How to be proficient in GMAT Sentence Correction
The GMAT is one of the most vital exams worldwide. Every MBA aspirant wishes to study in some of the world-famous business schools, and their dream comes true when they score high in the GMAT exam. The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test and is equipped with contemporary technology. The GMAT questions are prepared by scholarly people who have ample knowledge about the subject and also have been working on them for years now. GMAT exam is accepted by more than 7000 programs at around 2,300 schools.
A briefing about the GMAT Syllabus
If you are planning to pursue management then preparing for GMAT will be the first priority for every candidate. There are numerous candidates out there who are noticed getting confused by the questions. The first reason behind this is – unable to understand the GMAT syllabus properly. Normally, when any candidate starts preparing just a month or two before the exam, they are going to be stuck undoubtedly. Secondly, the lack of proper planning also adds to it. Now, let us get an idea about the syllabus. GMAT exam pattern is categorized into four sections – verbal ability, logical reasoning, quantitative section, and analytical writing assessment. From all of these, the verbal ability section is dreaded by many students.
GMAT verbal ability section measures the candidate’s ability to read, write, and comprehend by the help of the reading comprehension section. The ability of the candidate to analyze the arguments by the critical reasoning part. Lastly, to test the candidate’s ability to correct and analyze the sentences according to standard English by the help of sentence correction part. The last part of the GMAT sentence correction part is a comparatively difficult section in which students having slightly less knowledge often fall behind in scoring high in GMAT and here you will find everything about – how to master the sentence correction in GMAT.
An Introduction to the GMAT Sentence Correction Section
The verbal ability section has one of the parts as sentence correction. There will be 11-16 GMAT sentence correction questions. Few things that the candidate will have to notice are 0-2 errors in the sentence and in very few cases will the sentences be totally underlined.
Things to know about the GMAT sentence correction –
- The names of the GMAT sentence correction rules like ‘subjunctive’, for instance, these fancy words are mostly used for the sake of precision and do not need all the focus.
- Outside knowledge about the topics discussed
Detailed GMAT Sentence Correction Syllabus
The following topics are needed for the candidates to learn to solve the GMAT sentence correction questions effortlessly. This will also help them in thorough GMAT sentence correction practice.
- Parts of speech – noun, verb, pronoun, adjective, adverb
- Subject-verb agreement
- Pronouns mismatch
- Pronouns agreement
- Idiomatic expressions
- Tense – past, present, future, simple, perfect, continuous
- rarely punctuation
How to solve the GMAT Sentence Correction Question?
After studying the GMAT syllabus, it will be helpful for the candidates to know exactly how the dilemma is created using the above topics in the GMAT sentence correction questions and following the verbal section preparation strategies.
- Verb tenses: the main issue that the candidate needs to look for is, having the verb tense match with the verb time as mentioned in the question with the proper present, past, or future or present progressive tenses.
- Subject/verb agreement: the test makers can be very tricky in this particular topic. The candidates will be perplexed by the number of words placed between the subject and verb intentionally, or placing the verb before the subject, or making the candidate confused whether the subject is plural or singular. These are very few examples out of the lot.
- Modifiers: This is also known as the ‘misplaced modifier’ or dangling principle. This can be explained by the sentence, ‘Looking out the window, the trees were seen by her.’ In this sentence, the modifier is the first part of – ‘Looking out the window’ which has to be followed by the subject. Here, the trees are not looking out, so the structure is incorrect. Therefore, the right answer will be – ‘Looking out the window, she saw the trees.’ There are further GMAT sentence correction questions that involve verb-ing, modifiers, V3 modifiers, clauses or adjectival phrases, and more.
- Comparisons: This is another topic among the GMAT sentence correction questions where the candidate will come across examples like – ‘Bob liked the movie better than Jerry’. This sentence tends to be incorrect because the movie is compared to Jerry which is not stated originally. Does Bob like the movie more than Jerry likes the movie or does Bob like the movie more than he likes Jerry? – It is very bewildering. The correct statement would be – ‘Bob liked the movie better than Jerry did’.
- Pronouns: A pronoun generally replaces an antecedent and must always be similar to the antecedent – singular, plural, object and more. The noun which the pronoun replaces must be coherent meaning-wise, as well as grammatically.
- Idioms: one must be affable with the common idioms like ‘prohibit X from Y’ or ‘not only…but also…’, ‘neither…nor…’ and more. Though GMAT sentence correction questions have been lessening its usage of these questions, it is still advisable to learn them.
- Precision: lastly, the thing to always look for is the clarity in the sentence. Is it negative? Or ambiguous? Does the meaning and structure of the question go hand in hand?
How to Master Sentence Correction in GMAT – Things to do
- Recognizing the concept before examining: No matter how cliché it sounds, there are many students who jump directly to the answer choices to pick the answers without understanding the problem well. Reading the sentence thoroughly is vital to get it correct. For instance, if the sentence is – ‘I was so hungry that either of the two sandwiches was fine with me.’ We all know that if the subject is singular then the verb also needs to be singular and if it is plural then similarly the verb. In all the sentences, the subject and verb must agree to each other. Here, therefore the answer will be – ‘I was so hungry that either of the sandwiches was fine with me.’ As ‘either’ as a pronoun is singular therefore the change would be the same.
- Browsing the options before selecting: one of the rules, as stated in the GMAT sentence correction books, is to first scan the options. A properly learned candidate will normally go with eliminating the four options then selecting the correct one from the five. For instance, if you notice that the sentence has changed in verb or is/are, or become/becomes, then the correction has to be made in the subject-verb agreement section. Whereas, if you notice that there is a shift in the pronouns from ‘it’ to ‘they’ or there are no pronouns at all, then you will understand it is the problem with pronoun ambiguity.
- Recognizing the not-so-important modifier: this is a very common thing in the GMAT sentence correction questions. If in any sentence, for instance, ‘the third house, which has a red door, is available for rent’. Now, notice carefully, if we remove the middle part ‘which has a red door’ the sentence is not becoming incorrect – ‘the third house is available for rent.’ But if a huge change will come if we just replace ‘which’ with ‘that’ and the sentence becomes ‘the third house that has a red door is available for rent.’ Till now that modifier was not needed but adding the word ‘that’ to it has made the whole sentence essential.
- Understanding the distinction between precision and brevity: this is applicable while analyzing the answers. When vertically analyzing the answers and choosing the correct one, ensure the following two things – precision and brevity, and this way the majority of the options would be dumped. Also, do not forget to keep the redundant ones away. By redundant it is meant, the ones which are no longer considered valid by GMAT sentence correction rules.
These were a few of the preparation tips for GMAT sentence correction. The candidates need to go through the best GMAT sentence correction book to ensure they are covering all the topics, and from that, they are curating the problem areas as well as the ones they are good at. The GMAT sentence correction practices will not only help the students prepare well but also will build their concentration. For instance, out of the nervousness, students often forget about the GMAT sentence correction rules, like fragmentation or run-on sentences. So, the candidates need to calmly prepare and the above tips will show them how to master sentence correction in GMAT.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College