by Aravinda K. Raj
While gearing up for the GRE, you may come across various prep suggestions with hefty words like “vital” and “ultimate” to ace the examinations. Yes, the books do a lot of rounds, don’t they? But, how do they weigh against the fundamentals you need? It is a point to ponder about, isn’t it?
Start with the Official Guide
Well, let’s not mess it up! As a start, the Official Guide to the GRE revised General Test offers the coherent guide to understand and analyze Reading Comprehension topics, prior to the exams. Similarly, the full-length GRE practice tests provide an excellent exposition to GRE exams.
Besides, you need to develop the skills to answer all the questions in the Reading Comprehension (RC) section of the Official Guide (OG) before you start exploring other books. The book itself is a realm of GRE test preparation.
Remind yourself all the important things
Having a “just” mood to enter the RC Prep Mode is alright, but have you asked yourself – “Why RC is so essential for the GRE?”
If not, it is time to contemplate!
The makers (ETS) of the GRE had aimed to measure verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills of a candidate, who had acquired it over a stretched period of learning. This means you need to have an aptitude for constant learning and practice.
How is it even possible to skip the basics and directly jump into the competition?
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body” – Joseph Addison.
Remember, if you don’t read well, the mind doesn’t exercise well.
Hence, the discernible objective right now – the four-lettered word called READ.
“Reading… as in… anything that comes in the way?” – An evident question.
No, not quite! There’s scarcely any use of reading texts that don’t have an ideal quality.
With your curiosity piqued towards the top-notch long-form narratives, especially those with intriguing contexts, subtle nuances, complex sentence structure, robust vocabulary, and refreshing elements, you may find a route to solid preparations for the GRE.
How to do it?
It’s simple. Start reading research articles, scholarly articles, social passages, well-articulated political passages, press journals, and editorials from reputable publications, which offer a plethora of details, in terms of style, vocabulary usage, and contexts. In addition, feel free to expand your horizon to both fictional and non-fictional genre alike.
Needless to say, a deep study of Ulysses by James Joyce or Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow wouldn’t push you to the upper echelons immediately. But it is also true that you need to acquaint yourself with various styles, key ideas, characterization, and structures presented by the most accomplished and revered authors for stellar interpretation of twisty contents.
Are there any good suggestions in that regard?
Yes, there are! Check out the famous publications, such as the New York Times, BBC, Associated Press Journal, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The Guardian, MIT Technology Review, etc. which provide exemplary insights to the happenings around the world.
Subscribe them, read thoroughly, and jot down some notes in the scratchpad if you need to. You’ll fare better if you delve deeper into the archives of these popular publications. The pan-world coverage in these publications gives access to a diverse range of articles, encompassing topics that you haven’t even heard of.
What is important right now?
Reading. If you inculcate the habit of reading, it will hone your skills to a level where you can deconstruct the passage and unveil its meaning in a minute or less.
An exposure to variable information with pertinent representations, specific facts, validating points, subtle hints, and connotations help a lot. It unleashes your potential to pinpoint concepts quickly. Following which, you witness a phenomenal improvement in your vocabulary power, analytical reasoning skills, and decoding abilities.
No matter the how many GRE RC books you read, they will try to teach you the same thing – to understand the concept and answer the questions within a stipulated time. The GRE Verbal Score depends on your skills to comprehend the meanings and answering questions correctly. Nothing less would do.
Therefore, pursue the practice of regular reading. It helps you get familiarized with topics in a minimal time and enables you to trim down the inaccuracies.
Go on, start reading!