As a test taker, it is important to understand how the test works. In the test, you would have two verbal sections and two quantitative sections which would be scored. If you are taking a computer delivered GRE test which is the case mostly, then both verbal and quantitative sections will be adaptive in nature.
Section Adaptive means that the level of difficulty of the second verbal (or second quantitative) section depends on how you perform on the first verbal (or first quantitative) section.
The first section contains medium-difficult questions. The level of difficulty of the questions in the second section can be easy, medium, or difficult depending on the number of questions you answered correctly in the first section. Suppose you got 19 questions correct out of 20 questions in the first verbal section, then the second verbal section would contain more challenging questions than a person who may have got only 10 questions correct out of 20 questions in the first verbal section. Therefore, it is important to perform well on the first section (verbal and quantitative) to attain the level of difficulty in the test. This is because your GRE score partially depends on the level of difficulty attained in the test.
The test is scored on a scale of 260-340. Verbal and quantitative sections would be scored on a scale of 130-170 each. Since verbal and quantitative sections both have 40 questions each, one may assume that the final score is just 130+ the number of questions answered correctly. But that is not the case.
Adaptive nature of the test allows more differentiation between the scores of the test takers. Let us understand this with an example.
|Cases||Correct answers (first v/q section)||Correct answers (second v/q section)||Total number of questions correct|
Suppose in case 1, a test taker gets 18 questions correct in the first section, and gets 12 questions correct in the second section. At the same time, in case 2 a test taker gets 12 questions correct in the first section and 18 questions correct in the second section. In both cases the total number of questions correct is the same i.e. 30 out of 40. But will the score be the same or different?
The score will be different because the level of difficulty attained in the two cases is different. Also, the test taker in case 1 would get a slightly higher score than the one in case 2 because test taker in case 1 faced more challenging questions in the test.
So, understand the nature of the test and accordingly create a strategy for yourself to get a higher score.
All the best!