Whether you’re about to take the GMAT online or in a test center, or even if you’re about to embark on a GMAT practice test, you’ll want to run through some GMAT sample questions beforehand.
Learning about the structure of the GMAT Exam, the different sections—the Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning—and the kind of questions which come up is key to your GMAT prep.
These GMAT sample questions and answers have been put together by our team of GMAT experts. You can click on the links below to skip to your GMAT section and GMAT example questions of interest.
GMAT Sample Questions: Verbal
Sentence correction: Comparisons
Unlike the nests of leaf cutters and most other ants, situated underground or in pieces of wood, raider ants make a portable nest by entwining their long legs to form "curtains" of ants that hang from logs or boulders, providing protection for the queen and the colony larvae and pupae.
A. The nests of leaf cutters and most other ants,
B. The nests of leaf cutters and most other ants, which are
C. Leaf cutters and most other ants, whose nests are
D. Leaf cutters and most other ants in having nests
E. Those of leaf cutters and most other ants with nests
The first question you should ask when you see a comparison in the GMAT, is ‘what is the sentence comparing?’. You want to check that the comparison is logical, in that it must compare similar things. Apples to apples so to speak. You cannot compare an apple to a person for example. Likewise, you cannot compare nests to a type of ant. Although we might do this in everyday conversation, it is technically illogical. Words like ‘just as’, ‘like’ and ‘unlike’ indicate a direct comparison.
In this sentence the part that is not underlined mentions raider ants. The part that is underlined is the part that you can change, and the one you will have to match to that.
Scanning the answer choices, you’ll see that answer choice A, B and E are still illogically comparing nests to ants. C and D are the only options that make a logical comparison. Remember for sentence correction questions, the aim is to find four wrong answers so that you are left with the right one. Finding the correct answer is a process of elimination.
Now that you have narrowed down the answer choices, you can focus on the differences between C and D.
Answer choice D intuitively looks wrong. The reason is that the phrase ‘in having nests’ makes it look like the raider ants’ nests are underground or in pieces of wood.
C makes it clear (with the correct possessive phrase whose nests) that it is the nests of the leaf cutters and most other ants that are underground or in pieces of wood. Answer choice C is the correct answer.
Sentence correction: Modifiers, Parallelism
Despite its covering the entire planet, Earth has a crust that is not seamless or stationary, rather it is fragmented into mobile semi-rigid plates.
A. Despite its covering the entire planet, Earth has a crust that is not seamless or stationary, rather it is
B. Despite the fact that it covers the entire planet, Earth's crust is neither seamless nor is it stationary, but is
C. Despite covering the entire planet, Earth's crust is neither seamless nor is it stationary, but rather
D. Although it covers the entire planet, Earth's crust is neither seamless nor stationary, but rather
E. Although covering the entire planet, Earth has a crust that is not seamless or stationary, but
Like most GMAT Sentence correction questions, this one tests multiple grammar points. Incorrect answer choices have more than one error. You can start where you feel most confident and narrow down the choices. You will find the correct answer through a process of elimination.
In the original sentence the modifier ‘Despite its covering the entire planet’ is describing the closest subject to it – Earth. This is illogical as it indicates that Earth is covering itself.
This modifier should be directly next to ‘Earth’s crust’, as that is what it is describing.
You can eliminate answer choices A and E based on this illogical construction.
The correct parallel structure is ‘neither X nor Y’, or ‘neither seamless nor stationary’. Like all parallel structures (including lists) it is incorrect to break up the structure by including random words that interrupt the formation. Hence B and C’s ‘neither seamless nor is it stationary’ is unparallel and incorrect. D is the correct answer.
You could have also narrowed down the answer choices based on the words ‘Despite’ vs ‘Although’. Despite is a preposition and should be followed by a noun (for example: Despite the rain, we walked on) while although is a conjunction and should be followed by a subject and verb (for example: Although it rained, we walked on).
Sentence correction: Parallelism
Obtaining an investment-grade rating will keep the county's future borrowing costs low, protect its already-tattered image, and increase its ability to buy bond insurance.
(A) Obtaining an investment-grade rating will keep the county's future borrowing costs low, protect
(B) To obtain an investment-grade rating will keep the county's future borrowing costs low, and protect
(C) Having obtained an investment-grade rating will, in keeping the county's future borrowing costs low, protect
(D) To obtain an investment-grade rating would keep the county's future borrowing costs low, protecting
(E) Obtaining an investment-grade rating, keeping the county's borrowing costs low, would be protecting
This is a classic parallelism question. What makes this one slightly more complex is the fact that it tests your ability to see which parts of the sentences need to be parallel.
Parallelism makes sentences easier to read by making clear how the different parts relate to one another. Items in a list or sequence need to be in the same form. In this case, this sentence contains a list of what will happen if the country obtains an investment grade rating. This investment-grade rating will do three things 1) KEEP the country’s future borrowing costs low 2) PROTECT its already-tattered image and 3) INCREASE its ability to buy bond insurance.
The list should be keep protect and increase, or keeping protecting and increasing.
As the word increase is not underlined (and cannot be changed in the answer choices), keep and protect are the right form of these words to match it.
The only answer choices consistent with this are A and B.
B is probably the most common wrong answer to this question. It is tempting to change Obtaining to Obtain to match increase, keep and protect, but actually obtaining is not part of the list (of what the investment-grade rating would do).
In fact, in A Obtaining is a gerund – a part of speech that may look like a verb at first glance due to its -ing structure, but is actually a noun. It is correct to have a noun as the subject of the sentence rather than to have an infinitive verb ‘To Obtain’ as the subject. A verb cannot be the subject of a sentence.
Note also that the additional and in B breaks up the parallel structure. The structure of a list should be ‘A, B and C’ and not ‘A and B and C’.