Master the GRE Reading Comprehension Section
Posted on
01
Feb 2023

Master the GRE Reading Comprehension Section

Reading comprehension accounts for half of the questions on the GRE verbal reasoning section. To do well on these questions, you need a framework for understanding the purpose and structure of the passages.

Some passages are very short – really more accurately termed “prompts” than “passages” – and present isolated scenarios followed by a single question about the scenario. For those familiar with the GMAT verbal reasoning section, these are roughly equivalent to critical reasoning questions. But these account for only 4 of the 20 scored reading comprehension questions on a GRE.

The remaining 16 questions are attached to longer passages, and you must accurately comprehend these passages at the “wide angle” level in order to answer most of their questions correctly. 

Reading comprehension: understanding the purpose and structure of the passages

The “wide angle” level means that you understand what the passage is doing, or what the author is trying to do in the passage. To understand the author’s purpose, always think in terms of what the author would like you, the reader, (1) to know/understand, (2) to believe/agree with, or (3) to do. Passages of this third variety – the kind that call for action – are rare on the GRE. Even so, you should understand the existence of the category. Let’s call these degrees of purpose. A passage may exhibit more than one of these three degrees of purpose. But any passage – especially one short enough to be a GRE reading comprehension passage – will conform mainly to one of the three.

This is your starting point for understanding not only the passage’s main idea or purpose, but also how the various references and details contribute to achieving the purpose. In other words, this is your key to correctly answering almost every reading comprehension question on the GRE.

However, you need something more. In order to clearly and accurately express the author’s purpose as a useful key to the passage, you need the Levels of Engagement paradigm.

Levels of engagement

The best way to explain this paradigm is to define each of the three levels of engagement:

Level 1: The author/passage interacts directly with the topic.

Level 2: The author/passage interacts with another treatment of the topic, presenting it, critiquing it, or commending it.

Level 3: The author/passage interacts with the scholarly conversation on the topic, perhaps taking a side but mainly presenting the record of discovery or opinion.

To help clarify these three levels, let’s practice with some examples:

Practice Problem 1

Passage: In a plausible but speculative scenario, oceanographer Douglas Martinson suggests that temperature increase caused by global warming would not significantly affect the stability of the Antarctic environment, where sea ice forms on the periphery of the continent in the autumn and winter and mostly disappears in the summer. True, less sea ice would form in the winter because global warming would cause temperatures to rise. However, Martinson argues, the effect of a warmer atmosphere may be offset as follows. The formation of sea ice causes the concentration of salt in surface waters to increase; less sea ice would mean a smaller increase in the concentration of salt. Less salty surface waters would be less dense and therefore less likely to sink and stir up deep water. The deep water, with all its stored heat, would rise to the surface at a slower rate. Thus, although the winter sea-ice cover might decrease, the surface waters would remain cold enough so that the decrease would not be excessive. 

Is this a first-level, second-level, or third-level passage? It is quite clearly a second-level passage. Right off the bat, the passage mentions Douglas Martinson’s suggestion and deems it “plausible but speculative.” This is mainly a presentation of Martinson’s theory, but the author does offer his assessment of the theory. So this passage occupies the second level of engagement and the second degree of purpose.

Purpose statement: The author wants me, the reader, to agree that Martinson’s theory regarding global warming and the antarctic environment’s stability is plausible but speculative.

Let’s try another one:

 Practice Problem 2

Passage: Scientists formerly believed that the rocky planets – Earth, Mercury, Venus, and Mars – were created by the rapid gravitational collapse of a dust cloud, a deflation giving rise to a dense orb. That view was challenged in the 1960s, when studies of Moon craters revealed that these craters were caused by the impact of objects that were in great abundance about 4.5 billion years ago but whose number appeared to have quickly decreased shortly thereafter. This observation rejuvenated Otto Schmidt’s 1944 theory of accretion. According to this theory, cosmic dust gradually lumped into ever-larger conglomerates: particulates, gravel, small and then larger balls, planetesimals (tiny planets), and, ultimately, planets. As the planetesimals became larger, their numbers decreased. Consequently, the number of collisions between planetesimals decreased.(Separate Paragraphs)

First-level, second-level, or third-level? This is a textbook example of a third-level passage. It is tracing the history of scientific discoveries and scientific opinion regarding the formation of the rocky planets. Third-level passages generally have a first-degree (knowing/understanding) rather than a second-degree (believing/agreeing) purpose.

Purpose statement: The author wants me, the reader, to understand why 1960s observations of moon craters swayed scientific opinion about the formation of the rocky planets away from the then-popular deflation theory and towards Otto Schmidt’s 1944 accretion theory.

This is probably more specific about the science than you really need to get, but it is good practice to write such detailed statements in your preparation.

Now that you’ve seen some good examples of second-level and third-level passages, let’s try reading and classifying two passages at once!

Practice Problem 3

Passage: Was Felix Mendelssohn(1809-1847) a great composer? On its face, the question seems absurd. One of the most gifted prodigies in the history of music, he produced his first masterpiece at sixteen. From then on, he was recognized as an artist of preternatural abilities, not only as a composer but also as a pianist and conductor. But Mendelssohn’s enduring popularity has often been at odds – sometimes quite sharply – with his critical standing. Despite general acknowledgement of his genius, there has been a noticeable reluctance to rank him with, say, Schumann or Brahms. As Haggin put it, Mendelssohn, as a composer, was a “minor master . . . working on a small scale of emotion and texture.”

Historians credit repeated locust invasions in the nineteenth century with reshaping United States agriculture west of the Mississippi River. Admonished by government entomologists, farmers began to diversify. Wheat had come to nearly monopolize the region, but it was particularly vulnerable to the locusts. In 1873, just before the locusts’ most withering offensive, nearly two-thirds of Minnesota farmland was producing wheat; by the invasions’ last year, that fraction had dropped to less than one-sixth. Farmers learned that peas and beans were far less vulnerable to the insects, and corn was a more robust grain than wheat. In addition to planting alternative crops, many farmers turned to dairy and beef production. Although pastures were often damaged by the locusts, these lands were almost always left in better shape than the crops were.

Make your decisions before reading on. Although both passages mention some other view (Haggin’s view in the Mendelssohn passage and historians’ view in the locusts passage), neither passage is second-level! The Mendelssohn passage is third level. Here’s the key line: “there has been a noticeable reluctance to rank [Mendelssohn] with, say, Schumann or Brahms.” The author is presenting the scholarly verdict on Mendelssohn; Haggin is merely an example provided for this verdict. Notice that the author does not weigh in himself or react to Haggin or the prevailing view. If you were given a question about the purpose of this passage and you chose an answer choice saying either “Mendelssohn was a great composer” or “Mendelssohn was not a great composer,” you would be wrong. The correct answer must mention the scholars who hold the view on Mendelssohn. 

Purpose statement: The author wants me, the reader, to know that scholars are generally reluctant to rank Mendelssohn among the greatest composers.

How about the second passage? Again, it might be mistaken for a second-level passage, but it is actually first-level. The author mentions “historians” but gives no opinion on whether these historians are right or wrong to credit locusts as they do. Instead, the passage just starts telling us the history. It seems that the historians were right to give credit to the locusts, but that’s not the point of the passage. It’s about events themselves.

Purpose statement: The author wants me, the reader, to understand how locust invasions in the nineteenth century reshaped United States agriculture west of the Mississippi.

Sometimes when writing a purpose statement, you simply copy a key line that functions more or less as the passage’s thesis, framing it in terms of the author’s purpose.

Now you’re ready to “plot” GRE reading comprehension passages in terms of degrees of purpose and levels of engagement, creating the key to correctly answering every kind of RC question.

If you are interested in speaking with one of our GRE private tutors, you can sign-up for a complimentary, 30-minute consultation call. You can also learn more from our past clients who were able to achieve their cumulative 325+ score with us!

Contributor: Elijah Mize (Apex GRE Instructor)

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Posted on
18
Jan 2023

Anatomy of the GRE Verbal Reasoning Section

Types of Questions on the GRE Verbal Reasoning Section 

There are only three types of questions on the GRE verbal reasoning section: text completion, sentence equivalence, and reading comprehension.

Question Order on the GRE Verbal Reasoning Section 

Let’s get right to it: there is a standard “flow” to every GRE verbal reasoning section:

  • Questions 1 – 6: Text Completion
  • Questions 7 – 11: Reading Comprehension
  • Questions 12 – 15: Sentence Equivalence
  • Questions 16 – 20: Reading Comprehension

The two types of vocabulary-based questions stay neatly separated, not jumbled, and the reading comprehension (RC) questions tend to come in equal blocks of 5. Rarely, the two “blocks” of RC questions are 4 questions and 6 questions, or 6 questions and 4 questions, respectively, shifting the numbering of the sentence equivalence questions accordingly.

Timing and Difficulty

The main benefit of knowing this flow is to help you make timing-related decisions. On each verbal reasoning section, you have just 30 minutes for 20 questions, for a brisk pace of 90 seconds per question. Some test-takers who studied their vocab flashcards like to fly through the vocabulary-based questions in order to know how to pace themselves on reading comprehension.

Test-takers who struggle with sentence equivalence (SE, which can be tricky) may prioritize everything else and then make quick decisions on the SE questions before time expires.

Another note: the text completion (TC) questions increase in difficulty and complexity from question 1 through question 6. Generally, expect questions 1 and 2 to be single blanks, questions 3 and 4 to be double blanks, and questions 5 and 6 to be triple blanks.

Since the difficulty of your second scored verbal reasoning section is determined by your performance on the first scored verbal section, a second section with more double and triple blanks is a sign that you did well on the first section.

Reading Comprehension Breakdown

Perhaps even more important than knowing the “flow” of the sections is knowing the breakdown of reading comprehension passages and questions. This is important for allocating your time wisely.

GRE reading comprehension passages may be accompanied by anywhere from 1 to 4 questions. The longer the passage, the more questions accompany it:

  • 4q passage: about 400-450 words
  • 3q passage: about 150-200 words
  • 2q passage: about 125-150 words
  • 1q passage: about 50-125 words

The ETS (Educational Testing Service, the administrators of the GRE) has an established pattern not only for how many passages of each length appear, but for the sections in which those passages appear.

GRE Verbal Reasoning Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension Section Breakdown

Section 1:

  • 4q passage
  • 3q passage
  • 1q passages (3)

Section 2:

  • 3q passage
  • 1q passage
  • 2q passages (3)

The best news is that the majority of reading comprehension passages you will encounter on GRE verbal are very short. Even the 3q passages are capped at around 200 words; the biggest jump in length is from these 3q passages to the single 4q passage, which always comes in the first, medium-difficulty section.

More good news: you’ll never get stuck with a long 4q passage that is measurably more difficult than anyone else’s! The GRE doesn’t like to leave these things up to chance. They call it a standardized test for a reason.

Timing on Reading Comprehension

Let’s talk timing: 7 of the 10 RC passages on GRE verbal are less than 150 words and are accompanied by only one or two questions. There’s no reason to think of these passages as a big time drain. Comprehending and retaining such a short passage well enough to answer one or two questions about it is a fairly basic and easily-practiced skill, even though the passages may complicate the matter somewhat by being dense or technical. Bottom line: these passages are nothing to be afraid of.

In a way, the 3q passages provide the most “bang for your buck.” The passages are, on average, hardly longer than a 2q passage, so you get one question for every 50-70 words of passage read. These represent your best opportunity for knocking out a few questions in very little time, and there is one on each verbal section.

The 4q passage has the most potential for derailing your timing strategy. It can be intimidating because of its beefed-up length compared to all other RC passages. The most important thing is to avoid getting lost in the details. You don’t have to remember everything. After all, the passage isn’t going anywhere; if you get a question about a certain detail, you should be able to find that detail in a reasonable amount of time.

Instead of sweating every detail, focus on understanding the overall structure and purpose of the passage. This is the kind of comprehension that RC is built around. This “zoomed out” comprehension can even provide you with a mental map of the passage for finding the details when you need them.

In our next article, we’ll introduce the most powerful tool for understanding the big picture of reading comprehension passages on GRE verbal.

If you are looking for professional help to boost your GRE performance, you book your 30 minutes complimentary assessment session now! You can also learn more from our past clients who were able to achieve their cumulative 325+ score with us!

Contributor: Elijah Mize (Apex GRE Instructor)

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What Kind of Math is on the GRE? A breakdown of the quant section
Posted on
04
Jan 2023

What Kind of Math is on the GRE?

Unless you’re a math major, chances are that when you start preparing for the GRE, it’s been a while since you took a math class. Your algebra skills, once sharp and shiny, are rusty. Formulas you once knew are getting mixed up and mixed around. Your times tables have been tabled indefinitely. If you are to regain your mathematical form, you must begin by surveying the range of content to be (re)learned.

Thankfully, the GRE quantitative sections are built entirely from concepts and topics that you probably learned in high school at some point, even if your exposure to them was brief. Very few, if any, of the concepts will be completely new.

Below is a categorized list of topics you should expect to encounter. Think of this as the table of contents to a rather thorough GRE math syllabus.

GRE Math Topics

Arithmetic

Basic operations/order of operations

Exponents and radicals/powers and roots

Units digit cycles

Fractions, decimals, percents, ratios

Absolute Value

Place value

Estimation/approximation

Number Properties

Even and odd properties

Integers

Factors/Divisors

Divisibility

Least Common Multiple (LCM) and Greatest Common Factor (GCF)

Remainders

Prime numbers/prime factors/prime factorization

Arithmetic series properties

Algebra

Linear (first-degree) equations

Quadratic (second-degree) equations

Foiling and factoring quadratics

Inequalities

Functions

Sequences and series

Applied Problems

Probability

Combinatorics (combinations and permutations)

Percentage change and profit/loss

Interest

Age problems

Averages/mixtures

Rate/work /time

Speed/distance/time

Geometry

Polygons and sum of interior angles: 180(n – 2)

Quadrilateral types (parallelogram, trapezoid, rectangle, square) and area formulas

Triangles types (equilateral, isosceles, scalene, right) and area formulas

Pythagorean theorem

Special right triangles and Pythagorean triples

Circles and formulas for area and circumference

Arcs and sectors

Cylinders

Rectangular prisms

Area and perimeter

Volume and surface area

Similarity and congruence

Angles at intersections of lines

Coordinate Geometry

Slope

X and Y intercepts

Line equations and slope-intercept form (y = mx + b)

Graphs of functions

Midpoint and distance between points

Statistics

Mean, median, and mode

Standard deviation

Range

Quartiles and interquartile range

Normal distributions

You can use this list as a starting point to gauge how much learning (and relearning) you’ll have to do on the quantitative side of your GRE preparation. If any of these topics are only half-remembered or only vaguely familiar, you’ll have to do a fair bit of studying. If you are still well-versed in the majority of these topics, you may have a good head start on GRE quant. But note that this is simply a list of topics, not an exhaustive list of terms and formulas you must know.

A cheat sheet of formulas – without accompanying explanations – is actually less helpful than you might think, and the explanations of all the formulas you should know for GRE quant are too lengthy for these articles. We provide you with a handy glossary of terms to know as you begin your preparation for the GRE quantitative sections.

If you are interested in speaking with one of our GRE private tutors, you can sign-up for a complimentary, 30-minute free consultation callYou can also learn more from our past clients who were able to achieve their cumulative 325+ score with us!

Contributor: Elijah Mize (Apex GRE Instructor)

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Anatomy of GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section
Posted on
21
Dec 2022

Anatomy of GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section

Unlike GMAT quant, each GRE quantitative reasoning section is non-adaptive and can be navigated – you can visit and revisit any of the twenty questions for the duration of the thirty-five minute time limit. Each GRE quantitative section is also predictable in terms of the locations of different question types. This opens the door for a high level of strategizing. When the section isn’t adapting to you, you can adapt to the section.

First, let’s get familiar with the question types. There are five types of questions on the GRE quantitative section:

Types of questions on the GRE quantitative section:

Quantitative Comparisons (QC): The test-taker must identify the greater of two expressions, labeled “Quantity A” and “Quantity B.” Each QC question has the same answer choice set:

(A) Quantity A is greater

(B) Quantity B is greater

(C) The quantities are equal

(D) The relationship cannot be determined

Answer choice D means that either quantity may be greater depending on the scenario, or the value supplied to a variable. In some cases, quantity A is greater, and in other cases, Quantity B is greater.

Multiple Choice (MC): These are standard, five-answer-choice problems.

Select All (SA): A twist on multiple choice questions where there may be more than five answer choices in the set, with one or more (and potentially even all) choices being correct. These have square boxes instead of round bubbles and are always preceded by the instruction to “select all that apply.”

Numeric Entry (NE): Non-multiple choice questions that require the calculation of a precise value, to be typed into a text entry box. Sometimes these have specific instructions to “enter your answer as a fraction” or to “round your answer to the nearest tenth.” 

Data Interpretation (DI): The four question types mentioned so far differ in terms of answer choice format, but Data Interpretation questions do not represent a fifth such format. They may be multiple choice, select all, or numeric entry (never quantitative comparisons) but are distinct from these question types because of the difference in the tasks required to answer them. On a GRE quant section, there are always three consecutive DI questions that ask about the same set of text, graphs, and tables. Hence the name “Data Interpretation.”

Now that we’ve overviewed the five question types, let’s take a look at how they work together to form a complete GRE quantitative reasoning section:

Question Number Question Type
1 – 7 or 1 – 8 QC
8 – 13 or 9 – 13 MC, SA, and NE (jumbled)
14 – 16 DI
17 – 20 MC, SA, and NE (jumbled)

There are 7 or 8 QC questions per section and a total of 15 QC questions between the two scored quantitative sections on the GRE. If one quantitative section has 7 of them, the other section will have 8, and vice versa. If you’re a by-the-book kind of test-taker, you can do these questions first. But if you tend to be more confident on the traditional multiple choice questions, you can start with those and come back to the QC questions later.

For what it’s worth, the DI questions are always numbers 14 through 16. If you want to start here, just use the “review” screen to navigate right to question 14.

The standard MC questions are much more heavily represented than the SA and NE questions. There is a kind of balance between QC and MC questions so that each quantitative section contains a total of 14 questions between these two types. If a section has 8 QC questions, it will have 6 MC questions (for a total of 14). And if a section has 7 QC questions, it will have 7 MC questions (again, for a total of 14). If you’ve been keeping track, this leaves only 3 questions per section for SA and NE.

The SA and NE questions also maintain a balance. You won’t get 3 SA questions on one section and then 3 NE questions on the other section; you’ll get one section with 2 SA and 1 NE and another section with 1 SA and 2 NE.

Question Types by Section:

QC: 7 or 8

MC: 6 or 7

DI: 3

SA: 1 or 2

NE: 1 or 2

Total: 20

Question Types for both Sections:

QC: 15

MC: 13

DI: 6

SA: 3

NE: 3

Total: 40

Knowing all this helps you know what to expect on test day. Familiarity tends to increase comfort. And most importantly, you can use your practice tests to try out different approaches to the quantitative sections.

Are open-ended QC questions giving you a headache? Flag them and go take a break with the more concrete DI questions.

Struggling to finish the section on time? Prioritize the question types you’re most comfortable with, and use the remaining time on the harder ones.

You can develop a personalized approach to the GRE quantitative section that plays to your strengths.

Now that we know how the GRE quantitative section is put together, we’ll turn to overviewing the actual math content of the questions in our next article.

If you are interested in speaking with one of our GRE private tutors, you can sign-up for a complimentary, 30-minute consultation call. You can also learn more from our past clients who were able to achieve their cumulative 325+ score with us!

Contributor: Elijah Mize (Apex GRE Instructor)

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Taking the GRE in New York: Everything You Need to Know
Posted on
26
Oct 2022

Taking the GRE in New York: Everything You Need to Know

About ¾ of the way through your extensive GRE prep you should begin to start planning your test day, including scheduling the test, preparing your trip to the test center, and even pre-visiting the test center so that you know exactly where it is. This guide is here to offer you all the required information related to taking the GRE in New York.

Who administers the GRE in New York?

The GRE is administered by Prometric. They have many test centers located throughout New York, so you should have no problem finding a convenient location.

What does the GRE test center look like in New York?

The GRE is a computer-based test, so you will be taking the test on a computer. The test center will include individual testing areas for each test taker with a separation screen between each taker.

Where are the GRE test centers located in New York?

Center 1:

1250 Broadway, #2500

New York, NY 10001

+1 646-690-0303

Directions to the test center

Center 2:

80 Broad St #3400

New York, NY 10004

+1 212-785-0359

Directions to the test center

Center 3:

384 Bridge St

Brooklyn, NY 11201

+1 718-797-4061

Directions to the test center

Top MBA programs in New York

There are many top MBA programs in New York. Some of the most popular programs include: 

Tips

Here are some tips to help you prepare for the GRE: 

  • Get started early – give yourself time to prepare and increase your chances of success.
  • Create a study plan and stick to it for the most effective preparation.
  • Familiarize yourself with the GRE format.
  • Hire a personal GRE tutor who will guide you through the exam. You will get one-on-one attention and they can help guide your studies according to what’s needed for success.

GRE test Day FAQs

Here are some answers to common questions about taking the GRE

How long is the GRE?

The GRE is a 3-hour 45-minute computer adaptive test that has three sections: an analytical writing assessment, a quantitative section, and a verbal one.

Am I allowed to bring a calculator?

You will not be able to bring your personal calculator to the GRE exam. You should also leave any unnecessary electronic devices at home.

If you are looking for professional help to boost your GRE performance, head to our official website and book your 30 minutes complimentary assessment session now.

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GMAT or GRE
Posted on
28
Sep 2022

GMAT or GRE: What’s the difference?

If you are considering pursuing a graduate degree, you will likely need to take either the GMAT or GRE exam. While both exams are used for admission into graduate programs, there are some key differences between the two.

Both the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are standardized tests that have a lot in common in terms of their purpose.  But GMAT is required for admission to most business schools while GRE is accepted by most graduate schools.  But how do they differ?

GMAT or GRE: How are they different?

GMAT GRE
What are they? A standardized test required by most business schools. A standardized test required by most graduate schools, including many business schools.
Format The GMAT has four sections. A 31-minute Quantitative Reasoning section, a 65-minute Verbal Reasoning section, a 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section, and a 30-minute Analytical Writing section.  The GRE has four sections. Two 35-minute Quantitative Reasoning sections, Two 35-minute Verbal Reasoning sections,  a 60- minute Analytical Writing, and one unscored section that could be verbal or quantitative.
Testing time 3.5 hrs 3.75 hrs
Scoring GMAT is scored on a scale of 200-800 in increments of 10.  GRE is scored on a scale of 130-170 in increments of 1. 
Cost The GMAT costs $250 with a $35 fee for each score report sent after the first five free reports. The GRE costs $205 with a $50 fee for each score report sent after the first four free reports.
Validity 5 years 5 years

GMAT or GRE: Which exam to take?

That depends on your future plans after you complete your degree. Most people choose to take the GMAT because it’s tailored specifically for business school applicants. But if you’re interested in other graduate programs as well, or you want a more comprehensive test that covers more topics, then the GRE might be a better option for you.

Also, it’s always best to check with the schools that you intend to attend and see which test they prefer. 

GMAT or GRE: Bottom line

Both tests are designed to measure a person’s ability to think critically and solve problems. The GMAT is specifically geared towards students who want to pursue a career in business, while the GRE is more general and can be used for admission into a variety of graduate programs.

If you need help deciding which exam to take or preparing for either of them, reach out to our tutors at ApexGRE or ApexGMAT for private personalized tutoring sessions. We offer 30-minute complimentary consultations with one of the top-scoring instructors.

Contributor: Cynthia Addoumieh

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The GRE in Dubai Everything You Need to Know
Posted on
14
Sep 2022

The GRE in Dubai: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re thinking of pursuing an MBA, then you’ll likely need to take the GRE. The GRE is a standardized test that is used by many business schools as part of the admissions process. If you’re wondering where to take the GRE in Dubai, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about taking the GRE in Dubai, including information on test centers and top MBA programs. We’ll also provide some tips for preparing for the exam, and answer some common questions. 

Who administers the GRE test?

The GRE is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). ETS is a nonprofit organization that provides educational testing and assessment services. 

Where are GRE test centers located in Dubai?

There are two GRE test centers located in Dubai: 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates — APCU-8733 / APCU-8137

AMIDEAST Dubai

Office G01, Block 2B Knowledge Village

Al Burouj Road, Al Sufouh

Dubai 0000 – United Arab Emirates

Directions To The Testing Center

 

Society of Engineers — STN14384A

Street 46, Al Wuheida Road Al Mamzar, Deira

(Beside Automobile & Touring Club or Behind Bowling Center)

Dubai 04484 – United Arab Emirates

Directions To The Testing Center

The GRE is not offered on the following holidays: 

Top MBA programs in Dubai

There are many top MBA programs located in Dubai. Some of the most popular programs include: 

Tips

Here are some tips to help you prepare for the GRE: 

  • The GRE is a challenging exam, so it’s important to give yourself enough time to prepare. We recommend starting your studies at least three months in advance. 
  • Make a study plan and stick to it. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the GRE format by taking practice tests. 
  • Hire a personal GRE tutor who will guide you through the exam. You will get one-on-one attention and they can help guide your studies according to what’s needed for success.

Test Day FAQs

Here are some answers to common questions about taking the GRE

How long is the GRE? 

The GRE is a 3-hour 45-minute computer-adaptive test (CAT) that has three sections: an Analytical Writing Assessment, a Quantitative Section, and a Verbal Section.

What is the GRE score range? 

The GRE score range is 130-170 for both the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections. 

What is a good GRE score? 

A good GRE score depends on the programs you are applying to. We recommend checking with your schools of interest to see what their GRE requirements are. 

At Apex, we’re more than happy to help you get to your dream school. We offer a 30-minute free complimentary consultation call with one of our top instructors, who can design an individualized GRE prep schedule just for you.

Contributor: Cynthia Addoumieh

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GRE Verbal Questions
Posted on
13
May 2022

GRE Verbal Questions – Expert Tips On How To Solve Them

The Graduate Record Examinations, also known as the GRE, is a standardized exam done for the purpose to assess the test taker’s ability to think outside the box when it comes to analytical writing, mathematics, and vocabulary. The majority of GRE test takers are students looking into Business Schools and in some cases Law Schools and also students considering  Master’s ( M.A., M.S., M.Ed.), MBA’s, or Doctorate (Ph.D., Ed.D.).

Now, what is the GRE made up of? The GRE consists of three main sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Quantitative, and Verbal. All these sections sum up to a total score of a minimum of 260 and a maximum of 340. To break it up, each section of the GRE takes up a specific percentage out of the total score. Both the Verbal and the Quantitative Reasoning scorer lay on a 130-170 score scale, in 1-point increments. The Analytical Writing, however, lays on a 0-6 score scale, in half-point increments. 

In today’s read, our main focus will be on the GRE’s Verbal Section and questions.

The GRE Verbal Section

The GRE Verbal section consists of around 20 questions that need to be completed within 30 minutes. This leaves you with approximately between one minute to four minutes per question, depending on the question type. The order in which the question types appear is as follows:

  • Text Completion
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Sentence Equivalence

1. GRE Verbal – Text Completion Questions

For these GRE Verbal questions, you are provided with a small passage made up of one to six sentences, with one to three blank spaces to fill in. It is asked of you to fill in the blank space with the most suitable option provided to you. When it comes to the forms in which these questions can come in, there are two distinctive forms. In that passage, you might have three blank spaces to fill in, and for that, there is a list of three options to choose from per blank space. You can also come across questions that have one blank space per passage. To fill it in, you are given a list of five options. In both cases, there is only one right answer.

Here, your ability to interpret and understand the full picture is tested. You are expected to fully comprehend what you are given so that you can put the missing pieces together and still get a harmonious passage.

Example

In parts of the Arctic, the land grades into the landfast ice so _______ that you can walk off the coast and not know you are over the hidden sea.

(A) permanently
(B) imperceptibly
(C) irregularly
(D) precariously
(E) relentlessly

Correct Answer:  B

Apex’s Expert Tips

  • Before anything, take a step back and make sure that the whole passage’s idea makes sense to you. Do you feel like all the points are clear to you? Do you feel confident in completing the sentence? This is important because your answers are fully based on your understanding of the passage. If you missed the passage’s main purpose, chances are, you missed the points to its questions too. 
  • While reading, in your own words, try to predict what might come next in the passage. Try to complete the text while reading and see if the harmony is still there. When you’re done with that, move on to the next step, and try to link your predictions for the text completion with the options given. If you could not find the exact same completion, choose the option with the closest concept. Trust your gut. 

2. GRE Verbal – Reading Comprehension Questions

These types of questions come in three different forms, which are:

a. Select-in-Passage: This form of question requires your referral back to the given passage for the reason of direct extraction. That means you have to select a sentence directly from the given passage that best suits a certain description that you are asked to substitute.

b. Multiple-Choice Questions – Select One Answer: The classical and traditional multiple-choice questions you are used to with five answer options for you to choose from.

c. Multiple-Choice Questions – Select One or More Answers: This last form of Reading Comprehension questions gives you a list of three answer options, and you are asked to select all the answers that you think are correct and suitable. This means that your selected answers can be one, two, or even three.

All these questions are there to evaluate your ability to summarize, identify writers’ points of view, understand larger pieces of text, draw conclusions, and to be able to reason from given information.

Example

Questions 1 to 3 are based on this passage

Reviving the practice of using elements of popular music in classical composition, an approach that had been in hibernation in the United States during the 1960s, composer Philip Glass (born 1937) embraced the ethos of popular music in his compositions. Glass based two symphonies on music by rock musicians David Bowie and Brian Eno, but the symphonies’ sound is distinctively his. Popular elements do not appear out of place in Glass’s classical music, which from its early days has shared certain harmonies and rhythms with rock music. Yet this use of popular elements has not made Glass a composer of popular music. His music is not a version of popular music packaged to attract classical listeners; it is high art for listeners steeped in rock rather than the classics.

Select only one answer choice.

1. The passage addresses which of the following issues related to Glass’s use of popular elements in his classical compositions?

A. How it is regarded by listeners who prefer rock to the classics
B. How it has affected the commercial success of Glass’s music

C. Whether it has contributed to a revival of interest among other composers in using popular elements in their compositions
D. Whether it has had a detrimental effect on Glass’s reputation as a composer of classical music
E. Whether it has caused certain of Glass’s works to be derivative in quality

Consider each of the three choices separately and select all that apply. 

2. The passage suggests that Glass’s work displays which of the following qualities?

A. A return to the use of popular music in classical compositions
B. An attempt to elevate rock music to an artistic status more closely approximating that of classical music
C. A long-standing tendency to incorporate elements from two apparently disparate musical styles

3. Select the sentence that distinguishes two ways of integrating rock and classical music.

Correct Answers:
1. E
2. A and C

3. The correct answer is the last sentence of the passage.

Apex’s Expert Tips

  • When answering, try to derive the answer from the basis of the information given. This means that no outside knowledge is needed nor accepted.  Make sure that you try to find the answers from the provided information. You might feel like the presented views in the passage are the exact opposite of yours, and for that reason, go into the exam with an open mind and expect to encounter different points of view.
  • These types of questions revolve around different and variant topics like sciences, business, art and humanities, and/ or recent topics that can be academic or nonacademic. If by any chance you were unfamiliar with the material provided, don’t panic! All the questions asked can be answered nonetheless. Keep in mind, though, if you feel like the passage is too difficult for you, save it for last and move on to the next question.

3. GRE Verbal – Sentence Equivalence Questions

These types of questions can seem a little similar to the Sentence Equivalence questions. That being said, these two question types assess your ability to draw conclusions and test your capabilities to be able to complete passages while being given only partial information.  

Sentence Equivalence Questions include a single sentence, accompanied by one blank to fill. You are asked to choose the best two options that would complete the sentence’s coherence and main point from a list of six options.

 These types of questions examine your capability when it comes to conclusion making, and your ability to focus on the sentence’s meaning as a whole. They train you to look at the bigger picture but still keep an eye out for smaller details. 

Example

It was her view that the country’s problems had been _______ by foreign technocrats, so that to ask for such assistance again would be counterproductive.

A. ameliorated
B. ascertained
C. diagnosed
D. exacerbated
E. overlooked
F. worsened

Correct Answers: D and F

Apex’s Expert Tips

  • Try your best to understand the main ideas mentioned in the sentences. However, here it is mostly important to understand the whole idea at hand, by making out bullet points that can summarize the whole idea provided. Through that, the right answer will become clearer. 
  • Make sure that the pair of words you have selected makes sense and can still produce harmony and coherence in that sentence. Substitute both words in the sentence before making your final decision. Don’t rush.

To Conclude

All the information mentioned above might seem overwhelming and you might be getting ahead of yourself, but with practice and dedication, everything is possible. Stay grounded and get to know your strengths and weaknesses and get ready with your GRE preparation schedule accordingly. Do not miss any chance you get to learn and grow even more.

Here at ApexGMAT, we understand how this journey can get a little challenging and sometimes frustrating. That is why we stand by our students and support them each step of the way. 

Do not miss the chance to talk to our instructors in a 30-minute complimentary call now!

 

Contirbutor: Lilas Al-Sammak

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GRE As A Returning Student How to study for the GRE?
Posted on
01
Apr 2022

GRE As A Returning Student – How to study for the GRE?

Been a while since you attended university? Even in the best of circumstances, the GRE can be a daunting undertaking. But the thought of taking the GRE as a returning student – a decade or two after university – can be downright frightening. The tutors here at Apex often work with clients who have spent years in the professional world and outside of an academic setting. Our tutoring experts have compiled tips and tricks for returning students who want to make sure they are on the studying path of ‘least resistance’. Browse our 5 suggestions to make your return to high-caliber preparation as easy and productive as possible. 

1. Take a GRE practice test

This may sound like a no-brainer, but we cannot stress enough how vitally important it is that you take a practice test even before cracking open your first GRE prep book. This test gives you a baseline of where your strengths and weaknesses lie and where you need to grow your skills. Though you may use math skills on a daily basis, your quantitative knowledge – as it pertains to test taking – is of a different vain. By taking a practice test before you begin studying, you can be certain you are assessing your current skills level and knowledge as accurately as possible. From there, you can build your GRE study schedule and timeline and establish out which parts of the GRE deserve the majority of your dedication. 

2. Find the school  and score that suits you

What are your goals, both professionally and personally? It may sound like a simple question, and one that you get asked a lot, but interpreting the answer could take time. It is important that you are honest with yourself when it comes to what your goals are and if they are achievable. Achievable is the key term here.

A mere desire to attend a top graduate school and earn a GRE score in the top 95% is a difficult challenge, especially if your time out of school has been full of non-graduate school-level opportunities and tasks. Perhaps your goal is simply to earn a graduate degree so that you can climb the professional ladder at your current place of employment. In this case, your dream isn’t to attend Harvard or Yale. Decide on which schools you want to attend and the GRE score needed for admission. Our advice is to find the average GRE score of the most recently accepted class in the program of your choice and aim for a score a few points higher than the average. 

3. Get a consistent schedule

As a professional, you are no doubt busy. Most likely, working full-time, raising a family, and living a 9-5 life for a decade or so make even the best of students forget the rigors of school. Wanting to earn a graduate degree will put you right back into the world of late-night and early morning study sessions. The GRE is your first step into that world. So be sure to create a study schedule that will work with your personal and professional life. We have created a 3-month timeline template which you can adjust to fit your own needs.

Once you have created a schedule, be sure to Stick. To. It. Of course, make adjustments where you deem necessary. This may sound obvious, but we find our clients have a difficult time sticking to a study schedule. We get it, your personal life is your priority and we know it is always changing. But keep in mind that as intense as your GRE journey is, it is quite short compared to your graduate school journey. If your goal is to earn a graduate degree, the GRE is a necessary stepping stone on that journey. 

4. Learn the GRE basics

Let us assume that you have already done your due diligence. You have taken a practice test, have chosen the school(s) you wish to attend, and have come up with a consistent schedule which works for you. The next step is to unwrap the basics of the GRE. Understand and become comfortable with the layout of the test, and the many different types of questions you encounter.

But learning the ‘basics’ goes beyond a simple understanding of the test and its structure. You also need to get comfortable with the many skills you learned during high school, yes, that’s right…HIGHSCHOOL. The quantitative, qualitative, and analytical skills you learned during high school play a large role in your success on the GRE. While this may sound like an exaggeration, remember how much you have grown intellectually and professionally since your time in high school. The skills you gained during those years have helped you develop and grow. 

5. Utilize the proper resources and Find Help! 

Not all GRE prep books are made the same – nor are all GRE tutors. You need to browse the market and find the books which are best structured for you. With so many different types of books on the market, it might be difficult to find which ones are best for you. We suggest looking for books which offer various solution paths to the same question. This gives you the best chance to find the strategies which work for you and your skill sets.

Additionally, working with private GRE tutors can set you down the right path. A private tutor is ideal for someone who is taking the GRE as a returning student. Our Apex tutors are professionals in working with our clients’ strengths and weaknesses. We also have a unique way of teaching the exam where we show our clients how to consider testing questions from a tester-maker’s point of view, not a test-taker.  

6. Bonus Tip: Be proud of yourself! 

Your decision to return to school and earn a graduate degree after years out of academia is an incredible choice. You should be very proud of yourself. Such a decision is not an easy one to make, and yet your decision to broaden your horizons and achieve your goals is inspiring. During your GRE journey, remember to stick with a structured schedule and find help if you need it. Most people don’t go down the GRE journey alone, and neither should you! 

 

If you are considering taking the GRE as a returning student and are interested in getting help on the GRE, we offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls with one of our top GRE scoring instructors. 

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio 

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90th percentile on the GRE
Posted on
10
Dec 2021

How Those Who Score In The 90th Percentile On The GRE Actually Do It

You’re on your GRE journey, and your exam is a few weeks away. You start talking to people who went through the same experience as you, and you look for some answers. You notice that many people have scored in the 90th percentile on the GRE, and you start to doubt yourself,  wondering if you are also capable of achieving that score. Of course, everyone aiming to take the GRE exam will want the highest score possible. And, as you could guess, this is no easy task.

So, how do those people who score in the 90th percentile actually do it?

Is it because of their study plan? The critical-thinking skills they learn before even starting to prepare for the GRE? Is it just genetics? Are some people born to excel in exams? 

To say you want to score in the 90th percentile is just the beginning of actually achieving one. You need to have a long-term plan in mind and be ready to face some challenges. First of all, you need to figure out what score the university you’re applying to actually wants. If the average is 150, you’ll probably have a good chance of getting in with a 150! Thus, scoring in the 90th percentile isn’t always a necessity for getting into your dream school. Do your research first. Then you can start implementing a plan for achieving a 90th percentile GRE score. Be warned, before you lies a rocky road on your way to ace the exam. Those who do score 90th percentile do not just say they want the score. They work hard and organize their time efficiently to get where they want to. 

1. Start with a GRE Diagnostic Test

Take a test before you start your journey, see what the GRE is all about and how it is structured. Look at your score, and from there, you can already tell which sections you need to work on. This way, you have a baseline on what you need to do.

2. Know how long  studying for the GRE Exam will take

It is crucial to manage your time in a way where you can complete your study plan in time. Each person is different in the way they comprehend things. Thus, it would help if you were realistic about how much time it will take to be ready. Maybe it will take you 130+ hours, or even 300+. You need to know YOUR abilities and track your time.

3. Be consistent with your GRE plan

Those who score 90th percentile do not change their study plan each week. You need to stick to a specific book/material/group study so that you do not go off track! But be flexible to change things up if you are realizing that something isn’t working for you. We are all unique learners. 

4. Create a board for time allocation

Know how much time you’re going to spend on each section. For example, “I have to spend no more than 3 hours a day on quant, two on verbal, etc.”. Try to use online whiteboards or create a mood board for yourself so that it is easier to track and remind yourself of the GRE plan.

5. Get to know your mistakes and improve them

It is very crucial to take note of your mistakes and try to improve them. It is one thing to know your mistake and just move on, and another to actually work on it and make sure it does not happen again. You have to track your GRE progress, and learning from your mistakes is one way to go!

6. Learn from other GRE test-takers 

Listen to successful people who got 90th percentile on the GRE, try to take each piece of advice from each one, and you’ll come up with your own. It is essential to learn from others’ mistakes as well as your own. See what they did, how they did it, what it took them to get there. Be curious and ask questions, always. As Steve Jobs once said, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.”

7. Take GRE mock tests

At last, mock tests are your friend! Take them as much as you can, and you’ll more or less know where you stand.


Final Thoughts 

To conclude, it is easier said than done to score 90th percentile on the GRE. It works differently with different people, so make sure to try as best as you can to learn from others, and more importantly, from yourself as well. If you would like to start with a tutor, check out our tutors at APEX GRE to help get you started. Most successful GRE test takers hire a private tutor to push them past the 90th percentile mark after taking the test without a tutor. It is shown to be effective, you can take a look at this article about private tutors and why you should consider hiring them.


Contributor:
Sarin Sulahian

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