GRE Revised Test - Reading Comprehension

Half of the Verbal Reasoning section of the Revised GRE includes reading comprehension passages, and for each passage you should expect to see three kinds of questions: multiple-choice questions with one answer, multiple choice questions with more than one answer, or passage selection. Although there are no tricks that you can learn to ace the reading comprehension component of the GRE, there are certain things that you can do to make sure that you approach the problem correctly so that you give yourself the best chance to answer the questions correctly. But just because there is no sure way to get the reading comprehension questions correct (everybody reads differently), you can improve your reading comprehension skills with practice.

The reading comprehension passages are drawn from the physical sciences, the behavioral sciences, psychology, sociology, economics, and the arts and humanities. Different from the current GRE test, the passages are drawn from both academic and non-academic sources, such as books, journals, and periodicals. One of the goals of the revised GRE is to test students’ abilities to read and understand context—tasks and scenarios at hand.

In this section we explain the following tactics that you should employ when confronted with reading comprehension questions on the GRE test:

  • How to read actively without memorizing
  • How to pick up on word clues
  • How to find the central idea of the passage
  • How to mentally take notes
  • How to work with the information given

Brief Overview of the Structure of Reading Comprehension Question Types

Multiple Choice Questions with One Answer: Similar to the Current GRE in that your have five answer choices and you are required to select one.

Multiple Choice Questions with One or More Answers: In this case you are asked to select one OR more choices from three candidate answers. Don't be tricked into thinking that you have to select more than one choice. The correct answer might require you to select one, two, or all three choices.

Passage Selection: This kind of question requires you to select a sentence(s) in the given passage for your answer choice.