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GRE: Strategies for Verbal Analogies
Top Careers & You
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December 21, 2007

Verbal analogies are a fundamental constituent of the GRE - Computer Adaptive Test. Verbal analogies, together with antonyms, are perceived as the most troublesome sub-sections of the GRE Verbal Reasoning section.

The exact duration of one's preparation for GRE is largely reflected by one's existing level of expertise in vocabulary. Hence, it becomes important to know what it takes to score high in the vocabulary-rich department of the GRE.

Experts from TCYonline have identified and suggested some strategies to approach the analogies in GRE. These techniques, if practiced extensively, can really help test-takers set up a good score in the first half of the verbal reasoning module of the test, which usually carries antonyms and analogies. Reading comprehension generally comes after 4-5 questions.

Here are the recommendations:

~ Making the bridge: The test takers must understand that in verbal analogies, the meaning of a word is definitely important, but only to a limited extent. What is more important is the relationship between them. The first step is to identify the relationship between the stem words (the two words in the Question Statement) and verbalise it by using both of them in a sentence.

~ Narrowing the bridge: Most times in GRE verbal, only the first step is not sufficient. The choices are close and relationship trickier; thus demanding a more in-depth and narrow statement using the stem words so that most of (if not all) the answer choices are eliminated. One has to narrow down the bridge unless all the options except one are eliminated.

~ Grammatical Structure: Occasionally, students may be guided simply by working out either the grammatical structure of the stem words (whether it is a noun, a verb, an adverb or an adjective) or its actual essence (whether it's a positive word or a negative one). Thus, the answer choice that closely resembles the above pattern can be the right answer.

Strategies do not help much unless they are supplemented with exhaustive practice. Hence, in association with TCYonline presents 15 practice questions on GRE verbal analogies. Try them to test your understanding of strategies given above. A link to the solutions and explanations to these 15 questions is given below.

Cavalcade : Ceremony
(A) Camel : Desert              (B) Crowd : People             (C) Ship : Nautical
(D) Caravan : Protection      (E) Cascade : Plummet

Fry : Fish
(A) Cook : Barbecue                  (B) Gobble : Turkey             (C) Steak : Lamb
(D) Roast : Fire                         (E) Nymph : Silverfish

Adult : Teenager
(A) Structure : Building            (B) Foal : Horse                  (C) Writing : Draft
(D) Poem : Rhythm                 (E) Couple : Pair

Preen : Pride
(A) Wave : Water               (B) Lament : Grief               (C) Beauty : Vanity
(D) Nudge : Mock               (E) Incubate : Nurture

Outmanoeuvre : Strategy
(A) Bait : Lion                           (B) Competition : Product          (C) Media : Entertain
(D) Lure : Decoy                       (E) Entice : Tempt

Moratorium : Payment
(A) Fraud : Embezzlement            (B) Reprieve : Punishment            (C) Flush : Anger
(D) Imagination : Figment              (E) Retort : Insolent

Teller : Cash
(A) Vendor : Sell                   (B) Vigour : Energy             (C) Litter : Damage
(D) Shoe : Cards                  (E) Sole : Single

Alluvium : River
(A) Precipitate : Solution           (B) Metal : Alloy                 (C) Medley : Song
(D) Bed : Ocean                       (E) Dyke : Dam

Lunge : Attack
(A) Plunge : Fall                   (B) Feint : Deceive              (C) Comatose : Aware
(D) Jeer : Anger                    (E) Norm : Rule

Acronym : Brevity
(A) Gift : Wrap                         (B) Mnemonic : Memory            (C) Key : Code
(D) Enzyme : Solution             (E) Proverb : Trite

Apocryphal : Authenticity
(A) Structure : Height              (B) Fallacious : Logic                (C) Conscious : Aware
(D) Predator : Prey                 (E) Highway : Speed

Aphorism : Terse
(A) Draught : Game               (B) Malign : Meagre             (C) Holistic : Cycle
(D)  Salubrious : pleasant       (E)  Eulogy : Praise

Potable : Drink
(A) Aerated : Gas                  (B) Serrated : Smooth          (C) Glabrous : Hair
(D) Compatable : Taste          (E) Comestible : Food

Minuscule : Script
(A) Chaff : Waste               (B) Hieroglyph : Picture            (C) Cipher : Digit
D) Cryptic : Code              (E) Drizzle : Light

Muster : Gather
(A) Divide : Unite                (B) Echo : Sound                 (C) : Song : Music
(D) Collate : Order              (E) Incongruous : Asymmetrical

Top Careers & You has been preparing national and international candidates for high-end tests viz. MBA, MCA, GRE, GMAT and SAT since 1998.

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