The GMAT verbal has proven to be a difficult section for many candidates who attempt the exam. This is even more prominent in the case of non-native speakers of English. However, it is definitely possible to easily ace this section provided you adopt the right strategies and techniques.
The syllabus for the GMAT verbal comprises of basic grammar concepts like the following:
- Parts of Speech – Verbs, Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Adverbs, Conjunctions, Prepositions
- Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
- The Sentence – Clause and Phrase
- Subject-Verb Agreement
- Pronouns Agreement
- Verb Tense
The first step will be to commence reading as a habit if you already don’t have the same. This is crucial for you to have a better hold and grasp over this section. When you start reading you generally get to learn a lot of new phrases, encounter different words to help build your vocabulary and also become familiar with the writing styles of various authors. This is certain to assist you immensely towards your verbal preparation. Investing time in obtaining the correct study material which is of high quality. Due to the advancement in technology, it has become easier to access an abundant amount of materials online. However, we need to exercise caution while selecting the same since not all are of good caliber. Subscribing to quality publications like – The Guardian, The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Telegraph etc . will also aid you to recognize the writing structures and be aware of the current affairs on a regular basis. Following are some of the best books for preparing for the verbal section.
- 30 Days to More Powerful Vocabulary
- GMAT Sentence Correction (Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides)
- The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2017-2018 with Online Question Bank and Exclusive Video (Good book, Covers all the topics that are to be used to preps for GMAT)
Books for Essay writing for GMAT
- MBA Admissions Strategy: From Profile Building to Essay Writing (Magical Book on essay writing)
- Graduate Admissions Essays: Write Your Way into the Graduate School of Your Choice
- GRE Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real Essay Topics (Test Prep Series) (One more effective book)
- GRE CAT-Answers to Real Essay Questions by Acro
Next, we will discuss how to successfully navigate through the Reading Comprehension topic in the verbal section. This is basically used to evaluate how you are able to read through an entire passage, gain relevant information and answer the questions that follow. Most students either spend too much time reading through this section or they skim through the passage and miss out on important details. Both these practices are undesirable since you would either end up losing on precious time or miss out on significant marks in the exam. There are however few methods which you can use to easily succeed in this section. Since the passages in the exam tend to be long it is important to read through it strategically and make notes of what the author is trying to convey. You will not have time to read through the passage a second time so it is necessary to obtain all the relevant information the first time you read it. The content of the passage may not always be from a topic you are familiar with and could be an obscure subject. Remember that the RC is not aimed at testing your knowledge on the topic but to test how well you are able to comprehend the passage, process the information given efficiently and make inferences as and when required. Another effective tip is to start making notes while you read and create a mental picture of the passage in your own terms/words. This will prove beneficial when you are answering the questions in RC and need to refer back to the passage. When you are in doubt over which option to select you can use the process of elimination to arrive at the correct answer.
For the Critical Reasoning section, before you proceed to read the argument it is recommended for you to go through the question stem. This enables you to keep the same in mind when reading through the argument so that you can arrive at the conclusion in a quicker manner. It also assists you to identify what type of question that you will be answering before you read the argument. You can make note of the evidences which would help you justify your choices in this section. Another method which you must follow is to be aware of current affairs and improve your general knowledge. This is sure to help you when you read through questions related to the topics mentioned.
Lastly, in the Sentence correction category, your grammar skills will be assessed and you should ensure that you have strong knowledge on the same. This segment is focussed entirely on how well you are able to analyze and recognize the correct sentence patterns, (i.e) if it is logically structured appropriately. You must pay attention to the words being used in the sentences and accordingly choose your answers. For example signal words which indicate an upcoming explanation or evidence like – because,that is why, additionally, similarly etc or words denoting a conflict of interest like – however, whereas, although, but etc or those which denote a conclusion in the sentence like – As a result of, Therefore, Hence, Thus and Accordingly.
Another common tactic which the GMAT verbal uses are to confuse the reader by providing big words, you can overcome the same by abbreviating them when you are mentally reading the same.
Finally, you must make sure that you don’t panic during any point of your preparation for the exam. You need to have an observant mind and a calm attitude so that the verbal section doesn’t give you any trouble. Maintain self-discipline for yourself when preparing and while attempting the exam.
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