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Strategies for Raising GRE Scores

1. Make a study plan and follow it.

The right study plan will help you manage time in preparing for the GRE whether you have three
months, three weeks or only a few days to prepare.

First, ask yourself two questions:

How long until the test?
How much time can be devoted to GRE study?

Second, take the Diagnostic Examination. From the scores, youll be able to see where you
need to concentrate your efforts.

Third, develop a plan:

Best Plan: 2-3 months to prepare for the GRE. Complete all exercises in preferred study guide,
engage in small group study; take multiple practice exams.

Accelerated Plan: If you only have 30 days to prepare, you’ll have have to sacrifice a bit on the
practice exams, but you’ll have to devote time to work through sample questions.

Top Speed: If the GRE is coming up in two weeks or less, you may only have time to
concentrate on the Diagnostic Examination and hit critical parts of each chapter in a GRE study

2. Learn the directions in advance.

If you already knows what to do for each question type, you won’t waste precious test time and
you can jump right in and begin answering questions as soon as the bests begins.

30 seconds reading directions = 3 or 4 questions in each section

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3. Always guess.

On the GRE, its to your advantage to answer every question; youll be penalized for any
questions left unanswered when time runs out. To make an educated guess by eliminating one
of more answer choices is a good thing!

Play the odds.

Eliminate one answer choice = 25% chance of guessing correctly
Eliminate two answer choices = 33 1/3% change guessing correctly
Eliminate three answer choices = 50% chance of guessing correctly

4. In sentence completions, look for clue words.

If you cant come up with the missing word immediately, look for clue words which will reveal the
meaning of the sentence and point you in the right direction.

5. In analogy questions, a sentence can make the connection.

GRE analogies are all about word relations. They test your verbal reasoning ability to see a
relationship between two words and to recognize a similar relationship between two other
words. The key to analogy success is being able
to express the relationship between the words in a pair.

6. In reading comprehension, read for structure, not details.

When you read GRE passages, dont let the details bog you down. Most of the questions will ask
about the structure of the passage rather than specific facts. If you need the facts, theyre always
there in the passage.

Theres no need to worry about what you know or dont know about the topic. The information is
based on the information in the passage. Most details are irrelevant. The key steps are:

Preview key sentences. The first sentence of the paragraph is often the topic sentence. View
key sentences by scrolling through the passage.
Read for structure; ignore details.
Do a mental wrap-up. Before moving to the questions, pause for a few seconds and review what
you have just read. Summarize in your own words the main point of the selection (think up a title
for the passage!) and visualize mentally an outline of the passage.

7. If a problem-solving math question stumps you, work backwards from the answers
and eliminate choices that are completely off the radar screen.

GRE problem-solving questions test your math reasoning, not your ability to make endless
calculations. If you find yourself mired in calculations, you probably missed a shortcut that would
have made your work easier.

The quantities in GRE problem-solving answer choices either go from larger to smaller or the
other way around. Remember that when trying to eliminate or test answers.

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Break down complex word problems into easy-to-handle steps. Compare what you are asked
for with what you are given and build a mental bridge between the two before you start tart
doing math. This words for complex graph questions, too!

8. In quantitative comparisons, consider all the possibilities and memorize the answer

Read the centered information for each question since this information governs the entire

Compare the quantity in Column A to the quantity in Column B. See how each quantity related
to the centered information.

Do only as much work as is needed to make the comparison.

Choose the answer and make the answer sheet carefully! There are only four answer choices,
so dont mark E by mistake.

9. For analytical reasoning questions, set up a bookkeeping system to summarize the


Use your own notional devices or adapt ones that work best for you.

10. In logical reasoning questions, start by finding the conclusion.

Since the conclusion is the main point of the argument, its the key to answering every question
of this type.-- an initial paragraph or statement that presents an argument or otherwise states a

The three building blocks of logical reasoning are:

Stimulus Material = the content of the item

Question stem = tells you what to do with the stimulus material (e.g., identifies conclusion of an
argument; points out a premise of an argument; identifies strengths and weaknesses in an
argument; recognizes parallel reasoning; draws conclusions and makes inferences)

Answer choices = possible responses to the stem. The right answer is the credited response.
The wrong answers are distractors because they are carefully written to distract your attention
away from the right answer.

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How-to Prepare for Exam

1. Buy, beg, borrow or rent a computer. Just as there is a big difference between knowing what
a car looks like and knowing how to drive one, there is a big difference about studying about the
computerized GRE and taking it. If you have to, go to a local office service store and buy an
hour or two of time on a computer. Play with the machine. Buy a practice GRE review book
which has a disk version of the guide and take the disk with you. A technical support rep will
help you load it onto the computer so that you can practice taking a CAT.

2. Use the tutorials! CAT GRE practice tests begin with a tutorial program which shows the test
taker how to use a mouse, how to select an answer, how to use the testing tools and how to
scroll. Time spent on tutorials is extremely valuable, even if the student is computer literate,
since it shows them the idiosyncrasies of the CAT program e.g., how to indicate an answer, how
to change an answer, how to move forward and backward, and what the various screen icons

3. Practice, practice practice!!! There is a direct correlation between the amount of hours spent
on practice exams and with actual GRE exam scores.

On Day of Exam

1. Biorhythms count. Some of us are morning people; some afternoon. Schedule your
appointment for the GRE for a time when you are likely to be at your peak.

2. Set your watch to exam time. At the beginning of each test section, set your watch to 12:00.
Then, all you have to do is glance quickly to see how much of the section has passed.

3. Dismiss the directions. The on-screen directions do not disappear automatically. Instead, you
have to dismiss them by clicking on the Dismiss Directions: box. Do this immediately so you can
get started on the test.

4. Scrolling. In many computer programs, when a body of text is too long to be displayed in its
entirety on the screen, you have the option of scrolling through the text. You can scroll up or
down. While your first experience with
the scroll function may be a bit frustrating because it can be very sensitive, you should

5. Take mental breaks. The GRE is an arduous task. There is no way that you can maintain
concentration throughout the entire exam. There will be times when your attention begins to
flag. Learn to recognize this. If you find that you are reading and rereading the same line without

Close eyes.
Take deep breath (or two!)
Get back to work

6. Dont spin wheels by spending too much time on any one question. Give it some thought, take
your best shot and move along.

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GRE Prep for Verbal

-Learn what sorts of strategies will prepare you the most for the Verbal problems on the GRE.

GRE Prep Verbal strategies include:

1.Flying Over the Passage

2.Creating a Tentative Summary

3.Openings and Endings

4.Using Kitchen Logic

5.Getting into the Author’s Mind

6.Emotional Words

7.Finding the Key Words

8.Making Proper Inferences

9.Applying Ideas for Generalizations

10.Using Context Clues

11.Breaking down Passage Organization

12.First Word Analysis

13.Understanding the Intimidation

14.Finding Your Optimal Pace

15.Don’t be a Perfectionist

16.Factually Correct, but Actually Wrong

17.Different Viewpoints

18.Extraneous Information

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GRE Prep for Quantitative

-Learn how to master any problem you may encounter on the GRE Quantitative. We review
what the problem types will look like and how to solve them all with minimal effort.

GRE Prep for Quantitative strategies cover:

1.Mathematical Reasoning

2.Question Types






8.Evens and Odds

9.Prime Numbers


11.Square of a Number




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GRE Prep for Analytical Writing

-Learn how to write a great essay on any topic you may face on the GRE Analytical Writing.

GRE Prep Analytical Writing strategies include:

1.Planning Stage

2.Sticking to the Plan

3.Reviewing the Plan

4.Brainstorming Smart

5.Making the Cuts

6.Ending at the Start

7.Staying Consistent

8.Maintaining the Flow

9.Backing up Your Points

10.Using Proper Grammar

11.Watching Your Vocabulary

12.Avoiding Tunnel Vision

13.Just Do It

14.Conclusion is Review

15.Communicating Reason, not Passion

16.Answering the Why?

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Words on criticism:

Aspersion disparage Pillory

Berate excoriate Rebuke
Belittle Gainsay Remonstrate
Calumny Harangue Reprehend
Castigate Impugn Revile
Decry Inveign Tirade
Defamation Lambaste Vituperate
Denounce Objugate disapprobation
deride Obloquy
Diatribe Opprobrium

Words on falsehood:

Apocryphal Erroneous Mendacious

Canard Equivocate Prevaricate
chicanery Duplicity Perfidy
Feigned dissemble Specious
Guile Ersatz

Words about language and speech:

Word Meaning word meaning

Allege claim , assert Repartee Aroitness or cleverness in
X contravene reply
Articulate jointed Raconteur One who tells stories or
X disjointed, unintelligible jokes with exceptional
skills, anaecdotist
Badinage light banter, persiflage, Riposte Verbal retort, retaliatory
raillery thrust
Double double meaning Verbal Vocal,articulate,oral
Epigram witty saying, adage, dictum, Verbiage Overabundant

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Apothegm Maxim,axiom,aphoristic,terse, Verbose Word for word, Prolixity
Concise pithy saying,epigram
Gibber Gabble,jabber,babble Volubility Fluency
Inflection Diff in loudness, change in Cogency Persuasiveness,
pitch forcefulness in speech
Irony Sarcasm, wit Garrulity Chattering on trivia with
little meaning,
Soliloquy Speech to oneself Loquacious Glib talker
X taciturn, reticent
Polemical Aggressive in verbal attack Ventriloquist
Laconism Economy in use of words
Trite Hackneyed,cliché,
banal,platitude, bromidic

Happiness /bliss/ Cheerfulness:

Blithe Lighthearted, cheerful and Rococo Highly ornate

exult Exuberate, jubilate Bombastic
felicity happiness
rejoice Triumph, wallow Pompous
ecstasy exaltation
rapture exaltation
alacrity Cheerful pompousness

Detest/ hate/ anger/annoyance/evil:

Pique resentment,rritation, Acrimonious Bitter,resentful

Pique provoke/annoy,chafe, vexation Rile Annoy,chafe,irritate
Despicable Vile, evil, worthless,wretched Vex annoy
Amok Amuck, state of Fret Chafe, fuss, gall
abhor Execrate ,loathe, abominate Nettle Annoy, bother,chafe
ire Anger,choler,ira,wrath Exasperate Infuriate
Choleric Hot tempered,irascible Rancor Bitterness,resentment
Odium Execration, abomination, umbrage Offense,anger, ire
detestation, abhorrence

Tired/ Boredom/Sadness/ Dullness/pain:

Weary Fatigue,jade,pall Stolid Impassive,unemotional

Sluggish Sulky,torpid,inert Tribulation Visitation, trial

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Listless Dispirited Laggard Slow,dawdler,poke,idler,lingerer
Torpor Lassitude,lethargy, Languor Lassitude,dreaminess,phlegm,apathy,inertia
Lassitude Inanition, languor,slackness
Tedium Boredom,ennui Lament Bemoan,bewailmcoronach,plaint,
Lackadaisical Languid,unenergetic Dolorous Lachrymose,weeping

Bemoan Bewail,deplore,lament
Grimace Face,pain Demure Grave,serious,coy
anguish Torment,torture,untune disconsolate Dingy,dismal,dreary

commiserate sympathize


Libidinious Lewd, lascivicious Lustful

Licentious unchaste Carnality Morbid sexual desire, propensity
to lewdness
Libido Sexual desire,eros Prurience lubricity
Lewd raunchy Lubricious
Lascivious Salacious Obscene
Satyriasis Abnormally Satyromania
intense sexual
lechery Sexual practice


Panegyric Paean, formal Approbation commendation

expression of praise
Plaudit Tout Brag, boast
Applause Anthem Song of praise to god.
Eulogy Extol Exault,glorify
Kudos Encomium
Laud Laurels encomiastic

Pertaining to money:

Shortage of money Lots of money

Impecunious Short of cash Opulence affluence
Pecuniary Pertaining to money Prodigal Recklessly extravagant,

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Indigent Destitute,poverty Munificient Spendthrift, profligate,
stricken squanderer
Penury Utter want
Parsimonious Stingy, closefisted, Theft Larceny, marauding
Frugality Thrift,economy

Personality types:

Word Meaning Word Meaning

Wastrel Scoundrel, Stoical Uncomplaining
Rabble rouser
Iniquitous Wicked, sinful Innocuous Harmless
Egotistic Sycophantic Boot licker
Egoistic Rustic Bucolic, uncouth, sylvian
Egomaniacal Dilettante Skillful (superficially) amateur
Iconoclast Sneers at tradition Virtuoso Consummate skill
Martinet Strict disciplinarian Querulous Nagging,fretful,petulant,
X content
Obsequious Compliance, sycophantic Boisterous Obstreperous,unmanageable,
X rude Defiant,
Contemptuous Sneering,disdainful, Supercilious Conceited, snobbish
Bibulous Over-fondness for drinks Puisillanimous Contemptibly petty
Disingenuous Crafty,cunning, Taciturn Tight-lipped
Puritanical Extreme strictness in Termagant Shrew,nagging bad tempered
religion and morals woman
virago Noisy,scolding , Harridan Vicious old woman
domineering woman
Alter- ego Like one’s own self.

Legal affairs:

Litigation Lawsuit Testator Maker of a will

Tribunal Court of justice Tribute Tax levied by ruler
Subpoena Writ summoning a Statute Law enacted by legislature
witness to appear
Shyster Lawyer using Arraign Charge in court
questionable methods
Arbiter Judge Rider Amendment or clause added to legislative
Writ Written command incendiary Arsonist,seditious,incitive,criminal who
issued by court illegally sets fire to property.

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Fiat Command ,

Opera and theater related:

Word Meaning Word Meaning

Liberetto Text of opera Coda
Prima donna diva Closet drama Read rather than acted
Aria Operatic solo Pantomime Acting without dialogue
Proscenium Part of stage in front of Oratorio Poem set into music
Doggerel Poor verse Free verse Verse more rhythmic than prose
written without metric pattern
Prosody Act of versification Burlesque Imitation of ridicule (caricature)
Denouement Unknotting,unraveling of Parody High form of burlesque
Thespian Actor\actress Lampoon Ridicule,lengthy verbal picture
thru ridiculing a person
Travesty Burlesque,charade Protagonist Leading part in drama
Humor that mocks its
serious \lofty subject by
treating it in
grotesque\lowly terms

Greek and Roman Mythology:

Word Meaning Word Meaning

Bacchanal Wild party, drunken Cupidity Acarice, greed, lust
carousal, reveler, orgy
Cynosure Center of attention Draconian Rigorous, harsh, cruel, severe
Ethereal Celestial, unworldly, Narcissism Egoism, egocentrism
heavenly, spiritually
Nemesis Bane, jinx, hex, pursuer Promethean Creative and original
Of evil-doers
Saturnine Dull,gloomy, phlegmatic, Solon Intelligent law giver, member of
stygian legislature
Titan Mammoth, gigantic Centaur Half man half horse
Phaeton Large open car seating Procrustean Related to the mode of torture by
four procusteus
Stentorian booming sylvan Spirit that lives in woods, relating to
characteristic of wooden regions.
Amazon Virago, large strong pontoon Flatboat, barge (nautical- part of a
aggressive woman floating structure.

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