Touted by many students to be the devil of the GMAT- The SENTENCE CORRECTION. What, according to us, is one of the most fun sections of the exam.
How do you improve yourself? Well, it’s really simple once you practice. Let’s take a look at a few pointers that can help you improve your sentence correction.
You must have heard of Subject-Verb agreement at least a 100 times, but that is how much emphasis is laid on this very simple topic. If you can identify the subject and the corresponding verb, it will solve half your issues. The Subject is the king in any sentence, and a marriage with the verb, the queen, is what the GMAT tests you on! Can you reduce the options to a smaller number using this?
Pronouns- A simple thing to remember: Singular pronouns refer to singular subjects while plural pronouns refer to plural subjects. Pronoun ambiguity is a big problem- the GMAT tests whether you are acute enough to recognize where the pronoun belongs and whether it refers to the right subject.
Remember that the most important thing is the meaning of the sentence and the grammar. Idioms are secondary to both those concepts. Without considering the implications of picking an option using idioms, do not pick it. If the meaning of the sentence is incoherent, it does not matter if the idioms are in place. Idiomatic usages in English, and especially on the GMAT can be slightly confusing because there is no hard and fast rule yet.
A lot of students have a misconception in their mind- Option A is rarely the right answer. Treat all options equally, which means that being biased might create a discrepancy in your cognitive process.
Often non-underlined portions give you a bigger clue and help you pick the right answer. Focusing on the non-underlined portions will give you the clue as to what the grammatical error in the sentence might be.
Once you are confident about an option, replace the underlined portion with the option and read whether it fits into the whole sentence grammatically, and renders perfect meaning.
Parallel construction is essential to the structure of any language. Sentences in English demand that you create sentences that are logical. Eg: FANBOYS- (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So)- Using these words will demand that you require to construct sentences that have clauses which are in a similar grammatical construct.
Preconceived notions are those which are formulated due to excessive reading of blogs, forums and other rules that settle in your mind. For example, a famous idiom-Not only, but also is embedded so intensely in a person’s mind that he or she does not think that it can be also either. Students need to be aware that biases will affect the way options are addressed. Look at every option from a logical perspective.
Be cautious about the placement of both adjectives and adverbs. Modifiers that change the meaning of certain actions, nouns or phrases will have to be placed as close to them as possible.
The Like/Unlike rule- Compare nouns that can be compared. Illogical comparisons must be spotted and eliminated. This can be a very easy task and does not require excessive practice.
Whenever you try and tackle questions on the GMAT, time is a major constraint that affects your decision making. In effect, certain rules will help you speed up your answering process. Rules that help you eliminate answer choices quickly should be used judiciously and that comes with practice.
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