GMAT Verbal Section

Written by Kelly Granson. Posted in GMAT Study Guide

GMAT Verbal Section

The Verbal section of the GMAT consists of 41 multiple choice questions and you will have a total of 75 minutes to answer them. When dealing with the Verbal section you will see questions of three types:

  • Sentence Correction
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Reading Comprehension

Verbal GMAT questions of different type can come in any order and you will never know what to expect next. However, you will probably see approximately 12 Critical Reasoning, 13 Reading Comprehension, and 16 Sentence Correction questions.

Look for the "Best" Answer

Unlike math questions where there is only one answer choice which makes sense, in some verbal GMAT questions there can be several answer choices which seem to be right. However, there is still only one correct answer. You have to either eliminate the answer choices that have a certain weakness or choose the one which directly addresses the problem at hand and fully answers the question asked.

Unlike the Quantitative section of the GMAT where you work primarily on finding the correct answer and it does not really matter why the wrong answers are wrong, knowing how to spot typical wrong answers in the Verbal section can help you greatly. Therefore, when answering a practice problem, even if you know the correct answer and know why it is correct, try to see why the wrong answer choices are wrong. This will help you to prove that the answer choice you picked is the best one. Furthermore, for most GMAT verbal questions you can pick the correct answer choice without knowing for sure that it is correct but by knowing that all the other choices are wrong. Nevertheless, don't forget to look at the one choice remaining since it is possible that it has a serious flaw and you have mistakenly eliminated the correct answer.

In this case look back and check the other choices again. It's best to take your time the first time you look at a question so that you don't have to go back and do the same job again. In addition, if you start looking at answer choices and see that choice A does the trick, you still have to read the remaining choices, as it is possible that one of them does the trick even better. Don't forget that in verbal GMAT questions you are to find THE BEST answer choice.

Your Approach to GMAT Verbal Questions

  • GMAT Study. Some of the questions you will meet in the GMAT Verbal section are quite hard and require knowledge of specific fields which you may not be acquainted with. There are certain elimination strategies which can increase your chances when guessing but these alone will not ensure your success and getting a high score is impossible without learning theoretical material and peculiarities of question types.
  • GMAT Practice. Knowing the theory is necessary but not sufficient. Since some verbal GMAT questions, especially Critical Reasoning questions, are very specific, it is best that you answer as many practice questions as possible. This will not only help you learn how to apply your knowledge on real GMAT problems but will also point out your weak places.
  • Be Critical. After you have completed a set of practice problems don't hesitate to review the GMAT study material on the questions that you got wrong or the ones that you answered correctly but only because of a lucky guess. Don't get frustrated by getting a question wrong, it's actually good that you came across this question during your practice and not during the test. This way you have an opportunity to review the related material, so that when you come across a question which has the same logic or tests the same concept on the test day, you will know how to attack it. Don't guess randomly, evaluate answer choices and eliminate the wrong ones. If you cannot do this, carefully read the explanation and try to understand not only why the correct answer is correct but also why the wrong answers are wrong and how you could have eliminated them.
 
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