The verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE scores between 130-170, therefore the average score is somewhere around 150-152. To ace this section of the test, you should know what it entails, how to approach the questions and give the best possible answers. There are three types of questions in the GRE verbal reasoning section: Reading comprehension (RC), sentence completion (SE). There are two sections with 20 questions per section, and 30 minutes to answer each section.
Verbal Reasoning Measure
The verbal test measure of the GRE checks your ability to analyse and evaluate written material and assimilate the information gotten from it. This includes, analyse relationships among competent parts of sentences and find out the link among words and concepts.
There are three types of questions here.
1. Reading Comprehension Questions
These questions are designed to test a wide range of abilities that are required to read and grasp the kinds of prose your graduate school will come along with. To get a good score in this section of the question you need to have specific abilities, they include;
- Understanding the meaning of paragraphs and more extensive content of a text
- Understanding the importance of individual words and sentences
- Differentiating between minor and major points
- Giving a summary of a passage
- Drawing conclusions from the information provided
- Thinking deep from incomplete data to assess missing information
- Knowing the structure of a text in terms of how the parts are intertwined
- Developing and considering alternative explanation. All these require more than a passive understanding of words and sentences. It needs active engagement with the text, asking questions, formulating a hypothesis and reflecting on the connection of the particular text to other texts of the information. Each reading comprehension question is based on a passage that may range in length from one to many paragraphs. The test contains approximately ten passages.
2. Text Completion
A good reader will get information presented on the page, and form an attitude of interpretation and evaluation, reasoning from what they have read so far to create a mental picture of the entire episode. The relief this as they keep reading. The text completion question tests this ability by omitting important words from short passages and asking you to use the information left in the passage to fill the blanks and make it meaningful.
To get a good score here, you must be conversant with the structure of the questions as well as how to answer them,
Tips for Acing
- Read through the passage and get the entire sense of it
- Note words or phrases that look particularly significant, they emphasise the structure of the passage, that is words like; although or moreover, or because they give meaning or understanding to what the passage is about.
- Try using words or phrases to fill in the blanks and complete the sentence, then compare with similar words your choice of word to fill in the blank. Check to make sure the passage is logically and grammatically correct.
3. Sentence Equivalence Questions
This question tests your ability to conclude how a passage should be completed while you are only provided with partial information. Just like text completion, sentence equivalence questions consist of a single sentence with just one blank, and you are asked to find two choices that can complete it and must be coherent and mean the same thing.
Tips for answering is just the same as tips for answering the text completion questions.
A Good GRE Verbal Score
After knowing what to expect and how to approach them, it is expedient to keep in mind what your target score should be while taking the verbal reasoning section of the test.
A 75th percentile score which is about 157 on verbal reasoning test and 160 on Quant, is excellent. This puts your score better than most of the test-takers. Now, having a 90th percentile score which is about a 162 on verbal and a 166 on Quant is an excellent score and keeps you competitive for most programs.
Having said this, a good GRE verbal score is one which sums up with the whole test and gets you accepted into the graduate program of your choice. What counts as good then depends on your program and the field which you should have researched about. Although, you should aim to hit the excellent range to be viable anywhere.
Education Grad School Programs
- For the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, an average GRE grade of 155 in verbal reasoning is required
- For the University of Michigan’s master’s program in higher education, the score is 157 in verbal.
Engineering Grad School Programs
- UC Berkeley’s graduate students in civil and environmental engineering, a score of 150 verbal is required.
- Harvard reports that its average scores for engineering programs are 75th-80th percentile for verbal.
- USC’s average in engineering is 156 in verbal reasoning.
Psychology Grad School Program
- The average GRE scores of clinical psychology students admitted to UCLA’s class is in the 90th percentile for verbal reasoning.
- UC Berkeley reports the average GRE score in psychology program to be 160 in verbal.
- The University of Minnesota after 2011 has been at 159 for verbal reasoning.
MBA Grad School Programs
- For Yale School of Management, a score of 164 in verbal reasoning is required
- University of Iowa’s Tippie School of Management target score is 153 in verbal
- At Stanford graduate school of business, the average verbal score is 164.
These are examples of some schools and their best or average scores in verbal reasoning. This doesn’t apply to many other schools that might be of your choosing. Hence you want to check the scores for your school. This will give you a target to keep in mind when taking the tests and a score you must not go below. The best practice is to aim far above your schools’ average score as this will give you a competitive advantage.