Lesson - Preparing for Critical Reading Questions

Preparing for Critical Reading Questions

Reading Passages

The test contains approximately 10 passages.  Most are one paragraph long.  One or two passages consist of several paragraphs.  Readings are drawn from the physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, business, arts and humanities and everyday topics.  Prior knowledge of the subject is not necessary.


Question Content

The following skills are addressed in the reading comprehension section:

  • understanding meaning of words and sentences
  • understanding meaning of paragraphs
  • distinguishing between minor and major points
  • summarizing
  • drawing conclusions
  • making inferences
  • understanding the structure of a text
  • identifying author's perspective, purpose and point of view
  • evaluating the author's argument
  • developing and considering alternative explanations


Question Types

1)  Standard multiple choice

Select a single correct answer.

2)  Multiple-Correct Answers

These questions provide three answer choices.  One, two or all three answer choices may be correct.  To receive credit, you must select all and only the correct responses.  There is no partial credit.

3)  Select a Sentence

You will need to click on the sentence in the passage that meets a certain description.  Clicking anywhere on the sentence in the passage will highlight it.

On longer passages, the question will apply only to one or two specified paragraphs, marked by an arrow.  Click only on the appropriate sentence in these marked areas.


General Tips

Read each passage and question carefully.  Read critically with attention to how ideas are developed, supported and related.  Practice answering sample reading comprehension questions before you take the GRE.



Always answer the questions based on the context provided in the passage.  You may or may not agree with what is written.  Be careful not to rely on outside information or knowledge when answering the questions.