Comprehensive Overview of GMAT Verbal

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    GMAT Verbal Section is designed to check the candidates’ command of standard written English, skills in analyzing arguments, and their abilities to read critically. GMAT section includes 3 question types which include Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction, and Reading Comprehension and the total time given to complete Verbal section is 65 minutes. More than half of the questions (total 36 questions) asked in the exam are multiple-choice questions that will count to the overall score appear in the Verbal section.

    Detailed structure of the GMAT Verbal Section

    Total 36 Verbal questions in three formats are asked in an instructed way so the candidates will not be able to know what will be asked next in the test. Since the total time given for this section is 65 minutes, so the GMAT aspirants get a little less than two minutes per question on average; however, many types of questions from the Reading Comprehension might take longer than others (Sentence Correction). Each of the questions asked will be multiple choice questions with 5 answer choices and once the candidates have marked their choices, they will not be allowed to go back to review it or make the changes later.

    Similar to the GMAT Quant section, the Verbal section is also adaptive, which means that based on the candidates’ answers on each question, the Computer Adaptive Test will automatically pick the harder or easier questions that will be asked next.

    What does Computer Adaptive mean?

    The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections asked in the GMAT test are computer-adaptive test which means that the difficulty level of the test will get tailored itself in real-time based on the individual’s ability level. This feature helps check the candidates’ potential with a higher degree of precision and deliver scores that are considered by the B-Schools.

    Here’s how it works- The first question that the candidates receive in either the Verbal or Quantitative sections will be of medium difficulty and as you start answering each question, the computer scores your answer and uses the same while selecting the next question. In case you have answered the first question correctly, then the computer will automatically give you a harder question as compared to the previous one; however, in case the answer to the first question is wrong then next question would be easier. The same process will continue until all the answers are given in these two particular sections. Also, another important thing to know is that the candidates will not be able to skip, return to, or make changes in the previously answered questions because the computer uses an individual’s response to each question to select the next one.

    GMAT Verbal Section: Critical Reasoning

    GMAT Critical Reasoning tests include making and evaluating arguments and formulating a certain plan of action as well. The candidates will be presented with a short argument and the question related will be asked in the test; the candidates have to look for the answers that make their argument appear stronger. The candidates will also be asked to look for an assumption the argument makes or to make an inference yourself. For getting a higher score in the Critical Reasoning questions, the candidates must need to understand the below-mentioned things:

    • Understand the argument’s structure
    • Look for the conclusion.
    • Look what evidence exists that support the conclusion
    • Also, consider the assumptions that can help in coming to the conclusion.
    • Also most importantly, read the instructions carefully as the questions asked in the Critical Reasoning section are quite tricky.

    GMAT Verbal Section: Sentence Correction

    Through the questions asked in the Sentence Correction, the aim is to check GMAT aspirants’ English skills and how effectively they can look for the corrections in the given sentences. Very long and contorted sentences are given in the test and a part or sometimes all of the sentences will be marked underlined where the candidates need to look for the best version of the underlined section. One of four alternatives to each question is given and the candidates need to select the correct one. Sentence Correction questions mostly include 2 or more errors and the candidates must be sure that they can read the lengthy and complex sentences in lesser time. Look for the errors faster on the shorter questions first rather than wasting the time in solving more lengthy and difficult questions.

    GMAT Verbal Section: Reading Comprehension

    GMAT aspirants might be familiar with Reading Comprehension questions that are same in the same in most of the standardized tests. The questions asked in the Reading Comprehension section aimed at testing the individual’s critical reading skills, more specifically, their ability to summarize the main idea. Also, the candidates must clearly differentiate between ideas that they have mentioned and the ones that are implied by the author and must be able to understand the author’s tone and attitude towards a particular topic

    In the Reading Comprehension section, the candidates will be presented with a reading passage on any of the topics including social science, business, world, science or physical science and then almost 4-5 questions related to the topic will be asked in the test. While reading a particular passage, the candidates must remember that there is no need to memorize all the available information rather after reading the entire passage quickly, try to get an idea of the general topic, the purpose of writing the passage, tone of the passage, and the scope of the passage. For instance, the usage of words like “obviously,” “definitely,” “hence”, etc reveals that the author’s opinion is expressed in the passage and in case you get success in identifying the author’s point of view by looking for the opinionated words like these, then it will help in concluding easily and understanding his/her perspective.

    GMAT Verbal Section: Score

    The total GMAT score is calculated from “scaled scores” from the Quantitative section (62 minutes, 31 questions) and Verbal section (65 minutes, 36 questions). Theoretically, the scores vary from 1 to 60; presently the possible scores range from about 11 to 51 and these scores mean an absolute measure of the candidates’ skill. For instance, a Quant score of 50 in 2007 represents the same level of ability as a Quant score of 50 does in 2017. The GMAT aspirants might get consumed that why 11 to 51, is all the possible scales. The reason to scale such as this is to avoid any kind of confusion with percentiles or percentages. In case scaled scores ranged from 0 to 100, for instance, a score of 80 might look very confusing with answering 80 percent of the questions correctly. Though there have been no changes in the scaled scores over time, the total number of test-takers has increased manifolds. In the last many years, more than 12 percent of GMAT test takers have received a 50 or 51 on the Quant section which is mainly due to a growing population and mismatch in the percentiles with the scaled scores.

    Don’t Underestimate the Difficulty of the Verbal Section of the GMAT

    Many native speakers of English assume that the verbal section of the GMAT is not that difficult as they are familiar with the speaking, reading, and writing English. However, GMAT Verbal Section is not that easy which the GMAT aspirants realize after starting preparing for the test. The lack of precise grammatical knowledge of standard American English results in securing low scores in the section, the candidates must develop a different approach while reading the comprehension passages start reading everyday reading material that plays an important role in scoring a good score in the marks. At the time of starting with the GMAT preparation, the candidates must detailed attention to the GMAT Verbal Section as well even if you are reading, writing, and speaking English for your entire life. The verbal section tests a particular set of skills that needs to be learned and practiced aimed at getting admission in the top-most B-Schools.

    Start practicing using Rules and Concepts

    Most of the students pay focus on learning new rules and concepts while preparing for the GMAT exam but many times miss a good opportunity to really ingrain what they have learned due to the failure in integrating their new knowledge into their lives outside of GMAT prep. However, many opportunities can help you in reinforcing new knowledge and skills. For instance, every day you write emails, texts, reports, and social media content, try to apply more rules that you have learned during your Sentence Correction studies. Also by making the notes, the candidates can easily keep a concise and actionable list of high-value notes and can use those rules while writing the answers. The most important score in the GMAT test is the total scores itself that range from 200 to 800 and it is the score which is primarily considered by the B-Schools across the world to select the most eligible and qualifying students for an MBA program. The population of these scores adopt a standardized distribution and most of the students score near the mean score; the top 10 business schools accept students that have an average GMAT score of 720, the 94th percentile.

    By consistently practicing and applying new skills, the candidates can get a more detailed understanding of the GMAT Verbal Section and can become perfect in these skills.

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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