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GMAT Focus Edition Verbal Reasoning | How To Ace The GMAT Focus Verbal Questions

Master the GMAT Focus Edition Verbal Questions with our GMAT Focus Verbal Reasoning section guide, covering reading comprehension and critical reasoning

Wed Jan 31 2024

If there’s one thing you should know about the Verbal Reasoning section of the GMAT Focus Edition it’s that it’s not designed to test your proficiency in English; it’s about your verbal reasoning skills. 

The common misconception that the GMAT Focus Verbal section is the ‘English’ side of the GMAT Focus Edition causes many people (particularly native English speakers) to overestimate their abilities and underestimate the amount of practice and preparation needed to get a good GMAT Focus score. 

Instead, GMAT Focus Verbal questions test your ability to understand, analyze, and evaluate information in written English.

Here’s everything you need to know about the GMAT Focus Verbal Reasoning section in our GMAT Focus Verbal Guide:

How is the GMAT Focus Verbal scored?

The GMAT Focus Verbal section (along with the GMAT Focus Quantitative Reasoning section and GMAT Focus Data Insights Section) makes up your score out of 805. 

Your GMAT Focus Verbal score is based on the number of questions you answer; whether your answers are correct; and the difficulty of the questions you answer correctly, which increases with each correct answer.

How long is the GMAT Focus Verbal section?

You have 45 minutes to complete 23 multiple-choice questions.  

All GMAT Focus Verbal questions are multiple choice questions, with five options. The two different GMAT Focus Verbal question types are mixed throughout the section.

What are the different GMAT Focus verbal questions?

What’s on the GMAT Focus Verbal syllabus? The GMAT Focus Verbal section is made up of two sub-sections that count equally towards your score: Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. 

GMAT Focus Critical Reasoning

GMAT Focus Critical Reasoning questions test your ability to understand and analyze logical arguments. 

For example, you could be presented with a logical argument and are asked to weaken it or strengthen it. You could also be asked to find the assumption the argument is based on, identify the conclusion, or identify the role parts of the argument are playing. 

There are also question types which ask you to resolve a paradox, or evaluate what information is most useful to assess an argument.

One useful approach to GMAT Focus Critical Reasoning is to focus on how specific the conclusions of the arguments are. For example, if a question asks about the health effects of a program, the cost, convenience, popularity of the program are not relevant. They are out of scope. 

There are many crossovers between the GMAT Focus Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension sections. It can be helpful to start with Critical Reasoning to get a solid foundation before going on to Reading Comprehension. 

GMAT Focus Reading Comprehension

GMAT Focus Reading Comprehension (RC) questions are not like the kind of reading comprehension questions you saw in high school. 

You need to note the different points of view represented in the passage and understand the relationship between different pieces of information. Being aware of so-called transition words like ‘however’, ‘although’ and ‘furthermore’ can help you to identify these relationships. 

You also need to read actively to sort out the most important information, while not getting hung up on the detail. 

For questions asking for specific details (these often begin with ‘According to the passage…’), go back to the passage and do not rely on your memory. Many wrong answer choices are pieces taken directly from the passage, but that don’t answer the question. 

GMAT Focus RC passages can feel a bit dry. Typically, the passage topics cover science, social science and business topics. 

Do not neglect practicing Reading Comprehension because the passages feel boring. This section is testing your ability to focus, and you’ll feel more engaged with the passage if you practice reading actively.


Follow five key steps to master the GMAT Focus Verbal Reasoning section: 

1. Don't focus too much on theory without considering how grammar concepts work in practice. Make sure you use GMAT Focus specific resources as it is incredibly useful to focus on the way the GMAT Focus tests these topics, rather than grammar in general.

2. Use a process of elimination. Make sure you write down the letters A,B,C,D,E and work through problems methodically. 

3. Understand why you are getting questions wrong. If you don’t understand after reading the answer explanation in the GMAT Focus Edition Official guide, turn to other sources like study groups, tutors or forums. 

4. Keep an error log to identify any weaknesses.

5. Read the question carefully. Very often in the GMAT Focus Edition you can get the right answer to the wrong question. Pay close attention to the wording. In the GMAT Focus Verbal section, wording is very precise. 

For your GMAT Focus Verbal practice and to review multiple GMAT Focus sample questions check out our GMAT Focus Edition Sample Questions & Answers.