GMAT Sentence Correction, GMAT Verbal
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How To Increase Your Speed On Sentence Correction – 2

In the previous Sentence Correction post we saw how answer options on the GMAT® SC display a 3/2 split that you should use to crash your solving time. Let us look at a few more GMAT® questions with the 3/2 split.

3/2 Spilt at the end of the options – Clue in the non-underlined part preceding options

Rising inventories, when unaccompanied correspondingly by increases in sales, can lead to production cutbacks that would hamper economic growth.

(A) when unaccompanied correspondingly by increases in sales, can lead
(B) when not accompanied by corresponding increases in sales, possibly leads
(C) when they were unaccompanied by corresponding sales increases, can lead
(D) if not accompanied by correspondingly increased sales, possibly leads
(E) if not accompanied by corresponding increases in sales, can lead

In the above sentence the 3/2 split is at the end of the underlined part; the choice is between ‘lead’ and ‘leads’.

In this sentence, since the subject is ‘inventories’, it has to be ‘lead’, A, C or E. A is incorrect since ‘correspondingly’ is incorrect; C incorrectly uses the past tense ‘were’; hence (E).

The clue to resolving the spilt can lie anywhere but test-takers by default tend to look for it at the beginning of the sentence and when the clue lies there, like in the above question, a lot of time is saved.

3/2 Spilt at the beginning of the options – Clue in the non-underlined part following the options

Found throughout Central and South America, sloths hang from trees by long rubbery limbs and sleep 15 hours a day, moving infrequently enough that two species of algae grow on its coat and between its toes.

(A) sloths hang from trees by long rubbery limbs and sleep 15 hours a day, moving infrequently enough
(B) sloths hang from trees by long rubbery limbs, they sleep 15 hours a day, and with such infrequent movements
(C) sloths use their long rubbery limbs to hang from trees, sleep 15 hours a day, and move so infrequently
(D) the sloth hangs from trees by its long rubbery limbs, sleeping 15 hours a day and moving so infrequently
(E) the sloth hangs from trees by its long rubbery limbs, sleeps 15 hours a day, and it moves infrequently enough

In this sentence, the 3/2 spilt is between ‘sloths’, options A, B & C, and ‘the sloth’, D&E.

The clue as to which one is correct lies in the non-underlined part at the end of the sentence, ‘that…..its coat and between its toes’; ‘its’ gives us a clue that it has to be singular and hence, ‘the sloth’; this straightaway eliminates the first three options.

Between D & E, the latter is incorrect since ‘infrequently enough that’ is not correct; the correct construction has to be of the form ‘so x that y’. Hence, D.

3/2 Spilt not easily identifiable – Clue in the underlined part

In the initial planning stages, the condominium corporation took into account only the concerns of its prospective clients, not those of surrounding homeowners.

(A) the condominium corporation took into account only the concerns of its prospective clients
(B) the condominium corporation has only taken into account the concerns of their prospective clients
(C) the condominium corporation only took their prospective clients’ concerns into account
(D) the concerns of its prospective clients only were taken into account by the condominium corporation
(E) prospective clients had their concerns only taken into account by the condominium corporation

In this particular case the 3/2 split lies in the middle of the sentence:

(A) condominium corporation took into account only the concerns of its prospective clients
(B) the condominium corporation has only taken into account the concerns of their prospective clients
(C) the condominium corporation only took their prospective clients’ concerns into account
(D) the concerns of its prospective clients only were taken into account by the condominium corporation
(E) prospective clients had their concerns only taken into account by the condominium corporation

B, C & E have ‘its prospective clients’ while A & D have ‘their prospective clients’. Since the subject is ‘corporation’ it has to be ‘its’ and not ‘their’. We are left with A & D, and the latter is incorrect since it is passive construction (more on Passive Construction later), something which should always be avoided on GMAT® .

Of the 14-15 Sentence Correction questions you will encounter on the Verbal Section of the GMAT at least 7-8 questions will demonstrate the 3/2 split. The examples above demonstrate how identifying the 3/2 split is possibly the single-most important technique to solving Sentence Correction questions in the most efficient manner — instead of eliminating individual options you are eliminating a group of options at a single go.

So it makes a lot of sense to always look out at the beginnings and ends of answer options to spot the split before you start evaluating individual options.

One of the reasons why I love the GMAT as a test is that it is not tough for the sake of being tough. It gives you enough chances to solve questions efficiently within the stipulated time — provided you know where to look!

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4 Comments

  1. Gaurav Jain says

    In the second question “Found throughout …….” , option D is correct.
    Isn’t there a parallelism error as “hangs”…..”sleeping”…..”moving”
    Please explain?

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  2. The sleeping & moving infrequently result in the growth of algae. If all three are made parallel – hangs sleeps and moves – it will mean that all three are causing it.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Sentence Correction – How To Increase Your Speed On Sentence Correction 3 | The GMAT Blogger

  4. Pingback: 10 Rules For GMAT Sentence Correction | The GMAT Blogger

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