GMAT VERBAL – 10 do’s for a high score

GMAT VERBAL – 10 do’s for a high score

I’ve been working as a GMAT Verbal instructor for six years and lots of students come to me saying: “oh, verbal is not for me, I hate grammar”, “I was terrible at Grammar at school”, “verbal is too difficult”, “I’m not a English speaker” and so on.


Believe me, GMAT Verbal is not a nightmare. Instead, it is about a set of rules that you have to learn, comprehend and hands-on.

These are the 10 do’s for a high score

1 – Engage – first of all, don’t be resistant to the Verbal Section. You need to understand how each section – Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Correction – works, and figure out how to solve the questions.

2- Read – GMAT Verbal is all about reading and making decisions. You’ll have to read passages related not only to business, but also about History, Biology, Physics, etc. Online magazines like Scientific American, National Geographic and New Yorker can be helpful to practice Active Reading.

3- Practice – Take the GMAT Prep Practice Test. It will help you to understand the pace of the test and what types of questions you find more difficult. The GMAT Official Guide is the best material to practice questions, since it uses database from previous GMAT tests

4- Be curious – Don’t focus only on solving the GMAT questions. Read the Explanations of the Official Guide, talk to your tutor, create a line of reasoning for the types of questions.

5- Take notes – Once you create a line of reasoning for the questions, take notes to remember what are the common traps of the GMAT Verbal. For example, what are the most common idioms in the SC section? What strategy do you have to use on CR questions? How to roadmap a passage? Believe me, this step is of major importance for a high score

6- Establish a routine – Studying for the GMAT requires discipline, so organize your daily routine to include at least one hour a day during the week and 4 or more on the weekend. Think of this as an exercise, would you practice yoga in a messy room? Find a calm place in your home, write post-it notes, have a paper notebook (yes, notebooks are helpful).

7- Think logically – People tend to assume that GMAT Verbal requires a huge knowledge of Grammar or even about the areas covered on the RC passages, but they don’t. You need to grasp the concepts of the questions and think about them in a logical way, it’s more about the logic, not the rules.

8- Solve CR questions – remember, Critical Reasoning comprises different questions, such as inference, assumption, weaken, etc. Study the arguments, observe their approach, read the official solutions (so you’ll master the line of reasoning for the questions)

9- Keep calm and study SC – Again, Sentence Correction doesn’t require long hours memorizing intricate and complex grammar rules, this is what we did at school and probably the reason most people hate grammar. Your task is to understand the sentence and try to find errors in it, but there are common grammatical mistakes in most SC questions, your task is to identify them and have an action plan.

10- Embrace RC – As I said in #2, practice active reading is essential to a high score on the Verbal Section, especially for Reading Comprehension questions . I suppose that you usually read lots of business material, but you better get out of your comfort zone and read about topics you’re not familiar with. Don’t worry, you don’t have to become a specialist on tectonic plates, the idea is to improve your vocabulary and help you to deal with unfamiliar topics on the test.

Have fun!

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