The verbal section of the GMAT consists of 41 multiple choice questions, and the scaled score for the verbal section can range from 0 to 60. The score from the verbal section is combined with the scaled score from the quantitative section to yield a final GMAT score, which has a value between 200 and 800.
The GMAT verbal section is designed to evaluate the test taker’s comprehension of written text, their ability to interpret arguments, and their knowledge of the conventions of written English. There are three different types of questions that may be asked in the verbal section of the GMAT. As a general rule, the test taker should spend no more than one minute and forty five seconds on each question.
1. Reading Comprehension
Questions asked in this section are based on a short reading passage that focuses on an academic topic. All of the information that is required to answer the question will be contained in the passage, so no prior knowledge of the specific topic is required. A wide range of questions based on the information in the passage may be asked. Test takers may be required to draw conclusions based on facts presented, or they may simply be asked to interpret the meaning of a phrase or term.
2. Correcting Sentences
In this section, test takers are asked to apply their knowledge of the conventions of written English, including grammar, spelling, word usage, and sentence structure. For example, a sentence may be presented, with a phrase underlined. Then, several choices of phrases that could be used instead of the original will be presented. The test taker must choose the one that is grammatically correct and/or the choice that most effectively presents the idea or information. Paying attention to subject/verb agreement, misplaced modifiers, and incorrect word usage are all important.
3. Critical Reasoning
The questions that are asked in this section are usually preceded by a short reading passage that presents a scenario or information about a specific topic. Often, the information will be presented in the form of an argument. Test takers may be asked to draw relevant conclusions based on evidence presented. They may also be asked to choose statements that would make the argument presented in the passage stronger or weaker. If a problem is presented, the question may ask test takers to choose the best course of action to rectify the specific problem.