Topics asked in the GMAT Verbal Section

The Verbal section of the GMAT exam aims to evaluate your reading and comprehension abilities, your reasoning skills to evaluate an argument and proceed to answer the same. It also tests your prowess in Standard English language and your writing skills. It comprises of the following main topics under the GMAT Verbal segment:

  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Sentence Correction
  3. Critical Reasoning

GMAT Reading Comprehension

In the GMAT Verbal section, the Reading Comprehension comprises varying passage lengths and the passage can be from any topic. However, the RC does not aim to check your knowledge on the subject of the passage rather it focuses on your abilities to – grasp the main idea of the passage, differentiate between the ideas specified by the author explicitly and the ones which are implied in nature as well, be able to decipher the author’s tone and attitude about the mentioned topic, analyze the structure of the passage.

There are several GMAT exam strategies which you should adhere to so that you can score well in the RC section:

  • One such approach is to practice active reading so that you don’t miss out on any important information and can easily understand the key concepts of the passage. Since most individuals, these days don’t have the habit of reading they tend to either skim the passage and read or fail to read some important sections of the passage. Both of these errors make one lose out on precious points on their total score.
  • You could alternatively also read the question stem first before you proceed to read the passage. This way you become aware of what information you need to look for when you are reading the passage later.
  • Attempt practice tests on a regular basis so that you know how much time has to be allocated to every section and different lengths of passages. Yet another method which you can use is to take notes while reading the passage so that you can refer back to this easily while answering the questions instead of going through the entire passage.
  • You could also frame the passage in your own words to recall the entire content and abbreviate any short forms (this is a usual technique which is used in the GMAT exam to confuse the students).
  • You must engage yourselves actively in the passage which you are reading so that you pay more attention to what you are reading. Involving yourself is the first step towards gathering more information especially when you read passages on topics you know very little to nothing about.
  • Finally, you could also use the process of elimination to arrive at the precise answer although this step may appear simple it is an effective method to assist you to arrive at the right answer.
 Additional Reading:  What is GMAT Reading Comprehension?

Once again remember that the intent of the GMAT Verbal segment is not to test your expertise on the given subject but to measure your ability to interpret the given material, make relevant inferences and answer the questions that follow.

GMAT Sentence Correction

The Sentence Correction exercise judges your grammar proficiency. Here are some effective strategies while working in this category:

  • You will have to choose an option to rephrase the part of the sentence which is underlined. The option which you choose will have to be grammatically correct and structurally appropriate as well. It is necessary for you to have sound knowledge in the basic grammar concepts to be able to successfully navigate your way through this section. Since these questions are likely to contain two or more errors it is essential that you correctly identify them so that you can change them accordingly.
  • Most of the choices which are presented to you will appear similar so you will have to choose the one with the most grammatical accuracy and relevance. Look for the option which has a suitable subject-verb agreement. The presence of independent clause, non-essential clauses, commas, semicolons, pronoun agreements, verb tenses and the form they appear in are some of the factors which will influence your decision while picking the apt answer.
  • Besides, you have to be on the lookout for some common traps which the Sentence correction exercise uses in the exam like – use of redundant phrases, incorrect use of word pairs like not only, but also, just as, so, more/less, than, etc, misplaced modifiers, countable and uncountable objects, faulty comparisons. These will help to ensure that you choose the answer which is best suited for the mentioned question.
Click here to know more about GMAT Sentence Correction

GMAT Critical Reasoning

This category of the GMAT Verbal segment measures your ability to evaluate arguments and then form a plan of action based on the same. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Similar to the RC passages you will be presented with a short reading passage (the argument) lesser than 100 words. Following the argument, you will be posed with a question where you will have to choose an option from 5 answers which either strengthen the argument or weakens it. You must accordingly explain why the argument is flawed or elaborate on why the particular option either strongly supports or weakens the argument.
  • The approaches which you can adapt to easily maneuver through this section are to first understand the argument, you will have to read the question to identify the type of question which is asked (Structure of the argument, Flaw in the argument, Paradox questions, Evaluate the conclusion, etc).
  • The next step you will have to do is to break down the question into different parts – the premise, conclusion, etc. You should keep in mind the assumptions which are made and always remember that it is not mandatory for the premise to appear at the beginning of the passage neither should the conclusion be at the last line of the argument.
  • Now that you have clearly deciphered the question you will have to work on what you will have to do – Strengthen the argument, Weaken it or Evaluate it?. Finally, work on eliminating the options that don’t fit the answer. You should be able to easily arrive at the correct conclusion using this process.
Read More About GMAT Critical Reasoning

Thus, each of the topics in the GMAT Verbal section has definite strategies which have to be followed so that you can obtain your desired score in this section.

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