Articles tagged "gmat sentence correction"

GMAT Sentence Correction: Modifiers and Meaning

by

Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - GMAT Sentence Correction: Modifiers and Meaning by Reed Arnold

Guess what? You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free—we’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


Meaning. Important in life, important in GMAT Sentence Correction questions.

I realized recently just how much the GMAT loves switching between verbs and modifiers derived from verbs (we nerds know these as ‘participles’) in SC. For example: Read more

GMAT Sentence Correction: Spot the Trap! (Part 2)

by

Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - GMAT Sentence Correction: Spot the Trap! (Part 2) by Stacey Koprince

Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


Last time, we talked about how to read for meaning and spot redundancy traps on GMAT Sentence Correction.

I’ve got another trappy SC for you; this one is from the GMATPrep® free exams. Go for it! Read more

The Top Three GMAT Sentence Correction Errors That Sound Totally Normal

by

blog-soundsDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


Here are three simple mistakes that can fool even the best-trained ear. The GMAT loves testing these rules on tough Sentence Correction problems, since the test writers know that we misuse them constantly in speech and in writing. Learn these rules by heart, and prevent avoidable mistakes when you take the GMAT. Read more

GMAT Grammar Biweekly – Participles: Everything You Never Wanted to Know

by

GMAT Grammer Biweekly - Participles: Everything You Never Wanted to Know by Emily MadanDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


Participles. Just the word is enough to inspire dread in the heart of most GMAT Test Takers. Let’s break down what they are and why you should care. Read more

A “Good Ear” isn’t Good Enough on GMAT Sentence Correction

by

Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - A Good Ear Isn't Good Enough on GMAT Sentence Correction

Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


If you’re anything like me, you read books and articles avidly (although maybe less often than you did in college), and you’ve been told that you’re a good writer (although you definitely write less than you did in college). The Sentence Correction portion of GMAT Verbal seems like it should be easy for you: fix anything that sounds like bad writing, and you’ll do well here.

Unfortunately, that assumption is wrong. Read more

Here’s What to Do When You Can’t Find the “Split” on GMAT Sentence Correction

by

blog-splitDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


In GMAT Sentence Correction, a “split” is a clear difference among the answer choices that allows you to identify and eliminate several incorrect answers. You can’t always find a perfect, straightforward answer choice split to work with in every Sentence Correction problem. Sometimes, most or all of the sentence is underlined, and the answer choices seem completely different from each other. When this happens, don’t fall back on bad habits. Even if you can’t find a great split, you can take a smart, fast approach to the problem. Let’s work through that approach using the following problem, from the GMAC’s GMAT Prep software. Read more

First Glance Flopping on GMAT Sentence Correction? Try This.

by

GMAT Sentence Correction StrategiesYou know the first step of GMAT Sentence Correction is the first glance. (If you don’t, check out chapter 1 of our SC Strategy Guide.) So, dutifully, you start every SC problem with a quick look at the answers. There are some differences. Then you power through the reading and look for issues in the sentence as written.

This is a first glance flop. You do it, but it’s not helpful. Let’s add a bit more purpose to what can be the most important step of the sentence correction process. I’ll show you some answer choices to practice on in a moment, but let’s remind ourselves of some of the basics. Read more

GMAT Grammar Weekly: FANBOYS

by

blog-fanboysJoin us every other week for a commonly-tested grammar factoid that will improve both your accuracy and your confidence on GMAT Sentence Correction. 📖📝 Read more

GMAT Sentence Correction: Where do I start? (Part 3)

by

GMAT-sentence-correctionWelcome to the third part of our series focusing on the First Glance in Sentence Correction. If you haven’t read the previous installments yet, you can start with how to find a starting point on a Sentence Correction problem when the starting point doesn’t leap out at you.

Try out the First Glance on the below problem and see what happens! This is a GMATPrep® problem from the free exams.

* “Most of the purported health benefits of tea comes from antioxidants—compounds also found in beta carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C that inhibit the formation of plaque along the body’s blood vessels.

“(A) comes from antioxidants—compounds also found in beta carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C that

“(B) comes from antioxidants—compounds that are also found in beta carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and they

“(C) come from antioxidants—compounds also found in beta carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and

“(D) come from antioxidants—compounds that are also found in beta carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C and that

“(E) come from antioxidants—compounds also found in beta carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and they”

The First Glance definitely helps on this one: comes vs. come is a singular vs. plural verb split, indicating a subject-verb agreement issue. Now, when you read the original sentence, you know to find the subject.

So what is the subject of the sentence? It’s not the singular tea, though it’s tempting to think so. The subject is actually the word most, which is a SANAM pronoun.

The SANAM pronouns: Some, Any, None, All, More / Most

These pronouns can be singular or plural, depending on the context of the sentence. Consider these examples:

Read more

GMAT Sentence Correction: Where do I start? (Part 2)

by

GMAT-sentence-correctionLast time, we talked about how to find a starting point on a Sentence Correction problem when the starting point doesn’t leap out at you. If you haven’t read that article yet, go ahead and do so.

The first step of the SC process is a First Glance, something that didn’t help out a whole lot on last week’s problem. Let’s try out the First Glance again and see what happens!

This GMATPrep® problem is from the free exams.

* “Often incorrectly referred to as a tidal wave, a tsunami, a seismic sea wave that can reach up to 150 miles per hour in speed and 200 feet high, is caused by underwater earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

“(A) up to 150 miles per hour in speed and 200 feet high, is

“(B) up to 150 miles per hour in speed and heights of up to 200 feet, is

“(C) speeds of up to 150 miles per hour and 200 feet high, are

“(D) speeds of up to 150 miles per hour and heights of up to 200 feet, is

“(E) speeds of up to 150 miles per hour and as high as 200 feet, are”

What did you do for the First Glance? The glance is designed to give you an upfront hint about one issue that the sentence might be testing before you actually start reading the full sentence. Take a look at the beginning of the underline, including the beginning of all five answer choices.

The split is between up to and speeds of up to. There isn’t an obvious grammar rule here, so the issue is likely to revolve around meaning: do we need to say speeds of or is it enough to say just up to?

Think about this while reading the original sentence. What do you think?

The phrase reach up to could go in several different directions—is it going to say up to 150 miles in length? up to 150 feet high?—so it’s preferable to clarify right up front that the wave is reaching speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.

In addition, the sentence contains parallelism:

can reach up to X [150 miles per hour in speed] and Y [200 feet high]

The portion before the parallelism starts must apply to both the X and Y portions, so the original sentence says:

can reach up to 200 feet high

That might sound kind of clunky and it is: up to and high are redundant.

Okay, answer (A) is incorrect and answer (B) repeats both issues (it neglects to specify speeds of up to 150 and it contains faulty parallelism.).

Check the parallelism in the other choices:

“(C) speeds of up to [150 miles per hour] and [200 feet high]

“(D) [speeds of up to 150 miles per hour] and [heights of up to 200 feet]

“(E) speeds of [up to 150 miles per hour] and [as high as 200 feet]”

In answer (C), the Y portion is the measurement (200 feet), so the X portion should also be the measurement…but it’s nonsensical to say speeds of up to 200 feet high. Likewise, in (E), the Y portion is a prepositional phrase, so it matches the prepositional phrase in the X portion. Now, the sentence says speeds of as high as 200 feet—equally nonsensical.

The only one that makes sense is answer (D): speeds of up to 150 and heights of up to 200.

The correct answer is (D).

You might also have noticed, in the original sentence, that the last underlined word is the verb is. Sentence Correction problems always have at least one difference at the beginning of the underline and at the end, so glance down the end of the choices.

Interesting! Is vs. are. What subject goes with this verb? Here’s the original sentence again:

Often incorrectly referred to as a tidal wave, a tsunami, a seismic sea wave that can reach up to 150 miles per hour in speed and 200 feet high, is caused by underwater earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.”

The modifiers have been crossed out. The subject is tsunami, a singular noun, so the verb should be the singular is. Answers (C) and (E) are incorrect for this reason.

Key Takeaways: The First Glance in Sentence Correction

(1) Before reading the original sentence, make it a habit to glance at the word or couple of words at the start of the underline and each answer choice. Sometimes, the split will be obvious: an is vs. are split, for example, clearly indicates subject-verb agreement.

(2) Sometimes the split will be less obvious, as with up to vs. speeds of up to. In this case, if the split is fairly easy to remember, just keep the variations in mind as you read the original sentence, so that you can analyze the difference right away. You may see immediately that speeds of up to is more clear, and your knowledge that the sentence is testing this meaning might also alert you to some of the meaning issues introduced by the faulty parallelism.

(3) Making a subject-verb match in the midst of a bunch of modifiers can be tricky. Learn how to strip the modifiers out and take the sentence down to its basic core structure.

* GMATPrep® questions courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Usage of this question does not imply endorsement by GMAC.

Want to learn more? Read on to part 3.

Manhattan GMAT

Studying for the GMAT? Take our free GMAT practice exam or sign up for a free GMAT trial class running all the time near you, or online. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter!