How to use GMAT Grammar Properly ?

    The GMAT exam or the Graduate Management Aptitude exam is a globally accepted MBA entrance exam. Candidates preparing for GMAT already are aware of the GMAT syllabus which comprises four sections – quantitative section, verbal reasoning, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing assessment. To add to this, there are few GMAT eligibility criteria that must also be carefully looked into. The verbal reasoning section is very crucial for every student. To score really high in the verbal reasoning section, the candidates need to have a stronghold of GMAT grammar. 

    Introduction to GMAT Verbal Section

    The GMAT verbal section has three categories to it – reading comprehension which has short and long passages where three to four questions are given and the test takers have to solve those. The next is the critical reasoning part where the test takers have to solve the answers by providing arguments to strengthen or weaken or analyze the part given. The last part is the sentence correction part where a sentence is underlined and the candidate has to pick out the errors from that underlined sentence. Now, after studying the three categories we can understand GMAT grammar is needed every three but a bit more in the sentence correction section. The sentence correction section has almost 12 questions to it out of the total 36 questions. Therefore, test takers can understand the intensity of the questions. To ace the sentence correction portion along with the other sections, GMAT grammar rules for the verbal section have to be followed. 

    GMAT Grammar Rules

    The following GMAT grammar tips will be very helpful for the candidates preparing for GMAT.

    • Drooping modifiers: this is one of the favourite of the test makers which is so tricky and the test takers most of the time are confused. This includes topics related to words, clauses, phrases, and more, that describe other parts of a sentence. For instance, ‘my brother, the psychologist, is coming to visit.’ Here, ‘the psychologist’ modifies ‘my sister’ which is the subject of the sentence. Here, the modifying phrase is misplaced with something illogical where the incorrect words and phrases are explained thus making the sentence incorrect. 

    For instance, ‘A beautiful red-haired mermaid, the president thought Lucy was highly wise.’ Here, one will understand the drooping modifier placed. The president will definitely not be the red-haired mermaid, so it is Lucy, therefore the modifier ‘a beautiful red-haired mermaid’ will be placed next to the noun. The outcome will be ‘The president thought Lucy, the red-haired mermaid, was highly wise.’ One GMAT grammar tip is to look for introductory phrases followed by a comma. 

    • Effective verb tense usage: verb tenses are one of the most basic chapters since school days and now present in the GMAT English Grammar syllabus. In GMAT grammar questions too, we will come across these. The verb tenses, like past, present, future always give us information about the proper time or place, or when it will take place. The basic rule of the verb tenses imply that they are supposed to stick to one place unless the sentence needs the verbs to change. 

    For instance, ‘by the time the police arrived, the robbers had fled.’ Here we can notice that there has been a replacement in time, and the verb tense has therefore changed from past to past perfect. ‘By the time’ implies that there have already been activities followed, and the robbers fled before the police arrived – the shift in time is therefore explained by the shift in verb tense. 

    • Meaningless comparison: If you are thinking about how this is related to GMAT English Grammar syllabus then let us explain it to you. Let us take a sentence, ‘Peter loves apples more than his father.’ Can you understand the mistake in the sentence? 

    Well, Peter might love eating apples but what the writer actually wanted to state is – ‘Peter loves apples more than his father does.’ This sentence is a proper example of illogical comparison. This is not the end, candidates might find questions where the comparisons are between apples and oranges or in fact, nouns being compared to verbs. One will be able to identify these types of questions when they will come across ‘more/less than’, ‘like/unlike’, ‘as…as’. With enough practice for the GMAT exam, the test takers will score high.

    • Pronoun Control: Pronoun again, it is a very common topic in the GMAT English Grammar Syllabus. The GMAT grammar rule states that the pronouns must always be matched to its antecedent or the word they stand for. Just like plural pronouns – we, they, them, our match with plural antecedents, in the same manner, singular pronouns – I, she, he, him, it, her match with singular antecedents. So, when we say ‘Julia took off her hat’, here, Julia is the antecedent for ‘her’. To explain it further – ‘I never visit that café because they have moldy cheese.’ Here, we cannot state who has moldy cheese because ‘I’ and ‘café’ both are singular, and ‘they’ is plural. So, the correct answer will be –

    ‘I never visit that café because it has moldy cheese.’

    • Subject-verb agreement: GMAT grammar tutorial will always pay heed to this topic because it is very important. The normal mistake that happens is that the subject of a sentence doesn’t match with its verb. A singular subject must match with a singular verb and the plural subject must match with the plural. A usual confusion created by the test makers of GMAT grammar questions is starting a sentence with a preposition and ending it with a noun. Let us take for example, ‘the box of decorations belongs upstairs.’ Here, the part to ignore is the prepositional part ‘of decorations’ which must be ignored while finding the right verb to go with the subject. The box is the subject so, the verb form should be the same, thus it will be made from ‘belong’ to ‘belongs’ and the answer will be – ‘this box of decorations belongs upstairs.’
    • Idioms: Idioms or idiomatic expressions are very common in the GMAT English grammar syllabus which normally involves prepositions. For instance, one graduates ‘from college’ and not ‘of college’ and one belongs ‘to a club’ not ‘with a club’. The trick here is, the test takers will be confused between GMAT grammar questions which will have wrong answer choices that fix the original error but will have problematic idioms. The correct answers will always have correct idioms and will be sound. 
    • Considering meaning over grammar: This is a very important GMAT grammar tip where the test takers need to consider the meaning of the question being taken carefully rather than concentrating on the grammar part. The thing to notice about the grammar is whether it confirms the standard written English and if that is in structure then you move on to questioning the underlined part of the sentence and see if that is portraying the intent of the author correctly. 

    GMAT Grammar Tips

    • Making use of flashcards to learn idioms: flashcards are very easy ways to learn idioms if you are someone facing a problem with that. The GMAT grammar tutorial will first introduce you with learning the basic idioms which will be coming in the exam. Thereby, when you are aware of the idioms then when the question comes, you can immediately eliminate the wrong ones and move ahead with the right one – this way you can speed up the elimination process and save time. 
    • Go through the old topics: by this we mean, revising the basics of grammar including parts of speech, pronoun usage, modifiers, and more. This way, while you are solving the GMAT grammar questions, you will not be fretting seeing the different kinds of questions as your base is strong. Always remember to choose the best grammar book for GMAT and not the normal grammar book. This way the chapters will be specialized in the GMAT verbal part and the candidate will get a proper idea of the GMAT grammar questions that are going to appear. 
    • Probing deep into the grammar rules being tested: GMAT grammar rules are of many kinds and each GMAT grammar question will ask for different answers and procedures. If the candidate is not aware of the background of the question, it will be confusing for them. The GMAT sentence correction questions are different from the remaining topics and the difference will be understood only when there is a proper understanding of each of the GMAT grammar questions. 

    Now, when the candidate has an idea about GMAT grammar importance and how the GMAT grammar questions might appear, they will be able to focus on the practicing part. The most crucial tip of the GMAT exam is to follow proper time management and thorough practice. 

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College

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