Everything You Need to Know About GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section


Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Jul 04, 2022 07:20 PM IST

The GMAT Verbal Section is a test designed to assess your ability to analyse and communicate with others. This guide will help you get familiar with everything related to GMAT Verbal Section. 

Everything You Need to Know About GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section

The GMAT Verbal Reasoning section of GMAT test measures your ability to analyse and formulate logical arguments in standard written English. The section consists of a total of 36 multiple-choice questions, designed to test your knowledge of logical arguments, and how well you can formulate them in standard written English.

The GMAT exam, a widely-recognised test, is used for admission in over 7,000 MBA and Master's programs across 110 countries. Overall, the test consists of a total of four sections including Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. 

GMAT syllabus mentions three question types, including Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction, and Reading Comprehension, which are used to test your skills in comprehending, analysing, and formulating the possible best options in the GMAT verbal section. Here, we will discuss everything about the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section, from question types to preparation tips.

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Division of Questions As Per Category in GMAT Verbal Reasoning

The categorization of all three types of questions, mentioned by the GMAT syllabus, is done by giving a certain weightage to each category, which decides the total number of questions that will be asked under that category. The number of questions per category asked in the GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section are as follows:

  • Critical Reasoning: 9-10 Questions

  • Sentence Correction: 12-13 Questions

  • Reading Comprehension: 13-14 Questions

GMAT Verbal Reasoning: Critical Reasoning

GMAT verbal’s critical reasoning questions will ask you to evaluate and make arguments critically. They will also present short arguments. You will be expected to find an answer that confidently addresses and strengthens the argument's weaknesses. You will also be asked to identify an assumption that supports or undermines the argument.

Critical thinking is a process that involves identifying the structure of an argument and the supporting evidence to support it. It is one of the skills mentioned by the GMAT syllabus to be tested to score your skills in English language. Knowing the structure of an argument and the supporting evidence are the four things that are necessary to succeed on critical reasoning questions. Before going to the next step, make sure that the assumptions you make are based on the most probable conclusions.

Preparation Tips for GMAT Critical Reasoning Questions

To prove the skills required, as mentioned by GMAT syllabus, for GMAT verbal’s critical reasoning questions, you will have to prepare accordingly.

You will first read a short passage, and then answer a question related to it. You can then identify an answer that supports or weakens an argument.

  • Be certain that the statement or set of statements that the question is based on are factual. Also, make sure that the claims are substantiated.

  • If the question is about an argument, identify the part of the argument that refers to the conclusion.

  • Before writing the question, read the passage or the material that it's based on to get a good idea of what the question is about.

  • Before answering the question, read the passage of the material that the question is based on to make sure that the answer is the right one.

GMAT Verbal Reasoning: Reading Comprehension


GMAT verbal’s reading comprehension questions are typically part of the testing process for many standardized exams. They test your critical reading skills. They test how well you can summarize the main idea and differentiate between different ideas implied by an author. The test aims to test your ability to make logical inferences from a text. It also asks you to analyze a passage's logical structure.

Each question is based on a passage's content. After reading it, you will answer a series of questions that require you to interpret the text and draw inferences from it. The questions are focused on various subjects, such as social sciences, physical sciences, and business. The questions are focused on the main ideas of the passage. Students are not required to have the necessary expertise in these areas.

Preparation Tips for GMAT Reading Comprehension Questions

Reading Comprehension passages are generally long and can take up to 350 words to read. They are designed to help you keep up with the material. You will then be asked to complete a reading passage that relates to these topics and then asks multiple questions about that text. When reading a passage, try to read it quickly to get a sense of the author's purpose, the main topic, and the scope of the text. Don't obsess over details.

  • Make sure that you understand what the question is being asked. An answer may not answer the question if it doesn't provide accurate information.

  • Before answering a question, read all the choices carefully. Having a good understanding of the passage will help you answer the questions correctly.

  • Having a good understanding of the passage's text and the question will also help you answer the questions correctly.

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GMAT Verbal Reasoning: Sentence Correction

Two broad aspects of language proficiency are measured in this section. This measure focuses on correct expression and structurally sound sentences. The second aspect of language proficiency is effective expression. It refers to the sentences that effectively communicate an idea or relationship.

Each sentence correction question presents a section or part of a sentence that has been highlighted. You must pay attention to the grammar, sentence construction, and word choice of the sentence to determine the most effective one.

Preparation Tips for GMAT Sentence Correction Questions

The sentence correction questions are designed to help you improve your English skills. They will teach you the grammar and stylistic rules of English. You will also learn how to handle long and contorted sentences. In these types of questions, the participant will have to find the most appropriate version of the sentence's underlined section.

  • Follow the sentence carefully and try to understand its intention. Analyzing and improving the sentence's underlined part will help you make better decisions.

  • Before you answer the question, try to identify the errors and corrections in the sentence. Then, make a list of the possible solutions to correct them.

  • Before you answer the question, try to identify the errors and corrections in the sentence. Then, make a list of the possible solutions that will fix them.

  • Before going through the list, consider the various aspects of the sentence's correctness, such as its grammar and usage.

  • For instance, if the question is about a certain topic, try substituting the answer with another word or phrase.

How Do GMAT Scores Work in the Verbal Reasoning Section?

Your total GMAT score is computed from the combined scores of the GMAT Quantitative and GMAT Verbal sections. Your total score is computed from the scaled scores of the GMAT verbal and GMAT quantitative sections. It ranges from 1 to 60.

The possible GMAT scores range from 11 to 51. They are intended to provide a timeless measure of skill. For instance, a Quant score of 40 in 2006 would still be the same level of ability as a 40 in 2016. The scale might seem arbitrary to some people, but, it is important to avoid confusion with other scales.

If the scale ranges from 0 to 100, it might confuse someone who correctly answered 70 per cent of the questions. The scores have remained the same since test takers started taking the test. However, the contribution of GMAT Quantitative’s performance has increased while GMAT verbal performance has decreased.

In the past couple of years, a number of test-takers have received a 50 or higher GMAT score in the GMAT Quant section. This is because the changes in the population have affected the distribution of percentiles. The most important GMAT score that the test provides is the total score, which can range from 200 to 800. The population of these scores is distributed according to the average score of the test-takers. The average score of the top 10 business schools is very important to consider when applying for MBA with GMAT score. 

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How much time is allotted for GMAT verbal reasoning?

One hour and five minutes are allotted for GMAT verbal reasoning section. GMAT syllabus includes four sections, one of which is verbal reasoning. Test takers have to solve the questions asked in 65 minutes as per the GMAT test structure. It is noteworthy that Verbal Reasoning is the lengthiest section in the GMAT exam.

How many questions are asked in GMAT verbal reasoning?

The total number of questions asked in GMAT Verbal Reasoning is 36. Other sections have comparatively fewer questions: 31 in GMAT quantitative, 12 in GMAT integrated reasoning, and only one for the GMAT AWA section. Test takers get almost two minutes to solve each question. 

Is GMAT verbal reasoning the hardest section in the GMAT exam?

The difficulty level of GMAT verbal reasoning depends on the strengths and weaknesses of the test taker. If the test taker is good at GMAT verbal reasoning, it can be the easiest section of the exam. However, if the section is the test taker’s weakness, it can the hardest section in the GMAT exam. There is another possibility that GMAT verbal is neither the hardest nor the easiest section.

What is considered a good score for the GMAT verbal reasoning section?

The maximum possible score for a test taker in GMAT verbal reasoning section is 60. However, the score is rarely achieved. Any score above 35 in GMAT verbal is often considered a good GMAT Verbal score. Anyways, a good GMAT score in verbal reasoning depends on the score requirement of the university to whom they are to be submitted.

Which are the best books for GMAT verbal reasoning?

The best books for GMAT verbal reasoning include ‘GMAT Official Guide’, ‘GMAT Strategy Guide Set’, ‘GMAT Complete 2020’, and ‘GMAT Verbal Review’. Test takers will find that books are the best way to prepare for GMAT verbal exam. They cover all the topics mentioned in the GMAT syllabus for the verbal reasoning section.

Can I attempt the GMAT verbal reasoning section at last?

Yes, you can attempt the GMAT verbal reasoning section at last. There are three exam orders available for the test takers to choose from. One of the orders allows the test takers to attempt the GMAT verbal reasoning test in the end. In this GMAT exam order, AWA is attempted first, then GMAT integrated reasoning, followed by GMAT quantitative reasoning, and lastly GMAT verbal.

Which skills are tested in GMAT verbal reasoning section?

The skills tested in GMAT verbal reasoning section are mentioned in the GMAT syllabus. Hence, the section tests the ability of a test taker to understand the complex text and draw conclusions from it. Additionally, their ability to rephrase and correct the text is also tested in the section.

Is it important to practice solving GMAT verbal questions?

Yes, it is important to practice solving GMAT verbal questions which can be of three types. The GMAT score is used to apply to the best MBA colleges in the world. It is important that proper practice is done for the GMAT exam. This includes practicing as many GMAT verbal questions as possible. 

What is the strategy to attempt the GMAT verbal reasoning test?

The strategy to attempt the GMAT verbal reasoning test is different for all test takers. However, test takers can use the elimination strategy if they are not sure of their answer. They can eliminate the wrong choices and eventually they will be left with the most appropriate or correct choice.

What does the GMAT syllabus include for GMAT verbal reasoning section?

The GMAT syllabus does not mention any specific topics for the GMAT verbal reasoning section. In fact, the GMAT syllabus does not mention any specific syllabus for any section, except Quantitative Reasoning. In order to prepare for the GMAT verbal reasoning, test takers must improve their language skills to understand the given text, analyse it, and draw conclusions to choose correct answers based on it.

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