Articles published in Verbal

GRE Essay Sample Prompts

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GRE Essay Sample Prompts

The best way to get some GRE essay practice is to sit down and actually respond to some GRE essay sample prompts at home. Here are our favorite GRE essay sample prompts to get you started, along with some tips on how to write. For more, check out the Verbal Strategy Guide once you’re done! Read more

GRE Sentence Equivalence: Practice Questions

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GRE Sentence Equivalence: Practice Questions

Try these GRE Sentence Equivalence practice questions from the 5lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems to test your Sentence Equivalence skills. These five problems start simple, but the last few are as complex as anything you’ll see in an official GRE Sentence Equivalence problem. Read more

Most Common GRE Vocabulary Words

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Most Common GRE Vocabulary Words

The most common GRE vocabulary words are rare but reasonable. The vocab questions don’t test the simplest GRE Vocabulary words, like cat or go. They also don’t test the hardest GRE Vocabulary words, like conodont or acnestis. The words tested on the GRE fall between these two extremes. They aren’t words that you see every day, but you’ll eventually run into them if you read plenty of high-quality writing—which is one thing the GRE is testing for! Read more

Top 10 GRE Vocabulary Tips

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Top 10 GRE Vocabulary Tips

You might think you know how to memorize GRE vocabulary. However, a lot of what we learned in school about memorization—and about learning—has turned out to be inefficient or outright incorrect. There are faster and easier ways to learn GRE vocabulary than just staring at flashcards or repeating the words over and over, and they aren’t all obvious! Here are our best science-based GRE vocabulary tips for speeding up your vocabulary acquisition. Read more

What’s Tested on GRE Verbal

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - What's Tested on GRE Verbal by Chelsey Cooley

The GRE Verbal section is about more than just vocabulary and memorization. GRE Verbal also isn’t a bunch of subjective questions with no real right answer. Instead, it’s a challenging—and interesting—test of your reading, attention, English knowledge, and executive reasoning skills. Read more

GRE Reading Comprehension without the Reading

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Reading Comprehension without the Reading by Tom Anderson

Who Needs the GRE Reading Comprehension Passage Anyway?

Let me be clear, if you want to maximize your GRE Reading Comprehension score, you should read each passage, thoroughly and entirely, before trying any of the questions about it. Strategies like skimming the passage or reading the questions first tend to result in sub-par performances. In the name of honing your Verbal skills, though, I’m going to suggest you do something seemingly ludicrous: practice answering some GRE Reading Comprehension questions without reading the passages. Read more

GRE Sentence Equivalence Questions: What Makes a Pair?

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Sentence Equivalence Questions: What Makes a Pair? by Cat Powell

There are two types of fill-in-the-blank vocabulary questions on the GRE: Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence. Text Completion questions ask you to fill in one, two, or three blanks with a single word; Sentence Equivalence questions ask you to fill in one blank with two words. Often, students think of these as the “synonym” questions, but that’s not entirely accurate; being too focused on looking for exact synonyms trips up some test takers. Others aren’t rigorous enough when looking for a pair. In this article, I’m going to discuss exactly what we’re looking for when we “pair” answers for Sentence Equivalence and what common traps we should avoid. Read more

GRE Sentence Equivalence: Charge Traps

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE Sentence Equivalence: Charge Traps by Chelsey Cooley

In this article, GRE instructor Tom Anderson asks a smart question: is it better to sort of know a lot of GRE words, or to really know a few GRE words? It turns out that you’re better off if you learn fewer words, but really learn them well. If you don’t, here’s one way the GRE could trick you. Read more

Why Bother Predicting a GRE Verbal Answer?

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Why Bother Predicting a GRE Verbal Answer? by Chelsey Cooley

One habit of Verbal high-scorers is predicting the GRE Verbal answer before checking the answer choices. Here’s why this works, and how you can do it yourself. Read more

Read an Article a Day to Boost Your GRE Verbal Score

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Read an Article a Day to Boost Your GRE Verbal Score by Cat Powell

You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free. Ready to take the plunge? Check out our upcoming courses here.


I have a very vivid memory of taking the GRE and realizing that, in the middle of “reading” a Reading Comp passage, I was actually staring at the wall. I often share this anecdote in my first GRE class and ask how many students have had a similar experience; most hands go up. Read more