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GRE Passages: Long vs. Short
The reading comprehension section is one of the most challenging parts of the GRE. This section consists of long and short passages, each with its unique challenges. This blog will discuss improving the short passages vs. the long ones on the GRE.
Short passages are typically around 150-200 words and are easier to read and comprehend. However, they are sometimes easier to answer. Here are some tips to help you improve your performance on short passages:
- Read the question first if there is only one question associated with the short passage: Before reading the passage, read the question. This will help you focus on what information you need to look for in the passage.
- Identify the main idea: Quickly identify the main idea of the passage. This will give you a good understanding of what the passage is about and help you answer the questions more accurately.
- Skim the passage: After identifying the main idea, skim the passage to understand the author’s argument and the evidence they use to support it.
- Read carefully: Once you have a sense of the author’s argument, read the passage carefully. Pay attention to details such as dates, names, and statistics.
- Eliminate wrong answer choices: Finally, eliminate any answer choices that are obviously incorrect. This will increase your chances of selecting the correct answer.
Long passages are typically around 400-500 words and require a different approach than short passages. Here are some tips to help you improve your performance on long passages:
- Skim the passage: Skimming the passage can help you get a sense of the author’s argument and the main points they make.
- Identify the structure: Long passages often have a clear structure, such as an introduction, body, and conclusion. Identifying the structure can help you understand the author’s argument and follow the flow of the passage.
- Take notes: As you read the passage, note the main points and arguments. This will help you remember important details and stay focused.
- Look for context clues: Long passages often contain context clues that can help you understand unfamiliar words or phrases. Look for clues such as synonyms or antonyms to help you determine unfamiliar words’ meanings.
- Practice: Finally, practicing is the best way to improve your performance on long passages. Try to read a variety of long passages, such as academic articles, and practice taking notes and answering questions.
While short and long passages require different approaches, they have some similarities. Here are some tips that apply to both short and long passages:
- Pay attention to the author’s tone: The author’s tone can give you clues about their argument and help you answer questions more accurately.
- Look for supporting evidence: Look for evidence that supports the author’s argument. This will help you answer questions about the author’s perspective.
- Eliminate wrong answer choices: As mentioned earlier, eliminating wrong answer choices can help you select the correct answer.
In conclusion, improving your performance on short and long passages on the GRE requires different approaches. For short passages, it is essential to read the question first if there’s just one associated question, identify the main idea, and eliminate wrong answer choices. For long passages, it is important to skim the passage, take notes, and look for context clues. However, there are some similarities between short and long passages, such as paying attention to the author’s tone and looking for supporting evidence. With practice and these tips in mind, you can improve your performance on both short and long passages on the GRE.