A student once asked me in class, “Sir, can you please tell me the meaning of the word “nascent””, and so I did, while yet another asked me the meaning of the word “ambivalent”, and yet another asked me what “abhorrent” meant, and it went on like this on and off till the end of the class. I was able to tell them the meaning of more or less all the words directed at me. This is exactly how usually all my GRE classes go. We throw big words at each other and improve our vocabulary in the process. At times, my class divides itself into groups of three or four and tests each other word retention skills with the help of flashcards. You may be wondering as to what the reason behind such word memorizing drills is, and the answer is quite simple. Vocabulary, neigh, difficult vocabulary is an essential component of the GRE test; in fact, it is the heart and soul of this brain buster.


The breakdown of the verbal section is pretty straightforward. The test begins with two essay responses. One is an Issue essay and the other is the Argument essay. In the Issue essay, the essayist mostly has to favor or oppose a given perspective by the author and defend it or reject it in the light of relevant examples and a solid hypothesis which is logically plausible. Whereas, in an Argument essay the author’s judgment needs to be critically evaluated with its pros and cons being highlighted using the presented argument as the foundation of the discussion. Using strong examples, the author’s argument is either to be made stronger or weaker by pointing out the merits or the flaws in the argument respectively. Once the writing part is over, a true test of the candidate’s vocabulary commences with the vocab questions divided into three formats; the sentence completion, the text completion, and the sentence equivalence questions. This gritty test is followed by a test of a candidate’s reading comprehension skills with a range of questions varying from simple to complex.


My strategy to help students like yourself to improve your vocabulary is easy to follow. You need to get in the habit of fishing for big words from sources like newspapers, magazines, scientific journals, etc. Maybe even develop the habit of reading thick novels, if you haven’t been doing so already. This practice not only helps improve vocabulary but also improves reading speed, helps absorb new ideas which help with the analytical writing bit, not to mention improving your general knowledge which comes in handy anyway. Given that the GRE is a difficult test but with grit, determination, regular practice, and of course belief in one’s self-doing well in the GRE is easily achievable.


  • Process of Elimination
  • Good reading speed
  • Not wasting too much time on one question alone
  • Educated guessing
  • The first instinct answer choice is correct 80% of the time
  • Regular practice


Throughout my illustrious career, I’ve had the good fortune of teaching both aspiring post-graduate students intending to pursue a Master’s degree leading to a Ph.D. from abroad, and working professionals with immense work experience under their belt wishing to complete their education from a reputable university. In either scenario, my approach is simple. I realize that most students often lack belief in their own ability to excel in the GRE test and require constant encouragement and reinforcement that they have it in them to do achieve a good score. All they have to do is absorb the tips I share with them, and keep practicing sample tests, practice questions, and helpful GRE exercises regularly. They also need to keep learning new words on a daily basis. Easy Coaching is the place where you’ll be able to master the techniques needed to outsmart the GRE and broaden your future horizons.