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Expert s Guide on How to Prepare for GMAT Verbal Section

In conversation with Komal Pathak (A GMAT Verbal Expert) on how to prepare for the GMAT Verbal section. She shared valuable tips and insights for performing better in the GMAT Verbal section. is an e-learning company offering flexible learning solutions that enhance teaching and learning. Launched with a mission to optimize educational information available on the Internet for everyone, Flexiguru is making huge strides within a short period of its existence. An initiative of Piron Corporation, Flexiguru aims at making learning more easy and organized. Hundreds of excellent teachers has joined the platform and thousands of students have already started getting benefits using the platform.

Komal Pathak, Verbal Faculty at ScoreBoost

Komal Pathak, Verbal Faculty at ScoreBoost

Komal Pathak: Komal Pathak brings an extensive teaching experience of over 10 years majorly as a Verbal Expert across different (national and international) entrance exams. Currently, she is working with ScoreBoost as a Verbal Faculty where she trains for exams such as GMAT, GRE, SAT, IELTS, TOEFL and CAT. Prior to joining ScoreBoost, she was working with Career Launcher (CL) as an Assistant Manager (wherein she took care of marketing projects), and as a Verbal Faculty helping students prepare for entrance exams like CAT, SAT, GRE, GMAT etc. She has also worked as a Soft Skill Trainer with TeamLease and been giving Guest Lectures at Bangalore School of Banking. Komal has also worked with Global Center of Languages as an English Grammar Trainer and as an Assistant Teacher at Dr. Bhimrao Shikshan Sansthan. She scored 97.33 percentile in CAT English section (2008).

How Indian students should prepare for the GMAT Verbal section?

GMAT is slightly different from GRE. Graduate Record Examinations is more academic in nature, whereas GMAT is more towards MBA. GMAT tests you on skills that are required for management programs, it won’t test you on vocabulary (which is a blessing in GMAT). The test checks the depth and try to find out whether you are actually fit for management programs or not. Basically, GMAT checks – Critical and Analytical skills, plus the skills required for management studies. As we know, most of the engineers take up GMAT and generally verbal is not a problem for them, as it’s verbal and nothing English. If you are very good at English and scored really high in Prose and Poetry in Literature, it’s not going to help you much for the GMAT exam. The GMAT English questions are more logical and reasoning based. I don’t think, Engineers and technical people will find problem in GMAT Verbal section. As Math and Verbal is equal for them.

But for aspirants who are from ‘Non-technical’ background the verbal section won’t be a problem, if they evaluate things critically. But if a student comes from ‘Arts’ background who have done only theoretical parts and have not developed critical thinking and analytical skills, I don’t think GMAT is a right choice for him/her.

GMAT Verbal Section

GMAT Verbal Section

Which GMAT Verbal section do Indian students find challenging?

Reasoning is not a challenge for students, they find it quite logical and don’t find it very difficult. Even Reading Comprehension is not a challenge because they need to read the passage analytically. There are specific type of questions when you practice and learn how to apply them, then it’s not a problem. But GMAT Sentence Correction is something students have not done for a long time so they struggle with that. Grammar based questions are not static question which they ask you, it’s about Spoken English and Standard English. Again there is difference between American and British English, those things you have to keep in consideration. For example, when you say – I am better than him. This sentence is wrong and students are generally shocked why it is wrong. Problem is if you are comparing two clauses, you need to say ‘I am better than he is’ where ‘he is’ is a clause. There are few technical aspects which needs to be considered. And it is important to note Spoken and Written English differs. So, I would say Sentence Correction which are more of grammar based questions, is the major area of concern for students in GMAT Verbal section.

How a student should go about the Verbal section on the exam day?

GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test wherein the computer will evaluate you. There will be mixed questions – easy, medium and difficult level. If you do well in the difficulty level by answering correctly, you would get a high score. You would score less when you attempt easy questions. If you answer all easy questions wrong, it’s not going to work. In GMAT, you cannot leave any question, you cannot move to the next without answering the current question because you will have heavier penalty for that. GMAT judges you on the answered questions, when you answer a question wrong you get an easier question and when you mark the question correctly, you get the next question tougher. Your score will also vary according to that. So students should never leave a question. People say first 10 questions take most of their time, it scales them and accordingly they get the questions. However, it is not true. So all the questions are important and you should balance your time.

How being good in English is critical for pursuing higher studies in top universities?

If you have done really well in school in theoretical knowledge it’s not very useful for GMAT. Knowing grammar rules will help you but not completely. Application is more required, if not students should be at least good in grammar rules. GMAT basically focus on modifiers and parallelism type of questions. For example, ‘Only he goes to his office.’, ‘He only walks to his office.’ and ‘He walks only to his office.’ The placement of the word ‘only’ would change the meaning. If an answer option is grammatically correct but changes the meaning of the original sentence, it’s not the correct option. From that perspective, you need to work on meaning and grammar, you cannot add or remove anything from the original sentence. Again reasoning and logic comes in picture.

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