How can I improve my verbal score in just a few days?

Unfortunately, there's no silver bullet to boost your verbal score overnight. The verbal section tests your facility with English generally. This is something that can take quite awhile even for native English speakers.


That said, don't despair if you absolutely must take the GRE in a few days and feel as though you're scrambling to shore up your verbal score — we do have some useful strategies for you!


High-Frequency Vocabulary

First, make sure you're comfortable with high-frequency words. Go to our Vocabulary eBook and look at the chapter "Most Common GRE Words" (p. 11). If you're a betting woman or man, these are the words you should put your money on seeing come test day.

If those words are already in your mental lockbox, then great! Gain some more vocab ground by working on our GRE vocabulary flashcards. Try to learn 10 words a day. Don't try to learn them all — just think about adding a few more to your stock of knowledge. Remember to try to learn how these words are used in context. For more on this, see this help center article :)


Practice Questions

Next, do some practice questions. You should be practicing your pacing strategy when you do this, and you should focus on those questions types that you have struggled with the most. When you do these questions, be sure to do the following:


  1. Watch the explanation video and read the text explanation.
  2. Look up the words that you don't know or don't know well.
  3. Reread the text, question, and answer choices. Know the logic of the question well enough that you could explain it to someone else. 


Spending this much time on each question might seem wasteful. But studying in this way helps you to get the most out of each question. When you move quickly from one question to another, you're only testing what you already know — you aren't adding to your knowledge or skill set.



Practice Test

A couple of days before your exam, take a practice test. If possible, you don't want to go into test day never having done an entire practice test.


Rest Day

Save the day before your exam for resting. Your brain needs time to relax from all that studying in order to be functioning as well as possible on test day. Don't underestimate the value of a rest day!

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