The math and verbal sections of the GMAT consist of five main types of problems: Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency on the math section, and Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction on the verbal section. We’ll go through the basics of each type and provide 10 GMAT sample questions below. (Of course, if you want more than just these 10 questions to test your skills, we also offer over 800 practice questions.)
Problem Solving Overview & GMAT Sample Questions
Problem Solving (PS) questions consist of an algebraic/word prompt and five multiple choice answers. Those who have taken math tests before should already be comfortable with the format of PS questions. See the selected GMAT sample questions below:
PS: Rate Example Question
A car drives 40 miles on local roads at 20 mph, and 180 miles on the highway at 60 mph, what is the average speed of the entire trip?
(A) 36 mph
(B) 40 mph
(C) 44 mph
(D) 52 mph
(E) 58 mph
Answer: C. See GMAT Distance and Work: Rate Formula for an explanation of the answer.
PS: Factor Example Question
How many odd factors does 210 have?
Answer: E. See GMAT Math: Factors for an explanation of the answer.
Data Sufficiency Overview & GMAT Sample Questions
Data Sufficiency (DS) questions are a format unique to the GMAT. Unlike traditional math questions where the goal is to find the exact answer, the goal of DS questions is to determine whether the supplied statements would enable one to find an exact answer. As such, DS questions typically require some particular strategies based upon answer elimination and logical shortcuts (e.g., you should avoid calculating the exact answer when possible).
The five answer choices to DS problems are always the same, so it’s a good idea to memorize the choices below:
(A) Statement 1 alone is sufficient but statement 2 alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
(B) Statement 2 alone is sufficient but statement 1 alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
(C) Both statements 1 and 2 together are sufficient to answer the question but neither statement is sufficient alone.
(D) Each statement alone is sufficient to answer the question.
(E) Statements 1 and 2 are not sufficient to answer the question asked and additional data is needed to answer the statements.
And now, a couple examples for practice:
DS: Geometry Example Question
ABC is an equilateral triangle, and point D is the midpoint of side BC. A is also a point on circle with radius r = 3. What is the area of the triangle?
Statement #1: The line that passes through A and D also passes through the center of the circle.
Statement #2: Including point A, the triangle intersects the circle at exactly four points.
Answer: C. See our GMAT Data Sufficiency Geometry Practice Questions for an explanation of the answer.
DS: Inequality Example Question
Is |x – 6| > 2?
Statement #1: |x – 4| > 3
Statement #2: |x – 8| > 1
Answer: C. See GMAT Math: Arithmetic with Inequalities for an explanation of the answer.
Reading Comprehension Overview & GMAT Sample Questions
Reading Comprehension (RC) questions begin with a two- to four-paragraph passage. Then, you’ll see a small set of questions based upon the passage. There are a few different types of RC questions, but they all fundamentally test your ability to apply information obtained from a written source.
RC: Main Idea Sample Question
Try this free practice problem from Magoosh.
RC: Inference Sample Question
Here’s another free sample problem based upon the same passage as the above.
Critical Reasoning Overview & GMAT Practice Problems
Critical Reasoning (CR) problems present a paragraph that lays out the foundation of some argument. From there, you will be tasked with strengthening the argument, weakening the argument, drawing an inference, or identifying some other aspect of the argument. To succeed with these questions, you must learn the different elements of an argument.
CR: Strengthen the Argument Example Problem
A minor league baseball franchise experienced a drop in attendance this week after they suffered three losses by margins of ten runs or more last week. Many spectators of those games wrote letters to the editors of the local sporting news, complaining of the poor play of the team in those three losses. Nevertheless, the front office of this baseball franchise maintains that the team’s poor play in those three losses has nothing to do with this week’s decline in attendance.
Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the position held by the front office of the baseball franchise?
(A) The spectators who wrote letters to the local sporting news were long-standing fans of this minor league baseball team.
(B) Many minor league baseball franchises attribute a drop in attendance to the quality of play of the team only after a string of losses.
(C) Other minor league teams in that region of the state reported a similar drop in attendance this week.
(D) This was not the first time this team suffered multiple lopsided losses in a single week, prompting similar letters to the local sporting news.
(E) This minor league team is over four hours from the closest major league team, so many of the minor league team’s fans do not often attend major league games.
Answer: C. See Introduction to GMAT Critical Reasoning for an explanation of the answer.
CR: Boldface Structure Example Problem
State politicians are optimistic that the state’s economic downturn will not be as severe as had been predicted. Their hopes are bolstered by the data released last week: the jobless rate declined two full percentage points in the last six months. But, many economists have pointed out the flight of unemployed residents to the bordering states where jobs are plentiful. Furthermore, many out of work residents have been rehired at minimum wage: virtually all new jobs in the state in the past year have been minimum wage jobs. Economists cast grave doubts on the economic well-being of the state.
In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?
(A) The first is evidence in support of the conclusion; the second is that conclusion.
(B) The first is evidence opposed to the conclusion; the second is an interpretation of the conclusion.
(C) The first is an interpretation that calls the conclusion into question; the second is that conclusion.
(D) The first is a conclusion the argument calls into question; the second is the evidence that calls it into question.
(E) The first is evidence taken to support a conclusion; the second is a position that opposes that conclusion.
Answer: E. See GMAT Critical Reasoning: Boldface Structure Questions for an explanation of the answer.
Sentence Correction Overview & GMAT Sample Problems
Sentence Correction (SC) problems begin with a sentence that includes an underlined portion. Each answer choice contains a variation of the underlined portion. (Note that answer choice A is always the same as the original sentence.) Your task is to select an answer choice that makes the most grammatical and logical sense. The best strategy for tackling SC questions is to employ ‘splits’ among the answer choices.
SC: Idiom Sample Problem
Company policy restricts employees to, at most, three personal days in a month, and even less if the number of Fridays in the month is more than four.
(A) even less if the number of Fridays in the month is more than four
(B) even less if the amount of Fridays in the month is more than four
(C) even fewer if the number of Fridays in the month is greater than four
(D) even fewer if the amount of Fridays in the month is more than four
(E) even less if the number of Fridays in the month is greater than four
Answer: C. See GMAT Sentence Correction: Comparative & Qualitative Idioms for an explanation of the answer.
SC: Run-On Sentence Sample Problem
Although offering a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord, the original fortepiano, invented in the early eighteenth century — indeed the name comes from the Italian forte (“loud”) + piano (“soft”) — the fortepiano would now sound dynamically limited compared to our modern grand pianos.
(A) Although offering a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord, the original fortepiano, invented in the early eighteenth century
(B) Although the original fortepiano, invented in the early eighteenth century, offered a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord
(C) Although it offered a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord, the original fortepiano, invented in the early eighteenth century
(D) Invented in the early eighteenth century, the original fortepiano offered a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord
(E) The original fortepiano, invented in the early eighteenth century, although it offered a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord
Answer: B. See our Run-On Sentences in GMAT Sentence Correction for an explanation of the answer.
How did you do with these GMAT sample questions? Which math or verbal questions did you ace, and which do you need more practice in?
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