GMAT - Verbal Section Strategies

A little more than half of the multiple choice questions on the GMAT appear in the Verbal section. You'll have 75 minutes to answer 41 verbal questions in three formats : Reading Comprehension, Sentence Correction, and Critical Reasoning. These three types of questions are mingled throughout the verbal section. so you never know what's coming next. Here is what you can to see

GMAT - Preparation

Verbal Question Type Approximate Number of Questions
Critical Reasoning 12
Reading Comprehension 14
Sentence Correction 15
  Total : 41 questions in 75 minutes

Reading Comprehension

On the GMAT, expect to see three or four Reading Comprehension Passages- in areas of business, social science, and natural science - and a total of about 14 questions (approximately three to four questions for each passage) You'll see only one question at a time on the screen, however.

This tests your ability to read critically. Reading comprehension questions relate to a passage that is provided for you to read. The passage can be about almost anything, and the questions about it test how well you understand the passage and the information in it.

Test-taking Strategies for Reading Comprehension

  1. You should not expect to be completely familiar with any of the material presented in reading comprehension passages. You may find some passages easier to understand than others, but all passages are designed to present a challenge. If you have some familiarity with the material being presented in a passage, do not let this knowledge influence your choice of answers to the questions. Answer all questions on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage itself.
  2. Since the questions require specific and detailed understanding of the material in a passage, analyze each passage carefully the first time you read it. However, there are other ways of approaching reading comprehension passages; some test takers prefer to skim the passages the first time through or even to read the first question before reading the passage. You should choose the method most suitable for you.
  3. Focus on key words and phrases, and make every effort to avoid losing the sense of what is being discussed. Keep the following in mind:
    • Note how each fact relates to an idea or an argument.
    • Note where the passage moves from one idea to the next.
    • Separate main ideas from supporting ideas.
    • Determine what conclusions are reached and why.

Read the questions carefully, making certain that you understand what is being asked. An answer choice may be incorrect, even though it accurately restates information given in the passage, if it does not answer the question. If you need to, refer back to the passage for clarification.

  1. Read all the choices carefully, Never assume that you have selected the best answer without first reading all the choices.
  2. Select the choice that best answers the question in terms of the information given in the passage. Do not rely on out side knowledge of the material for answering the questions.
  3. Remember that understanding, not speed, is the critical factor in reading comprehension.
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Sentence Correction in GMAT

The sentence correction part of the exam tests your understanding of the basic rules of English grammar and usage. To succeed in this section, you need a command of sentence structure including tense and mood, subject and verb agreement, proper case, parallel structure, and other basics. No attempt is made to test for punctuation, spelling, or capitalization. In the sentence correction section you will be given sentences in which all or part of the sentence is underlined. You will then be asked to choose the best phrasing of the underlined part from five alternatives. (A) will always be the original phrasing.

Test-taking Strategies for Sentence Correction

  1. Read the entire sentence carefully. Try to understand the specific idea or relationship that the sentence should express.
  2. Since the part of the sentence that may be incorrect is underlined, concentrate on evaluating part for errors and possible corrections before reading the answer choices.
  3. Read each answer choice carefully. The first answer choice always repeats the underlined portion of the original sentence. Choose this answer if you think that the sentence is best as it stands, but only after examining all of the other choices.
  4. Try to determine how well each choice corrects whatever you consider wrong with the original sentence.
  5. Make sure that you evaluate the sentence and the choices in terms of general clarity, grammatical and idiomatic usage, economy and precision of language, and appropriateness of diction.
  6. Read the whole sentence, substituting the choice that you prefer for the underlined part. A choice may be wrong because it does not fit grammatically or structurally with the rest of the sentence. Remember that some sentences will require no corrections. The answer to such a sentence should be the first answer choice.
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Critical Reasoning

In these question you are to analyze the situation on which each question is based, and then select the answer choice that is the most appropriate response to the question. No specialized knowledge of any particular field is required for answering the questions, and no knowledge of the terminology and conventions of formal logic is presupposed. Each question or assumption has five possible answers. Your task is to evaluate each of the five possible choices and select the best one.

In these question you are to analyze the situation on which each question is based, and then select the answer choice that is the most appropriate response to the question. No specialized knowledge of any particular field is required for answering the questions, and no knowledge of the terminology and conventions of formal logic is presupposed.

Test-taking Strategies for Critical Reasoning

  1. The set of statements on which a question is based should be read very carefully, with close attention to such matters as (1) what is put forward as factual information, (2) what is not said but necessarily follows from what is said, (3) what is claimed to follow from facts that have been put forward, and (4) how well substantiated are any claims to the effect that a particular conclusion follows from the facts that have been put forward. In reading arguments, it is important to attend to the soundness of the reasoning employed; it is not necessary to make a judgment of the actual truth of anything that is put forward as factual information.
  2. If a question is based on an argument, be careful to identify clearly which part of the argument is its conclusion. The conclusion does not necessarily come at the end of the text of the argument; it may come somewhere in the middle, or it may even come at the beginning. Be alert to clues in the text that one of the statements made is not simply asserted but is said to follow logically from another statement or other statements in the text.
  3. It is important to determine exactly what the question is asking; in fact, you might find it helpful to read the question first, before reading the material on which it is based. For example, an argument may appear to detect that flaw; but the question may actually ask you to recognize the one among the answer choices that does NOT describe a weakness of the argument.
  4. Read all the answer choices carefully, You should not assume that a given answer is the best answer without first reading all the choices.
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