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10 GMAT Sentence Correction Tips and Why They Are So Important?

April 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 191

Tip 1: Whenever you see the word "being", raise a red flag in your mind.

On the GMAT SC, "being" is almost always associated with incorrect sentences. This is a pattern that the GMAC is known to use, so if you can use your mind to consciously stop and check when you see "being", then you have a better chance of eliminating a wrong answer.

Tip 2: Use "whether" when there's a choice between 2 options:

In the GMAT you will get questions testing you on whether you use "if" or "whether". Some answer choices will include "whether or not". You should not choose this. The wordiness of "whether or not" eliminates it's viability by the GMAC. Therefore, just choose "whether" when faced by such a problem. By the way top marks to you if you spotted that the first sentence of this paragraph included a correct example of this grammar!

Tip 3: See to it that nothing gets distorted.

The GMAT test will provide answer choices that are distortions of the original sentence, and while these choices may seem shorter, they are actually the wrong answer because they have a different message. For example:

In his effort to discover the reason for the defects, detective John noticed that there had been a factory dispute when the product in question was being made.

Answer choice: "in his effort to discover the defect.... is wrong because it leaves out "the reason" and this totally changes the meaning. Also as a bonus you can see from the example a use of "being" that is actually correct because it describes a past continuous passive action.

Tip 4: Whenever you see an "ing" phrase at the start of a sentence, always look for the comma, and find what subject it is referring to.

Tip 5: Always follow consistency when you see "that X...and that Y"

Tip 6: Whenever you see "that" or "which", be aware of their difference. "that" is used to restrict the previous part of the sentence. "which" is used to give some general description about the thing in the sentence that preceds it. Another tip here is that which usually follows a comma, while "that" does not.

For example: Galileo's theory, which stated that the earth revolves around the sun, brought him recognition.

The example is incorrect! Why? It's wrong because if you use "which", it implies that the theory in question was his only theory. Not true, therefore it should be: "Galileo's theory that the earth revolves...". So you can see that "restrict" means "that" actually just describes the preceding thing and makes no assumption about the thing being the only one.

If it had been "Galileo's ABC theory, which stated that the earth revolves around the sun, brought him recognition." Then it would have been correct because in this case the theory was a specific theory, which warrants the use of "which". More examples and lessons like this can be found at The GMAT Pill Video Course.

Tip 7: Follow X & Y consistency when you see "just as Y"

Example: Just as sleeping in too often leads to a somewhat lazy brain, so sleeping too little leads to an ineffective brain.

Tip 8: Use many with countable things, and use much with non-countable things

Tip 9: An "ing" verb in a descriptive phrase can only describe the subject of the sentence. If you have another phrase starting with "which" or "that", then that will describe the object nearest the comma.

Tip 10: Watch out for "Onion Layers" in complicated questions

For example, you might get something as follows on the GMAT:

The Statue of Liberty's defects in its supporting structure that led to its deterioration have been corrected.

In this example, what comes first? Well the main subject is the defects. Then comes the supporting structure, and then comes the statue of

The defects in the supporting structure of the statue of liberty, which led to its deterioration, have been corrected.

Think of how you write your address. Always with your hometown first or village, followed by town, and then city, county and finally country. On GMAT SC, you need to follow similar thinking patterns.

Credit for the concept of "Onion Layers" must go to Zeke Lee, creator of The GMAT Pill Study Method.

How to quickly and efficiently prepare for the GMAT? Want to avoid wasting time going through all the GMAT prep options out there? Then follow me on my personal GMAT journey as I sieve through the good and the great of GMAT courses out there. Get much more at and skype me at brendanbrosnan to get a GMAT consultation FREE

Source: EzineArticles
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