GMAT Verbal Section Strategy Tips – How to score 40 plus in GMAT Verbal

I have been reading several debriefs where slightly improper time management costs a lot of the eventual score on GMAT. So, I thought of sharing my strategy on verbal section on how I tried to manage my time. I call it “How to score 40 plus in GMAT Verbal” tips! I hope some of fellow test takers may find it useful. [Also check out my quant section strategy tips]

§ DO NOT BE AFRAID OF VERBAL SECTION. Instead, ENJOY IT!

§ Divide your verbal section in 3 phases

§ Phase 1 [30 minutes]: Take sufficient time for first 15 questions, approximately 2 minutes. You will get at least 1 RC in this but try to gain momentum because once you are in momentum you will be able to make up the extra time lost

§ Phase 2 [25 minutes]: Be quick between questions 16 and 31. Say approximately 1.5 minutes per question or 25 minutes overall.

§ Phase 3 [20 minutes]: Leave almost 2 minutes per question for last 10 questions as they will contain fewer experimental questions. Please click here why I recommend doing well on last few questions.

§ Numbered scratch pad: Use your time during the school selection screens to create numbered scratch pad with 5 choices. Use this scratch area to execute POE (point of elimination). Make sure you use POE method for majority of your verbal questions. It will help you narrow down the choices and quickly answer. [Please click here to see where you should have numbered scratch pad.]

Reading Comprehension (RC):

  • Almost all study guides will recommend you to do “active reading” by taking notes. BUT, do NOT write too much. Gaze through one paragraph at a time and just list a few words or sentences (say 1-2 sentences or 5-8 words.)
  • Note down point for first 2 RC and try to reduce your dependency on writing for active reading. You can remember 4 paragraphs if you read them carefully. Ideally you may not write more than a few words (or no words) for last RC. This will ensure that you will have enough time to answer last 5-7 questions which are typically SC or CR.
  • For last RC you may want to start your reading aiming to answer first question instead of getting overall understanding if you’re running out of time.
  • Try to follow 7 step strategy of Manhattan.
  • ALWAYS, read the first question before reading passage.
  • USE POE in RC. 3 out of 5 choices are irrelevant.

Critical Reasoning (CR):

  • Be quick to remove irrelevant choices. Any words which don’t appear in original passage may actually be irrelevant.
  • Try to find out words which match the words from passage. Choices with such words are more than likely to be correct choices.
  • Use your numbers scratch pad to remove irrelevant choice by POE. Please click here to see how to create such scratch pad.
  • Concentrate a little more on CR that follows RC. Usually you feel fatigued after reading a passage, questions and answer. Another small passage of CR can add to fatigue and a hazy reading may lead you to choose wrong choice. Just a little concentration not too much so that you run out of time afterwards J

Sentence Correction (SC):

  • Treat SC as if you’re doing math section. There are predefined grammar rules and if those rules are compromised, the sentence is wrong. This is as simple. Use Manhattan SC guide as bible.
  • Read the sentence and try to spot the error. As soon as you spot the mistake USE POE and remove those choices.
  • If an answer choice seems to make compromise with grammar rule(s) then cancel it even if that’s the only less wordy choice or probably the last one after you crossed off other 4 choices. It’s very likely that there is another choice that you misread at first attempt.
  • When you are left with 2 choices try to find out which one can be wrong. This strategy will help you correct answer.
  • Don’t ignore your strength in an attempt to do better on your weak points. SC was my strength so I concentrated on each SC question and tries to pick the right choice. Remember: Your strength will earn you more points than concentrating too much on weakness.
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10 Responses to “GMAT Verbal Section Strategy Tips – How to score 40 plus in GMAT Verbal”

  1. Edd Says:

    Thanks for the great and comprehensive tips. I’ll be writing the GMAT in 2 wks and this is a good overview for me. 1 question though: What is the 7 strategy of Manhattan?

  2. Pratap Says:

    Your blog is awesome.

  3. engin Says:

    Hello,

    I am getting much better in my scores due to a strong analysis of my mistakes. However, I am not really able to get my scores up on the Sentence correction end of things. Everything else is pretty straightforward and self explanatory. Except SC. I have done a good amount of grammar work and also read the powerscore sc bible and manhattan gmat book. I think I am suffering from more of a strategy issue. Do you have any reccomendations on how to make my weakness my strength? Thanks in advance!

    p.s. I went from 510 to a 650 (quant 38 and verbal 41) last week. THis week I got a 640 (quant 44 and verbal 38). I have to fix this SC problem because my minor mistakes in CR are easy to fix!

  4. engin Says:

    Hello

    I am getting much better in my scores due to a strong analysis of my mistakes. However, I am not really able to get my scores up on the Sentence correction end of things. Everything else is pretty straightforward and self explanatory. Except SC. I have done a good amount of grammar work and also read the powerscore sc bible and manhattan gmat book. I think I am suffering from more of a strategy issue. Do you have any reccomendations on how to make my weakness my strength? Thanks in advance!

    p.s. I went from 510 to a 650 (quant 38 and verbal 41) last week. THis week I got a 640 (quant 44 and verbal 38). I have to fix this SC problem because my minor mistakes in CR are easy to fix!

  5. Quant Section Strategy « Tranquil Storm Says:

    […] tried to manage my time. I hope some of fellow test takers may find it useful. [Also check out my Verbal Section Strategy […]

  6. Verbal practise score not even 40% :( - Page 2 - TestMagic Forums Says:

    […] GMAT. I got a 750 with 44 in Verbal. You might want to check out the strategy at following URL. GMAT Verbal Section Strategy Tips – How to score 40 plus in GMAT Verbal Tranquil Storm – GMAT, TOE… It is also important to do well on last few questions of each questions. In essence time […]

  7. Shashi Says:

    This is a good strategy for verbal. I agree with following Manhattan SC.

  8. Shashi Says:

    I did not mention that similar strategies helped me improve my verbal score from 33 to 42 and change my GMAT score from 640 to 730 in less than 20 days.

  9. 710-my complete experience - Page 2 - PaGaLGuY.com - The Everything of MBA in India and Abroad, CAT 2009, GMAT, XAT, MAT Says:

    […] Originally Posted by neha.visionary Hi Doc Kudos to your score all the best for applications! My quant is similiar like yours (though i didn't take any break as you did from maths, i'm a stats grad) well everything same as yours only one thing-english scores i just gave a gmatprep test and scored 580 overall. qaunt-40 and verbal-30 my test in on 2nd feb. i know there is not much time left to increase verbal scores but can you still tell what should i do improve it? my target score is between 650-700. not keeping any 'high' expectations cause i know if that doesn't happen on test day then i won't be able to take it and to apply to my targeted univeristy. my score should be less than 700. and i know i have the potential to score more than i do so can you give your two cents? attimes, i slip on cr ques. and off lately,sc is tricking me,i have always been fairly good in it. better than rest two but my accuracy rate is like 9/16! so i'm worried about it. rc is actaully all depended on mood i know how to "read" Gmat way and it has always worked. the rc passages where i get lost are science passages. they are a pain ple reply assp.thanks. neha All the best for your exam. I don't know whether I can really be helpful but I will give it my best shot. During my practice tests, I used to score worse in verbal whenever my quants went bad so I think it is essential to start your verbal with a fresh mind and leave the quant experience behind. Secondly, I create a grid with all the options and mark out the obvious wrong choices and narrow it down to 2 or 3 choices. I guess you already do all this. Check this link out, there are a some strategies listed which you may find useful: GMAT Verbal Section Strategy Tips – How to score 40 plus in GMAT Verbal Tranquil Storm: GMAT, … […]


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