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Navigating the GMAT's Verbal Reasoning Section: An Introductory Guide

Are you preparing to take the GMAT? If so, one of the key aspects of your test prep is likely to be honing your verbal and your critical thinking skills in order to maximize success on the Verbal Reasoning section. As a prospective MBA student or someone looking to further their professional career, navigating this portion of the exam correctly can go a long way towards making sure that you get desirable results and open new opportunities for yourself. In this guide, we’ll explore what makes up the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section and some strategies for approaching it confidently and effectively.

Importance of the verbal section in the GMAT

The verbal section of the GMAT is an important measure of a student's proficiency in understanding and reasoning written material. Knowing how to assemble and analyze arguments, identify how ideas are logically connected in a passage, and correct errors in grammar and logic are all essential elements that contribute to a strong performance on the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section. These skills are commonly used in a plethora of career paths today, from business writing and marketing copywriting to legal research. Therefore, success in the verbal section is fundamental and valuable for those wishing to pursue their professional goals.

Overview of the GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section

The GMAT Verbal Reasoning section is designed to assess a student's critical thinking and reading comprehension skill and a student’s command of the English language. It consists of 36 multiple-choice questions that must be answered within a time limit of 65 minutes. The questions are divided into three categories: Critical Reasoning (CR), Reading Comprehension (RC) and Sentence Correction (SC). Each category contains a varying number of questions, with the majority of questions focused on understanding and evaluating an argument.

1. Critical Reasoning

CR questions test a student's ability to analyze arguments and draw logical conclusions. These questions present a brief argument, followed by several questions that ask the student to identify assumptions, evaluate the logic of the argument, or draw conclusions based on the information presented.

2. Reading Comprehension

RC questions measure a student's ability to read and analyze written material. These questions typically involve a passage of several paragraphs, followed by questions that ask the student to identify the main idea or purpose of the passage, locate precise information in a paragraph, understand the structure of the text, or make inferences based on the information presented in the passage.

3. Sentence Correction

SC questions are designed to test a student's proficiency in English grammar and sentence structure. These questions present a sentence with an underlined section that may contain an error. The student must then choose the answer that correctly identifies and fixes the error.

Strategies to avoid common mistakes when taking the Verbal Section

One of the biggest mistakes test takers make when taking the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section is rushing through the questions. Many people feel pressured by the time limit, so they don’t read the passages or question stems thoroughly or devote enough time to thinking before providing an answer. In CR and RC, it’s important to carefully read each passage, think critically about each question, and anticipate different answers in order to select the most accurate one. Make sure you take your time as you do each task, so that your answers are based on thoughtful analysis rather than guessing or hurriedly selecting an option without fully comprehending it. More specifically, in RC, you will read about just any topic. You don’t have to be familiar with every topic you read about. You just need to pay attention to how ideas are organized logically, regardless of the content of the passage. In SC, it’s important to know all the possible grammar topics that can be tested on the GMAT as well as the specific rules related to each topic. Additionally, try to be aware of any common grammar errors that cross your path during practice tests and prioritize studying those topics in particular. Taking these steps will help improve your accuracy on the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section.

How to maximize your score on the Verbal Section of the GMAT

The Verbal section of the GMAT is arguably one of the most challenging parts of the exam. It requires an understanding of complex reading comprehension and reasoning skills, detailed knowledge on how to effectively express ideas in written English, and time-management capabilities to answer questions quickly and accurately. To maximize your score on this part of the exam, start by focusing on mastering key concepts like reading techniques, logical reasoning to eliminate wrong answer choices, grammar rules and syntax structure. You can then supplement the core fundamentals with practice tests and test-taking strategies tailored for this section. Follow this process and you will be well on your way to maximizing your score!

It’s essential to prepare for the Verbal Reasoning section of the GMAT if you have ambitions of maximizing your score on the exam. The tips and tricks covered in this blog, together with specific actions such as studying with a group and utilizing resources like Merchant GMAT, can help you significantly increase your performance in this section. It’s equally important to avoid common mistakes that are often made, such as misreading questions or trying to answer without reading through the passage in its entirety. By combining these strategies with consistent practice and preparation, you can maximize your score on the Verbal Section of the GMAT. Don't forget to study up using the best resources from Merchant GMAT – our team of experts is there to help boost your confidence so that you can stand out from other applicants.


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Anish Merchant
Anish Merchant

CEO & Co Founder

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