English Knowledge - SPLessons

GRE Verbal Reading Comprehension

Chapter 33

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GRE Verbal Reading Comprehension

GRE Verbal Reading Comprehension

shape Description

GRE Verbal Reading Comprehension is one of the important topics in the GRE Verbal section. The GRE Verbal Reading Comprehension is primarily designed to check the ability of a test taker o read and understand the text commonly encountered in graduate school. Following are the abilities that are tested in the GRE Verbal section:


GRE Verbal Reading Comprehension questions comprise approximately 40% – 50% of the verbal reasoning section. One-fifth of reading comprehension questions specifically test critical reasoning abilities. GRE Verbal Reading Comprehension includes reading long paragraphs of text, analyzing the text, identifying major and minor points, summarizing passages, progressing to conclusions, reasoning from incomplete information to infer missing data and analyzing the text as a whole. On an average there are ten passages. GRE Verbal Reading Comprehension passages are primarily drawn from the Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, Business Arts, Humanities and everyday topics and supported material found in books and publications both academic and non-academic.


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GRE Verbal Reading Comprehension consists of 3 types of questions:


Multiple Choice – Select One Answer Choice
These are the regular multiple choice questions provide with five answer choices, the test takers should select one choice out of them.

Tips for Answering Single Selection Multiple-Choice Questions


Multiple Choice – Select One or More Answer Choices
These are the question provided with three answer choices and the test takers are asked to select all that are correct answers; one, two or all the three answer choices may be correct. To gain a credit all the three choices should be correct and no credit for partially correct answers.
Tips for Answering Multiple Selection Multiple-Choice Questions


Select-in-Passage
These are the questions asks the test taker to select the sentence in the passage that meets a certain description.

Tips for Answering Select-In-Passage Questions


shape Qn Models

One can see various types of Questions on GRE Verbal Reading Comprehension section. On an average, a Reading Comprehension passage has 3-5 questions and the end of it. But these questions are of several kinds, and each of them require a distinct skill set to answer. Following are the most popular types of questions that appear on the Reading Comprehension passages.


Tone of the Author Questions –
These type of questions asks the test takers to identify the tone of author like:


Particular Fact Questions –
These type of questions ask the test taker to identify the information that particularly included as a fact or truth and they generally look like:


Primary Idea Questions –
These type of questions are the most frequently asked questions and the primary idea of these questions is to ask the test taker to spot the main idea or purpose behind the passage and they generally look like:


Structural Questions –
These type of questions ask the test takers to spot the logic or the writing style adopted by the author, in presenting the facts or views and they generally look like:


Extrapolation Questions –
These type of questions ask the test takers to extrapolate or compare the author’s ideas to other situations, including situations that are analogous. In order to answer this type of questions one must go beyond what is stated in the passage, draw an interface from the passage, and then match it with all the situations given in he answer choices and they generally look like.


Implied Questions –
These type of questions ask the test taker to identify an idea which is suggested or implied, either by directly or indirectly and they generally look like:


Negative Questions –
These type of questions ask test takers to select the answer choice which is not true according to the author or the passage, or which of the answer choices with the author of the passage would not agree, and they generally look like:


Contextual Questions –
These type of questions will check the ability of a test taker in finding out the meaning of an unfamiliar word, based on the context with in the passage:


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Passage: 1 – Single Selection Multiple-Choice Questions


The last half of my life has been lived in one of those painful epochs of human history during which the world is getting worse, and past victories which had seemed to be definitive have turned out to be only temporary. When I was young, Victorian optimism was taken for granted. It was thought that freedom and prosperity would speed gradually throughout the world by an orderly process, and it was hoped that cruelty, tyranny, and injustice would continually diminish. Hardly anyone was haunted by the fear of great wars. Hardly anyone thought of the nineteenth century as a brief interlude between the past and future barbarism.


Questions 1 to 5 are based on this passage.


1. The author feels and about the later part of his life because.

a. The world had not become prosperous
b. He was nostalgic about his childhood.
c. The world was painfully disturbed during that period of time.
d. The author had not won any further victories.


2. The victories of the past.

a. Filled men with a sense of pessimism
b. Proved to be temporary events
c. Ended, cruelty, tyranny, and injustice
d. Brought permanent peace and security.


3. The world ‘definitive’ as used in the passage means

a. Incomplete
b. Defined
c. Temporary
d. Final


4. During the Victorian age, people believed that

a. There would be unlimited freedom
b. Strife would increase
c. Peace would prevail and happiness would engulf the whole world.
d. Wars would be fought on a bigger scale.


5. A brief interlude between the past and future barbarism’ can be interpreted as

a. A dramatic performance during wars
b. An interval between cruel wars
c. A short space of time between two great events
d. A short period of time between past and future acts of savagery.


Explanation-

1. The statement “The last half of my life has been lived in one of those painful epochs of human history during which the world is getting worse”. Give the correct answer.

2. The statement “past victories which had seemed to be definitive have turned out to be only temporary”. Give the correct answer.

3. The word “definitive” have close meaning with “Final”

4. The statement “It was thought that freedom and prosperity would speed gradually throughout the world by an orderly process, and it was hoped that cruelty, tyranny, and injustice would continually diminish”. Give the correct answer.

5. The statement “Hardly anyone was haunted by the fear of great wars. Hardly anyone thought of the nineteenth century as a brief interlude between the past and future barbarism.” Give the correct answer.


Passage: 2 – Multiple Selection Multiple-Choice Questions


In Asia and much of the third World, trees are still destroyed in the old-fashioned way: they are cut down for fuel and cropland. In Europe, there is a new and potentially more deadly culprit. The German call it ‘Waldsterben’, the dying forest syndrome. But the disease is far more than a German phenomenon. Since it was first observed by German scientists in the autumn of 1980, the mysterious malady has raced across Europe, blighting woods in countries as far apart as Sweden and Italy. Explanations for the epidemic range from a cyclic change in the environment to a baffling form of tree cancer. But the most convincing evidence points to air pollution. Indeed, saving the rapidly deteriorating forests of Europe will probably require a two-pronged strategy: an offensive campaign that includes the breeding of pollution-immune trees and a defensive scheme that calls for reductions in toxic emissions. But both will require more money than is currently being spent on such measures, as well as total commitment to protecting the environment.


Questions 1 to 3 are based on the above passage.


1. Why do you think the narrator calls the reasons for cutting the trees in the third world countries, ‘old fashioned’?

a. As the countries he is referring to are known as the third world, or under-developed countries.
b. Since science has made available modern and much developed methods to satisfy these requirements.
c. As the reasons for which the trees are cut are no longer valid in today’s scenario.
d. It is a biased comment on the part of the narrator as it seems he belongs to a highly developed nation or society.
e. As there are modern solutions for the requirement of fuel and cropland available to us now.


2. What are the two points of target that the strategy to fight the problem of dying forests includes in itself?

a. Finding methods to sustain life for trees and all types of vegetation.
b. An aggressive movement directed towards breeding of trees that are resistant to pollution.
c. Conservative efforts for demanding reduction in emission of toxic substances which lead to air pollution.
d. The attempts to save the trees from being cut and popularizing other alternatives for their use.
e. Making available more and more scientific methods that can help reduce the air pollution.


3. The explanations sought for this occurrence of drying forests include factors like ——–.

a. Air Pollution
b. Polluting of water resources
c. A form of cancer of trees that is incomprehensible
d. Periodical environmental changes
e. The trees getting dried out


Explanation-

1. The Correct answers are Options B and E, the usage of the word ‘old-fashioned’ can be explained in the light of the advancements in the field of science and technology that have provided us with ample alternatives to the chopping down of trees and use of wood for fuel and clearing of cropland. The options that stand true in the light of this justification are options B and E, thus they are the correct answers. We cannot call the usage of this word as a biased comment (as there is no clear reference made to the narrator’s citizenship) or a reference to the under-developed status of the countries being talked about as the scientific advancements and modern techniques are supplied to them as well. The rest of the options, therefore, are incorrect.

2. The Correct answers are Options B and C, the question requires us to give a thorough reading to the passage provided as the two points of the strategy are mentioned clearly in the latter half of it. The sentence, ‘Indeed, saving the rapidly deteriorating forests of Europe will probably require a two-pronged strategy: an offensive campaign that includes the breeding of pollution-immune trees and a defensive scheme that calls for reductions in toxic emissions’ is being referred to here; and the second and third options are correct answers in the light of it.

3. The Correct answers are Options A, C and D, the passage states before us three factors that have been explained as the reasons for the drying of forests, namely; Air pollution, a baffling form of tree cancer and a cyclic change in the environment. The options in the list that correspond to these factors are A, C and D, so they are the correct answers and the rest are thus, the wrong answers.


Passage: 3 – Select-in-Passage


With so much information out there about global warming and the effects that are causing natural disasters, is there anything we as individuals can do to make a difference? You don’t need to move mountains, but a small pebble can really make ripples that can create positive changes worldwide. We all feel we have a purpose in life. As more of us become aware of the damaging effects of global warming, we are also concerned about practical solutions to the problem. Most importantly, how can we fit in as part of the solution, instead of the problem?


Questions 1 to 3 are based on the above passage.


1. In which sentence does the author make a generalization?

a. The first sentence. (With so much…difference?)
b. The second sentence. (You don’t need…worldwide.)
c. The third sentence. (We all feel…life.)
d. The fourth sentence. (As more of…problem.)
e. The fifth sentence. (Most importantly, how…problem?)


2. From which sentence do we understand the issue addressed in the paragraph?

a. The first sentence. (With so much…difference?)
b. The second sentence. (You don’t need…worldwide.)
c. The third sentence. (We all feel…life.)
d. The fourth sentence. (As more of…problem.)
e. The fifth sentence. (Most importantly, how…problem?)


3. From which sentence do we infer that our efforts can inspire others?

a. The first sentence. (With so much…difference?)
b. The second sentence. (You don’t need…worldwide.)
c. The third sentence. (We all feel…life.)
d. The fourth sentence. (As more of…problem.)
e. The fifth sentence. (Most importantly, how…problem?)


Explanation-

1. The correct answer is option C, the author is discussing the problem of global warming and how we all are concerned about it. He says that we all feel that we should help in our own capacity to sort the problem. Though he talks about people in general throughout the paragraph, he makes a generalization in the third sentence. He says that we all feel we have a purpose in life. The generalization is clear from the use of the words ‘we all’.

2. The correct answer is option A, in the given paragraph, the author describes the concern that individuals feel for the problem of global warming. He says that as we are becoming more aware of global warming and its effects, we are becoming more conscious of how we can help solve the problem or avoid it. This concern is the issue addressed in the paragraph and it is aptly mentioned in the first sentence.

3. The correct answer is option B, in the second sentence, the author says that we do not need to move mountains but a small pebble can create ripples worldwide. This implies that we need not undertake big tasks to make a difference but even small efforts can make a difference as they can inspire others to do something. The correct option is (b).



shape RC Tips

1. Vocabulary –
Improving the vocabulary is the key point to improve the score on the verbal section. Read the regular news updates, try to read the well-written magazines to improve the vocabulary.


2. Use context for help –
If a question asks about a particular line, don’t go back in to the passage and read just that line. A good rule of thumb is to read at least 2 sentences before and after the line in question. This will give an idea of where the point started and where the author is going with it.


3. Avoid Extreme Answers –
Generally, if an answer choice sounds very extreme in tone, it’s not the best choice. Beware of answers that use words like never, always, completely. There’s usually an exception to the rule.


4. Read Every Single Day –
One should make a habit to read before go to bed. No, not Facebook news feeds, funny cat memes, or random tweets, but some useful stuff. Stuff that will improve the thinking capacity and comprehension. One can, try and read a few pages of a novel or a news item on the internet for at least 30 minutes before going to bed, and if that isn’t possible, try reading at least a few pages of a book before going to bed.


5. Read the Question carefully before answering –
One may probably think “reading the question carefully” is an almost obvious thing to do! However, students forget to do this while taking the actual test! They spend too much time reading the passage and as a consequence quickly skim through the questions – this is dangerous!