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GRE For Dummies

A quick run-down on what exactly comprises the Graduate Record Examination. You basically have to answer three sections, one each of Quantitative, Analytical and Verbal, and also one unidentified research section which could be on any one of the three. The questions are all objective and u just have to pick an answer from the choices available. Of course, its a lot more than just picking…so let’s take a look at the questions u can expect and test how good your picking skills are….

VERBAL Iconoclastic, parochial, sacrilege, zephyr… if you think these words belong to either Greek or Latin, then it’s time to pull up your socks. The GRE is particularly tough on Verbal Ability. Out of the 38 questions in this section, normally, 7 are on sentence completion, 9 on analogies, 11 on Reading Comprehension and 11 are on Vocabulary (usually antonyms).

Let’s see how you fare on these sample questions:

Antonyms:
Identify the answer choice which is most nearly opposite in meaning to the given word.
(1) INTEMPERATE:

(a) Hot-tempered
(b) Moderate
(c) Inchoate
(d) Excessive

Answer: b

Analogies:
Choose the word pair that best expresses the relationship of the high-lighted word pair.
(2) CAT: FELINE

(a) Fish : aquatic
(b) Dog : domestic
(c) Horse : mare
(d) Lady: feminine

Answer: a

Sentence Completion:
Choose the word or set of words that best completes the sentence Sentence completion questions measure the ability to recognize the overall meaning of a sentence and decide which of five words or set of words can best be substituted for blank spaces in a sentence. You must consider each answer choice and decide which completes the sentence in such a way that the sentence has a logically satisfying meaning & can be read as a stylistically integrated whole.

Reading Comprehension:
Are you a good reader? If so, how many words can you read per minute? 200? Then, your reading speed is not much to boast of, after all. The average reading speed is somewhere between 300 and 350 words per minute; 500 to 550 is considered excellent. But speed in reading taken by itself has no meaning.
The author wants you to comprehend the meaning. Those who do plenty of so called bed-side reading (Murder in Bedroom/Bathroom variety) usually nurture wrong notions about their reading comprehension skills. For the reading matter in these tests is of more than mere functional variety requiring keen attention.
The purpose of these tests is to see how well you grasp the contents of a piece of writing and how fast. The passages ranging from 500 to 1000 words vary in content, from socio-economic problems to ecology, aesthetics, Black American poetry, Jewish ethical code, ergonomics, or genetic engineering. You are sure to find a passage on a scientific topic. The passages, however, are not highly technical in content or style; they are couched in language that an average educated person is expected to be familiar with.

Quantitative Ability:
The section comprises 30 questions on Quantitative comparison, Problem Solving and Data Interpretation. The questions are designed to measure basic mathematical skills, understanding of elementary mathematical concepts, the abilities to reason quantitatively & to solve problems in a quantitative setting. Quantitative Comparisons:
In Quantitative Comparison, two mathematical quantities are mentioned, one in column – A and another in Column – B. You are to compare the two and determine which of the following is true. 1. the quantity in column A is greater 2. the quantity in column B is greater 3. the two quantities are equal 4. the relationship cannot be determined from the information given –

Example:
Column A Column B 1. 0.06 1/6 2. 3 (105) + 3 (103) +5 80.305

Problem Solving:
Tackling this area requires a sound background in the basics of Arithmetic, Algebra & Geometry of the 10 th/11th std level & a good knowledge of everyday facts, such as the number of days in July, or the meaning of such terms as counter clockwise. A great many of the problems in the section are simple Arithmetic, followed by Algebra & Geometry. You are also required to interpret data from graphs, charts and tables.

Data Interpretation:
The questions on Data Interpretation are based on tables, graphs, bar charts and pie charts. You are required to interpret the data depicted in these. This could involve determining the trends across years, calculating growth rates, and percentages.

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