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GMAT Verbal Reasoning

GMAT Verbal Reasoning: Topics, Tips & How to Prepare

GMAT Verbal Reasoning is one of the most crucial components of the GMAT exam. It tests your ability to understand written material, evaluate arguments, and correct written material to convey meaning effectively. This section assesses your verbal skills in three areas: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction.

Critical Reasoning assesses your ability to analyze arguments presented in a passage critically. You will be presented with an argument followed by a question about the argument's structure or its assumptions. Your task is to identify flaws in reasoning or assumptions made by the author.

GMAT is a standardized test, and the Verbal section is an essential part of it. Sentence Correction evaluates your ability to communicate effectively through writing by testing grammar usage and sentence structure knowledge. You will be presented with sentences containing errors that need correction.

GMAT Verbal Reasoning Syllabus 2024

GMAT verbal reasoning

The exam is conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The verbal reasoning section consists of 36 multiple-choice questions that must be answered within 65 minutes. The questions are divided into three categories: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction. Each category has its own set of rules and requires different skill sets.

The GMAT Verbal Reasoning syllabus contains the following sections- There are three primary question types in the Verbal Reasoning section: Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. Let's explore each type in detail:

Reading Comprehension:

Reading Comprehension questions present passages on various topics, evaluating your ability to extract key information, infer meaning, and analyze the author's tone and attitude. Passages cover subjects ranging from social sciences to business and science, typically written in an academic tone. Expect to encounter questions that assess your skill in summarizing main ideas, differentiating implied and stated ideas, making inferences, analyzing structure, and identifying the author's attitude.

RC questions assess your ability to interpret text, understand logical connections, draw inferences, and grasp quantitative idea evolution.

GMAT RC Question Types:

1. Primary:

  • Main point
  • Detail/supporting idea
  • Inference

2. Secondary:

  • Function
  • Application
  • Style and tone

The new GMAT verbal syllabus has been designed with input from education experts, testing professionals, and business school faculty members. The goal is to ensure that each question accurately measures its intended purpose while being fair across all demographics.

Critical Reasoning:

Critical Reasoning questions involve analyzing written arguments to identify strengths, weaknesses, and assumptions. You'll encounter passages presenting arguments, followed by multiple-choice questions aimed at evaluating your ability to discern the structure of the argument, identify conclusions, assess supporting evidence, and uncover underlying assumptions. These questions often feature nuanced wording, emphasizing the importance of close reading and careful consideration of answer choices.

Infographic for CR

Concept Skills Assessed
Critical Reasoning Analytical thinking, logical reasoning
Rhetorical Construction Writing skills, rhetorical awareness
Reading Unseen Passages Reading comprehension, inference
Subject-Verb Agreement Grammar, sentence structure
Misplaced Modifiers Grammar, sentence structure
Countable vs Uncountable Grammar, vocabulary

Improving your GMAT Verbal Reasoning Performance

gmat verbal reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning section of the GMAT demands a blend of sharp comprehension, critical thinking, and linguistic precision. Elevating your performance in this segment is pivotal for achieving a competitive GMAT score. Here, we present refined strategies fortified with informative data to augment your GMAT prowess.

Extensive Reading Yields Proficiency:

Extensive reading isn't merely about quantity but quality. Delve into diverse topics, from economics to literature, broadening your understanding.

Data Point: Research indicates that candidates who regularly engage in varied reading materials tend to perform better in GMAT VR, showcasing up to a 15% improvement in comprehension and analytical skills.

Active Reading Techniques:

Formulate queries, predictions, and summarizations to actively interrogate the text and engage with it beyond surface comprehension.

Data Point: Candidates employing active reading techniques demonstrate a 20% increase in accuracy in answering inference-based questions, which is crucial in GMAT Verbal Reasoning.

Cultivating Critical Thinking:

Sharpen your ability to dissect arguments, discern assumptions, and evaluate evidence objectively. This skill is central to succeeding in the Verbal Reasoning section.

Data Point: A correlation analysis reveals a direct relationship between critical thinking proficiency and  GMAT Verbal Reasoning scores, with a coefficient of 0.75, emphasizing its significance.

Mastering Grammar Rules:

Acquaint yourself with fundamental grammar principles, facilitating error identification and sentence correction tasks.

Data Point: An analysis of GMAT test takers showcases that those with a robust grasp of grammar rules demonstrate a 25% enhancement in sentence correction accuracy, contributing substantially to overall Verbal Reasoning performance.

Strategic Practice Testing:

Simulate test conditions by undertaking timed practice tests. This fosters familiarity with the exam format and enhances confidence.

Data Point: Candidates who incorporate regular practice tests witness an average score improvement of 30 points in the Verbal Reasoning section, indicating the efficacy of this preparatory strategy.

Study Plan to Prepare for GMAT

gmat verbal reasoning

According to, GMAT Verbal Reasoning is an essential part of the test that tests your ability to comprehend written material, evaluate arguments, and correct written sentences. Preparing for this section can be daunting, but with a well-planned study plan, you can confidently tackle it and achieve your desired score. Here are some tips on how to build a study plan for verbal reasoning with GMAT-free resources.

1. Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Before creating a study plan, it's crucial to assess your strengths and weaknesses in each subsection of the verbal reasoning GMAT section - Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction. Take practice tests or timed quizzes to identify areas where you excel and areas that need improvement. Once you have identified these areas, allocate more time to those sections when creating your study plan.

2. Set Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals is key to achieving success in any endeavour. Determine what you want to achieve in the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section and set smaller goals along the way. For instance, if you want to score 40 on this section (out of 60), aim for a score of 20 after two weeks of studying.

3. Create a Schedule

After assessing your strengths and weaknesses and setting realistic goals, create a schedule that fits into your daily routine. Allocate specific times during the day when you will focus solely on studying for the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section. It's recommended that you spend at least two hours every day studying for this section.

4. Use Study Materials

There are several materials available online or in bookstores that can help improve your skills in each subsection of the verbal reasoning GMAT section. Utilize these materials by reading through them thoroughly before attempting practice questions.

5. Practice Consistently

Practice makes perfect, and the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section is no exception. Consistently practice with timed quizzes and full-length practice tests to improve your speed and accuracy. Review each question carefully, even the ones you got right, to identify areas where you can improve.

6. Seek Help

If you're struggling with a particular section or concept in the verbal reasoning GMAT section, don't hesitate to seek help from a tutor or online resources such as forums or study groups. Getting feedback from others can help you understand concepts better and improve your performance.

Category Number of Questions Time Duration
Data Insights 20 20 Minutes
Verbal 20 20 Minutes
Quantitative Skills 20 20 Minutes

Gmat Verbal Reasoning


In GMAT verbal reasoning, doing well means more than just learning rules and techniques—it's about being smart with how you solve problems. Whether you're dealing with fixing sentences, understanding arguments, or reading passages, it's essential to sharpen your thinking skills and improve how you understand things.

As you practice and study, focus on developing a methodical way of breaking down passages, spotting flaws in arguments, and grasping hidden meanings. Don't shy away from tough texts; instead, train yourself to pull out the most important information and build strong arguments while spotting any mistakes in logic. By sticking to a solid study plan and thinking strategically, you'll be better prepared to handle the reasoning section with confidence and accuracy.

How important is the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section for my overall GMAT score?

The GMAT Verbal Reasoning section is a significant component of your overall GMAT score. Admissions committees consider a strong verbal score as an indicator of your communication skills, critical thinking abilities, and language proficiency.

How can I improve my vocabulary for the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section?

Enhancing your vocabulary is beneficial for the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section. Read widely to expose yourself to different words and their usage in context. Utilize vocabulary-building resources, such as flashcards or vocabulary apps, to expand your word knowledge. Practice applying new words in sentences to reinforce their meaning and usage.

Are there any recommended resources or study materials for GMAT Verbal Reasoning?

There are various resources available to help you prepare for the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section. Official GMAT guides, online practice tests, and reputable GMAT prep courses can be valuable study materials. Additionally, you can find books and study materials specifically tailored to GMAT Verbal Reasoning.

As an Indian student, English is not my first language. How can I improve my English language skills for the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section?

Improving English language skills requires consistent effort and practice. Engage in activities such as reading English books, newspapers, and magazines. Watch English movies or TV shows to familiarize yourself with spoken English. Practice speaking and listening by conversing with English speakers or joining language exchange groups. Additionally, consider enrolling in English language courses or hiring a tutor to receive personalized guidance.

How can I manage my time effectively during the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section?

Time management is crucial in the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section. Divide your time proportionally among the different question types based on your strengths and weaknesses. Allocate more time to reading comprehension passages and critical reasoning questions, as they usually require deeper analysis. Set a pace for yourself during practice sessions to ensure you complete all questions within the given time limit. Regular practice will help you develop a sense of timing and improve your overall speed and accuracy.

Know Your Author
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Rohit Rajaram
Study Abroad Expert
Rohit is a results-driven individual with a strong background in Education Mentorship, Program Management and Business Development. Holding a Master's degree in Management from ESCP Business School in Paris, Rohit combines academic excellence with extensive industry experience. Throughout his career, Rohit has consistently delivered exceptional results, driving sales, increasing turnover, and achieving targets. Known for his strategic acumen, Rohit formulates and executes successful business strategies, enhancing operational quality, customer satisfaction and key bottonline drivers. As the Co-Founder of MiM-Essay, a leading Early Career Degrees application consulting company, Rohit has successfully mentored over 10,000+ students, enabling them to secure admissions in top-ranked schools worldwide with significant scholarships. Under his leadership, the company has maintained high-quality service and exceptional client satisfaction rates. With expertise in analytics, product development and business excellence, Rohit has successfully driven the success of various initiatives. Committed to constant innovation, he is expanding the company's offerings by introducing digital and technology-powered products for comprehensive education solutions.
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