Many think that main thing between them and a higher GRE Verbal score is the vocab. In this podcast with Charles Bibilos, CEO and GMAT / GRE tutor at GMAT Ninja, Charles explains how vocab isn’t the problem, it’s your process when approaching the questions. He then shares how to attack GRE Verbal questions with a consistent process that not only will help you get a better score, but also minimizes the importance of the vocab.
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1.0s Welcome to GRE snacks and a couple episodes about the GRE exam in graduate school admission. I'm Tyler founder of achievable bar. GRE course, includes everything. You need to ace the GRE: full text book, tons of GRE questions back by our memory enhancing algorithm, and full length practice exams. Then you can try it out for free for a cheap about me. And if you liked it because podcast to get your 10% off $199 price at check out. Also, if you have any questions or a topic you'd like to discuss in a future episode would love to hear from you and you can contact me at Tyler at achievable.me. It started. So, today we have Charles be with us on the show. Again, Charles good to have you here. Do you mind just give me a quick intro on what you do? 45.3s Sir, Charles rental company called gmatninja about the name because we've actually been doing Jerry longer than we could do in GMAT. Also do LSAT and executive assessment and 2000-2001 be doing it more or less continuously. Since and yeah, lots of time spent in testing rooms and multiple perfect scores would sound a lot less impressive. As I say, how long it took me to get one. Hey, I think I didn't getting a pair of his school is always impressive right through today. That the topic at that was. So interesting is an Intex completion on the GRE verbal vocab isn't your problem and is your processor problems explained. 97.6s Free gas at the fun things, we hear all the time soon. So come in and say, Hey, Siri verbal scores, not where I wanted to be, and Harbor Park 7.5 points, 10 points away from my goal. And there is really bad, I don't know what to do about it. So so I spent an hour a day was with Jeri vocabulary, flash cards, and it seems like that's the answer. And for the overwhelming majority of students who don't put the first car that way, I don't waste your time memorizing, vocabulary. The biggest reason for that is that the mistakes we see that are really consequential, don't come from a single Cavallari, it comes from a bad process and what we see almost every single student walks in the door that we work with one-on-one. Almost every single student comes in the door and they they read before, the completion of the sentence quickly. And if they get to that blank, they start. 157.5s And they start rereading. The question, punching those words in it. I was like pretty much and it is such a sad. I want to make it sound like the GRE is out to get you because that is by, no means the intent. They're trying really, really careful to build a test that test you on certain skills. And yes, your vocabulary but your ability to kind of put together a sentence that the kind of matches the meaning of everything that's already in the sentence for you. But yeah kind of the trap in the set. How do you make these questions hard? How do you make technically since there's only two ways to do it one is sure. He can wrap up the the difficulty level of vocabulary until your eyes bleed. 206.2s But the other way is that, you, you provide answers choices to sound really, really nice in the immediate surroundings of the blank. But don't actually make sense given the context of the rest of the sentence for. So what we constantly questions to do and it's a really hard habit to develop especially if you've already practiced a ton of questions and you just been punching words in and see which one sounds best to have it. We try to get students to develop, is take a moment, read the sentence. Think about what's really going on in this sentence, what sounds really, really dumb. But almost everybody skip that step and think about what role does the plank play. And what are their part of the sentence is pointing at Red? Stop playing. So, for example, that plank might be something that has two, let's say, contradict something else in the sentence, it might have to agree with something. I might reinforce a point, somewhere else, in the sentence might be a synonym for something in the sentence. So, whatever that is really closely about it. And we don't let her students move on to look at the answer. Until they said the role of this blank is 266.2s Whatever that role is. This must contradict this other part and pray about it. Deeply. Yeah what are what are the rules if you don't mind just like doing a quick little side like what are the rules to look for? Yeah, that's so one way we can give the GRE some credit they can get creative with you suck. Sometimes you have things were, it's like, I've never quite seen anything where the role is exactly that. But in most cases, you're going to have at a small majority of cases, it's going to be it's going to contradict something else in the sentence. It's going to support something. It's going to Echo something, going to be some sort of synonym. It's going to deepen appointments, made. Usually those are the things. You typically see, maybe twenty or thirty percent of the time, maybe we'll find a way to get creative and it's doing something else, you can still put it down, you can still put it down to something and say what he hears, the trunk of the sentence that this is related to it, qualifies it in some way or what exactly does that 326.1s That was little more subtle but you should be able to point to something else in the sentence and say, okay. The blank is going to perform some sort of function in relation to this other piece of the sentence. 340.2s So the question is like it, when you say the students will usually say, okay, that. That's how straightforward enough and they practice it, and sometimes they, they really old habits, and sometimes they get it right away. But the fact we typically get his. Yeah, but they're still works. I don't know. And unless your vocabulary is absolutely incredible. Give me the case for you, right? Yeah. I mean, the GRE vocab list is like, what? 1500 2500 realistically, it's, it's mostly something you'll never ever see again, and that's exactly it. So, yes, well, you're all else being equal. So if you give me two different Jerry test takers and the reading skills are equally strong and their their their process approach to text completion and Sensibility Equus out there doing exactly what we trying to do. You have one of the better vocabulary than the other one is a better vocabulary should do better right all else being equal. Another reason why we still 399.1s Even the vocabulary matters not saying it doesn't but the reason why we almost never tell students to study vocabulary really is is to fold. One, is that that list of vocabulary words whatever we could be anywhere in the English language? On your theory, write a game. We compiled lists many copies of the Palace of hard vocabulary, words every questions and you end up with something like a thousand or fifteen hundred and two thousand words, how many of those are you going to memorize? How long is going to take you to memorize those? If you do, memorize them, what are the odds? You see them, did you memorize it? And you happen to see it. What are the odds that you understand the definition? Well enough to use it in context? 442.1s So that's problem. Number one is, it's just this mountain of stuff. And when you think about the opportunity cost, what else you could do with that time, it would be much more effective for even trying to cram as much with vocabulary words. It's not a winning strategy for most people actually turns out that. So we're burning up. What's the best way to do it? You just memorize from Hollister to do something else. For example, and look up a word. We don't know how to figure it out from contacts, but it turns out when you just sit there and you memorize definition, it doesn't stick. Your vocabulary can actually go down. There is a study done on that. Jesus were trying to learn English and they gave him four or five different vocabulary learning strategies in the one that performed by far the worst. The recovery is actually declined. Over time was the group that sat there and just memorized off of Flash 502.1s Because it's not how our brains work. It doesn't help. Create durable. Working memory of any, see it in context, you might just seen that word before. But can you do anything productive with it? The answer generally is not really, which is why we say to people to waste of time. The one big exception is, if we have a student who I just didn't years ago, her Quan skills were really weak, she needed months and months of work on them. She had a Bissell processing disorder where it was hard for her to get Quant to stick. She was a strong reader, but it's over and over and over again. And we knew that she knew that from the start. When you should be setting for 6 months for the GRE and I said, well, hey, if you're commuting by bus or train or something, 545.5s Couldn't sit there with your vocabulary app on your phone because why not study time at the grocery store and knock yourself out. But if it's going to crowd out other time, you would spend sending something more productive. It's not worth it. Yeah, so then you mentioned, especially the next part of the state than rides vocabulary. Isn't the problem? It's your process. Rights are, what are the common process mistakes people make with the text completion sentence? Equivalence question types, and it or like, alternatively, kind of what process do you recommend or maybe both? 581.9s Yeah, the biggest thing is they just go off of here is the most common mistake we see from people who were just rolling in starting to ring with us. They the galaxy has cried a little bit earlier. The read the sentence start punching words in from the answer choices and go with one that sounds best or feels best in context. That's the biggest crime that we see the second one that you see in general and quite verbal. And this is a I think a broader issue 177 about time that they just don't read anything very well. But that's a more General issue than to text completion, attendance equivalent for that overall problem. 623.1s Is spend more time on the scented. Don't look at the answer choices. Spend more time on the sentence than you think you need, and you should be able to form a very, very clear sentence, write it down, or keep it in your head, doesn't matter to me. Whatever works best for you is a student but you should before you to look at the interest be able to say is this the roll, this blank plays is this relative to some specific excerpt of the sentence. You should be able to underline a person, the sentence, the computer screen for the theory of the sentence and say the blank does this in relation to that piece of the sentence. If you do that every single time you might get beat by a question that has two or three really hard words that you don't understand. But you're going to maximize your eyes, you're not going to be yourself. You're not going to fall into a trap, if we want to call it that and if you do know, all of the words are all. But one of the words better still 676.6s You're going to get the question, right? Every time you can do that effectively, right? Yeah. Cuz process of elimination. I mean do you feel like it's any value in? Like imagining what the word like would be? Like a very simple word like if it like you're like a bad good like like you're just putting some placeholder in the butt in the blank in your head. Before you go to dancers choice that a trick or a trap or is that a good idea all of the subtlety of those questions. And what are things that I think a lot of our students are tired of hearing you say, is that these beasts are as testing companies? They spend thousands of dollars developing every individual card test question, the amount of testing and editing and data collection that happens on these. This is a so absolutely astronomical fees are very, very carefully crafted questions and I have all sorts of beasts with the GRE week. We can drag them to the things they do that. I don't think her great. 736.6s But the questions are very, very carefully constructed. There's one of me wants to them. And if it was that easy that you could just say well in the blank goes, a bad word, or a positive word or a negative word. 748.4s That's probably not a question that's going to cost $3,000 to develop read it until we see that backfired and they're very very few words out there. Where were simple? Tricks bad versus good positive versus negative. 764.4s Really help you much. How many words in the English language are negative? Plenty of them but the vast majority words are neither negative nor positive. And if you keep yourself anticipating something and going how does a positive thing that goes in here? You're going to start hallucinating meetings in the answer choices and you're going to find an answer choice that that you think is positive. When it really has nothing to do with the rest of the context of the sentence. Okay. Yeah, so really is focusing on the contacts and what that word is going to be doing in the sentence and anticipation tends to hurt you. If you think of a word that should go there, then it becomes a lot harder to psychologically to do to relieve the other choices that are there and really think about what exactly do they mean? And what exactly did they do to this sentence? Because you're jacked up about putting in the thing that is most like the thing you imagined, and there might be a whole ton of different words that could work in the sentence and if you've anticipated one it's actually a little bit more, more likely that you're going to fall into some sort of trap because you're 824.5s Looking for something that conforms to your expectation instead of taking the the three or five and two choices or six a trace. If they give you and picking the one or in the case of sentence equivalence the to answer Choice instead create a perfectly reasonable sentence. 841.4s Yeah, that is always the key is the creative perfectly reasonable sentence. I think it's a really good way of putting it. 849.2s I will great. This is Ben GRE snacks hosted by Tyler, from achievable with Charles, Charles Biblia us from gmatninja joining us today, you can try argyria achievable GRE course for free at achievable.me and you use the code podcast to get 10% off at checkout.