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GMAT Sentence Correction Strategies - Spot Decision Points

GMAT Sentence Correction Decision PointsAs stated in GMAT SC - Use Logic, the pool of required grammar knowledge for the GMAT is likely shallower than you would think; those who memorize hundreds of idiomatic rules or read the cover off of their copy of Strunk & White’s “Elements of Style” are studying counter to the real purpose of the GMAT’s inclusion of Sentence Correction: the idea of “core competencies.”  Corporate Strategy courses in business school will spend quite a bit of time on that notion that each business needs to recognize the handful of things it does extremely well and find opportunities to leverage that.  When businesses stray from their core competencies they tend to struggle mightily, throwing away  resources and providing diminishing returns with increased risk.

For example, McDonald’s has a set of core competencies that allow it to run extremely efficient fast-food operations in high-traffic areas.  It’s natural, then, to acquire Chipotle and replicate the same processes with a different type of fast food; if McDonald’s were to try to distribute its products through the frozen foods aisles at grocery stores, however, it might find that it’s ill-equipped to compete with that different set of core competencies.  Businesses specialize, and as a potential Master of Business you should specialize, too.  Don’t try to memorize everything there is to know about grammar; learn to recognize the common GMAT decision points and you can efficiently make the decisions that you’ve trained yourself to make effectively.

Verbs make fantastic decision points, as they are involved in subject-verb agreement errors, verb tense errors, and comparison errors (are we comparing an action to an action?).  Pronouns also lend themselves well to decisions, as they can disagree in number or they can fail to refer to anything specific.  When you look at the answer choices of a sentence and see the same verb in different forms or a choice between singular and plural pronouns, you should immediately identify those as classic decision points and look to make your choices there.  Similarly, as comparisons are often tested on the GMAT, the presence of pronouns like “that of” or “those of” should indicate that you need to decide whether the comparison requires such a possessive:

Q) The question of whether to allocate a portion of their salaries to retirement plans is particularly troublesome for recent college graduates, whose salaries are typically lower than senior members of companies; with the rising cost of living, younger employees often struggle with having to pay bills while trying to save for the long run.

A) than
B) than those of
C) than is so of
D) compared to
E) compared to those of

Here, the presence of “those of” in B and E should tip you off – we need to determine whether we are comparing X with Y or something that belongs to X with “those of” Y.  Going back to the sentence, we see that we’re comparing “salaries” belonging to recent graduates to… “senior members of companies”.  Which is illogical— we can’t compare salaries to people; it has to be salaries to “those of” the other people.  So we must have either B or E.  E is redundant — “lower” already tells us that we’re comparing, so adding “compared to” just adds unnecessary words, and so B is the correct answer.

Knowing that “those of” triggers an important decision point, you can avoid reading most of this sentence – you know what you’re looking for and you can quickly dive into that decision, saving valuable time for later problems on the test.

Author : 

Veritas Prep is the world’s largest privately-owned GMAT preparation and admissions consulting provider, offering industry-leading programs to help applicants improve their test scores and gain admission to the world’s best graduate schools. Founded in 2002 by graduates of the Yale School of Management, Veritas Prep is now live in more than 90 cities worldwide, as well as interactive online courses  available everywhere. Additionally, Veritas Prep offers industry-leading admissions consulting services for applicants seeking admission to the most competitive business schools, law schools, and medical schools in the world.

Top 31 MBA Programs + Analysis of 24 Industries (United States)


We analyze the MBA Curriculum, Class Profile, Total Cost and Post-MBA Salary of Top 31 MBA programs in the US.

+ Industry Trends

+ Future of Aerospace, Agriculture, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Automobile, Clean Tech, Education, Energy, Fashion, Financial Services, Insurance, FinTech, Government, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Military, Manufacturing, Maritime, Media/Advertising, Technology, Tourism, Trade, Transportation and Logistics, Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR).


Pages: 327

Reviews

"I have not reviewed many books for MBA Admission consulting companies but doing it now to give all applicants a brief idea on what the book covers. The book includes 31 top MBA programs - almost all the top schools you have heard or considering for your MBA application. Each chapter is categorized by US States where there is at least one top MBA program. So you have California and Massachusetts with the most number of MBA programs and several states with one top program (Washington, Minnesota, Washington D.C., Connecticut, Virginia, and Maryland) and other states with two to three MBA programs. The book focuses on four aspects of an MBA program - curriculum, cost, class profile and post-MBA salary. For me, the breakdown of the cost and post-MBA industry was useful to make my decision on selecting the top 5 programs for 2017-18. It is a fascinating read in an industry where consultants overprice for their expertise. I recently bought a 30-page guide for $49. Compared to the obvious observation in that book, the 300+ page, MBA in US - the Ultimate guide is a goldmine of information and analysis." - Verified Purchase (21st June 2017)

"I bought the ultimate guide after a friend recommended it for me. The guide covers a lot of ground on the history of each prominent US states and goes into the reasons why a certain industry emerged from each state. In addition to the analysis of the economy, trends and expected changes in the next 5 years, the book features top MBA programs in each state with an extensive study of its curriculum. Ultimate guide is an essential reference book for MBA Applicants if they want to shortlist MBA programs based on value and cost, and not just ranking. " - Verified Purchase (14th June 2017)

"Should be a required reading before applying for an MBA. School events and MBA Tours are PR events disguised as a Q&A. On the contrary, the book is an unbiased analysis of each Top MBA program in the US supported by a large dataset and historical context on each industry. The guide builds a case for indstries that are likely to emerge as favourite for MBA graduates. Thorough and a valuable book." - Verified Purchase (15th June 2017)

"What I liked: The breadth of the information. Some of my favorite nonfiction books have taken the same approach as the ultimate guide have - cover background information in-depth. In the book, the author uses parallel threads to demonstrate the history of the state and the rise of industries. Will make you think how schools thrive based on the policy set by the state. California's obsession with Technology has revolutionized how we do Business and changed post-MBA trends. Many MBA applicants will be consulting or doing marketing for a Technology company. That is one key finding from the book. The latest development in AI, FinTech, and Automation is an additional context that I found valuable in the book.

Very informative. I would recommend that you read the book at least once in chronological order before using Table of Contents." - Verified Purchase (2nd July 2017)

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(2018 Entering Class)

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