Are You Worried About the GMAT Verbal Section?

Some students may worry about the GMAT verbal section, but there are many ways to prepare. The best way to overcome worry is to better understand GMAT verbal questions. There are a total of 41 questions and test-takers have 75 minutes to answer those questions. There are three types of GMAT verbal questions: sentence correction, reading comprehension and critical reasoning.

Sentence correction questions require general grammar knowledge and make up 17 of the overall questions on the verbal section. For this question type, students are presented with a sentence and a portion of that sentence will be underlined. The students will then have to select the most grammatically logical choice from the five options. Here is an example:

After winning the chess tournament, Sharon’s friends were proud of her and Sharon was proud of herself.

(A) Sharon’s friends were proud of her and Sharon was proud of herself.
(B) Sharon was proud of herself and her friends were proud of her as well.
(C) Sharon’s friends were proud of her and Sharon is proud of herself
(D) Sharon was proud of herself and her friends are proud of her as well.
(E) Sharon was proud of herself and her friend is proud of her as well.

(Answer: B)

Reading comprehension questions make up 13 of the GMAT verbal questions. There will be four passages, followed by several questions about each passage. Students will be tested on how well they can read and understand the passage and make inferences from the information provided. Examples of questions include:

  • What is the author’s main point?
  • How would you characterize the author’s tone?
  • What is the relationship between the second and third paragraph?
  • Why did the second study reveal the results it did?
  • What is an inference you can make from the results of the study?

The final question type on GMAT verbal is critical reasoning, which makes up 11 of the questions. These questions present students with arguments, and they will have to analyze those arguments and answer questions about them. Examples of those questions include:

  • What is an assumption on which the argument depends?
  • Which of the following would strengthen the argument?
  • What is a flaw in the argument?
  • If the above is true, which of the following is also true?

Preparing for this section involves learning basic grammar and strategies, but the bulk of the preparation should be practice. Unlike the quant section, GMAT verbal is much less about content and more about learning strategies and how to implement them successfully.

The scoring on the GMAT verbal section is on a scale of 0-60 in whole-point increments. This score is also used to create the students’ overall score, which is made up of both the verbal and quantitative scores. Once students fully understand the verbal section and how to prepare for it, they should have fewer worries about taking the GMAT.

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