Five ways to study for GMAT sentence correction

GMAT sentence correction is one of the three question types on the GMAT verbal section.  On average, there are about 17 sentence correction questions on the verbal section. Each of these questions will give you a sentence, part of which will be underlined.  You will then have to select the best of five options to replace the underlined section. You can find an example question on GMAC’s website. Below are five ways to study for GMAT sentence correction.

1. Learn the strategies

An important first step to learning how to tackle GMAT sentence correction is learning the strategies to do so. Having a set process for going through the answer choices is essential. One thing to remember is that the first option (option A) is always a repeat of the underlined section presented in the prompt, so you never need to read it. When going through the answer choices you should group them based on similarities, then eliminate the incorrect groups. For example, if three options start with “are” and two start with “is,” and you know the correct choice is “are,” you can eliminate the answer choices with “is.”  You don’t even have to read the whole answer choice because you know that “is” is incorrect. Continue this process until you only have one answer choice left.

2. Learn the rules

In order to know what answer choices to eliminate, you need to know the differences between correct and incorrect grammar. To do this, you need to learn the grammar rules. A GMAT-specific course or book is the best way to do this because there are specific rules that come up more often on the GMAT. Some of the most important rules include:

  • A subject and its verb must match in number
  • An antecedent must exist
  • Parallel items must be logically similar

3. Utilize memory strategies

There are a lot of rules to learn, so it is important to utilize memory strategies to make sure that you remember them all. Always make sure to write things down.  People are more likely to remember something if they write them down. Furthermore, periodic review is also important to help ensure that you remember what you are learning. Finally, since people have visual memories, if you write down incorrect grammar and correct grammar in different colors, it will be easier to differentiate between the two in your mind.

4. Learn GMAT preferences

 Another essential part of mastering GMAT sentence correction is to learn the types of answers the GMAT prefers. This will come in handy when you are down to two answers and need to figure out what the best answer is. GMAT preferences should never be used to eliminate answers in the beginning. For example, the GMAT generally prefers concise answers, but this doesn’t mean that you should automatically pick the shortest answer every time. Instead, use this knowledge when you have narrowed the answers down to two that lack glaring flaws, and pick the shorter one.

5. Practice

Like any other question type on GMAT verbal, it is important to practice completing questions. This will help you build both your speed and accuracy. It is important to build your accuracy first because building speed without accuracy is pointless.  Start by doing practice questions without timing yourself. Only after you have built up your accuracy level, should you start working on your speed.

These are just a few of the ways to study for the GMAT verbal section. And while most business schools, including online MBA programs, require students to take the GMAT, some do offer waivers. Before breaking out the study books, check with your preferred schools to see if you qualify for a GMAT waiver.


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