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    Sentence Correction
  I: Fundamentals
  II: Three-Step Method to the Sentence Correction Questions
III: Eight Types of Errors in the Sentence Correction Section  
  IV: Sample Questions
  V: Advanced Work

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Sentence Correction

Of all the topics you must study to prepare for the GMAT, there are two in particular that will have the greatest benefit after test day: the AWA Essay section and Sentence Correction section. Effective writing is a vital part of business communication. The skills you learn here in preparation for these sections will carry far beyond test day. So while it is unlikely the Pythagorean theorem or quadratic equations will come in handy after test day, knowing a misplaced modifier when you see one is a skill you never want to forget.

About 14 of the 41 Verbal section questions – or 35 percent of them - are Sentence Correction.

The directions for these questions look like this:

Directions: The following questions consist of sentences that are either partly or entirely underlined. Below each sentence are five versions of the underlined portion of the sentence. Choice (A) is a copy of the original version. The four other answer choices change the underlined portion of the sentence. Read the sentence and the five choices carefully and select the best version.

These questions test your knowledge of correct grammatical usage and your sense of clear and economical writing. Choose answers according to the norms of standard written English for grammar, word choice, and sentence construction. Your selected answer should express the intended meaning of the original sentence as clearly and precisely as possible, while avoiding ambiguous, awkward, or unnecessarily wordy constructions.

There are two phrases you should pay particular attention to in these directions:

  1. "Standard Written English" Standard Written English is not what we use for casual communication, and it is not as formal as the English used in scholarly writing.
  2. "Clearly and precisely" Knowledge of "correct grammatical usage," by itself, isn't sufficient to find the right answer: you also need to look for answers that are concise and not redundant.

This chapter will provide you with general tools and specific skills for approaching Sentence Correction questions. The chapter is divided into two parts:

Three Step Method for the Sentence Correction Questions
This section provides you with a clear, step-by-step method for approaching all Sentence Correction questions. You will learn basic rules for tackling these questions in a savvy and time-efficient manner.

Eight Types of Errors in the Sentence Correction Section
This section provides you with an overview of the eight most common grammar mistakes found in Sentence Correction sections. You will learn specific skills for handling individual questions.


Continue to Fundamentals