In the two previous posts we covered the major idioms tested on the GMAT. While the list of idioms can be potentially unending, a solid understanding of the idioms we covered so far and a few more that we will cover in this post will hold you in good stead to tackle GMAT SC questions that test idiomatic usage.
In the previous post on Idiomatic Usage we discussed idioms associated with some words such as hypothesise, considered, comprise, ability and capable. While these are definitely tested on the GMAT it is unlikely that all of these will appear in a single test, not more than one or two will. There are idioms though that will definitely end up making an appearance. These are the less fancy idioms around smaller words that test-takers take for granted (and hence overlook) and that can save them lots of time and help them increase their accuracy. One such word is AS. So many questions are made around this simple word that it deserves a dedicated post.
The questions that test Idiomatic usage are always tricky since if a test-taker is not aware of the idiom he or she can end up spending a lot of time trying to sort out other errors and might be going back and forth between options that are idiomatically incorrect. While it would be easy to give a long list of idioms to learn by rote, a list does not really serve any purpose since the list can become vast and cumbersome and there is no guarantee that you will able to retrieve this idiom from memory when you encounter it. A better way would be to scour the OG and look at the idioms that are consistently tested on the GMAT Sentence Correction.
When it comes to GMAT SC it seems as if the list of rules that you need to keep in mind is unending. This post adds to the list of rules but please remember that when you read a sentence your first instinct should not be to fix it unless there is rule that is blatantly broken, always use the 3-2 SPLIT discussed here and here to first identify the error you need to fix.
One of the most important skills needed to master GMAT Sentence Correction is the ability to read for the structure and not the content of the sentence. Most of the time test-takers focus on trying to identify a specific rule (that they have learnt) that the sentence is breaking. The exercise of reading the sentence thus becomes similar to going over the words from left to right using a microscope that magnifies grammatical errors.
GMAT Sentence Correction is often very similar to Algebra in terms of the way sentence structure is tested. The usage of EITHER-OR best exemplifies this.
On the GMAT it will always boil down to a question or two here and there. As we have discussed in an earlier post, you can make only about 11-12 mistakes in the Verbal Section to score reach a 700, provided you get a 49-50 on Quant, making about 7-8 mistakes or fewer. While it might seem like a healthy margin for error, when we break it down into question-types, the margin for error will not seem that wide.
Since we have covered most of the major errors pertaining to GMAT Sentence, we will move our focus to the minor rules. You might or might nor encounter questions based on these minor rules and even if you do not more than one.
Among the vast array of rules pertaining to the Subjunctive Mood, there is one that gets tested on the GMAT — the one involving wishes, commands, requests and suggestions. It is one of the easier rules to grasp and execute. Let us look at the same using the GMAT Sentence Correction question below.
Of all the three questions types on the GMAT Verbal section — Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension — SC is the question type that most people preparing for the GMAT tend to take a liking towards (it goes without saying that RC is the most hated). This fancy towards SC often leads to aspirants really digging deep into Grammar. So much so that they start spouting Grammar jargon! But there is more to GMAT Sentence Correction than the rules — a process or approach that will ensure that you do not become/remain a Grammar expert but become a GMAT SC expert.