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GMAT® Focus Verbal Practice Questions

What is GMAT’s Verbal Reasoning Questions?

The Verbal Reasoning section of the GMAT Focus Edition is designed to evaluate a candidate’s proficiency in understanding, analyzing, and expressing ideas effectively in English. This section is essential for determining a candidate’s readiness for the business school environment.

In the GMAT Focus Edition, the Verbal Reasoning section is adapted to align with the revised format. It features a series of multiple-choice questions to be completed within a 45-minute timeframe, focusing on two main types of questions:

1. Reading Comprehension: This portion presents passages on a variety of topics. Candidates are required to interpret, analyze, and apply the information from these passages. Questions may ask you to reference directly from the text or to integrate the passage’s ideas with broader perspectives.
2. Critical Reasoning: This section tests your ability to understand, analyze, and evaluate arguments. Questions are derived from a range of sources, allowing candidates to demonstrate their reasoning skills even when the subject matter is unfamiliar. It involves making arguments, evaluating others’ arguments, and formulating or assessing action plans.

The GMAT Focus Edition’s Verbal Reasoning section is crafted to assess key skills relevant to a business school environment, ensuring candidates are well-prepared for the types of reading and reasoning tasks they will encounter in their graduate studies. This streamlined approach, fitting within the shorter overall structure of the GMAT Focus Edition, reflects a more focused assessment strategy while maintaining the rigorous standards of the original GMAT exam.

What are some of the Answering Strategies in Verbal Reasoning Questions?

For the GMAT Focus Edition, the Verbal Reasoning section’s preparation tips can be adapted as follows:

1. Understanding the Question: Ensure you fully grasp what is being asked. Sometimes, an answer choice might be incorrect even if it seems to align with the passage’s information.
2. Review All Options: Before selecting an answer, carefully read through all the available choices.
3. Thorough Passage Analysis: Before answering, study the passage in detail. This helps in understanding the context and nuances of the text.
4. Base Answers on the Passage: Your answers should be grounded in what the passage explicitly states or implies. Focus on the specific inquiry of the question and the information presented in the passage.

Critical Reasoning Questions:

1. Consider All Choices: Don’t rush to an answer; review all options. An answer that appears obvious at first may not be correct.
2. Understand the Core Issue: Grasp the main subject of the question, then revisit the relevant part of the text for better clarity.
3. Identify the Conclusion: In argumentative questions, pinpoint where the conclusion is drawn. It’s not always at the end of the argument.
4. Interpret Statements Correctly: Distinguish between factual statements and those that are implied or inferential. Understanding the basis of the question is crucial.
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GMAT Focus Verbal Problems

Critical Reasoning – Basic Argumentation

Consultant: Palmer Corporation has historically contracted with external vendors to execute special projects as an alternative to increasing its full-time workforce to complete these tasks. Last year, Alliance International went bankrupt largely because it overspent on outside vendors. Palmer Corporation would be advised to limit expenses paid to outside vendors, because in the long run it costs less to add full-time workers than to outsource work to another entity.

Which of the following is an assumption made by the consultant in providing her recommendation to Palmer Corporation?

A) Outside vendors are often sought out by companies who have been tasked to complete work that outside of their primary scope.

B) Bankruptcy is not currently a concern of Palmer Corporation’s CEO or its Board of Directors.

C) Palmer Corporation has historically budgeted for no more than five special projects to be taken on by the company in any given year.

D) Alliance International and Palmer Corporation are competitors in the same industry.

E) Revenue generated by special projects at Palmer Corporation is not significantly greater than the amount paid to the outside vendors to execute them.

The correct answer must provide a fact that must be assumed to believe the recommendation that Palmer Corporation would be advised to limit expenses paid to outside vendors based on the evidence provided. Choice E is that fact, because if the opposite were true, that revenue generated by the Palmer Corporation special projects is significantly greater than what is paid to outside vendors to execute those projects, then there would be no reason for Palmer Corporation to alter its business practices pertaining to the external vendors executing the special projects.

Critical Reasoning – Common Arguments

Student reporter: Awaiting results of the university council election, I noticed that the chairman of the board of electors repeatedly glanced at one of the candidates. Another observer posited that the attention paid to this candidate over the others indicated an advantage in the results tally and determined that this candidate had likely won. This deduction might be incorrect, however, as the chairman could have also been focused on inaccurate statements made in that candidate’s speech.

The student reporter’s argument is flawed in that it fails to consider that:

A) Not every board member may be required to attend every candidate campaign speech.

B) Disingenuous promises made by the candidate in question may have won votes.

C) There may be discrepancies found in the actual vote count.

D) The reporter and the other observer noticed the chairman’s furtive glances simultaneously.

E) The chairman of the board may have also looked at other candidates occasionally.

Nothing in the statements provided would indicate that both assertions cannot be true simultaneously. Therefore, choice B is correct because it articulates the flaw by articulating that those inaccurate statements of disingenuous promise led to the candidate in question having an advantage in the results tally even though the chairman could have also been focused on the statements as well.

Question 3

In 2002, Jada Harris received a call from a student at East Carolina University, who was returning panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt that had been temporarily displayed at his school. Harris, director of programs at the NAMES Project Foundation, which manages the Quilt, vividly recalls the conversation. The young man, who represented an African-American student group, nervously asked whether next time, the organization could send over panels that didn’t just represent “old white guys,” as he had phrased it.

Later, as Harris looked through the Quilt’s database, she realized that there were less than 300 individual panels made for African Americans who had died from HIV/AIDS. “I was just flabbergasted,” she said.

Like the disease, the Quilt had emerged within the white, gay, male community, which suffered the overwhelming majority of AIDS deaths during the early years of the epidemic. The first panels were sewn in San Francisco in 1987, each one bearing the name of a life lost to AIDS. The Quilt had been developed as a way to memorialize loved ones, and to salvage some sense of creation and beauty from the devastating loss.

But the demographics of the disease had shifted by the 21st century. By 2000, African-American and Hispanic gay and bisexual men were diagnosed at higher rates than their white counterparts, and African Americans made up 57 percent of all new infections in the United States. Infection rates had also begun to skyrocket within the female community: by 2004, HIV would become the leading cause of death for African-American women between 25–34 years old, and the third leading cause of death for African-American women between 35–44 years old.

And yet, new quilt panels continued to predominantly reflect the disease’s original demographics. “We as a nation weren’t necessarily recognizing that HIV and AIDS were impacting every sector of society,” said Julie Rhoad, executive director of the NAMES Project, which moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Atlanta in 2002. “And the Quilt was a reflection of that.”

In response, the NAMES Project launched Call My Name in 2003, which was later funded by the NEA. Although the Names Project has always hosted panel-making workshops, Call My Name workshops specifically target the African-American community, bringing people together to collectively grieve while creating a tribute for a loved one. While the workshops raise awareness in and of themselves, the panels they produce help ensure the Quilt remains a relevant and effective public health tool.

“It’s important that people see people that look like themselves, so they will understand that this disease doesn’t have any respect of person,” said Harris. “Everybody is represented on the Quilt, but unless the Quilt tells your story, it’s hard for people to see that there is a possibility that they could be at risk.”

Question 9.1: Which of the following best describes the trajectory of the passage?

A) A series of proposals are put forward concerning the best way to address a crisis; one such proposal is approved and acted upon.

B) An oversight is detected and quickly addressed; the way in which the oversight is resolved is questioned.

C) Attention is called to a disconnect between the way in which a crisis has been memorialized and the reality of that crisis; steps are taken to resolve that disconnect.

D) Several possible responses to a crisis are evaluated; no solution is immediately reached.

E) Conventional wisdom about a national tragedy is discussed; new research confirms that perspective.

A. No. This choice is unsupported by the passage, since there is no evidence to suggest that a series of proposals was put forward.

B. No. This choice is unsupported by the passage, since there is no evidence to suggest the inclusion of African-American names in the quilt was questioned.

C. Yes. This choice clearly summarizes the flow of the passage. Attention is called to the lack of African-American representation in the AIDS Memorial Quilt; Call My Name is a response to this oversight.

D. No. This choice is unsupported by the passage, since there is no evidence to suggest that several responses were evaluated.

E. No. This choice is unsupported by the passage, since the passage does not present research that confirms conventional wisdom about the AIDS crisis.

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