GMAT Verbal Reasoning

6 minute read
GMAT Verbal Reasoning

One of the most popular MBA entrance exams, the GMAT exam consists of 4 sections, out of which the verbal reasoning section is the most challenging one. However, scoring well in this section is not as difficult as it seems! Constant practice and correct guidance can ace your GMAT preparation and help you in getting a better score. In this blog, we are going to address different ways to tackle the verbal reasoning section and some tips to speed up your journey!

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GMAT Verbal Reasoning: Overview

The GMAT verbal reasoning section consists of 3 parts – Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction And Reading Comprehension. There are a total of 36 questions in the verbal section, which makes it essential to prepare well for this part. In the reading comprehension and critical thinking subsection, you will be given certain paragraphs to study and then answer questions related to them. On the other hand, the subsection of Sentence Correction will avail some faulty statements for which you have to mark the correct answer.

Different Sections in GMAT Verbal Reasoning

As stated above, there are 3 sections in verbal reasoning namely, reading comprehension, sentence correction and critical reasoning. Let’s discuss each of them separately-

GMAT Verbal Reasoning: Reading Comprehension

The GMAT reading comprehension question aims to assess your ability and skills in – summarizing the main idea of the passage, differentiating between ideas that are stated and those implied by the author. There are usually 6 different types of questions that you need to answer in the subsection of reading comprehension in GMAT Verbal Reasoning. These include:

Main Idea Questions
These questions will require you to summarise the passage or recognise the author’s main idea behind the passage. These questions may have answer choices in a format different from the passage to see whether you can grasp the main idea of the passage or not.

Detail Question
Detail questions need identification of any fact or intricate detail from the passage. These are some of the easiest questions since you would find the exact information within the passage. 

Out-of-context Questions
Among all the GMAT Verbal Reasoning questions, out of context questions will demand you to extract information from the passage and apply it differently. To come up with the correct answer, you need to pay close attention to the arguments or ideas of the passage.

Logical Structure Questions
Questions of this type test your ability to analyse the structure of the passage to identify the role of the different parts of the whole. You may be asked to identify how the author constructs the argument, or recognise the strengths or weaknesses in the passage.

Style and Tone Questions
Such questions asked in the GMAT Verbal Reasoning assesses your ability to identify the attitude of the author through his choice of words in the passage. You may be also asked about the tone of the passage, whether it is critical, enthusiastic, questioning etc.

GMAT Verbal Reasoning: Sentence Correction

There are a few common errors that are tested in the GMAT sentence correction question part. Being able to recognise the error type in the questions can help you get a better score in the GMAT verbal reasoning section since you will be aware of how you need to approach the question. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Subject-Verb Agreement
These questions will test your knowledge in identifying the subject and the verb in a sentence, and ensuring that they match with each other. These questions are often made trickier by placing many words between the subject and the verb.

The questions consisting of related parallel phrases in the same sentence come under this topic. It is not very difficult to identify the errors in these types of sentences, you need to check whether all the parallel phrases are written in the same format or are there any discrepancies amongst them.

These types of questions will consist of an incorrectly placed modifier i.e. a phrase or part which modifies the sentence. 

Verb Tense Consistency
A few questions asked in GMAT Verbal Reasoning under the sentence correction require you to make sure that the verb tense throughout the sentence is consistent. You need to change the verb tense if it is specifically required to make the sentence meaningful.

Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement
In such questions, you will have to check whether the pronoun and its antecedent is in the agreement or not. Additionally, you need to ensure that the pronoun and antecedent match in form.

Sample Question:

  • Perennially the world’s leader in tea production, China’s fascination with tea has deep historical roots, as exemplified with the tea ceremony, which has analogues in Japan and Korea.
    A. Perennially the world’s leader in tea production, China’s fascination with tea has deep historical roots, as exemplified with
    B. China perennially has been the world’s leader in tea production, and its fascination with tea has deep historical roots, as exemplified by
    C. Fascinating with deep historical roots, China’s tea production perennially leads the world, thereby exemplifying
    D. Perennially the tea-producing leader of the world, China has a deep historical fascination with tea, as an example of
    E. China, perennially the world’s leader in tea production, and their fascination with tea has deep historical roots, as exemplified in

Answer: B

GMAT Verbal Reasoning: Critical Reasoning

Critical Reasoning is the third and one of the most interesting subsections of the GMAT verbal reasoning. It consists of questions based on real-life situations and argumentation. Here you need to analyze the arguments and write the answer accordingly. You will find around 13 critical reasoning questions in the verbal section. This section tests the critical thinking abilities of a candidate and approach towards a certain situation. There are 4 main types of critical reasoning questions-

Explanation Questions
In this subsection, you need to explain the given argument according to your point of view. This category of questions is easy to solve. Once you find the keyword associated with the argument it becomes easy to finalize the answer.

Strengthen Argument Questions
In this category of questions, you need to support your answer by giving a proper introduction and ending lines. Writing a crisp and grammatically correct introduction and conclusion are a crucial part of these questions.

Assumption Questions
Assumptions are the backbone of arguments. In this category, you will require your assumptions to decide the format of the answer. To solve the question smartly, try to validate your assumption with examples.

This is the most interesting part of the critical reasoning section. Paradox questions will be based on social sciences and real-world hypotheses.

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Tips and Tricks for GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section

Now that you are familiar with the different types of questions asked in the GMAT Verbal Reasoning, you can start preparing accordingly to ace this part of the exam. Here are some GMAT preparation tips to help with your practice-

  • The initial step would be to learn all the basic grammar rules.
  • Note down any new words in a diary or journal and go through them regularly.
  • Always refer to an English-to-English dictionary to gauge the meaning of a word, so that you will easily get to know some of the synonyms of the same.
  • Learn more idioms – this will be of immense help in eliminating irrelevant answer choices.
  • Daily practice one or two GMAT practice papers.

Hope you found this guide on GMAT Verbal Reasoning useful. Looking out for some more exclusive tips and tricks regarding GMAT prep? Reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu and get enrolled in our interactive online test prep classes through Leverage Live. Sign up for a free demo session and take the first step towards opening up a world of possibilities!

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