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Are You Worried about the GMAT Verbal Section?

The GMAT verbal section can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. If you prepare strategically, it can be a very manageable section to master. There are a total of 41 questions and you will have 75 minutes to answer them, giving you an average of 1.83 minutes per question. There are three types of GMAT verbal questions: reading comprehension, sentence correction and critical reasoning.

Sentence correction is the most numerous question type, with an average of 17 questions per section. This question type requires students to use their grammar knowledge to select the most grammatically logical answer choice. A typical sentence correction question looks like this:

After failing English, Mary's parents were disappointed and so was she.

(A) Mary's parents were disappointed and so was she.
(B) Mary was disappointed, and so were her parents.
(C) Mary was disappointed, and so was her parents.
(D)Mary's parents and her were disappointed.
(E) Mary was disappointed, and so are her parents.

(Answer: B)

The second most frequent kind of question type on GMAT verbal is reading comprehension. There are four passages in the section and around 13 questions split up amongst those passages. The reading comprehension questions range from general to specific. Some examples include:


  • What was the author's main point?
  • How would you characterize the author's tone?


  • What is the relationship between the first and third paragraphs?
  • The author mentions the giraffes to illustrate the point that...

Finally, there are critical reasoning questions. There are 11 of these questions on the GMAT verbal section. These questions consist of an argument followed by a question relating to that argument. Examples of those questions include:

  • Which of the following would weaken the argument?
  • Which of the following is a flaw in the author's reasoning?
  • What is an assumption on which the argument depends?

Since there isn't a lot of outside material to learn to master GMAT verbal questions, the bulk of your studying should be practicing answering questions and going over answers. Doing this will help you prepare well for this section.

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