In a few previous posts, this and this, we had discussed the importance of identifying the 3/2 Split as a way of really crashing the solving time on Sentence Correction. Strategically this is crucial since the average time available per question on the Verbal Section is only 1 min 49 sec. Since most Indian test-takers end up taking at least 2 min. per question on Reading Comprehension questions (including passage reading time), it is imperative that they solve SC and CR in under 1:49 sec per question. Between Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction questions, the former will take longer purely because the amount of new information that one has to process in each option, both in terms of length and logic, is greater than it is for the latter. Advertisements
While most test-takers prepping for the Sentence Correction questions on the GMAT® are aware of the Subject-Verb Error, very few are aware of the importance of identifying the subject as a standalone error. The GMAT® question below best illustrates how identifying the subject can reduce the time taken to solve some Sentence Correction question. Turning away from literary realism to write about the peasant life and landscape of Northern Sweden, in 1909 Selma Lagerlof was the novelist who became the first woman and was also the first Swedish writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Parallelism is an error-type that anyone who has ever prepped for GMAT® Sentence Correction will know. It is a very popular error type with test-takers since it is easy to spot and eliminate incorrect answer options. But there is a specific kind of parallel structure that the GMAT® test-makers disguise so well that it is almost impossible to pick! The GMAT® question below is the perfect example.
In a previous post we had discussed how very often test-takers get stuck to the Major Error error when tackling Sentence Correction questions on the GMAT® . The Major Error in a sentence might be related to tenses or parallel structure or modifiers. This error might be corrected in more than one sentence. What GMAT® test-setters do very well is introduce another Minor Error while correcting the Major Error. The Minor Error more often than not is related to Subject-Verb or Pronoun Usage. The GMAT® question below best exemplifies this.
One of the frequent things that test-takers keep telling us is that despite memorizing all the rules, they are unable to move beyond a particular level of accuracy on GMAT® Sentence Correction! Well one of the big reasons behind this is that once test-takers have mastered the rules they are able to immediately spot the error and pick option that rectify the error. There is only one catch, they ignore the fact that while major error has been corrected, another error that might have been introduced in another part of the sentence. The question below best exemplifies this.
This is a common and seemingly easily resolvable grammatical conundrum — when does one use which and when does one use that? Most test-takers who have prepared for GMAT® Sentence Correction will have this answer at the tip of their tongues — essential/restrictive and non-essential/non-restrictive clause. What they mean is that which is used to state information that is not essential while that is used to state essential information. A easier way to remember this is by looking at the pair of sentences below: 1. These are the keys to the fourth car in the parking row, which is black. 2. These are the keys to the fourth car in the parking row that is black. From the first sentence you would get the keys to the fourth car in the parking row; the sentence gives you some additional information, namely that it is black in colour; even without this information you could have known which car you have the keys to — the fourth car in the row.
One of the most important things that test-takers need to keep in mind about the GMAT® Sentence Correction is that it is a test of Written and not Spoken English. This distinction comes to the fore when phrases that sound correct to the ear are in fact incorrect as per the GMAT® and as we will see in this post the converse can also be true — what sounds incorrect to the ear can in fact be error-free. One of the best examples of this is the usage of Such As V Like.
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’.
Of the 41 questions on the Verbal section of the GMAT® approximately 15 will be Sentence Correction questions. Of these 15 questions around 7 questions will clearly have options that display a 3/2 split. This split is one of the fastest ways to solve SC questions under 1:49, which is average the time available per question on the GMAT®. Let us look at the example below to understand what we mean by a 3/2 split. Some psychiatric studies indicate that among distinguished artists the rates of manic depression and major depression are ten to thirteen times as prevalent as in the population at large. (A) the rates of manic depression and major depression are ten to thirteen times as prevalent as in (B) the rates of manic depression and major depression are ten to thirteen times more prevalent than in (C) the rates of manic depression and major depression are ten to thirteen times more prevalent when compared to (D) manic depression and major depression are ten to thirteen times as prevalent when compared to …
In the previous Sentence Correction post, we saw how it is important to listen for structure in order to get SC questions on the GMAT right. We took one type of structure, which involves making the right comparison, and saw how it is tested on the GMAT. Let us look at a few more questions of the same type but varying difficulty levels. EASY Unlike Schoenberg’s 12-tone system that dominated the music of the postwar period, Bartok founded no school and left behind only a handful of disciples. (A) Schoenberg’s 12-tone system that dominated (B) Schoenberg and his 12-tone system which dominated (C) Schoenberg, whose 12-tone system dominated (D) the 12-tone system of Schoenberg that has dominated (E) Schoenberg and the 12-tone system, dominating In this question, the original sentence sentence incorrectly compares Schoenberg’s 12-tone system with Bartok; the correct option has to compare Schoenberg to Bartok, which only option (C) does. The sentence is relatively short and the comparison is easy to identify so this is an easy question that can be solved in …