One of the constituent questions types in the GMAT Verbal Syllabus is Sentence Correction. The premise is simple enough. In GMAT test , a sentence is presented, with part or all of it underlined. The sentence might be right or wrong. If it’s wrong, it has to be corrected. And one of the 5 options given is the right way to construct the given sentence.
GMAT Sentence Correction section tests you on a set of grammar rules. With practice, you will identify frequently tested parts and start correcting sentences even before you look at the options. Always, always, always, remember to not pick the right answer but to eliminate the wrong ones and arrive at the answer. That’s the way to go with GMAT Sentence Correction.
Grammatical Concepts tested in GMAT SC
The following aspects of grammar are tested in GMAT Sentence correction:
- Parts of Speech
- Parts of Sentences
- Subject-Verb Agreement
- Idioms & Diction
- Grammatical Construction
GMAT Sentence Correction Rules
You will have 75 minutes to answer 41 questions in GMAT Verbal. i.e. a little under two minutes per question. You will certainly need more time to tackle GMAT Reading Comprehension questions. Therefore, you will have to solve SC questions in a minute or less. This is possibly the biggest challenge here. That, and how well you know your grammar!
Here is a systematic approach to approaching SC questions:
- Skim the given sentence and try to identify the error(s). If you identify multiple errors, focus on one at a time.
- Go through the answer choices and eliminate any choices that replicate the original errors
- Eliminate answer choices that correct the original error but have other error(s). You should be left with the correct answer
- To validate your choice, substitute this answer option back in the original sentence and read it again. If it sounds right, go with it!
Tips for GMAT Sentence Correction
- Don’t be scared while finding out the errors
One of the most important pointers here is to realise that there is the possibility of the given sentence being correct as such. So, if that’s the case, option A is the answer. Psychologically, people are somehow unwilling to believe that there is no error in the sentence. They are scared that they might have overlooked an error. So, when you are convinced that a sentence is error free as given, go ahead with A. But it’s wise to read through the other options before going ahead with A. that goes without saying, of course.
- Try to eliminate wrong option
In Sentence Correction, it’s important to eliminate wrong option than to choose the right answer. If you are convinced that a certain part of the underlined part is wrong, look at the options that have the right correction meant for this error you have managed to spot. Eliminate options that do not correct the option. Then, check for grammar throughout. Finalise on the right answer after eliminating every option that does not fit in.
- Focus more on the Time based sentence correction
Sometimes, it is difficult to find the exact part that does not conform to Grammar rules. We make so many mistakes when we use the language that with time, some mistakes seem and sound right to us. So, if you are unsure as to what the mistake is (remember, that A might be the answer here), read through every option. Try to figure out what the differences are, among the options. The different structures you identify will give you a fair direction on what’s right and wrong. Eliminate the wrong ones arrive at the right answer.
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