GMAT Verbal Questions: Ace Your Exam with Top Strategies


Conquering the verbal section of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a vital endeavor for any prospective business student. It’s a significant part of the exam that tests your ability to think critically and communicate effectively in English. Success in this area can greatly boost your overall GMAT score, which is a key factor in business school admissions.

In this detailed guide to GMAT verbal questions, we will examine the types of questions you will face, such as Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction. We will also share strategies to help you handle these questions with confidence and skill.

First, we’ll look at the makeup of the GMAT verbal section, explore how it’s scored, and discuss time management techniques that can help you get the best possible result within the exam’s time limit.

The Structure of GMAT Verbal Section

Question Types and Format

Within the 65 minutes allotted for the GMAT verbal section, you’ll tackle 36 multiple-choice questions. These fall into three main types:

  • Reading Comprehension: Tests your ability to understand and analyze written material.
  • Critical Reasoning: Assesses how well you can evaluate arguments and make decisions based on information provided.
  • Sentence Correction: Measures your command of English grammar, usage, and style.

Scoring Mechanism

Scores for the verbal section range from 6 to 51, increasing in one-point increments. The scoring considers the number of questions you answer correctly, the difficulty level of those questions, and the range of skills they test. The test uses a computer-adaptive format, which means the question difficulty changes based on your performance as you proceed through the exam.

Time Management Tips

Managing your time is key when facing GMAT verbal questions. Effective strategies include:

  • Allocating roughly 1-2 minutes per Sentence Correction question, each Critical Reasoning question should take about 1.5-3 minutes, and Reading Comprehension passages should be given about 6-8 minutes, including their questions.
  • Practicing in a timed setting to improve speed and efficiency.
  • Skipping time-consuming questions and making educated guesses when necessary.
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Reading Comprehension Strategies

Understanding Passage Themes

For success in Reading Comprehension, it’s vital to identify the central idea and theme of each passage. You should:

  • Quickly skim the passage to get a sense of the context before diving into the questions.
  • Focus on the first and last sentences of paragraphs, as these often contain the main points.
  • Keep a mental outline of the passage’s structure to find information quickly when you need it.

Making Inferences and Predictions

GMAT Reading Comprehension also requires you to make inferences—logical conclusions based on passage details. To improve at this, you should:

  • Read between the lines to understand what the text suggests, even if it’s not directly stated.
  • Predict what the author might say next, using clues from the existing text.
  • Be on the lookout for words or phrases that hint at further implications or conclusions.

Dealing with Technical Passages

Technical passages can be intimidating because of their specialized language and concepts. To handle them better:

  • Concentrate on how the passage is organized and how ideas are connected, rather than getting stuck on unfamiliar terms.
  • Take notes or underline important technical terms and their context within the passage.
  • Use any background knowledge you have, but rely mainly on the information given in the passage.

Mastering Critical Reasoning

Identifying Argument Parts

Knowing the structure of arguments is crucial for tackling GMAT verbal questions on Critical Reasoning. Focus on:

  • The conclusion, which is what the argument is trying to prove.
  • The premises, which are the reasons given to support the conclusion.
  • The assumptions, which are beliefs that must be true for the premises to lead to the conclusion.

Strengthening and Weakening Arguments

Some Critical Reasoning questions will ask you to make an argument stronger or weaker. Approaches for these questions include:

  • Spotting vulnerabilities in the argument or thinking of potential objections.
  • Looking for answer choices that either make the connection between premises and conclusion more solid or introduce new information that challenges the argument’s validity.

Common Logical Fallacies

Being able to identify logical fallacies is another key skill for Critical Reasoning. Watch out for common ones like:

  • Circular reasoning: When the argument’s conclusion is just a rephrased premise.
  • False cause: Assuming cause and effect just because two things happen in sequence.
  • Hasty generalization: Making a broad conclusion from a small or biased sample.
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Enhancing Your Sentence Correction Skills

Grammar and Syntax Rules

Doing well in Sentence Correction means having a strong command of English grammar and syntax. Focus on mastering:

  • Subject-verb agreement, verb tenses, modifiers, and parallel structure.
  • The way punctuation can affect meaning and sentence structure.
  • Common idiomatic expressions that the GMAT often tests.

Common Errors to Avoid

Watch out for typical mistakes when answering Sentence Correction questions, such as:

  • Being misled by simple errors and missing out on more significant structural issues.
  • Relying too heavily on how sentences sound rather than applying grammatical rules.
  • Not valuing brevity and clarity in sentence construction enough.

Strategies for Efficient Practice

To practice Sentence Correction effectively, try to:

  • Break down complex sentences to understand their basic grammar.
  • Regularly go over grammar rules to keep them fresh in your mind.
  • Work with a variety of sentence types to prepare for the GMAT’s diverse questioning style.

Effective Study Techniques

Utilizing Practice Tests

Practice tests are an essential part of preparing for GMAT verbal questions. They can:

  • Reveal what areas you’re strong in and what areas you need to work on.
  • Help you get used to the pressure of the testing environment, improving your stamina and time management.
  • Introduce you to the test’s adaptive nature.

Review and Analysis of Incorrect Answers

It’s not enough to just do practice tests; you also need to analyze your incorrect answers. This should involve:

  • Understanding why the correct answer is right and where your reasoning went wrong.
  • Looking for patterns in your mistakes to target specific weaknesses.
  • Adjusting your study approach to fix any conceptual misunderstandings or gaps.

Time-Saving Tricks

Being quick and accurate is crucial for the GMAT. Some tips for saving time include:

  • Getting good at quickly getting the gist of passages and questions to spot the important details.
  • Eliminating obviously wrong answers to narrow your choices.
  • Making educated guesses when it’s necessary, to keep from spending too much time on any one question.

Resources for GMAT Verbal Practice

Official Guide and Official Prep Software

The GMAT Official Guide and the accompanying prep software are trusted resources from the exam’s creators. They offer:

  • Practice questions that closely resemble the real test both in content and format.
  • Detailed explanations for answers that can deepen your understanding.
  • Tools to track your progress and identify areas that need more focus.

Online Forums and Study Groups

Participating in online forums and study groups can be beneficial, providing:

  • Access to tips and strategies from peers and experts.
  • The chance to answer and explain questions, which can solidify your own knowledge.
  • The support and encouragement of a community with shared goals.

Recommended Books and Courses

There is a wealth of books and courses available for GMAT prep. Noteworthy ones include:

  • Manhattan Prep’s GMAT strategy guides, which offer detailed coverage of verbal concepts.
  • Powerscore’s Critical Reasoning Bible for a deep dive into argument analysis.
  • Veritas Prep’s resources, known for a comprehensive approach to GMAT preparation.
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Handling Test-Day Anxiety

Mental Preparation Strategies

To reduce anxiety on the day of the test, effective mental preparation is key. This involves:

  • Visualizing a successful outcome and keeping a positive mindset.
  • Creating a relaxing pre-test routine.
  • Using calming techniques like deep breathing exercises or meditation.

Physical Well-being and Its Impact

Your physical condition can greatly affect your performance. To be in top shape for the test, make sure to:

  • Stick to a healthy diet, get regular exercise, and sleep well in the days before the exam.
  • Avoid cramming at the last minute, which can cause tiredness and stress.
  • Eat a balanced meal before the test to maintain your energy levels.

Last-Minute Tips and Reminders

As the test date draws near, remember to:

  • Check the test center location, the time you need to report, and the identification you need to bring.
  • Prepare items you’ll need, like pencils, erasers, and a snack for the break period.
  • Review key verbal strategies or grammar rules for a quick refresher.

Adapting Your Strategy Based on Performance

Analyzing Mock Test Outcomes

Looking closely at the results of mock tests can help you adjust your study plan. This should include:

  • Examining the pattern of correct and incorrect answers to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses.
  • Assessing the time you spend on each type of question to improve pacing.
  • Forming a targeted plan to tackle the difficulties you encountered during practice tests.

Personalizing Your Study Plan

Creating a study plan tailored to your performance can make your preparation more effective. It should:

  • Prioritize areas you consistently struggle with.
  • Include a range of study materials and practice questions to cover all aspects of the test.
  • Set clear goals and checkpoints to help keep you motivated and on track.

When to Consider a Tutor or a Prep Course

While studying on your own can work, you might benefit from a tutor or prep course if:

  • You’re not seeing improvement in your weak areas, despite self-study.
  • You’re aiming for a high score and could use expert advice and personalized feedback.
  • You need help creating a structured study schedule and staying accountable.


To wrap up, the GMAT verbal section poses a diverse set of challenges, from comprehending dense texts to critically evaluating arguments and correcting sentences. Leveraging the right resources, engaging in purposeful practice, and staying adaptable to your evolving performance is key to excelling in this crucial portion of the GMAT.

A solid, well-balanced study plan, along with strategies for mental and physical well-being, will equip you to face the GMAT verbal questions with assurance. We encourage all prospective test-takers to apply these strategies, remain determined, and view each part of the GMAT as a chance to show business schools your true abilities. Wishing you the very best on your preparation journey!

Frequently Asked Questions about GMAT Verbal Questions

What types of questions are included in the GMAT verbal section?

The GMAT verbal section is comprised of Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction multiple-choice questions.

How is the GMAT verbal section scored?

GMAT verbal scores range from 6 to 51 in one-point increments, reflecting the number of correct answers, question difficulty, and skill range. The adaptive nature of the test alters question difficulty based on your performance.

Can you give some time management tips for handling GMAT verbal questions?

Sure! Allocate 1-2 minutes for Sentence Correction, 1.5-3 minutes for Critical Reasoning, and about 6-8 minutes for each Reading Comprehension passage and its questions. Time yourself during practice, and if needed, skip questions to manage time effectively.

What strategies can help improve Reading Comprehension for the GMAT?

Quickly skimming the passage for context, focusing on the main points often found in the first and last sentences of paragraphs, and maintaining a mental outline can significantly aid Reading Comprehension.

Which resources are recommended for GMAT verbal practice?

Utilize the GMAT Official Guide and prep software, engage with online forums and study groups, and consider materials from Manhattan Prep, Powerscore, and Veritas Prep for comprehensive preparation.

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