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How to get a V40 or higher on the GMAT? What about a V51?

Updated: May 24

Quick answer:


Fundamentals + Time Management + Solving Approach = V40+


Please don’t have a V51 or bust mindset. Even tutors can’t promise to get that every time!


GMAT Knight (GK) gets approached for Verbal tutoring quite often. This may partly be because it can become really hard to figure out for a student what more to learn for Verbal at a certain point to improve their score, but perhaps also because of the obsessive nature GK has in providing value per hour. One non-native English speaker, for example, re-took their exam and went from a V31 to a V40 for a cool 740 with 6 hours of tutoring. Another 6-hour student re-took a respectable 700 that they had and went from a V41 to a V45 in about 10 days for a stellar 760.


Does this mean that GMAT Knight cracked some sort of secret to do well on Verbal? Nope. Sure, there are common things that may often be taught, but even though the service can claim multiple V40+ students, it’s likely there will be at least something different from student to student.


There are, however, some helpful things to generally keep in mind to do well on Verbal at the higher range. The first is that it’s already a given you should have a strong command of the fundamentals tested on the Verbal section. You should, for example, already thoroughly know what a subject/verb error is, the common idioms tested, and fully understand how ASSUMPTION questions work. You should also have a time management method to keep yourself on track. What is NOT spoken about nearly enough is the importance of your APPROACH to Verbal questions. It’s worth remembering that the official title of the section is not English or Verbal, but Verbal Reasoning.


This may sound strange but a lot of the verbal tutoring GK actually provides, especially for people wanting to hit that higher range, does not cover fundamental concepts. It’s more about smarter ways to approach questions, to think about them, to solve them. But this shouldn’t be shocking. After all, you already do this on the Quant section. Haven’t you estimated an answer choice rather than solved it to the exact value? Haven’t you plugged in variables to test an equation? What you did was actually apply REASONING to make your approach more EFFICIENT to select the correct answer choice. The same is true on Verbal. How you may even normally READ a passage can be improved – and it’s something GK usually tutors quite a bit to both native and non-native English speakers alike.


To be clear, if you have a high V30 score such as a V38 that is a completely respectable section score that comes in at the 85th percentile. A university such as INSEAD will not look down upon you with such a section percentile. The reason why people are invested in doing extra well on Verbal, however, is because it can be really helpful to boost your TOTAL score out of 800. Unless you absolutely destroy the Quant section with a Q50 or Q51, it can be really hard to get a 99-percentile score for those top schools and potential scholarships. Even with a powerful Q50, you’d need a V42 to potentially get a 760 (99%) score.


All the best breaking V40+, people.


GMAT Knight - Online GMAT Tutoring


Verbal 99% V48 | Quant Q50 [Section Bests]


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