The Verbal section of the GMAT contains 41 multiple-choice questions, and you will have 75 minutes to complete this portion of the exam. It’s about your ability to read, comprehend, and analyze written material, as well as your ability to revise incorrectly written material in order to effectively and accurately communicate facts and concepts in properly written English. Theoretically, scores on Verbal range from 0 to 60, but GMAC only reports scores of between 11 and 51 to schools.
Sentence correction questions are pretty clear cut in concept. You will be shown a sentence and asked to determine if it’s written correctly or incorrectly. If you decide that it’s written incorrectly, you will then select the answer choice which shows it written correctly. Make no mistake, however; these problems will go far beyond basic questions about the right verb tense, the correct possessive pronoun, or subject/verb agreement. While they may not be as difficult as the other question types in Verbal, they will still be very challenging.
Critical reasoning questions will measure your abilities at making or evaluating argument, and making or evaluating a course of action. They are essentially a test of your logic and reasoning skills. Many people who take the GMAT consider these to be the hardest types of questions on the Verbal section.
On reading comprehension questions, you will be shown a passage that can be anywhere from a few sentences to several paragraphs in length. Subject matter will usually be wide-ranging, and will include topics in areas such as business, the hard sciences, the social sciences, and history. Questions will involve inference, interpretation, and application. They will measure your vocabulary and reading skill, as well as your abilities in such tasks as understanding logical relationships between facts and/or concepts discussed, making logical inferences based on the text, comprehending quantitative material in text, and recognizing the author’s perspective and main points.
In addition to the fact that much of the material in the Verbal section is quite difficult, there’s also the time factor. If the Verbal test were not timed, doing well on it would still be a serious challenge, but having to answer 41 questions of this level of difficulty in only 75 minutes makes it that much harder. Many people will struggle to complete all the questions in the allotted time, and some won’t be able to answer them all without guessing. There’s no penalty for wrong answers, so it’s far better to guess than to leave a question blank. Pace yourself, and if you find yourself running short of time, make the adjustments you need to in order to have time to select an answer for every question. Keep in mind that due to the computer-adaptive nature of the GMAT, you won’t be able to move ahead until you’ve selected an answer for your current question, and you won’t be able to go back and change answers.
Verbal Section Skills – Critical Reasoning
Verbal Section Testing Tips – Critical Reasoning
Verbal Section Skills – Reading Comprehension
Verbal Section Testing Tips – Reading Comprehension
Verbal Section Skills – Grammar and Sentence Structure
Verbal Section Testing Tips – Grammar and Sentence Structure
General Testing Tips – Verbal and Quantitative Sections
Verbal Sample Questions