To Be Fast, Be Precise in the GMAT Focus Verbal Section

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Time-management is one of the chief concerns among people preparing for the GMAT Focus. That concern often becomes more acute when students study for the Verbal section. Why? Because your pacing will need to vary more between Critical Reasoning and

Reading Comprehension questions in the Verbal section than between Problem Solving questions in the Quant section. So, unsurprisingly, students often ask us, How can I improve my GMAT Verbal timing?

In addition to our other pacing-related tips, focusing on precision is a key way to increase your speed in Verbal. For example, suppose we breeze through a CR passage without precisely identifying the elements of the argument. In that case, we may end up cycling through the answer choices repeatedly because we can’t clearly see how each choice relates to the argument. That is, because we weren’t precise, it may take us a long time to answer the question.

Alternatively, if we carefully read the passage and precisely identify each element of the argument, we’ll understand the relationship between the argument and each answer choice more quickly.

This approach applies to Reading Comprehension as well. For example, if we’re not precisely analyzing the meaning of each answer choice in an RC question and instead simply looking for an answer that “sounds like” something the passage says, we’re going to have a heck of time eliminating incorrect answers. Why? Because many trap answers in RC questions “sound like” things the passage says.

In general, even though being precise may seem to take longer, it actually helps us answer Verbal questions faster.

So, to be fast in the GMAT Verbal section, be precise when practicing.

Warmest regards,

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
Founder & CEO, Target Test Prep