6 Learning Tips for Studying Smarter for GRE Verbal Section

Staying late in the night for those last few weeks before GRE? Trying to learn a new way to read fast a month before the GRE? Cramming hard, devoting a whole day to nothing but mugging 1000 Frequently Asked Words in GRE?

We do appreciate your efforts. But sorry to say, you’re doing it wrong!

The art of studying right for GRE is an absolutely scientific task. At DIKSHA, we follow the GRE Verbal course specifically designed by a couple of our Verbal Advisors – one from the State University of New York (SUNY) and the other from Ohio State University, both having cracked GRE with 95 percentile plus scores in the Verbal section. Here are the top tips for your successful GRE Verbal Test preparation.

  1. Start Reading Online: Reading is a skill. While Reading Comprehension (RC) has multiple technical aspects that need to be considered, if you cannot read fast and comprehend faster, then whatever efforts you have put in to master RC’s technical aspects will simply go in vain. Unfortunately many of us are not into serious reading anymore. Today everything is learnt through diagrams, flow charts and videos. As a result, most of us seriously fall short when it comes to our reading skill. And believe me, reading online is tougher. Here you cannot highlight phrases or underline words. So start spending at least 30 minutes every day for reading practice. Read high quality AND complicated English passages online – from various International Journals, Blogs, Newspapers and magazines. Try to read as fast as possible and try to comprehend through a bullet point summary. If you continue this for at least about 3 months, I am sure you will find a marked improvement in your reading skills. One of the key success factors of students of DIKSHA in GRE Verbal is that in the class we often make students read online and help them to master the art of reading.
  2. Get into the habit of taking notes while reading online: When you are reading from a computer screen, your mind at times may go numb for a while as it is a very passive process. Besides, it is a proven fact that you tend to retain information better if you write it down in your own way. So at DIKSHA, we ask the students to start taking notes in their own way when they are reading something online. Notes don’t mean well written sentences or paragraphs. But these are mostly some words or some bullet points or even at time some schematic diagrams – whatever students can put in while keeping their eyes almost glued to the computer screen.
  3. Don’t just keep on Reading — Start Applying: Stop re-reading the same Sentence Equivalence question and the answer options 5 times at a stretch to understand it better. There are chances that the more you read, the more you will start getting confused. So whether it’s a Sentence Equivalence question or an RC passage, try to read once while taking notes in your own way. Then put your grey matters to task. Use your brain to retrieve and process the information to come up with answer to the question. In our GRE Verbal classes after discussing the concepts, we straightaway move forward with class practice questions – where the students are tasked to answer the questions within a time frame. While initially many of the students find it difficult, but within a month or so their brain muscles get used to such stretching. Thus at the end of the day, they become better equipped to retrieve and process information in a short span of time. And that’s what GRE — or for that matter various real life situations — demands from us.
  4. Start your preparation early & Space it up: Cramming puts a lot of information in your head fast, but it also leads to fast forgetting. “Spacing helps embed learning in long-term memory”. So start your preparation for GRE at least 4 months before your planned exam. While I have come across many students, who get fascinating GRE scores just by studying for a week or so (in fact one of my friends from IIT got a perfect score in GRE with ABSOLUTELY no preparation at all), here we are not talking about the geniuses of the world. For a person having average IQ level, spacing up the GRE preparation for a span of 4 to 5 months is really helpful. At DIKSHA we suggest our GRE students to study everyday for at least an hour for the initial 3 months. In the last 1 or 2 months, this can actually go up to about 2 to 3 hours a day. But that’s it! Don’t ever try to put in 10 hours a day just for a month before your GRE and dream of a perfect score.
  5. Think & Sleep on the Words: We know that GRE Vocabulary is definitely a tough job. At DIKSHA we use various scientifically proven learning techniques to ensure our students can crack the words. But apart from these techniques, it’s very important that you start thinking & sleeping on the words! Sounds strange? Not really. Do learn the meaning of the words, but don’t simply try to mug up everything. Learn 50 new words in a day and the next day try to make sentences with the words. Read some high quality articles and see if any new words that you have read are there or not. If yes, can you remember the meaning? Again the trick is to stretch your brain to retrieve and process the information that it already possesses. And most importantly, after learning new words go for a sleep. Your brain needs time to catch up with new information and process all you’ve stuffed in there. Sleep is when it happens.
  6. Multi-task & Switch Topics: Maybe on a particular day you are in mood for “Vocabs” and thus spend the entire day learning 200 new words. You think you have achieved much! Sorry, but actually you have not utilized your day properly. A much better utilization would have been if you would have learnt 50 new words, solved 3 RC passages and written one Argument Essay (AWA). A study shows that we’re more likely to confuse similar things when studied together. So at DIKSHA while making study plans for our GRE students, we always keep in mind to ensure that a student devotes a bit of time every day to each of the subjects or topics. Switching between subjects or topics during your GRE Test preparation shall help you to keep your mind fresh enough to repeat the process over a period of time.

If you have any queries regarding your preparation for GRE Verbal section, please feel free to speak to our GRE Counselor @ +91 9674350993 or 033 40658338 or visit our Office: “Diksha Learning Services Pvt. Ltd.” 15/1, Hindustan Park, Gariahat, Kolkata – 700029 (all days, between 11 am to 7 pm).




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