GMAT Tip: Managing Your Time in Verbal Section

This is an excerpt from a longer article by Jeff Sackmann, originally published at Jeff has created several valuable GMAT-preparation resources, including Total GMAT Math and Total GMAT Verbal.

Sentence Correction. You can expect to see about 16 SCs among the 41 Verbal questions. On average, you should spend about 1.25 minutes for each one. This will vary more than any other type of question on the test: if you immediately see the mistake in the sentence and spot the correct choice, a question might only take you twenty seconds. However, if the entire sentence is underlined and knowing the correct answer hinges on an obscure usage issue, you could easily spent two minutes puzzling it out. Both of those outcomes are perfectly acceptable, as long as your average time is near 1.25 minutes.

Critical Reasoning. There are 12 or 13 CR questions on each administration of the GMAT, and each one will require your focus for at least 90 to 120 seconds. Some will ask for much more. On average, each question should take about 2.5 minutes. CR questions are the easiest to rush through: it’s common to feel like they are taking too long (even when you’re right on pace!) and there are often trap answer choices that, on a quick scan, look perfect. On CR more than any other type of question, you’ll benefit from an extra 20 or 30 seconds carefully spent analyzing two or three final answer choices.

Reading Comprehension. You’ll see approximately 4 RC passages and 12 or 13 accompanying questions. Passages, on average, should take you about 3 minutes to read, while each question should require a little less than a minute to answer. Again, you’ll have a lot of variance here: shorter passages may only take two minutes; a single difficult inference question may take two minutes. Again, what’s important is the average; when you’re practicing, watch out for the types of passages and questions that take you considerably longer.

Interested in reading more? Click HERE to see more test prep advice.

Stacy Blackman readers can get an exclusive 10% discount off of all GMAT Hacks products by using the coupon code “sbc10”³ at checkout. Thanks, Jeff!

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