How to Approach “Select One Choice” RC Questions on the GRE

The Revised GRE has changed its Reading Comprehension question format from simple multiple choice questions into three question types: Select One, Select One or More, and Select in Passage. Luckily, Select One questions are exactly like the former GRE RC questions, or any other RC format you may have seen from other exams such as the SAT or the GMAT. Here is how you should approach the Select One multiple choice reading questions on your GRE test day!

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1. Rephrase each answer choice. Put the question in your own words. If it’s an “Except” or “Not” question, reverse the wording of it so that it is clear to you.

2.Go back to the Scope of the passage. What is the author’s focus? What does he spend the majority of the time discussing? The correct answer will always be within the scope of the passage AND within the scope of the question itself. A “main idea” question must be broad enough to encompass every paragraph, but specific enough to relate to the author’s focus on the topic.

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3. Find the difference between the choices. If you have narrowed it down to two choices, ask yourself where the subtle differences lie. Does one choice use negative or extreme language? Does one choice contain weakeners like “could” or “would” or other qualifying language?

4. Select the one choice that best answers the question. For this “Select One Choice” only one will be correct. You can always recognize a “Select One Choice” question because it has more answer choices than the “Select One or More” type, which only has three options.

Ready to try a practice GRE question? Try this GRE reading comprehension question for more practice.