Explore Courses

How to Prepare for GMAT Verbal?

Updated on 30 March, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Do you want to impress the MBA admission panel and step right into your desired management institute? Well, who doesn't? 

An impressive score in the GMAT exam can help you stand out during the selection process and increase your chances of making it to your dream B-school. However, of all the sections, verbal reasoning can be the most challenging for some aspirants. Only with the right approach and dedication can this section be mastered. 

The GMAT Verbal section tests your ability to comprehend written material, evaluate arguments, and express ideas clearly and effectively. It's a crucial component of the GMAT exam, and a high score on this section can help you stand out to top business schools.

Structure of GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section

Before understanding how to study for the GMAT verbal section, it is crucial to know the basic structure of the exam. 

Attention to detail and planning in advance is the key to ace this test. Here is the verbal reasoning structure of the GMAT exam:

Table: GMAT Verbal Section Structure

Time limit

Number of questions

Range of score

Types of questions

65 minutes


6 – 51 

Reading comprehension, sentence correction, and critical reasoning

Source: mba.com

The simple structure of this GMAT exam section makes it easy for you to focus on the main content. 

Notably, the process of how to prepare for GMAT verbal begins by understanding the crux of each question category:

  • Reading Comprehension: These questions require you to read and grasp the meaning of the given content or passage.
  • Sentence Correction: As the name suggests, you need to implement proper linguistic knowledge to rectify mistakes in a sentence.
  • Critical Reasoning: In these questions, you need to analyze and put into proper context the arguments in the given query.

After knowing these details, you can systematically plan how to prepare for GMAT verbal section.

Explore Free Guides

Gmat syllabus
gmat guide
Study abroad exam guide

Best Preparation Strategy for GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section

By addressing a few essential pointers, you can prepare in advance to score high in the GMAT verbal reasoning segment.

Let us understand the study process for each sub-section of the GMAT exam verbal reasoning section.

1. Reading Comprehension

Do you want to understand the primary intention of the reading comprehension questions? Well, take a look at the following points:

  • The questions assess your ability to understand the main message in the content. To sharpen your comprehension, it is essential to exhibit strong reading skills and vocabulary.

On a general level, these questions are 250 to 300 words long. Here are some of the main areas that the passages cover:

  • Economics
  • Natural science
  • Finance and business
  • Social science
  • Humanities

So, to know how to prepare for the GMAT verbal section, you require a high level of consistency in solving these questions. Understand the passage's main idea, application, function, and tone. 

Solving several mock tests and previous year's reading comprehension passages is a good strategy. So, to tackle these questions, read more to develop your analytical skills.

2. Sentence Correction

Here are the main aspects of the sentence correction question in the GMAT exam verbal section:

  • A sentence with partial or complete underline
  • Five options related to the question
  • Need for identification of grammar or communicational errors

It is crucial to know about tense errors, structuring flaws, modifier errors, and subject-verb agreement when preparing for the GMAT exam.

So, must you be a grammar wizard to score high in this section? Not really!

Regular preparation through customized webinars and suitable study material can instantly help you identify issues in incorrect sentences. This strategy is crucial for performing well in the sentence correction segment.

3. Critical Reasoning

In most cases, critical reasoning questions require the sound practice of reasoning. As part of this question type, you will need to analyze, construct, and evaluate an argument on the given passage.

The length of the passage in this sub-section is less than 100 words. You need to choose one of the five options that justifies the argument.

Before we wrap up, let’s examine the strategy to perform well in the GMAT verbal exam section. 

Practice sample questions on all topics asked in the verbal reasoning section. Examine your performance in the section and focus on sections that demand your attention. You must portray sufficient reasoning skills to provide relevant answers and score high. 

Tips to Maximize Scores in GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section

Here are some of the valuable pointers that can help you score high in the verbal segment:

  • Develop a comprehensive and structured study plan
  • Take frequent mock tests and perform SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis
  • Focus on one sub-topic or question type at a time
  • Stay consistent with your preparation
  • Invest in online and offline resources 

Overall, these simple tips can prove beneficial and offer the best strategy to prepare for GMAT verbal.

Prepare for GMAT Verbal Reasoning- Resources and Books

To prepare for GMAT verbal reasoning section, you need some suitable resources to carry out your preparation. To make your search easier, we have mentioned a list of eight GMAT preparation books that you can use during your preparation. 

  • Kaplan GMAT Verbal Book
  • PowerScore GMAT Verbal Guides
  • Manhattan GMAT Strategy Guides
  • Veritas Prep Complete GMAT Course Set
  • The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review
  • Magoosh Verbal + AWA GMAT Online Course
  • GMAT Official Guide Verbal Review by GMAC
  • PowerScore's GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible

Expert Tips on Pursuing MBA Abroad

Learn everything about MBA abroad with this e-guide. Get to know about different types of MBA, the benefits of pursuing an MBA degree abroad, how to choose an MBA degree, top business school requirements, top MBA universities, scholarships, job prospects after an MBA abroad, and more.

Now, get answers to every MBA abroad-related question with this ebook.


Preparing for GMAT exam can be a cakewalk if you follow the above-listed preparation strategies and remain persistent in your endeavors. So, chalk out your customized study plan keeping in mind the days at hand, solve various mock tests, and refer to online and offline resources.

Stay upbeat, and you can ace the verbal reasoning segment to gain admission to top-notch MBA colleges.

Study Master Programs in USA

masters in data analytics and visualization

MS in Data Analytics and Visualization in USA

Dual certification - IIITB as well as Yeshiva University. End-to-end support for applications and visa.

Learn More
masters in data analytics in usa

MS in Data Analytics in USA

Dual certification - IIITB as well as Clark University. World Class Faculty Members & Industry Experts.

Learn More
masters in information technology in usa

MS in Information Technology in USA

GRE Waiver for IIITB learners. In-built IELTS prep to be provided by upGrad.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

Is GMAT verbal reasoning hard?

Yes, the GMAT exam verbal section is challenging to crack. But you need to stay updated and familiarize yourself with the syllabus and types of questions and prepare hard to meet your desired score. So, solve as many mock tests as you can, review them for mistakes, and invest in some helpful study materials.

What is a good GMAT verbal score?

A score of 28 or more in verbal reasoning is decent for admission to reputed MBA colleges. Follow the tips to increase your scores and compensate for the same in other GMAT exam sections.

How many questions are on the GMAT Verbal section?

There are 36 questions on the GMAT Verbal section.

How much time do I have to complete the GMAT Verbal section?

You have 65 minutes to complete the GMAT Verbal section.

Popular Study Abroad Destinations

Study in Canada

Study in Canada

Study in Canada & Save up to 20 Lakhs with upGrad Abroad

Study in Canada
Study in Australia

Study in Australia

Study in Australia & Save up to 20 Lakhs with upGrad Abroad

Study in Australia
Study in USA

Study in USA

Study in the USA & Save up to 20 Lakhs with upGrad Abroad

Study in USA

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.

See More

Refer Your Friend & Earn upto ₹15000

Help your friend upgrade to a Global Career and earn rewards together.



IELTS Sample Essay

IELTS Cue Card

IELTS Reading Answer



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