Non-Traditional Background: Applying To Business School

3 Key Ways To Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

If you want a chance at gaining admission into a top B-school, you should aim to get a GMAT score in the 700’s. For comparison, the average GMAT score for at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School is 733.

The GMAT is organized by two sections: a Quant section and a Verbal section. Performing well on both is critical to landing a top total score and B-schools often like to see a balance in performance across the two sections. Marty Murray, the Chief Curriculum and Content Architect for Target Test Prep, recently offered a few tips on how applicants can score high on the GMAT Verbal section in an article for Fortuna Admissions.


The GMAT Verbal section focuses heavily on analyzation and critical thinking with questions on sentence correction and reading comprehension. The best approach to preparing for the Verbal section, Murray says, is to go topic-by-topic in order to master the concepts.

“So, for Sentence Correction, work on one concept at a time, starting with foundational concepts, such as types of clauses, and then moving on to more complex topics, such as modifiers and comparisons,” Murray writes. “For Critical Reasoning, it works best to work on one type of question at a time. Similarly, Reading Comprehension involves a number of concepts and question types that you can efficiently learn about and master one at a time.”

But concept knowledge is just one aspect to performing well on the Verbal section.

To score highly, Murray says, test takers need more than just an understanding of concepts.

“While concept knowledge is certainly an essential aspect of earning a good GMAT Verbal score, to master the Verbal section of the GMAT, you have to not only learn concepts but also develop skill in noticing what is going on in questions and using logic to arrive at correct answers,” Murray writes.


A solid strategy is key to improving your GMAT score. Experts say that having a game plan for common testing roadblocks can help ensure that you’re ready come exam day.

One of the best strategies, highlighted by The Princeton Review, is to limit the number of times you refer back to a passage on the Verbal section.

“Assuming that you’ve referred to the passage before looking at the answer choices—always a best practice—refer back only once more,” according to The Princeton Review. “If you find the information that helps you decide which answer is correct, you can pick an answer. If you didn’t, then switch gears. Try to find something that makes one of the answers wrong. Does one of the answers use extreme language? That could be a great reason to pick the other answer.”

Sources: Fortuna Admissions, P&Q, The Princeton Review

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