Online GMAT Verbal Practice: Samples and Questions to Guide Your Test Prep

writing essayThe Verbal section of the GMAT measures your ability to comprehend what you read, evaluate arguments, and change elements of sentences to make them correct. One way to prep for this section is to complete sample GMAT Verbal questions. Sample questions give you an idea of what you can expect when you sit down to take the exam. Learning the different types of problems you might encounter will help you to study for Verbal GMAT questions.

The Reading Comprehension Section
GMAT Verbal practice questions in the Reading Comprehension section require you to read a passage that’s followed by several multiple-choice questions. These questions may ask you to draw an inference or make a conclusion about what you read. Also, there are questions that gauge how well you understood statements made within the passage. A question on a GMAT Verbal practice test might start with, “The primary purpose of the passage is to …” or, “The author is critical of X for the following reasons … .” It’s important to carefully read and evaluate the passage before delving into the questions so you have the information you need to make the right choice.

Taking a GMAT Verbal practice test online is an excellent way to become familiar with the format as well as the content of these questions. Plus, tackling practice questions helps you to get into the habit of reading with the purpose of finding out just what the author is trying to say.

The Critical Reasoning Section
The Critical Reasoning section on the GMAT measures your ability to analyze and evaluate an argument. Practice questions on this topic may include a short argument or one that is several sentences long. There are several multiple-choice options for each question that follows the argument. One example of a typical question might start with, “This argument assumes that … .” Another example of a question you’ll likely encounter starts with, “This argument conveys the following … .” You’ll have to look closely at the points of an argument to determine what the author is trying to convey.

The Sentence Correction Section
To do well on GMAT Verbal practice test questions that deal with Sentence Correction, you must have a grasp of proper grammar and sentence structure. You must also recognize a sentence that conveys meaning in an effective way. Each question starts with a passage that includes an underlined portion. Your job is to consider each of the five options and choose the one that best completes the sentence. This requires you to look at various elements throughout the passage, such as verb tenses and noun usage as well as the use of “like” or “as.” The answer option you select must agree with the elements in the rest of the passage.

Preparing for the Verbal Section With a Professional Tutor
Completing lots of GMAT Verbal practice questions is one way to prepare for this portion of the test. Another way is to study with a tutor who scored in the 99th percentile on the exam. That’s exactly what we offer at Veritas Prep. Our talented instructors prep you for the test using our thorough GMAT curriculum. We teach you how to apply the facts and information you’ve learned so you arrive at the correct answer for each question. We also provide you with strategies, tips, and lessons that strengthen your higher-order thinking skills. These are skills you will need well after you conquer the GMAT. We move way beyond memorization of facts – we teach you to think like a business executive!

Wondering where to begin? You can take one of our GMAT practice tests for free. The results can highlight the skills you’ll need to work on before you sit down to take the actual computer-based test. Our GMAT prep courses are ideal if you want to interact with other students who are as determined as you are to master the exam. Or, if you prefer, you can take advantage of our private online tutoring services. We know you have a busy work schedule as well as family obligations, so we make it easy to study with an expert on the Verbal section as well as all of the other sections on the GMAT. Get in touch with us to begin preparing for the GMAT the right way!

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GMAT Tip of the Week: Who's on First?

GMAT prepWelcome back to Baseball Month in the GMAT Tip of the Week space, in which an intelligent discussion of baseball wouldn’t be complete without coverage of one of the most intelligent comedy sketches of all time: Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” routine.

The comedy of questions-that-answer-themselves — Who is, indeed, on first, and What is the name of the player on second. Don’t know? Third base. — is so cleverly planned and brilliantly executed that this routine holds up after nearly 80 years. To create it, Abbott and Costello just replaced actual player names with short placeholders — Who; What; I Don’t Know; Naturally – and kept the structural positions of the baseball diamond — First, Second, Third — in place.

Essentially, Abbott and Costello gave you a blueprint to success on the Reading Comprehension portion of the GMAT.

Much like Abbott and Costello realized about the baseball diamond, on Reading Comprehension passages it’s the positions that matter, and not the details. If you focus on key structural terms — such as first, second, and third (like the Who’s on First routine), and however, also, and therefore — you can fill in the details later when you need to. The GMAT uses the details precisely to create a messy, hard-to-follow situation (again, much like the Who’s on First routine), and rewards the test-taker who can follow the structure of the argument.

Consider any technical passage fraught with details. If you can simply come away from such a passage with an understanding in the form of these notes:

Paragraph 1: The author discusses the old theory of immunological reactions. (Antigen-Antibody theory)

Paragraph 2: The author demonstrates flaws in the old theory and how they led scientists to adopt a second theory to complement it. (Cell-Mitigated Response theory)

Paragraph 3: The author details the second theory and predicts how it will impact future research.

You’ll be able to go back to specific cases for any particular details that the questions require, and you’ll also have a good understanding of what the author is trying to do – namely describe these two immunological theories and show how problems with the first led to the formation of the second.

Questions on the GMAT will either ask for specific information – which you can always go back and find if you know where to look — or general takeaways from the passage, which have much, much more to do with the author’s intent and structure than with the content matter. In either case, if you’ve read for structural intent, you’ll be able to respond efficiently, and you won’t bog yourself down with details during your first read.

To become a better Reading Comprehension test-taker, take a cue from Abbott and Costello and hold yourself responsible for “What’s in the first paragraph, and why?” If you avoid the pitfall of getting lost in the details, you can also avoid the exasperated frustration that Costello exemplifies in this time-honored sketch.

If you’re just starting your GMAT preparation, try a free GMAT practice test. And, as always, be sure to subscribe to this blog and to follow us on Twitter!

GMAT Tip of the Week: Cause and Effect

GMAT prepWelcome back to Hip Hop Month in the GMAT Tip of the Week corner. One of the most underrated themes that one can find in 90s rap lyrics is the often-laughable unintentional use of cause-and-effect that rappers draw in their songs, using “(be)cause” as a connector of ideas with hilarious results. Take a line from the refrain of one of Biggie’s biggest hits, Big Poppa:

…You got a gun up in your waist. Please don’t shoot up the place. (Why?) ‘Cause I’ve seen some ladies tonight that should be having my baby…baby…

Really, Big? The primary reason that someone shouldn’t indiscriminately fire a gun around the nightclub is because you have an interest in some of the female patrons? Ethics…legality…these aren’t primary concerns?

Ice Cube has another classic logical misstep in the title single from his cult classic movie Friday, in which he describes some horrific consequences of a disease, followed with the line:

And that ain’t cool, fool, ’cause it’s Friday.

Again, the logic is ridiculous. Any other day of the week would be fine for the kind of (explicitly-described) pain and suffering that he predicts? Just not heading in to the weekend?

As a favor to yourself, listen to your favorite hip hop lyrics from the 90s and seek out the comical cause-and-effect relationships that the rappers draw. It can be incredibly entertaining, and may also help you with your approach to Reading Comprehension questions on the GMAT. How?

When Reading Comprehension questions ask for specific details, they often ask you for either the cause or the effect of a cause/effect relationship. Questions can take the form of:

According to the passage, plants in desert regions can survive for weeks without rainwater because…


According to the passage, which of the following results from desert plants’ retention of groundwater?

In either case, you’re likely to return to the passage to analyze the portion that deals with desert plants and how they retain water. However, each question is asking for something completely different. The first asks for the cause of the plants’ survival, while the second asks for the effect of the plants’ water retention. Either question could have the same set of answer choices, and the passage will likely be written in a way that the intended answer to the question – cause or effect – will be a step farther from the key words (maybe “desert plants”) for which you will be looking. The authors of these questions know that, when pressed for time and reading a passage that doesn’t fall within your typical range of expertise, you’re apt to simply find the answer choice that comes closest to the keywords from the passage and feel comfortable selecting that. In many cases, that answer choice will be the trap answer, giving you the cause if they ask for the effect, or vice versa.

To maximize your score on Reading Comprehension questions, look for and internalize the cause-and-effect relationships that are the subjects of the questions, and make sure that you know exactly which end the question seeks. Much like it will enhance your enjoyment of rap lyrics, isolating and focusing on cause-and-effect relationships will improve your score on the GMAT. And that’s cool, you know, because it’s Friday.

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