What to Expect on the GMAT Verbal Section

The final section on the GMAT is the GMAT verbal section. You will have 75 minutes to answer 41 questions. These questions will all be multiple choice, with five different answer choices. It is also computer adaptive. This means that the test will adjust itself based on how well you do. If you do well, the test will become harder. If you answer questions incorrectly, the test will become easier.

GMAT verbal scoring has two components. The GMAT verbal section is scored on a scale of 0-60 in whole-point increments. The overall GMAT score, which is on a scale of 200-800 in 10-point increments, is made up of the verbal and quant scores.

There are three different question types on the GMAT verbal section: sentence correction, reading comprehension and critical reasoning. Each question type will require slightly different approaches and knowledge bases.

With around 17 questions, sentence correction is the most prevalent question type on the GMAT verbal section. Sentence correction questions test students’ reasoning skills and grammar knowledge. Sentence correction questions present test takers with a full sentence, with part or all of it underlined. Students will then have to select which of the five answer choices is the best grammatical fit with the sentence.

Reading comprehension questions make up 13 of the 41 questions on the verbal section, through four passages followed by several questions. After reading the passage, students will have to answer questions about the author’s tone, main point, specific details, passage structure or inferences that can be made.

Critical reasoning questions make up 11 of the questions. These questions present test-takers with an argument. They will then have to analyze that argument and answer questions about:

  • Assumptions.
  • Inferences.
  • Strengtheners.
  • Weaknesses.
  • Flaws.
  • Discrepancies.
  • Conclusions.

Since reading comprehension and critical reasoning do not require any outside knowledge, a big key to success on the verbal section is learning strategies and practicing them. Students should make sure to allocate a significant amount of their study time to practice questions and review.

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