The GMAT's Verbal Section

This is the last in a series providing information to those who are interested in a masters in business degree and are planning to take the GMAT, the Graduate Management Admission Test, to get started. The first two parts of the test have already been discussed in previous blogs.

Verbal Section

The last part of the GMAT is the verbal section consisting of 41 multiple choice questions which must be answered in 75 minutes and its questions deal with reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correctness.

Reading Comprehension Questions

Reading Comprehension passages are up to 350 words long with topics ranging from social, physical, or biological sciences and business-related areas such as marketing, economics, and human resource management. You may be generally familiar with some of the material, but no prior knowledge of the material is required, since questions are to be answered according to what is directly stated or implied within the text.

These questions measure your ability to understand, analyze, and apply information and concepts presented in a written format. (For an example, go to Sample Reading Comprehension Question.)

Critical Reasoning Questions

These questions are specifically designed to test the reasoning skills involved in making and evaluating arguments and formulating or evaluating a plan of action. Critical thinking items present an argument for you to analyze with questions that may ask you to draw a conclusion, identify assumptions, or recognize strengths or weaknesses in the argument. It presents short arguments or statements and asks you to evaluate their form or content.

Some of the questions provide answer choices which could all be correct. Given these questions, you should select the best answer; one that does not require making assumptions that violate common sense standards by being improbable, redundant, immaterial, and inconsistent. (For an example, go to Sample Critical Reasoning Question.)

Sentence Correction Questions

Sentence Correction questions measure language proficiency by focusing on the following areas: correct expression, effective expression, and proper diction.

Correct expression questions test your ability to recognize sentences which are grammatically and structurally correct, in other words, it conforms to all the rules of standard written English. Effective expression refers to how clearly and concisely ideas or relationships are expressed. There should be no superfluous words or unnecessarily convoluted expressions in the answers which are the best choice.

Proper diction refers to the aptness and accuracy of the words in the context in which they are used and in reference to their meaning. (For an example, go to Sample Sentence Correction Question).


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