What you need to know about GMAT Sentence Correction

You will receive a series of sentence correction questions that have one sentence with a portion underlined.  The answers listed are to replace the underlined portion.  If the sentence is correct as is, then the correct answer is A.  A is ALWAYS  the underlined section unchanged.  If there is something wrong with the original sentence then you will have to select an answer that replaces the underlined portion and is grammatically correct.  Let’s look at an example:

After scoring a 750 on the GMAT, Tyler’s parents were proud of him and Tyler was proud of himself.

(A) Tyler’s parents were proud of him and Tyler was proud of himself.

(B) Tyler was proud of himself and his parents were proud of him as well.

(C) Tyler’s parents were proud of him and Tyler is proud of himself

(D) Tyler was proud of himself and his parents are proud of him as well.

(E) Tyler was proud of himself and his parents is proud of him as well.

With Sentence Correction questions it is best to use process of elimination.  When you read through the question, take note of whether it is correct or not.  The first thing you might notice here is that Tyler’s parents didn’t take the GMAT, Tyler did.  Thus, Tyler’s parents cannot be after the comma, Tyler should be.  So you can eliminate A.  You can also eliminate C, because it has the same flaw.

All three of the remaining answer choices start with “Tyler was proud of himself,” so you know that can’t be the eliminating factor.    We have now have three different options: “parents were proud”, “parents are proud”, and “parents is proud”.  We can see that E: “parents is proud” is wrong because parents is a plural term ,so you need the plural form of the verb.  D:parents are proud, also doesn’t quite match, because Tyler’s feelings are in the past tense, so it makes more sense that the adjoining part is too, so B is the better choice.

Sometimes, on the GMAT, the right answer choice comes down to the type of grammar the test makers prefer.  That’s why it is important to study a GMAT sentence correction book.

So, how do you study for GMAT sentence correction?

SC tipYou will need to study modifiers, tenses, pronouns, subject-verb  agreement and idioms.  As there are many rules to memorize, you will need to take detailed notes and review them periodically throughout your study plan.  When taking notes, it is important that you visually differentiate between incorrect grammar and correct grammar, so that you don’t incorrectly attribute an example of poor grammar as good grammar if you remember the sentence but not the context.  I did this by highlighting the examples of correct grammar in blue and incorrect grammar in orange, as seen here.  For native speakers, some of these might be understood easily, but don’t let your ear lead you astray.  There are quite a few things used in colloquial English that would be considered incorrect grammar on the GMAT.

 

 

Meet the Author

Eliza Chute

I was always just an average student, but with the right course prep I was able to score a 770 on my first try. I had to wade through a lot of material to find what was right for me, but luckily for you I've done all the research for you! See more on my GMAT courses page.

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