GMAT Sentence Correction: Practice, Rules, Questions, and Tips

Speed and accuracy is all that matters in a test like GMAT. And getting both together at the same time requires a lot of hard work.

Throughout GMAT course curriculum, sentence correction questions are amongst the least time consuming ones, because of two reasons.

1. They have a very quick turnaround time, and

2. There is a finite set of errors to be identified. Needless to say, they are also the most scoring set of questions if attended with prudence.

In GMAT, smart work is equally important as hard work. In this article, I will be telling you all that you need to know to score well in sentence correction in a GMAT test.

GMAT Sentence Correction practice

There is no replacement of practice for any test that you want to take.

It is particularly true in sentence correction problems as the choices are often too confusing and have very slight but major differences.

It is very difficult to pin point at an option and pick out the difference. You need to have taken enough test questions to master the act of eliminating options.

After taking a test, analyze your wrong answers and try to derive a pattern. More often than not, you will be able to see a pattern in your mistakes.

There would be a particular type of error which you will make more than some others. Make sure that you practice many problems on the same topic till the time the frequency of mistakes is almost nil.

I always tell my students that if you are strong in any area, please do not take it for granted.

Practicing your strength areas is equally important as practicing the areas that you are weak in.

It would enable you to maintain the edge that you have. Looking at a question from your strength areas also gives you a boost of confidence in the actual test as you are more likely to nail the right answer in very less time.

Another mistake that students make is focusing excessively on getting to learn grammar concepts than practicing questions related to it.

GMAT does not test how good you are at the concepts of grammar; it tests your ability to choose the most grammatically correct sentence out of the available five options.

Please bear it in mind this subtle but very important difference while practicing sentence correction questions.

Suggested: Read more about GMAT Prep

GMAT Sentence Correction rules & questions

There is a very famous saying that English is a very funny language.

There are rules that change with different verbs, nouns, subjects, gender etc., there are words that can be used as verbs, but in other places as adjectives or the other way round, there are clauses that can be modified for sentence agreements.

But you need not worry about it at all if you have a little patience and a little more practice.

Following is the list of most commonly used rules of English that appear in GMAT sentence correction questions:

  • Subject verb agreement
  • Pronoun Agreement
  • Parallel structure
  • Participle Parallelism
  • Style and Usage
  • Adjectives and Adverbs
  • Active Voice and Passive Voice
  • Idioms
  • Modifiers
  • Effective Expression
  • Connecting Punctuations
  • Sentence corrections like:
  • In spite of vs As a result of
  • Other vs Another
  • Whether vs If amongst others.

There are many books available in the market for practicing questions based on above mentioned rules including many more.

There are also many websites that offer free sample questions for your practice.

My students always ask me to give them an exhaustive list of rules to follow for GMAT, but no one can create one such list.

Sometimes, there are questions that have all grammatically correct sentences, but the expression is different.

Please understand the meaning of the problem statement and then choose the correct option.

Make sure that you have touched upon as many concepts as possible during your practice so that there are no surprises in the real test.

GMAT Sentence Correction tips

1. Read the problem statement carefully

The maximum time that you spend on any sentence correction question should be spent in reading the problem statement.

Try to understand the expression of the statement, and then try to look for grammatical mistakes.

Most of the students ignore this fact and end up selecting the wrong option.

2. Rejection is more important than selection

For any time bound test with multiple choice questions, rejection of options is the best policy to adopt.

Most of the students waste a lot of time selecting the correct option by reading every option carefully.

Instead, you should try to find out a mistake, and check all the other options for a similar mistake.

More often than not 2-3 options can be easily rejected using this technique.

Once you are down to 2 options, it’s always better to select correct answer from 2 options rather than 5 options. (Again, it needs a lot of practice to master this technique.)

3. Go for wrong rather than right

While practicing sentence correction questions, and analyzing results, pay more attention to the questions that you could not solve correctly.

In addition to this, for any question that you could not answer correctly focus on the wrong options rather than the right one.

Figure out why the 4 options are wrong, than why that one sentence is correct.

This way most of your concepts will get clarified after a few days.

4. Maintain continuity

Over the years I have observed that most of the students start practicing sentence correction with a lot of enthusiasm, but it fizzes away as they get better at it.

Once you start getting more and more correct answers you tend to get complacent and start practicing other more complex sections like mathematics or critical reasoning. Please do not make this mistake.

You should practice sentence correction at least twice in a week to be in touch with the concepts.

The amount of practice might not be as high as other sections, but maintaining continuity is very important.

I hope this article gives you clarity on how to approach the sentence correction questions.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reply and ask.

Image credit: office dot microsoft dot com

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