I Am Terrible at GRE Verbal – Help!

GRE Terrible - image by Magoosh

This is a common refrain from those who attempt the GRE verbal section for the first time. After all, seeing difficult words, twisted syntax, and dense passages on abstruse topics can make even avid readers tense up. If you typically do not care much for reading and/or have been out of college for a while, the GRE can seem an inscrutable language, an academic hieroglyphics. If this describes you, then the worst thing you can do is throw the book down in despair and utter the title of this post.

You can—and you will—get better. Platitudes aside, you will have to invest a lot of time, and you will need a lot of patience. Just as learning a foreign language can be difficult and frustrating, so too is preparing for the GRE. Yet, if English is not your first language, then you already have learned a foreign language. So you definitely have the requisite grit to help you improve in verbal (indeed, I’d say that learning a foreign language from scratch is more difficult then scoring a 155 Verbal on the GRE).

Now that I’ve instilled a positive attitude, what are some specific things you can do to improve at the Verbal?

Improve your GRE score with Magoosh.


Read, read, and read

Oh how important this is. If you do not read much, your brain is not going to like you after you force it to try to read a 450-word passage on test day. Only by reading—and reading challenging, thought-provoking stuff—will you have an easier time navigating the treacherous waters of verbiage that is the GRE verbal section.

To learn more about what to read and how to read, check out this Magoosh blog post on How to “Read in Context” for the GRE.


Fall in love with words

Perhaps that sounds overblown. But, honestly, you will enjoy studying for the GRE far more if you learn to appreciate words. Perhaps the tactile sensation ‘lugubrious’ brings to your lips, the comical imagery of ‘troglodyte’, the ethereal quality of ‘diaphanous’, or the sheer whimsicality of ‘curmudgeon’ will make you a vocab-o-phile. If you need more nudging on your path to falling in love with words, don’t forget our weekly vocab series: Vocab Wednesdays.

You can also check out our top 20 most common GRE word list.



To say you are terrible at verbal is vague. Identifying specific areas in which you struggle on verbal can help boost your score. Is it vocabulary, reading comp passages, specifically just the reading comp questions? Whatever the case, target specific areas. Magoosh has a handy feature that lets you practice questions by type. You can do One-blank Text Completions, Two-blank Text Completions, Reading Comprehension, etc. You can also sort by difficulty level.

And remember — keep a positive attitude. A weakness is but an opportunity to build another strength :).


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

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65 Responses to I Am Terrible at GRE Verbal – Help!

  1. Manish February 6, 2021 at 6:37 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I have 50 days left for my exam and I am very much frustrated with the verbal section. Since I am a working professional, it is tough for me to devote more than 2-3 hrs a day to the verbal section alone. I am fine with the quants section and able to manage it with ease but verbal seems very tough even after completing almost all the videos from the magoosh.

    Here are the few issues that are causing me frustrated in the verbal section :

    1) I have to read at least 2-3 times to interpret the sentence and understand it, which causes a huge issue in my pace.

    2) Mostly in say 6 out of 10 cases I’m able to get the clue after a long struggle of reading and comprehending the sentence I get again stuck up with difficult GRE words which eventually eats my time for TC and SE questions.

    3) For some TC and SE questions I am not able to interpret the clue due to twisting and very hard vocab.

    4) For RC questions it takes me huge time and effort to pull off even a medium level RC question.

    5) Sometimes I get everything correct but due to lack of confidence eventually, I mark the wrong answer choice.

    Based on the prep test think I will get a max of 140-145 in verbal in the actual ETS GRE test. I want to score at least 155-160 in verbal.

    Henceforth, I have lost my hope in verbal. Please can you give me some valuable verbal tips to crack GRE.

    Thank you!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 12, 2021 at 12:14 pm #

      Hi Manish, it sounds like you need to work on your general reading comprehension skills. There’s no easy or quick way to improve in the verbal section; you must work to build your overall ability to read and understand difficult texts. Learning vocabulary and completing practice problems is an important part of this, but it’s essential to read as much as possible as well. As we mention in this article, we recommend that students read GRE-level articles for 30-60 minutes a day to improve their general reading comprehension skills. Check out this blog post for reading recommendations. Good luck!

  2. Recker12 August 3, 2018 at 5:06 pm #

    Hey all I been studying for the GRE and I am in a bit of a weird situation.You see my GRE quantitative is way higher than my reading.Quant: 167,Verbal:146. If stamina wasnt an issue then I would be getting 170 on quant.But I was looking for a 6 month guide to improving Verbal. There doesnt seem to be 6 month study plans for verbal

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 8, 2018 at 9:57 am #

      Hi there,

      You’re right–we don’t have a 6-month plan specifically for verbal improvement. However, have you seen our 3-month verbal-focused study schedule? You can extend this to take a few extra months by adding more practice questions from high-quality sources, spending extra time reviewing and learning from your mistakes, and (perhaps most importantly) sustaining a challenging reading habit. If you really want to improve in the verbal section, you should read GRE-level articles every day. All of this is detailed in the study schedule, and if you become a Magoosh Premium student, we are more than happy to help you adapt this schedule to fit your needs 🙂

  3. Hassam December 30, 2017 at 12:17 pm #

    I dont understand how to prepare for gre verbal for example when i sit and try to solve sentence completion and equivalence i get stuck at every question because i dont know how to proceed without knowing the meaning the words could you please guide me how do i start my preparation

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 3, 2018 at 1:52 pm #

      Hi Hassam,

      These blog posts might help you out with some strategy for these issues:
      What to do if you don’t know a word.
      Vocabulary Strategies
      GRE Vocabulary Game

      However, it’s also essential to read as much as possible and learn how to recognize vocabulary in context. This is one of the essential skills for the GRE, and reading is the best way to improve in all aspects of verbal. We recommend that students read for at least 30-60 minutes per day on top of their other GRE studies. We provide some tips on vocab in context as well as some article recommendations on the blog.

  4. Jake November 4, 2017 at 6:19 am #

    My issue with reading articles from NY times and articles from Aldaily is that how does one cross check our interpretation of what we read with author’s perspective on a particular matter in the article? I mean, without any options or direct explanations to what author means in each line, how do we check if our answers are correct? For me, this has always been my trouble because my thought process and interpretation would be one but the line of reasoning that author followed would be different. So without any justifications as to why one answer is correct and other is not, I don’t see how reading articles from these sites can in any way help us picking what the author considers as the “official” answer. Is there any way around this?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 9, 2017 at 7:34 pm #

      Hi Jake,

      This is a major hurdle! There is no way to be completely sure that you are properly interpreting the article, but there is also no way to do so on the actual test day. We recommend reading widely because it helps build your general verbal core, even if real world writing is not set up in the way test prep texts are. If you don’t read articles from outside test prep materials, you are very limited in the scope of practice you can do. If you prefer to have interpretations and answers provided, though, you can turn to LSAT and GMAT reading comprehension materials to practice if you are adamant. 🙂

  5. Rohit July 16, 2017 at 12:41 pm #

    I am Rohit. I have my GRE in another 9 days. Well, I have taken 5 mock tests my average score is about 311. I have got 309 in the ets powerprep test 1. I have secured a score of 166 in quant and 143 in that test. I want to improve my verbal score so that I can get a total of 320 in the final test. Kindly suggest me any tips which would enhance my score.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 17, 2017 at 4:26 pm #

      Hi Rohit,

      Given that you have 9 days left, I would recommend that you focus on your areas of weakness within the Verbal section. Specifically, go through your prior mock exams and questions, and see which problems give you the most struggle. Then, I would focus on reviewing lessons related to these areas and doing more problems. We also have a lot of free content on our blogs that you can utilize for more targeted studying.

      If you had more time, I would have recommended our Premium account, which gives you access to lessons and problems that would help you in your studies. If you end up needing to retake, I would recommend checking it out. BUT, hopefully you won’t need it! Best of luck!! 😀

  6. Bhaskar reddy July 8, 2017 at 7:24 pm #

    Hey magoosh,
    Well I am very confused with my GRE preparation, Basically, I have exam in 4 days and I don’t think I have prepared much. Because these words are so humongous in number that I can’t even reminisce them.Though I have learnt a very few of them. As far As quant is concerned I think I can manage,But not upto the level. I can’t give it a moment’s thought to leave this exam in vain. I thought of scoring 320+ but. As that doesn’t happen. I want to at least give my best shot and grab at least 310+ and even a decent score in AWA too..Can u please help me with some tips ..Thank you.!!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 10, 2017 at 4:24 pm #

      Hi Bhaskar,

      The verbal section of the GRE is certainly daunting, and I know it’s frustrating to work hard and still feel like you have a long way to go. First, unfortunately, there’s no magic way to drastically improve your verbal score overnight. The verbal section is testing your overall ability to use and understand the English language. That’s a large task and one that takes a lot of time to fully prepare for.

      That said, you can definitely work to improve your performance and leverage your current knowledge so you can get the highest score possible 😀 The first thing I’m going to recommend is that you work on making sure you are comfortable with high frequency words. So go to our Vocabulary eBook. You should look at the chapter “Most Common GRE Words” that starts on page 11. You will want to be as familiar as possible with all of these words. They are the most likely to show up and be important for you on the exam.

      If you already feel comfortable with those words, then I recommend continuing to work on our GRE vocabulary flashcards. Try to learn 10 new words each day. Instead of thinking about learning all the advanced words, focus on just adding a few more to your vocabulary each day. When learning new words, make sure you learn them in context. That means learning the definition AND learning when, where, why, and how the word is actually used.

      The next thing you want to do is to spend some time doing more practice questions. In addition to practicing your pacing in these practice sessions, I recommend that you study as many questions as possible—particularly the questions you answer incorrectly. This means that you should try to determine not only why the right answer is right, but also why the wrong answers are wrong. This will help you to learn how the GRE tests your verbal knowledge and help you learn strategies for the test.

      As for the AWA, I recommend that you write a few practice essays and analyze them according to our rubric. We have plenty of practice essays on our blog that you can compare to your essays. The best way to improve in the AWA is to understand the writing strategy and practice as much as possible, so you should definitely try to write a few essays before your test 🙂

      Then about two days before the exam, I recommend doing a practice exam if you have one available. This will help you continue to improve and work on your pacing and overall focusing abilities 🙂

      Finally, I’d save the day before your exam as a rest day. This is the most important thing you can do to ensure that you maximize your score. Being rested and relaxed will help you be at your highest possible level of mental energy and focus. This will ensure that you leverage your current level of knowledge to answer as many questions correctly as possible 😀

      I hope this helps! Best of luck in these last few days!

  7. Navdeep March 27, 2017 at 10:32 am #

    Hi Chris

    I just recently gave my GRE and i score quite less 150- Q and 145 -V . I have to improve on both. First i want to take up verbal. Can you help me with some techniques to improve my score.

    My shortcomings in exam were ::

    – I was slow for all sections , I could only able to complete 15 questions in 30 mins.
    – Verbal – i has to read sentences twice at time to understand the meaning and intent of statement
    – At few places in qants i went into long calculation and for data interpretation i think they are quite long questions ; Dont know how to solve them correctly in such a small time.

    Please help me understand how can i improve my score overall.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 4, 2017 at 1:30 am #

      It sounds like pacing is the key to improving your score the next time around, Navdeep.

      To improve pacing in Quant, you really need to know your mental math, shortcuts, and estimation. These kinds of strategies are especially important when you approach the harder, more complicated GRE Quant problems.

      On that front, I recommend reading through our GRE math estimation and approximation archives here on the blog. You may also benefit from articles in our GRE math strategies archive.

      When it comes to GRE Verbal, there are two key strategies to improve pacing. You should be practicing your skills in reading GRE vocabulary in context, and you should get work to be proficient in GRE active reading. Vocabulary will also help you comprehend sentences and passages more quickly and accurately. So use our free GRE vocabulary flashcards as you build your skills.

  8. Ameya February 14, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

    Hi Chris ,
    I am an native English speaker , though during my school and college days English was preferred language but then environment wasn’t the same it has to be .
    And since childhood I didn’t really had an habbit of reading or writing stuff and the effect of that has been truly reflected on my verbal score .
    Studying since 2015 for GRE attempted twice , and getting an same odd score of 136-137 on verbal is really frustrating.Planning it to give again but then though I study everyday consistently , studying through Magoosh material , I am unable to improve in verbal section . Need a good mentor tips on how to improve my score .
    To be specific , areas where I face problem is when complex sentence structure come up my way or when I come across words which I don’t know and it’s totally new for me or words which I have gone through but don’t remember exactly or atleast slight hint of the meaning of that word.Also some RC questions where I am totally unsure of what answer it would be .


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 15, 2017 at 9:09 am #

      Hi Ameya,

      Sorry to hear your Verbal scores aren’t where they need to be. That certainly can be frustrating! From what you’ve told me, it sounds like you should focus on reading strategies and skills. To improve your comprehension of complex sentences and RC passages, I recommend that you really master the skill of active reading. Here on the Magoosh GRE Blog, Chris Lele gives a good overview of active reading strategies and skills. And over at Magoosh GMAT, Kevin Rocci has done a series of active reading video lessons that are applicable to both GRE and GMAT Verbal. (You can find Kevin’s lessons through this custom Google search.)

      Yous should also be practicing your “vocabulary in context” skills. These skills allow you to guess at the meaning of unfamiliar words, based on the overall context surrounding the words. Vocabulary-in-context skills can also help you understand the meaning of a whole sentence, paragraph, or passage, even when you can’t understand every individual word. Again, Chris gives a good overview of this skill right here on this blog. And once more, there is content on another blog that’s also relevant. This time, I’ll refer you to our TOEFL blog, and the article “Getting Around Vocabulary Road Blocks.” While this article is intended more for non-native speakers of English, the tips and tricks can also help native English speakers navigate challenging GER Verbal content.

  9. Ehsan October 4, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

    I can’t understand what is the GRE verbal and writing part for? I’ve got 94 in TOEFL, and I believe that it is enough for english! Also I am a chemistry student and this level of english is not necessary for me! some social science students should take this exam, that they need this kind of difficult words to know! I showed my proficiency in all 4 sctions of toefl. I think GRE is only for that 205$ , nothing else.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 4, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

      Hi Ehsan,

      I can certainly understand your frustration, and I know many students feel the same way! Unfortunately, the graduate school system in the US relies on tests like the GRE and GMAT as an ‘objective’ measure of the sorts of skills that are necessary in a graduate program. I know it’s frustrating and just seems like another hoop to jump through, but almost all schools require some sort of standardized test. However, not all programs require high scores in both areas. It is possible that the chemistry programs at your target schools don’t really care about the verbal scores and are more interested in the math scores–that’s something that you can find out with a bit of research! But even some math-heavy programs will want to see a decent verbal score, because this (much more than the TOEFL) shows your ability to function at a graduate school level.

  10. Megan September 13, 2016 at 10:33 am #


    Are there any online or in person tutoring sessions available for the GRE? I have taken the test two times but I am looking to improve my score my five points or so. I am unsure of what is the best way to study since I am limited to the amount of time I can spend on the GRE prep with other life commitments. I want to make sure I am spending my time on the most beneficial resources that will most likely relate or reoccur on the test day. Also I am interested in learning some tricks or short cuts to the problems so I don’t spend too much time on a question when there is an easier way to go about getting the answer. Please let me know what you would recommend. I plan to take this test again in about 3 weeks. Thank you. 🙂

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 13, 2016 at 4:37 pm #

      You can get live online tutoring for the GRE at web-based tutoring portals such as Manhattan Prep or Wyzant. These websites and others like them can also connect you with in-person tutoring. If you’re currently enrolled in your undergrad, your campus may offer free GRE tutoring support too. Check with your adviser if that’s the case.

      That being said, the kinds of concerns you have– making the best use of your resources, gathering tips and tricks, that sort of thing— could probably be addressed with little or no tutoring. You can usually get answers to questions about resources and strategy for free on the web. The answers can come from blogs like ours or from forums such as the Urch GRE forums, the GMAT Club GRE Forums, or Magoosh’s very own GRE forum.

      If you still need advice after that, a subscription to Magoosh GRE (or a similar service elsewhere on the web) might be just as effective and cost less than a few months’ worth of 1:1 tutoring.

  11. Lid June 6, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

    Are you allowed scratch paper on the verbal section of the GRE? I tend to do better on computer tests if I can write down my thoughts/summaries as I am reading a passage.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 7, 2016 at 1:46 am #

      Hi Lid,

      Good question! You should be allowed to use your scratch paper for the full duration of the test, so you can definitely make notes during verbal as well as quant. 🙂

  12. Bappi February 24, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

    I’ve scored 304 (v-146, Q-158, AWA-3) last month. My major is Political Science. So, this score is almost useless for me, specially because of the verbal and AWA section.

    I had just memorized the vocabularies of Wordsmart 1 & 2 and answered all the TC and SE according to some tricks of Magoosh. The other part, RC was a panic to me and I answered all the RC questions without reading the passages, just randomly clicking on the answer choices. Consequently, I got 0 on both section’s RC. I didn’t do any reading practice at all before my exam. I studied AWA for only 3 days and got a treatment from it too.

    Now I want to sit for GRE again to boost my verbal score. What should I do this time?

  13. shubham January 31, 2016 at 10:07 am #

    I know my verbal is not good so, for verbal improvement
    1. I have learned magoosh vocabulary flashcard words
    2. Reading about 4 articles from newyork times , aldaily.com

    But the problem which I am facing now is in text completion
    Actually those sentence contain many words without any spacing between them.
    I know the meaning of those words independently.
    I am unable to extract the meaning of the text completion sentence
    Please help me !
    Provide those short articles where all gre words are used , so I will able to do practice.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 7, 2016 at 12:53 pm #

      Hi Shubham,

      I know this may be frustrating, but the best way to improve at understanding a lot of words at once like you describe is to read a lot. Verbal improvement often takes longer for students than quant improvement, and you have to diligently work day after day, even when you aren’t sure it’s making a difference–you WILL learn! It isn’t enough to just let your eyes slide across the words, though. You need to really analyze the unknown structures and learn new idioms as you go to be able to dominate the GRE verbal section.

      You can do this! 🙂

  14. Nagma November 19, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    I am the definition of terrible! I did GRE for the first time I got 139 on verbal and 169 on quantitative!
    When I did the test,I felt like I understood all the readings, but I just don’t know how to answer the questions. When I was getting ready for the test, I spent extra time on each reading to understand the sentences word by word. But still couldn’t get more than half of the answers right. I want to go to Stanford for engineering program, so I think I have to wait for next year, because i dont think there is a way to boost my score from 139 to 155 in one month!! Specially with school and finals on the way! What do you recommend? If I want to Take the test again in a month, is it possible? What about if I want to it in a year? What should I do to gradually improve my skills? Thanks

    • Dani Lichliter
      Dani Lichliter November 19, 2015 at 10:26 am #

      Hi Nagma,
      If you have enough time to study over the next month, I would recommend checking out our one-month study schedule. You can easily adjust the one-month plan to be more focused on verbal instead of quant by following the tips in this article. If you decide that you would like more time to study, we have longer-term study schedules here.
      Best of luck!

  15. Alice September 30, 2015 at 9:09 am #


    I’m looking into signing up with Magoosh, but am interested in how you might respond to this question. I am an English Major looking to go into a a top tier doctorate program. My GRE scores are ok, but not quite at that level- looking to increase my verbal between 6-8 points.

    I have been studying the verbal section extensively- reading techniques, vocab.- but I’m finding that while I’ll do really well on the first section, maybe miss only one or two, I completely fall a part in the second verbal section, miss as much as twelve. Now I realize that the test is adaptive, but when I go over my mistakes it’s less that the questions were more difficult than I just wasn’t paying attention; I was losing focus/ tired. So it falls down to, for me, are there any strategies to bolster stamina? Besides the obvious, of course; I am already an avid reader.

    Thanks! Much appreciated.

  16. Dinesh February 28, 2015 at 8:56 pm #


    Playing vocabulary games could help you a lot.
    Recently I created Hangman android game


    Here if you select wordlist = gre you could play with GRE words. You need to play few times to get a hang of the game.. These words will start getting imprinting in your mind.

    Wishing you all the best!

  17. Anam sultana November 18, 2014 at 6:04 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I gave my GRE in October and got a score of 141 v and 157 Q. I was unable to think and I was totally blank during the exam. I made very silly mistakes in quant and Verbal section seemed to be very very hard.I am disappointed with my performance. I am planning to subscribe for magoosh premium package… Please tell me ..How can I improve my verbal score? How should I start?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele November 19, 2014 at 10:20 am #

      Hi Anam,

      I think that the Magoosh product will definitely help you better understand the verbal. A good place to start is by going through the Magoosh ebook (it’s free). It takes the best of our blog and arranges it so that you learn step-by-step. Of course, you’ll probably want to mainly focus on the verbal part. Speaking of which, we also have a vocabulary.com ebook, which might help you a lot.


      Hope that helps!

  18. Daniel July 26, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I was wondering, are sentence equivalent answers ALWAYS going to have two synonym answers? If not, it just makes it so much harder!


    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele July 28, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

      Hi Daniel,

      SE questions will always have two similar words. What that means is the two words are likely to be lumped together in a thesaurus (the New Oxford one I have is pretty good and not too inclusive) and, more importantly, will create the same meaning when plugging into the blank. Do a bunch of SE practice questions and you’ll get a feel for what does–and doesn’t–make for wrong answer types.

      Hope that helps!

  19. Nivedita June 6, 2014 at 5:35 am #

    Hi Chris,

    Iv been using Magoosh and i love it! I just gave my 1st GRE practise test and the Text Completions were a disaster. I could sort-of remember that i had seen the words, but the clock ticking just made me pick random things. Please help! I have done all my schooling in English and am an avid reader of sorts but the GRE vocabulary is taking everything out of me. I have a little over a month for my GRE and with a measly 151 in Verbal today i am very disappointed!

    Thanks a ton

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele June 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      Hi Nivedita,

      Well, I’m sure you’ll do much better test day–as long as you get started with those vocab words soon. Don’t worry, it’s actually a lot more fun than those boring words list make it seem. At Magoosh, we developed these awesome tools: an online flashcard set (learn on the go!), a vocabulary ebook, and my weekly vocab Wednesdy post (there’s a youtube video too!).

      Of course continue reading–at a “nytimes.com” level–and you are sure to pick up lots of words.

      Enjoy your “vocab journey”, and let me know if I can be of any help along the way 🙂

      • Nivedita June 8, 2014 at 12:24 am #

        Thanks Chris!

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele June 11, 2014 at 11:26 am #

          You are welcome!

  20. ZHU October 6, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    Hi, I wonder what kind of articles should we read more on these websites?

  21. sreeja November 14, 2012 at 1:04 am #

    HI chris

    I always find it tough to solve sentence completion.I never get it right and bad @ guessing too Could you help me with some solutions?

    Reply awaiting!!!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris November 14, 2012 at 11:27 am #

      Hi Sreeja,

      I think you will find our Magoosh vocab ebook really helpful :). I address the main points in taking apart Text Completions–from the 12-word, one-blank TC all the way up to 100-word, three-blank monstrosities.


      Also, you will find this blog post helpful:


      • sreeja November 14, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

        Thanx a ton chris!!! Am planning to give gre in month of feb.Hopefully i pass d test with flying colors:)

        And one more thing your site and blogs are jus too osum buddy!!!really helps a lot & boost up d confidence 🙂


        • Chris Lele
          Chris November 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

          Thanks for the kind words – I’m very happy the blog has been helpful :). Good luck on the test – I’m sure you will do well!

      • sreeja November 18, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

        Thanx a ton chris!!

  22. Heba November 8, 2012 at 4:36 am #

    Thank you for the reply,

    What do you reckon: is practicing writting words i am craming better with pepper and pen or by writting them on the computer? Which prop up my memory?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris November 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

      Sure, writing words down, whether with paper and pen or by typing them, is helpful. It introduces another way of learning (just make sure not to copy a word as soon as you see it).

      Good luck!

      • Heba November 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

        Oh, thank you. Do you mean that i should not practice writting the word as soon as i memorize it and should keep a period of time between memorizing and writing?

        Also, your magoosh verbal book is awesome. Unfortunately, i do not have time to finish it as i will have the test in few days. What is the most important part you recommend in it! Hope i am not begging the question 🙂

        • Chris Lele
          Chris November 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

          Hi Heba,

          Yes, you should always leave a period between memorizing and writing. Otherwise, you are just engaged in the mechanical act of writing :).

          As for the e-book, I don’t think one part is more important than any other. Make sure you pay special attention to those words that I say are ‘high-frequency.’ The ‘top GRE words’ would be a good place to start.

          Good luck!

  23. Karan November 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    I am planning to give GRE again.I scored 149 in verbal but i really want to cross 155.Three blank text completion were the toughest and RC was very typical and philosophical.The sentence structure was obscuring and jargonized. I need your help regarding this issue and my overall score is 306.Should i give it again ?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris November 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

      Hi Karan,

      I think you should definitely take another shot at the GRE. How did you prep the first time around? Which materials, etc. This time you definitely want to focus on questions with lots of twists in sentence structure and obscure passage with equally twisted sentence structure.

      I’m not sure if you’ve tried Magoosh out yet, but we have many difficult Three-Blank Text Completions with which to practice from.

      Let me know if you have any questions :).

  24. Saumay November 6, 2012 at 6:02 am #

    Thanks Chris.
    The big day is tomorrow! 🙂
    I am going through the post you’ve mentioned.
    Let’s see what’s in store for me!
    Thanks again.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris November 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

      You are welcome! And good luck tomorrow :).

  25. Davina November 4, 2012 at 4:27 am #

    Hi, just signed up, looks great.

    Re the vocab books, would you recommend Barrons 1100 words, Manhattan GRE flashcards or your very own Magoosh GRE vocab list PDF or flashcards?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris November 5, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

      Hi Davina,

      I recommend all of them :). I don’t think it really matters which one you start with first. Of course, one only has so much time. Mostly, the flashcards/resources overlap quite a bit so it is not such a daunting undertaking as it sounds.

      For self-studiers I recommend Barron’s 1100, because it has the most exercises (at the same time, I’d use quizlet to turn the Barron’s 1100 words into flashcards).

      Hope that helps!

      • Davina November 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

        wow thanks for the speedy reply, am on it 🙂

  26. Saumay November 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Hey Chris,
    My GRE is on the 7th of November , yes which is exactly three days away. I am really scared because I am forgetting all the words I had learnt. I am getting a score of 149(verbal) and 153(quant) on the practice tests. I happened to come across your blog , I know this is pretty pretty late but could you give me some last minute tips? Something which would save me because I really need a good score . Though I plan to give subject GRE (Psychology) too which might help me cover up a bad score on General GRE but I really dont want to put myself in such a situation. And I feel you are the best person to ask for help right now !

    • Chris Lele
      Chris November 5, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

      Hi Saumay,

      That’s definitely not a lot of time :).

      In the next 48 hours, I would review words you know. I wouldn’t just whip through flashcards and think you truly know the word. Below is a link to a post that just came up on the site. I think it will provide valuable tips to help you cram for vocabulary.


      Good luck!

  27. Heba October 31, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    Actually, your posts are the best place to read and practice GRE words so thank u.
    1. My major problem is three blank text completion. So how to burgeon my faculty in it?
    2. I have two weeks left for the exam and i feel i need more vocab so which word list do you recommend?

    3. Did u al ready post the answer to official quide second edition exam?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris October 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

      Hi Heba,

      I’m glad that my blog posts provide helpful vocab :).

      1. Three-blank TC are difficult. I’d recommend reading the entire sentence first. Does any blank seem easier to solve than others (it won’t always be the first blank). Start with that blank, and then work with the blank that you feel more comfortable with. (We have plenty of 3-blank TC to practice from in our product).

      2. For word lists, our vocabulary ebook is a great place to start: https://magoosh.com/gre/2012/gre-vocabulary-ebook/

      3. If those explanations are not up at the moment, they will be very soon (meaning check back in a few days :)).

      Hope that helps!

      • Hao Sun July 28, 2013 at 8:56 am #


        What resource would you suggest for learning medium level GRE words? I feel I have a lot of gaps there.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele July 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

          Hi Hao,

          That’s an interesting question! I think a great place is actually the SAT College Board book. The Sentence Completion questions, similar to GRE Text Completions, are a great resource for medium-level words. If anything, you can just go through the questions and pick the words that you don’t know. Another cool thing is the College Board is owned by ETS, who write the GRE.

          Hope that helps!

          • Hao Sun August 4, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

            Is there a purely vocab book for that? I’m slightly in a hurry to learn the words

            • Chris Lele
              Chris Lele August 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

              Hi Hao,

              You could pick up some SAT flashcards on Amazon. Magoosh doesn’t have any–at least at the moment–but Princeton Review has some pretty decent SAT cards.

              Hope that helps!

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