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GMAT exam – tips to ace the Sentence Correction question

Posted on September 9, 2020
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The GMAT exam’s verbal reasoning section measures your ability to read and comprehend the written material, reason and evaluate arguments, and correct material to effectively express ideas in standard written English. It consists of 36 questions which are multiple choices. Candidates are given 65 minutes to finish.

There are three types of questions in the Verbal Section: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction (SC). Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning questions have sub-types that are designed to test specific verbal skills. You will not need specialized knowledge of the subject matter to answer the questions.

The sentence correction questions aim to assess three categories of the candidate’s language proficiency:

  1. Correct expression
  2. Effective expression
  3. Proper diction

Let’s briefly look at the Sentence Equivalence Questions and the possible approaches in answering the question.

This question presents a sentence that is highlighted in part or as whole. You will find five ways to phrase the underlined part below the sentence. The first of these repeats the original; the four remaining are different. Choose the first answer, if you think the original is best; otherwise, choose one of the other.

This question tests the correctness of the expression and its effectiveness. Follow the requirements of standard written English when choosing your answer; that is, pay attention to grammar, word choice and sentence construction. Choose the answer that produces the most effective phrase; this response should be clear and accurate, without ambiguity, redundancy or grammatical error.

The SC questions form about one-third of the Verbal Section. In this section, the basic strategy for doing well is to keep in mind the basic rules of grammar. To easily eliminate all the wrong alternatives, you should train yourself to identify the source of the error. Except in the part underlined there will be no other errors.

So, you can select A as the answer if you can’t spot the error in the question. Some phrases may be grammatically strong but will change the meaning of the sentence. If you examine the response choices, you’ll get clues as to the type of errors you’re looking for.

The following are the frequently tested grammatical errors on the GMAT:

  • Errors while using a Pronoun.
  • Subject and Verb errors
  • Misplaced modifier errors, where modifiers are positioned ambiguously, illogically, illogically, awkwardly or where they alter the meaning of the sentences
  • Use of proper parallel construction
  • Verb tenses
  • Comparative Pitfalls

Here are some expert tips to ace the sentence correction section

Identify the concept that is being tested

Each question is going to test at least 2 concepts, you need to be able to identify them so you can choose the appropriate answer. Try figuring out what should be in parallel when the question is about parallelism.

Subject-verb mismatch

Look out for easily identifiable errors in the subject-verb mismatch. The question is intended to test if you locate the subject and verb of a sentence and if they match it. For example, a plural subject goes along with the verb’s plural form.

 Avoid confusion with pronoun ambiguity

Look out for ambiguous pronouns that affect the sentence’s meaning. This is the common type of pronoun error on the section of the GMAT SC.

Incorrect usage of idioms

Do not eliminate idiom-based answer choices right at the start. This is because idioms can be confusing – particularly when you’re under test pressure.

 Treat all options equally

Even if you feel sure that a particular choice of answer is correct, don’t make up your mind until you have actually looked at the other options.

Look for clues in the non-underlined part of the sentence

The underscored part of the sentence can often give you vital clues about tenses, lists, and meanings that will help you eliminate 1-2 response choices. So, don’t ever ignore that part.

The answer choice A may not always be right

Never assume that the sentence given in response choice A has the meaning intended for the sentence. Read all the choices for the answer and make your own opinion about what the intended meaning is.

 Always place your choice in the original sentence.

Replace the choice of answer you picked back into the original sentence and see if it makes sense.

Do not linger on a single question

If you’re stuck between the last 2 response options and you’ve already spent 90 seconds on the question, select one option and move forward!

With Y-Axis Coaching, you can take up online coaching for conversational German, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT, SAT and PTE. Learn anywhere, anytime!

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