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Guide to GMAT Verbal Percentiles: Getting Good Verbal Score

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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Verbal Reasoning is one of the four sections of the GMAT. Every score in GMAT has a percentile ranking, indicating the percentage of candidates that a specific candidate surpassed in terms of performance. For instance, a 75% percentile means that 75% of total aspirants performed below the candidate, and 25% performed better. Here is a guide to understanding the GMAT verbal percentiles and their meaning. 

Number of Questions

There are 36 questions in the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section with a time limit of 65 minutes. The score range is between 6 and 51. 


The Verbal Reasoning section has a high weightage in terms of a candidate’s total score. The GMAT score range is between 200 and 800. As per past examination records, around 2/3rds of candidates have scored between 400 and 800 in the examination. 

GMAT Verbal Section Scoring: How is it scored, average & good scores?

If you wonder what a good verbal score in GMAT is, you must know the scoring methodology is based on the following: 

  • The number of questions answered
  • Whether these answers are right 
  • The level of difficulty and additional parameters for the questions that have been answered 

Generally, scores lesser than 9 and higher than 44 are rare. From that perspective, a score above 30 will be a good score in the Verbal Reasoning section of the examination. 



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GMAT Verbal Percentiles Assessment

Here is the lowdown on the GMAT verbal percentiles for a better understanding: 

Verbal Reasoning ScorePercentile Ranking


















The percentiles keep decreasing as one goes down the score range. These are the percentile assessment figures for January 2019 to December 2021, with the mean score being 27.51. Hence, if a candidate gets GMAT verbal 30 questions correct, there is always a good chance of obtaining a higher percentile ranking. 

Read More About GMAT: 

GMAT Eligibility

Syllabus For GMAT

Exam Pattern of GMAT

GMAT Exam Dates 2022

GMAT Test Centers in India

GMAT Registration

GMAT Results & GMAT Scores

Validity of GMAT Score

MBA Without GMAT in Germany


Structure of the GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section 

The GMAT Verbal Reasoning section has the following types of questions: 

  1. Reading Comprehension- These questions evaluate reading skills such as the supporting idea, main idea, application, inference, style, and logical structure. Every passage will have questions asking candidates to draw these inferences, interpret any given material, or apply it to any specific context.  
  2. Critical Reasoning- These questions are given with an accompanying passage, which is less than 100 words in most cases. The questions surround asking the candidate which among five answer choices either weakens/boosts the argument, indicates the flawed nature of the argument, or damages/supports the same strongly. 
  3. Sentence Correction- These questions analyze the effective expression and correct expression. The latter indicates those sentences that are structurally and grammatically fine; the former indicates those that clearly express any specific concept, idea, or relationship, while being grammatically correct. Candidates should select answers to generate the best possible sentence while noting the choice of words, grammar, and sentence construction aspects. 

How to improve GMAT verbal scores? 

Improving GMAT verbal percentiles is not difficult, provided you keep a few crucial pointers in mind. These include the following: 

  • Adopt a structural approach towards written material and language- Candidates should perceive sentences as a web of relationships between words and paragraphs as a row of sentences with inter-relationships. Mathematically, one works out the final value of any expression after taking all relationships into account. The same approach works here too. Finding common connections and keywords: like whichandasalthoughbut and because will help, along with other transitions such as however and therefore. Then there are comparisons such as unlikelikemore, etc. Some words conclude in ester, and so on. Building a keen eye for subject-verb agreements, modifiers, and conjunctions will always help improve the overall score. 
  • One should approach the entire verbal section mathematically- The inferences made by candidates in the verbal section should be no different from quantitative inferences. There is no need to deconstruct logical concepts in a similar order as their presentation- the inferences matter, and that too in an objective way. 
  • Thorough analysis is always recommended- Thorough analysis of questions, possible answers, and why an answer is correct or wrong is always the way to go in the examination. A curious mind that questions written material at every juncture will do well in the GMAT examination. 

These tips can surely help candidates improve their GMAT verbal percentiles. 


Frequently Asked Questions

How many verbal questions are on the GMAT?

The Verbal Reasoning section of the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) has 36 questions. They have to be completed within 65 minutes. 

What is a good verbal score on GMAT?

As per the official GMAT records, the mean score for January 2019 to December 2021 is 27.51. Hence, a score of 30 or higher will be a good verbal score in GMAT. Anything above 35 will be an excellent score from this standpoint. 

What should I do to improve my GMAT verbal scores?

Improving GMAT verbal scores is not too difficult with regular practice and mock assessments. Candidates should focus on logically deconstructing sentences, objectively drawing inferences, and examining the relationships and connections between words and sentences. 

Important Resources For PTE/SAT/ACT Exam

PTE Examination Eligibility Criteria

There are no specific PTE exam eligibility criteria set by Pearson VUE – the organizers of the test.

PTE Eligibility

PTE Academic Syllabus

PTE syllabus includes various sections such as Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.

PTE Syllabus

PTE Exam Pattern

The PTE exam pattern is designed to test whether candidates can study at international institutions that have English as the main language for instructions.

PTE Exam Pattern

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.