How to Prepare for the GRE Literature

GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) is a standardised test which is compulsory to take in order to get admission is a graduate programme. There are basically two types of GRE tests. First is GRE General Test in which reasoning, verbal and quantitative abilities of an individual are measured. Second is GRE Subject Test which measures an individual’s ability related to a particular subject for instance, GRE Chemistry, GRE Biology, GRE Mathematics or GRE Management.

GRE Literature is a subject test in which your knowledge about history about literature, grammar and literary theory is tested. It is one of the toughest standardised tests and you will have to work really hard in it to get admission in a good university. Furthermore, you have to keep in mind that the time is very limited in the test. Therefore, you have to be prudent, efficient and effective in your study.


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    First of all, you have to flourish your grammar skills. You can take help of a book to learn or revise your grammar. You will have to practice a lot in order to make eliminate your grammatical mistakes. Besides, you should be able to identify grammatical errors in a sentence efficiently. If you don’t like to study from a book, you can take lessons online. There are many websites on the internet which can help you in improving your grammar. Furthermore, you can also give online quizzes to test your English grammar skills.

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    It is extremely important for you to learn as much literary terms as possible. You can use "A Glossary of Literary Terms" by M.H. Abrams to learn literary terms. After learning the important terms, you will be able to identify the errors very quickly.

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    You have to keep reading the work of different authors and poets in order to become well acquainted with the literature and the use of terms. Some of the recommended readings include King Lear of Shakespeare, Paradise Lost by John Milton, Canterbury Tales by Chaucer, Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope, Gulliver's Travels by Swift, and The Odyssey by Homer.

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    You must buy an anthology of English literature so as to familiarise yourself with the work of authors because of the questions in GRE Literature tests come from it.

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    You should also learn the famous lines and passages from the Bible as many questions can be asked about them.

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