The GMAT Verbal section has proven to be difficult for most candidates who attempt the exam. This is more of a problem for non native speakers of English. However, it is certainly possible to fare well in this section provided you adopt the correct strategies and tips. So, in this article we will see how to crack the GMAT verbal as a non-native speaker of English. 

GMAT Verbal Syllabus

The GMAT Verbal syllabus aims at evaluating your knowledge of basic grammar concepts. We have listed them below : 

  1. Parts of Speech – Verbs, Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Adverbs, Conjunctions, Prepositions
  2. Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
  3. The Sentence – Clause and Phrase
  4. Subject-Verb Agreement
  5. Pronouns Agreement
  6. Modifiers
  7. Parallelism
  8. Verb Tense

The GMAT Verbal has the following types of questions — Sentence Correction, Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning.  You will need to ensure that you are well prepared for answering questions from all these sections. 

Strategies to Adopt for Reading Comprehension 

We will now 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 in an accurate manner. Many students make the mistake of either spending too much time reading the passage or they hardly read the passage and miss out on important details. There are few key tips which you can make use of to perform well 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. 

Remember that the RC is not aimed at testing your knowledge on the topic but it is only to check how you are able to comprehend the given passage, process the information in an efficient manner and make inferences as and when required.

 You must start making notes while you read and create a short summary of the passage in your own words. This practice will ensure that you don’t have to read the entire passage several times when answering questions. If you are uncertain about which answer to select then you can use the process of elimination to first remove the incorrect answers. In addition to the above, you must also develop a reading habit since this will help you enhance your overall vocabulary. You also begin to understand the various writing styles of different authors. The more you begin to read, the faster you will be at reading long passages. In addition to the above, you will be able to obtain the required information from the passage in an accurate manner which will prove to be useful while you answer questions in the Reading Comprehension section. 

Strategies to Adopt for Critical Reasoning 

The Critical Reasoning argument is usually constructed of three different components — assumption, facts/premise and a conclusion. It is essential that you understand how to recognise the different parts of an argument.  This helps you to 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. There are about 11 question types which you are likely to come across such as – Resolve a Paradox, Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Evaluate the Argument, Inference, Cause and Effect, etc. You can make note of the following points to help you answer the questions in Critical Reasoning section :

  • Use the elimination strategy to remove incorrect answer choices
  • Read all of the answer choices before proceeding to select the correct answer
  • Go through the entire passage carefully
  • Finally remember that the conclusion of the passage may not always be the last sentence. 
Strategies to Adopt for Sentence Correction

In the Sentence Correction category, you have to look for errors in the given sentences and find the correct replacement from the given options. The sentence correction question aims at evaluating your grammar skills and your ability to utilise the appropriate expressions at the right places. A few crucial points to remember while answering the sentence correction questions are: 

  • Always check if the sequence of the words in a sentence appear appropriate and if the structure of the sentence is correct.
  • Ensure that you are familiar with idiomatic expressions.
  • Always be on the lookout for parallelism errors in addition to dangling modifiers.
  • Stay patient and read through the complete question instead of speed reading the sentence.
  • Try to understand what is the message which the author is trying to convey.
  • Pay attention to every detail of the sentence since even slightest errors could make a lot of difference.

Finally, you must make sure that you dont panic during your preparation for the exam. GMAT Verbal preparation involves a lot of hard work and dedication so you will have to plan ahead and prepare in a diligent manner. We hope this article helped you understand different strategies to answer questions in each section of the GMAT verbal.

Best of luck!


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