The GMAT test is a standardized aptitude test used by business schools worldwide to select applicants. This article will explain what the GMAT is, how to prepare for it and how to get the most from your scores.
GMAT sentence correction questions are designed to test your ability to identify and correct errors in an argument. You’ll need to understand the importance of identifying the structure of an argument, knowing what the author is trying to say, and whether the author has made valid claims.
In GMAT sentence correction questions, you’ll find a sentence with one or more errors in grammar and usage. Your job is to identify the error(s) and select the best answer from four choices provided by the test writers.
GMAT sentence correction questions are designed so that you can solve them in under two minutes (give or take 30 seconds) if you know what you’re doing. They’re also designed so that you won’t be able to solve them without making multiple attempts — which means that it’s important for you not just to learn what works but also why it works so that you can avoid mistakes when they happen again on future tests.
What Is GMAT Sentence Correction?
The GMAT sentence correction section is designed to assess your ability to recognize grammatical errors in written English and make appropriate corrections. It does not test your knowledge of grammar rules, nor does it require you to know specific terms or definitions.
What Is the Correct Answer in GMAT Sentence Correction?
The correct answer depends on whether you’re looking for an error in grammar or an error in logic. The easiest way to determine which type of mistake you’re looking for is by looking at the point value of each question; if it only has one answer choice, then it’s most likely an error in grammar; if it has two or more choices, then it’s most likely an error in logic.
Strategy for GMAT Sentence Correction
Sentence correction is a topic that many students find difficult. The GMAT sentence correction section tests your ability to identify errors, as well as your ability to recognize and use the correct grammar rules.
The best way to prepare for this section is by practicing with real questions from past GMATs. If you don’t have access to past exams, you should still be able to do well on this section if you know the common rules of grammar and how they apply to sentence correction.
Here are some common things that show up on the GMAT sentence correction section:
- Wordiness: This is one of my favorite topics because there are so many ways you can get rid of unnecessary words in your writing! In fact, every single error on this test has something in common with wordiness! If you’re unsure about whether or not an answer choice is correct, keep track of how many words it uses compared with other options; if there’s a ton less than others, it’s probably right.
- Agreement: This topic tests whether or not words agree with each other in number (singular vs. plural) and gender (male vs. female). You might also see questions about comparative adjectives (like bigger/bigger) or comparative adverbs
The topics that are tested on GMAT Sentence Correction include:
- Verb Tenses
- Agreement (Singular/Plural)
- Subject-Verb Agreement
- Parallel Structure
- Meaning and logic
GMAT Sentence Correction – Parallelism
Parallelism refers to a pattern in which elements of a sentence are similar in structure or meaning. In other words, if you have two or more elements in a sentence, they should be in some sort of relationship with each other. For example, if you have two nouns or two verbs, they should be related in some way:
The car raced past the speed limit and was soon out of sight.
“The car raced past the speed limit” and “was soon out of sight” are parallel because both clauses describe what happened to the car. They could also be called coordinate clauses because they both contain two main ideas (in this case, one idea followed by another idea).
Parallelism refers to the use of similar structures in a sentence. For example:
Mary likes to eat apples and oranges.
Mary likes eating apples and oranges.
In the first sentence, we have two different verbs (likes, eats) used for two different subjects (Mary and apples). This is called non-parallelism or lack of parallelism. In the second sentence, both verbs are used for the same subject (Mary), which makes it a parallel sentence. This concept is tested regularly on GMAT Sentence Correction questions by asking you to choose an answer choice with correct parallelism.
GMAT Sentence Correction questions often test your understanding of parallelism by asking you to identify a non-parallel structure in an answer choice and then ask you whether it has been corrected or not by changing one word from the original version of the given answer choice.
GMAT Sentence Correction – Modifiers
A modifier is any word or group of words that changes the meaning of a sentence. Modifiers can be adjectives, adverbs, prepositional phrases and participial phrases.
The way that you approach this section is by first understanding how modifiers work in English. A modifier is any word or phrase that describes something else in the sentence. For example, “The car ran out of gas” tells us what happened with the car; it did not run out of anything else – just gas. The car ran out of gas because there was no more gas left in its tank; there are many cars like this one on the road today! So when we see an answer choice that says “It was dark outside” or “It was hot outside” we know that those words are describing something else in our sentence (the weather).
Modifiers are words that add information to a sentence or clause. The modifier must be placed in such a way that it is clear what it is modifying.
If you don’t place the modifier properly, it can cause confusion and make your sentence unclear. Here are some examples:
A) Misplaced Modifier – Misplaced Modifiers in Sentences
The dog that bit me was old, fat and smelly. (Whoa! What happened to the dog?)
B) Dangling Modifier – Dangling Modifiers in Sentences
When I woke up this morning, my favorite shirt was gone missing. (Where did my shirt go? Was there an accident? Did someone steal it?)
C) Misinterpreted Modifier – Misinterpreted Modifiers in Sentences
I love watching movies but I hate going to the theater because the seats are uncomfortable. (These sentences mean two different things!)
Modifiers are important because they help us understand what we’re reading. For example, take this sentence: “The man who was sitting on my couch was very angry.” Without knowing whether the man was sitting on your couch or someone else’s couch, we don’t know much about him at all. With modifiers, we can tell whether he was sitting on your couch or someone else’s and how he was sitting (in an angry way or not).
Modifiers can be adjectives, adverbs, nouns, or prepositional phrases.
Adjective Modifier: An adjective modifier is a word that describes a noun or pronoun. For example: “The old man walked slowly.”
Adverb Modifier: An adverb modifier is a word that describes how an action is performed. For example: “She walked slowly toward him.”
Prepositional Phrase Modifier: A prepositional phrase modifies the noun or pronoun that follows it by describing where something is located in relation to another thing or person.
GMAT sentence correction – Pronouns
Pronouns are words that stand in for nouns, so they can be tricky. For example, in the sentence “I saw her yesterday,” the word “her” is a pronoun because it stands in for a noun (the name of the person whom you saw). The problem is that pronouns have to agree with their antecedents — otherwise, they are ambiguous and can cause confusion. For example, if you say “I saw her yesterday and she was happy” then “she” refers to both the person who was seen and also the one who was happy; this is confusing and ambiguous!
Pronoun errors are one of the most common mistakes on the GMAT sentence correction section.
Pronouns are words used to substitute nouns. They are a key element of grammar, but they can also be a source of confusion for English-language learners. The most important rule is this: when you look at a sentence, and you see a pronoun, ask yourself what word it’s replacing. Then ask yourself “Does that word actually exist in this sentence?” If it does, then use the correct pronoun; if not, then you’ve got to figure out what the right one should be.
The following rules are mostly for the usage of pronouns:
- A pronoun should refer to a noun or a noun phrase that has already been mentioned in the sentence or clause.
- Pronouns should never be used to refer to something that has not yet been mentioned, unless there is an obvious reason for doing so (e.g., because the thing being referred to is a person, and it would be awkward to use some other word).
- A pronoun must agree in number with its antecedent. This means that if the antecedent is plural, so must be the pronoun; if it’s singular, so must be the pronoun.
- A personal pronoun should not be used as the object of a preposition (unless there’s no other way to avoid using “it”). For example: “You told me about your new car” is correct; “You told me about it” is incorrect; “You told me about it” is acceptable only when there’s no other option (“You told me about itself”). In general, however, you should try to avoid this situation by rephrasing your sentence so that there’s no need for an object at all (and thus no need for a personal
Here are some tips for using pronouns correctly on the GMAT:
- Use he/him to refer to men and boys; use she/her to refer to women and girls. He means he or him; she means she or her. If you’re not sure which pronoun is appropriate, try substituting he/him or she/her for the word in question. If it makes sense, then use he/him; if it doesn’t make sense, then use she/her.
- Use ‘it’ as a pronoun when it refers to something that cannot be identified as male or female (e.g., A tree fell on the house.) If you have no idea what gender an object might have, then use it rather than he/she or his/hers.
- If you’re using an indefinite pronoun (e.g., someone) in place of one specific person, make sure that person doesn’t appear in the sentence before using “anyone,” “someone,” etc.
GMAT Sentence Correction – Tenses
The correct tense to use in a sentence depends on the context. Tense usage on the GMAT is a bit different from tense usage in everyday life.
You might be tempted to think that because the GMAT is a formal test, it should follow all the rules of formal English. But that’s not how it works. The GMAT doesn’t care about your word choice or sentence structure as much as it cares about your ability to understand and solve problems quickly and accurately.
In general, your verbs should be in the present tense when you are describing something that is happening at the time of speaking or writing. Verbs should also be in the past tense when you are describing an event that happened before now.
Here is an example:
I am teaching at Harvard University. (present)
I taught at Harvard University last year. (past)
The GMAT Sentence Correction section tests your ability to use verb tense correctly in both simple and complex sentences. It also tests your knowledge of verb tenses with so-called “misplaced modifiers” — situations where a modifying phrase doesn’t describe what it’s supposed to describe because it has been placed incorrectly in the sentence.
The following rules will help guide your understanding of when to use which tense:
- Present Tense: Use present tense to describe current situations or habits.
- Past Tense: Use past tense to describe events that happened before now.
- Future Tense: Use future tense to describe what will happen or what might happen in the future.
There are three tenses in English: present, past and future. The GMAT Sentence Correction section will test your knowledge of these tenses.
The most common mistake that students make is using the wrong tense. For example, they say “I am going to the library” instead of “I went to the library.” In this case, you want to use the simple past tense (“I went”) because it’s talking about something that happened in the past.
Here are some other examples:
“When I was young, I loved reading books.” (Simple present tense)
“Last year, I went on vacation with my family.” (Simple past tense)
“Next week, we will be visiting our relatives in London.” (Future tense)
GMAT Sentence Correction – Logic
You can use logic to answer sentence correction questions on the GMAT.
Here is how you should use logic to answer sentence correction questions on the GMAT:
- First, read the question very carefully and identify what kind of error it asks you to find. Some common types of errors are subject-verb agreement, pronoun reference, tense consistency, parallelism, and modifier placement.
- Next, try to understand what the sentence is trying to say. You may want to reread the sentence a few times until you feel like you really understand it well enough to tackle any possible errors in it. If your first reading did not reveal any mistakes, then check whether the sentence contains any fragments (i.e., incomplete sentences) or run-on sentences (i.e., long sentences that could be split into two or more shorter ones).
- Finally, look for clues in the context of the question that might help you identify which type(s) of error(s) could be present in the sentence being tested.
Here is an example of how you should use logic to answer sentence correction questions on the GMAT:
The sentence “Marathon training requires discipline and a strong will” contains a faulty comparison. The correct way to express this idea would be “Marathon training requires more discipline than any other sport, and it requires a strong will to succeed in such an arduous endeavor.”
In the original version, “strong will” modifies “discipline.” It is incorrect because a person with great discipline might not necessarily have a strong will. In fact, many people are very disciplined at work but never exercise or eat well because they don’t have a strong will. If we want to compare two things, we must use two parallel structures. In this case, if we wanted to express that one thing was more important than another thing, we would say something like “X is more important than Y” instead of “X requires more discipline than Y does.”