies–these are all things that we couldn’t hope to replicate in a 10-question quiz! If you want a better idea of how you would perform on the GRE, I recommend that you take one of the free ETS Powerprep tests or another full-length practice test 🙂

    • Priyanka Pradhan September 10, 2019 at 4:58 am #

      I got 8/10 in diagonotic maths. How much time required for maths prepation for gre

      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
        Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 6, 2019 at 7:21 pm #

        Hi Priyanka! It’s hard to answer that question. Test prep is always specific to the individual. I will say that 8/10 is very strong. I suggest taking a full length test to see how your math score looks. If it’s above what you need, then you might not need much prep at all. Just about every student wants to improve, so the time required depends on how much you need to learn about the different GRE topics, the question types, and problem solving and pacing strategies. Generally this takes 1-6 months. The most common amount of time is probably 3 months, but if you have less time there’s still a lot you can do with the time you have! The important thing is to stay organized. Following one of our study schedules can make a big difference:

  9. Edzard Joseph-Gabriel July 24, 2018 at 10:44 pm #

    I scored 3/10 this is very scary for me and I have to take GRE test in month. What should I do now?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 25, 2018 at 5:50 am #

      The first thing you should do is not be scared, Edzard. While this diagnostic test can give you a sense of how you’d do in GRE Verbal, it’s not an absolute measurement. If your diagnostic tests indicates you might have a weakness in Verbal, what you want to do is investigate further. From here, it’s a good idea to complete more Verbal questions, perhaps by taking a PowerPrep practice test from ETS, or by going through question sets in a resource such as Magoosh GRE or the GRE practice book PDF.

  10. Temilade May 14, 2018 at 6:14 am #

    i score 4/10 in the verbal diagnostic test, what is the approximate study plan time i will need to score a 166 score on the GRE

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 14, 2018 at 7:45 am #

      That’s honestly difficult to say. As you consider your prep timeline, I’d like to emphasize that the Verbal diagnostic test is just a “first taste” of how you might perform in GRE Verbal. You’ll want to do some additional practice questions (from sources like ETS or Magoosh GRE) to get a stronger sense of what your Verbal ability is. You may keep scoring at around 40% in further practice. But there’s also a chance you’ll find that your diagnostic score was an outlier, and that you actually do better in follow-up question sets.

      With that said, if you do find yourself consistently scoring at less than 50% on Verbal GRE, you should probably give yourself at least three months to study. In that case, you may want to consider one of Magoosh’s 3 month or 6 month GRE study plans.

  11. Rishab March 1, 2018 at 4:18 am #

    i scored 6 0n 10..what would be my official gre score?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 1, 2018 at 6:47 am #

      Hi Rishab,

      This is a diagnostic test that is meant to help students determine which study plan would be best for them. We can’t provide score estimates based on this quiz because it doesn’t give us enough information! The GRE is a long and difficult exam that tests your knowledge of a wide variety of subjects. The GRE requires pacing strategy, mental stamina, and a knowledge of many different methods and strategies–these are all things that we couldn’t hope to replicate in a 10-question quiz! If you want a better idea of how you would perform on the GRE, I recommend that you take one of the free ETS Powerprep tests.

  12. kalu January 20, 2018 at 12:13 pm #

    I scored 3 out of 10 in this quiz, don’t like it but there is room for improvement.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 20, 2018 at 1:04 pm #

      Hi Kalu,

      There is definitely room for improvement! This quiz is meant to give you a good idea of your starting point, and most of us need to study before becoming comfortable with these types of questions. Commit yourself to a good study schedule and you will see improvement 🙂 Good luck!

  13. kati December 30, 2017 at 10:24 am #

    Wow. 1 out of 10, I think I should just give up now!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 31, 2017 at 1:59 pm #

      Hi Kati,

      Don’t give up! I know it’s disheartening to see a low score, but the GRE is a completely “learnable” test–it’s all about strategy and practice! The test questions might seem a bit bewildering right now, but that is true of any test that you haven’t studied for (how many questions do you think you would get right on a calculus test if you’ve never studied calculus before??). The key to success in the GRE is understanding the different types of questions and what strategies to use to solve them, and getting plenty of practice 😀 Don’t be discouraged! I know that with some time and effort, you can improve significantly! Check out our study plans to get an idea of what it takes to get a great score on the GRE 🙂

  14. Anish August 27, 2017 at 10:03 pm #

    if i have scored 7/10…what can be my official gre score?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 28, 2017 at 4:05 pm #

      Hi Anish,

      This test cannot come close to estimating that, because it is only a quarter of the questions you would answer in verbal. If you really want to estimate a verbal score based on rough approximation, we can say 7*4 = 28, 28+130 = 158 so your likely verbal outcome based on this might be 153-161.

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

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