Last week, I wrote about meaning issues in sentence correction, and there’s more to say “ so here’s part two of this topic. We’ll keep going till we don’t have anything else to discuss!
First and foremost, I want to address something that I keep seeing everywhere “ on the forums, in the comments sections of my articles and blog posts, and so on. People keep saying, But how are we going to study now? Are you going to publish a new book? What can we do? I’m taking the test soon!
I’m going to reiterate what I’ve been saying (and forgive me if you already heard this and got the message!): meaning issues have always existed, and there is plenty of existing material from which to study. We just didn’t concentrate as much on meaning before, because we were able to do more simply with grammar. They aren’t putting totally new kinds of SC questions out there “ they’re just increasing the proportion of an already-existing issue.
Now, because in the old days, the proportion was skewed more towards pure grammar, we were often able to get away with just studying grammar and not worrying so much about meaning. We can’t get away with that now “ we have to study the meaning as well. Read more
Since the GMAT Prep summit, we have been covering what the changes that were described there mean based on what Larry Rudner, GMAC vice president of research and development and chief psychometrician, has told us. Now he has written an official response, which we have re-posted below. Hopefully this will further clarify what those differences consist of and how you can study for the GMAT successfully. You can find the original posting here.
Idioms, Sentence Correction, and the GMAT Exam
Recently there has been some discussion and questioning about the role and place of idioms and sentence correction as they apply to the skills tested in the GMAT exam. Much of what has been written has been well reasoned but some of what has been written is only partially accurate or reflects some misconceptions. With this posting I hope to put these two important pieces of the GMAT exam in their proper place within the context of what the exam measures and how.
In this table, we discuss a number of Sentence Correction problems from the OG12. Certain answer choices have “meaning” issues; we list the answer choice letters and provide a brief discussion of the issues involved. Note that this list is not comprehensive and is still in fairly raw form; there are additional problems and answer choices that could also contain meaning issues, and it’s possible that reasonable people will disagree with some of the things on this list (though we tried to include only the ones that we thought were most straightforward). Read more
Recently, we heard from GMAC that it has been testing meaning more often in sentence correction than it used to (this increase started years ago). In the last couple of days, I’ve gone through the first 100 problems in the Official Guide 12th Edition (OG12) so that we can discuss some of these issues.
I’ve categorized these meaning issues into three broad categories; in this article, I’m going to call out some particular examples and discuss what’s going on with each. You can then use these examples to help you continue to study different problems. We’ve also put together a list of specific problems and answer choices that deal with these meaning issues. You can find that list here. Finally, pay attention to the explanation wording “ if it mentions that something changes the meaning or is ambiguous then you know a meaning issue is going on in that problem!
Before we dive in, I have to say that I was surprised while researching this “ turns out that there are even more meaning-based questions than I would have thought (which is why I’ve only gotten through the first 100 OG questions rather than all of them by deadline time). In the OG, a lot of the answer choices that test meaning also have other grammatical issues, so we can often get away with ignoring the meaning and focusing on the grammar.
My guess is that GMAC has been working hard to make us deal with the meaning more by not giving us a grammar out on so many answer choices (on the real test). If you’ve been ignoring the meaning aspect when you see that there’s a more pure grammar reason for getting rid of an answer stop doing that. When studying, pay attention to every possible reason for an elimination. Seek out these meaning issues and study them. Read more