The fourth section of the GMAT CBT, the Verbal section measures your ability to:
- read and comprehend written material (Reading Comprehension).
- evaluate arguments (Critical Reasoning).
- evaluate and correct sentences to conform to standard written English (Sentence Correction).
Reading Comprehension passages are usually up to 350 words long. Topics contain material from the social sciences, physical or biological sciences, and business-related areas (marketing, economics, human resource management, etc.).
The passages found in the GMAT verbal section are taken from several different content areas. Some of the passages may be familiar to you. However, no prior knowledge of the reading material is necessary, as all questions are to be answered on the basis of what is stated or implied in the reading material. Familiarity with a topic might, at best, make reading the material easy.
The questions that accompany the reading comprehension passages are interpretive, applied, and inferential in nature.
Critical Reasoning questions test the test taker's reasoning skills involved in making arguments and evaluating arguments.
There is an argument, usually presented as a small passage, that is followed by a question. The passages on which the questions are based are from a variety of sources. Similar to the reading comprehension questions, critical reasoning questions also require no familiarity with the specific subject matter.
Sentence Correction questions have a long sentence and a part of that sentence will be underlined. Sentence Correction questions ask you to choose the choice that best expresses the underlined portion of the given sentence.
Your familiarity with the stylistic conventions and grammatical rules of standard written English are evaluated. These questions are also set in such a way as to test your ability to improve incorrect or ineffective expressions.
Though the rules of English grammar are innumerable, you will find that GMAT usually tests a select subset of rules. You need to exercise caution while preparing for this section as many of our day to day usage of the English language may not necessarily be grammatically correct.