GMAT Sentence Correction

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Introduction

The GMAT sentence correction questions are designed to test your ability to identify grammatically-correct written English. The questions begin with sentences, all or parts of which have been underlined. You will then be presented with 5 different answer choices.

The correct answer will have the following 4 characteristics:

  1. No grammatical mistakes
  2. Correct sentence structure
  3. No diction errors
  4. Will not change the sentence’s intended meaning

Note that we did not state that the correct answer is the most concise. While it often is, this is not always the case. As a result, you may find that you need to resist the temptation to select the shortest answer choice.

GMAT Sentence Correction Tips and Strategies

Do not waste the time to read answer choice A.  This choice simply repeats the originally underscored section. One fifth of the time, choice A will be correct. As a result, do not succumb to the temptation to overanalyze these questions and insist on believing that there is always a better choice than the underlined segment presented in the question.

Look out for multiple errors.  A common fallacy with the sentence correction questions is to find one error and then quickly choose an answer that corrects that mistake. The correct answer must correct all of the errors.

Employ process of elimination wherever possible.  This is most easily accomplished with this question type when answer choices appear that are grammatically incorrect all by themselves. You can also eliminate any choices that alter the intended meaning of the sentence. There will always be a second-best answer choice when you take the GMAT. If you are still unsure between more than one choice, you will fare better if you select the most concise remaining answer choice that does not use the passive voice.

Do not worry about spelling or capitalization errors.  The test writers do not test for these 2 errors.

When in doubt, examine the subtleties among the different answer choices.  This is often a good way to determine what the possible errors in the sentence may be. It can also help you fight the tendency to read for meaning and to overlook any grammatical mistakes.

Read the entire sentence again with your selected answer choice.  We have found this to be a very powerful tip with these questions. It can prevent many careless mistakes from harming your GMAT score.

Trust your ears.  If you become stuck, select the passage that sounds the best to your ears. Most test takers, particularly native English speakers, have internalized many more grammar rules than they can explicitly identify.

Grammar Concepts and Rules You Should Know

We do not have the time to review the material tested by the GMAT here. However, we have compiled the “short list” of favorite grammatical rules that the writers like to test. You are strongly encouraged to memorize these grammar concepts and rules before you sit for the GMAT.

  • Among versus between
  • Elliptical verb phrases
  • Misplaced modifiers
  • Parallel sentences
  • Pronoun subject agreement
  • Proper use of adverbs (they modify verbs)
  • Proper use of the semicolon
  • Run on sentences
  • Sentence fragments
  • Subject verb agreement
  • Verb tenses
  • Who versus whom

Sentence correction practice questions

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