The GMAT exam consists of 4 sections, out of which the verbal reasoning section longest in duration and also has the most number of questions. It has 3 types of questions – reading comprehension, critical reasoning and sentence correction. Many aspirants struggle with the sentence correction part due to its complex nature. However, scoring well in this section is not as difficult as it seems! In this blog, we are going to address different ways to tackle sentence correction questions and some tips to speed up your entire GMAT preparation.
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GMAT Sentence Correction – Overview
GMAT sentence correction aims to test your ability to identify common grammatical errors. It assesses your written English skills to see whether you can understand long and complex sentences with clarity. The whole sentence or a part of it will be underlined, which can contain up to two errors. You will be provided with five options, of which the first option will be identical to the underlined part of the sentence and you need to select the option which makes the sentence free from any errors. You can expect between 11 to 16 sentence correction questions in your GMAT exam.
Types of Questions in GMAT Sentence Correction
There are a few common errors that are tested in the GMAT sentence correction part. Being able to recognise the error type in the questions can help you in getting a better score in the exam since you will be aware of how you need to approach the question. Let’s take a look at some of the common errors:
These questions will test your knowledge in identifying the subject and the verb in a sentence, and ensuring that they match with each other. For example, if the subject is in singular form, the verb also needs to be in singular and if the subject is in plural, the verb will similarly be in plural form. These questions are often made trickier by placing many words between the subject and the verb to confuse the candidate.
These types of questions require you to identify whether the pronoun and its antecedent is in the agreement or not. The antecedent is the word that the pronoun replaces, and therefore if there is no clear antecedent present in the sentence, that itself will count as an error. Additionally, you need to ensure that the pronoun and antecedent matches in form.
These questions consist of related parallel phrases in the same sentence. It is not very difficult to identify the errors in these types of sentences, you need to check whether all the parallel phrases are written in the same format or are there any discrepancies among them.
These types of questions will consist of an incorrectly placed modifier i.e. a phrase or part which modifies the sentence. There can be many ways in which a modifier may make the sentence incorrect, for example, if a sentence beginning with a modifier doesn’t have the subject mentioned after the modifier separated by a comma, the sentence will become incorrect.
These types of questions can be challenging especially for non-native English speakers since it examines your knowledge regarding the structure of idioms. The best way to ace these types of questions is to build up knowledge of different types of idioms used in the English language. Read our blog on common idioms to get a better understanding of the topics.
Verb Tense Consistency
A few questions asked in GMAT sentence correction require you to make sure that the verb tense throughout the sentence is consistent. For example past tense should go with past tense in a sentence. You need to change the verb tense if it is specifically required to make the sentence meaningful.
These types of questions asked in GMAT sentence correction require you to analyse whether the comparisons made in the sentence are logical and if they are structured correctly in terms of grammar.
Tips for GMAT Sentence Correction
As you can see, you can easily get a good score in this part of the GMAT exam if you can identify the type of question being asked. Confused about how to prepare for the questions asked in GMAT sentence correction? Here are some tips to help you ace this part of the exam:
- Make sure that you are aware of the basic grammar rules
- Learn more idioms – this will be of immense help in eliminating irrelevant answer choices
- Try the elimination method – once you spot an error in the sentence, you can easily eliminate the answer choices which do not correct that error
- Pay special attention to the placement of phrases in the sentence – different placements can change the meaning of a sentence
Also Read: Best Books for GMAT
The best way to identify the errors in a sentence is to read it very carefully. Also, make sure to compare all the answers choices with the given sentence to eliminate the choices that do not match with the overall form or tone of the sentence.
You have to finish the test within the specified duration and answer each question. Not answering a question incurs a penalty, according to which 3 percentage points will be deducted for every unanswered question.
The GMAT verbal section aims to examine your grasp over standard written English. It tests your ability to analyse arguments and critical reading. This section is of a duration of 65 minutes and has 36 multiple choice questions divided among three segments – Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction and Reading Comprehension.
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