How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

Written by Kelly Granson. Posted in GMAT Study Tips

If you have been scoring low in the verbal section practice test, then you need to devote special attention here. There are 3 basic question types in the verbal section:

  1. Reading comprehension
  2. Critical reasoning
  3. Sentence correction

The verbal section might be a little tricky at first, but if you get the grasp of it with proper practice, it will be a piece of cake. All you need is careful preparation and your GMAT score will be more than your expectations.

1. Reading comprehension

There are many quick tips and tricks that you might find in many books and websites, but nothing beats long term practice. So make sure you combine them both to get the maximum GMAT score. If you really want to get a high GMAT score in reading comprehension, go through some high caliber publications and journals like Business Week, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly and The Economist. Reading their content will improve your reading skills and GMAT passage reading will become much easier for you.

Apart from that, try to understand the exact nature of your weakness. If you have more trouble reading science related passages, start reading scientific journals. Practice more on grasping the essence of the passage, and then distinguishing between the varying perspectives that are present in it.

  • When you attempt to read the passage, your screen will be divided in two parts for easy viewing. This will make it easier to search for specific phrases in the comprehension. The quicker you find the required information in the passage, the better your GMAT score will be, so practice more on reading and understanding.
  • When you read the passage, make sure you understand its structure. This would help you locate the answers wherever they are present, and thus raise your GMAT score.

2. Critical reasoning

Boosting the GMAT verbal score requires strategic planning and focusing on specific parts of the verbal section. To begin with, you must know the definition of terms like inference, assumption, conclusion, evidence, paradox, logical flow etc. As you take practice tests, note down the words that you don't understand and then later look them up. Once you understand these common terms, you can understand the question quickly and don't have to spend a lot of time as the test goes on. This will help your GMAT score.

  • Learn to recognize structural parts of GMAT critical reasoning argument. This will help you answer those questions faster and will enhance your GMAT score a lot.
  • Don't be fooled by trick statements. When one argument concludes that a certain event caused another- going just by the evidence that two happened simultaneously- it is a common logical flaw. Practice a lot to avoid traps like these and learn to recognize most typical flaws contained in GMAT arguments.
  • Beware of opposite choices when selecting the option that weakens or strengthens the argument. This is most common in weaken questions as they will also give you an option that actually strengthens the argument. It would be there to tempt you and divert your attention. The brain assesses positive statements more easily than negative ones, and so it slips and selects the option that strengthens the argument instead of doing the opposite.

3. Sentence correction

Make an aggressive plan to get acquainted with grammar rules for higher GMAT score. Even if you have sound knowledge of grammar, you would have to study your verbal GMAT concepts again to clear this test. There are many questions that would require the active learning of rules, and not just going by your fundamental knowledge of sentence formation.

  • Follow the method of elimination when selecting the right answer for sentence correction. It is the easiest way and it will save you a lot of time. By the method of elimination, you can quickly eliminate the choices that alter the meaning of the sentence or are grammatically incorrect. This makes it easier for you to select the right option.
  • To undertake sentence correction, you must understand what the sentence means. If you find some kind of logical flaw, eliminate it. Use your common sense to eliminate flaws as it will help you a lot. Unless you understand the meaning of the sentence, it will not be easy to find the errors.

Follow these simple tips and see your GMAT score get higher with each GMAT practice test.

Good luck!


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