GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section

Student studying for GMAT verbal reasoning questions


Along with evaluating your ability to read, analyze and understand written material, the verbal reasoning GMAT exam measures how well you can formulate ideas and express opinions based on given information. Questions on the GMAT verbal section also test your skills in recognizing and correcting text errors in standard written English.


Questions and prompts on the GMAT verbal cover a range of general topics, so you won’t need any specialized knowledge to do well on this section of the test. You'll encounter three separate question types on this part of the exam, including:

  • Reading Comprehension Questions
  • Critical Reasoning Questions
  • Sentence Correction Questions

Both the reading comprehension and critical reasoning questions also have their own unique subtypes that test particular verbal skills.

Reading Comprehension

What Does It Do?

Reading comprehension questions assess your ability to understand the main idea, supporting evidence, structure, and style of a given text. At the same time, these prompts measure your skill level when it comes to interpreting written material, picking out specific details, noticing relationships between different ideas, and drawing conclusions about the information.

What You Have to Do

After reading a passage, you'll need to answer GMAT verbal questions that ask you to decipher, contextualize or make inferences about the information in the presented text. Prompts and passages in this section of the test can cover various topics, including business, life science, social science, and the humanities.

Critical Reasoning

To test your critical reasoning skills, the GMAT verbal asks a series of questions that require you to formulate, analyze and evaluate plans and arguments.

What You Have to Do

Test-takers must read a short 100-word passage and choose response options that strengthen, weaken, support, or damage the given argument. Some questions may also ask you to explain why the reasoning in a specific argument is flawed.

Sentence Correction

What Does It Do?

Sentence correction questions on the verbal reasoning GMAT measure your language proficiency in three areas: correct expression, effective expression, and proper diction. Essentially, these questions require you to create well-formed sentences that are clear, concise, and grammatically correct.

What You Have to Do

Each question in this section presents a sentence with a highlighted or underlined portion. Beneath that, there are five alternative phrasing options that could fill in for the highlighted sentence section. To complete the sentence effectively, test-takers must read the sentence closely and select the response with the proper structure, grammar, and phrasing.


How To Improve on the GMAT Verbal Reasoning

Along with the traditional study methods, taking a few GMAT verbal practice tests online is an effective way to improve your GMAT verbal score. Grad Prep offers a selection of practice exams, sample questions, and writing prompts to help you get a sense of what to expect on the GMAT. Check out our GMAT prep materials to sharpen your verbal reasoning skills before test day.

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