Split into three sections (Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction) the Verbal part of the GMAT is designed to test participants’ understanding of the English language.
In order to prepare effectively for the Verbal section of the GMAT, participants first need to understand what will be asked of them.
Throughout this section of the test, test-takers will be expected to answer questions that prove their ability to read and comprehend written text, analyze and compare contrasting arguments or opinions, and correct errors in bodies of text.
With a total of 41 questions, and 75 minutes in which to answer them, students will be presented with a mix of the three question types. The difficulty will vary according to the test-takers ability, determined through the GMAT’s Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) format.
Like the other two sections of the GMAT, familiarity with the differing question types is the key to any successful preparation strategy. The most effective method of familiarizing yourself with the question types is by practicing with free sample GMAT questions.
In the reading comprehension questions of the GMAT Verbal section, participants will be presented with a body of text, and questions relating to that text. While the text is usually presented first, to the left of the question, it can be advisable to read the question prior reading the text.
This way, test-takers can keep the question in mind as they asses the text, which can save them valuable time in not having to re-read the text multiple times. Instead, the area of text which the question refers to can be pinpointed, and focused upon in selecting the correct answer.
Similar to the Reading Comprehension style of questions, Critical Reasoning questions have a body of text, a question and a set of multiple choice answers.
However, in the Critical Reasoning questions, test-takers are expected to be able to prove their understanding of an argument presented in the text by highlighting its faults, selecting an appropriate conclusion, or even recognizing an opposing view.
In order to score highly in this section, it can often help to try and formulate an answer for the question before reading the multiple choice options. This way, it is less likely that you will be confused by the purposefully confusing nature of the question and answers.
Sentence Correction questions give the test-taker an example sentence which may, or may not be grammatically correct. Then, a set of alternative sentences are presented, where only one will be entirely grammatically correct. It is the participant’s job to select the correct sentence.
The first of the ‘alternative’ sentence options is always the same as the example sentence given in the question. Therefore, valuable time can easily be saved by not re-reading this sentence option.
It is also possible that some alternative sentences can contain more than one mistake, or correct a previous mistake, but contain a differing one. It is also possible that one or more of the sentence option may have a differing meaning to the original, although it could be grammatically correct. All test-takers need to be aware of the possible errors, so that they are able to select the correct answer without spending too long on the Verbal section of the GMAT.