3 Crucial GMAT Sentence Correction Strategies

GMAT SC StrategiesOf all the question types on the GMAT, a global exam for which the pool of test takers includes more than half of its examinees from outside the United States, Sentence Correction may seem the most arbitrary to prospective examinees.  Math we get: nearly all MBA graduates will have to make decisions using numbers and nearly all MBA programs require coursework in areas like finance and accounting for which some baseline math skills are important.   But English grammar?  Why would schools like INSEAD and ESADE, located in countries where English is not an official language and attracting students from all corners of the globe, be concerned with English grammar subtleties?  Especially when, as about 1/3 of the verbal section, sentence correction counts for about 17% of someone’s GMAT score.  It’s probably nice to know that everyone can speak the same language, but 17% of someone’s entry value?  Isn’t that overkill?

That should be a clue to you that Sentence Correction is not about the grammar!  Sentence Correction exists to test your decision making abilities first and foremost, and does so by taking a common and much-shallower-than-you’d-think pool of skills and knowledge and using that as a basis to test your higher-order thinking.  Knowing that is a great first step toward successful study and performance on Sentence Correction questions.  These three crucial  strategies should take you even further:

1) Make Logic Your Primary Focus

The GMAT will never require you to describe the grammatical  terminology behind it. If you can recognize that “this is wrong – logically it doesn’t make sense”, you can eliminate this answer choice and move on.

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2) Recognize Decision Points

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.”  

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GMAT Sentence Correction Strategies - Spot Decision Points

3) Lighten Your Load

Sentence Correction questions can include up to 54 words, making for incredibly long sentences and time consuming reading.  But knowing what is likely to be a testable section of a sentence and what is not, you can break apart the sentence into the parts that matter to you as a test-taker.

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GMAT Sentence Correction Strategies - Focus on Testable sections

Sentence Correction may seem a bit out-of-place on a graduate management exam, but that should be a clue to you. Assuming that the GMAT is a well-written test , the inclusion of Sentence Correction must be to test something other than the type of grammar that you can easily fix with a right-click of the green underline in your word processor.  Sentence Correction tests your ability to efficiently assess a more-complicated-than-necessary situation, identify your core competencies, and efficiently make decisions that play to your strengths.

Author : 

Veritas PrepVeritas 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.

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