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Sentence Equivalence Help


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I have been studying and taking practice tests for about 2 months now. I've noticed that my main problem is the sentence equivalence section. I'm sitting around 50% on that section and it is really dragging my score down. Does anyone have a good way to increase that score, other than just studying vocabulary?

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In addition to the great advice above, be very very careful with conjunctions and other important words that change the "direction" of the meaning. In practice tests, I lost a lot of points because I missed a "but" or a "yet" etc. Take your time :)

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Here's our general strategy: 

  1. Read the entire sentence to understand the big picture. In other words, what idea is the sentence expressing?
  2. If the sentence is quite long or complex, try to paraphrase the main idea to yourself.
  3. As you’re reading the sentence, be sure to identify words/phrases that provide context for the blank. In particular, pay very close attention to descriptive words/phrases and relationship words.  
  4. Once you’ve identified key words and phrases that provide context for the missing word, predict a word that fits the blank. More importantly, be sure to make this prediction before checking  the answer choices. If you don’t make this prediction first, you will waste time trying to verify whether or not each answer choice completes the sentence


Brent - Greenlight Test Prep

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Hi history_geek,


Beyond having vocabulary knowledge, Sentence Equivalencies require an ability to spot the 'clues' in the sentence and in the answer choices. Since a strong vocabulary IS a component in picking up these points, you will have to put some time into learning GRE vocabulary.


When it comes to improving that vocabulary, there are some methods that are more effective than others. The "bare bones" approach is just to memorize word lists, but that can be tedious and time-consuming. Since the GRE is predictable, the vocabulary 'lists' are defined and you can focus on the words that are more likely to appear. The EMPOWERgre Course includes a series of multi-media Vocabulary Modules that will help you to learn those words in the most efficient and effective ways possible. You can work through a sample Module here:




GRE Masters aren't born, they're made,


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