Develop Verbal Skills for the GRE

Even a reading-intensive undergraduate experience doesn’t guarantee you’ll do well on the GRE Verbal. To improve your score, you’ll need to systematically build vocabulary, sentence syntax skills, and logical reasoning.

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How does the course build vocabulary?

As always, using the fruit of cognitive science. You’ll learn how to fold words into long-term memory, how to make them easily accessible once they’re there, and how to deconstruct words you’ve never before seen – all as efficiently as humanly possible.

After this, you’ll laugh at the way most people cram GRE vocab.

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Can you really improve reading ability?

Yes.  Reading is a complex skill, but like any other skill it can be built by expert practice.

I love – love – teaching reading. And I love showing you how to quickly and confidently read the GRE’s convoluted texts.

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How does that work?

The secret: breaking things down. People routinely stumble through the wordiness of academic writing.  But I can train you to simplify those sentences into subject-verb pairs an 8th grader could read.

Try reading the following sentence aloud – extra points if you do it in a single breath:

“Yet one more meticulous case in point for such well-established propositions as that ancestor worship supports the jural authority of elders, that initiation rites are means for the establishment of sexual identity and adult status, that ritual groupings reflect political oppositions, or that myths provide characters for social institutions and rationalizations of social privilege, may well finally convince a great many people, both inside the profession and out, that anthropologists are, like theologians, firmly dedicated to proving the indubitable.”

After a few days of practice, you’ll be able to – without stress – simplify and understand it:

Yet one more meticulous example for such well-established propositions as that ancestor worship supports the jural authority of elders, that initiation rites are means for the establishment of sexual identity and adult status, that ritual groupings reflect political oppositions, or that myths provide characters for social institutions and rationalizations of social privilege, may well finally convince a great many people, both inside the profession and out, that anthropologists are, like theologians, firmly dedicated to proving the undoubtable.

All GRE passages can be broken down like this.  Impossible text becomes possible, and difficult text becomes easy.

And I’ll train you in more tools of close, analytical reading – you’ll learn to trace back pronoun antecedents, find major ideas with conjunctive adverbs, and boil down whole passages to a few sentences.

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What about the Sentence Completions, Analogies, and Antonyms?

In addition to amassing vocabulary, you’ll master the heuristics (problem-solving formulas) for each test section.  Again, we’ll use the findings of cognitive science: you won’t just hear about these methods, you’ll learn them thoroughly, and will be able to expertly employ them at a moment’s notice.

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Might any of this be useful for graduate school?

Yes!  The GRE Verbal predicts reading performance in grad school, so the systematic development of advanced literacy will help you with the terrible prose you’ll have to read as an MA or PhD candidate.  Much of what you’ll learn here comes from a course I taught at UW (in the Comparative History of Ideas Department), of which one Honors student wrote, “I wish I had taken this course as a freshman – it would have changed the entire course of my undergraduate education.”

Interested?  Have questionsContact me for a free consultation, where I can demonstrate and explain these skills in person.

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