GMAT Pill Video Explanation
Q: What does the GMAT Sentence Correction section test you on?
This section effectively tests you on your writing ability. For those who take the SAT II's - it is very similar to the SAT II for Writing.
You will be tested on English grammar, usage, phrasing, sentence structure, and meaning. The two biggest areas to focus on are structure and meaning.
With structure, there are a variety ways of organizing an English sentence. The subject needs to agree with the verb. Distinctions are made between singular versus plural. Verbs can be presented in -ING form and used effectively as descriptive adjectives in descriptive phrases. Verbs can also be manipulated to represent actions that occur in different times or time periods - opening up the doors for complications between past, present, and future. Although, structure sounds complicated at first glance, once you internalize everything it all becomes second nature. You just need to think in the right, efficient manner.
With meaning, you'll need to understand what's going on in the sentence and how the various answer choices may potentially alter the original meaning of the sentence. You always want to choose the answer choice that maintains the intended meaning of the sentence but offers the best way to phrase the underlined portion of the sentence.
Q: Isn't this section not fair for non-native English speakers?
Yes, and no. Since English is the universal language used to teach in top MBA programs, it makes sense for the test to be in English. Sure, you may see some idiom-specific types of questions on the GMAT exam that may require subtle understanding of the English language. But it's not common and usually, there will be other parts of the sentence that can help you figure out these questions without understanding the correct idiom. Moreover, in recent years, the GMAC folks have been phasing out questions that rely heavily on idiom usage. Instead, now there is a greater emphasis on sentence correction questions that require you to examine the meaning of the sentence before arriving at your final answer.
Q: What is the structure of a GMAT sentence correction question?
You will be presented with a sentence containing an underlined portion. This underlined portion is the portion of the sentence that potentially needs to be rewritten. You are then presented with 5 answer choices - effectively 5 different ways of rewriting that same underlined portion of the sentence and it is your job to pick which of those 5 ways of writing is most clear and properly conveys the original intention of the sentence.
Answer choice (A) will always be exactly the same as the underlined portion. So from a time-saving perspective, you should always read the sentence with an emphasis on the underlined portion. And then from there you can skip over to answer choice (B) since (A) is exactly the same as what you just read before in the original sentence.
Q: Is it possible to have the entire sentence underlined?
Yes, it is possible to have the entire sentence underlined. These kinds of sentence correction questions are designed to eat up more of your time. Sometimes they can be more complicated. But on the flip side, sometimes it is easier to eliminate answer choices because there are more things that can be wrong with one of the answer choices. All it takes is one awkward phrasing in one part of an answer choice, and you can eliminate that answer choice as a legitimate contender.
Q: How many sentence correction questions will be on my exam?
You will see either 14 or 15 sentence correction questions out of the total 41 verbal questions. In other words, just over a third of your questions will be sentence correction questions. The remaining ones in verbal will be critical reasoning and reading comprehension.
Q: I did poorly on my first diagnostic set of questions for SC? Is there any hope?
Well, the good thing about sentence correction is that it is generally the easiest section to improve. After all, there are only so many ways the GMAC folks can test you on how to structure a sentence. You will need to get familiar with a variety of sentence structures and phrasing. But it is equally important to develop the ability to spot what the GMAT guys are testing you on. There are booby traps all throughout the GMAT sentence correction section. If you can smell the booby trap ahead of time, it'll be that much easier to avoid the wrong answers and that much easier to arrive at the correct ones.
You might have the mental block in your mind that is preventing you from making progress. For example, some of you might be thinking that just because you are a non-native English speaker, that there is no way for you to improve on this section. This is absolutely not true. We have had a multitude of non-native English speakers who have improved tremendously on their verbal score. It's all about seeing things that you didn't see before.
Generally speaking, you want to minimize the amount of time you spend on sentence correction so that you can free up time on the more time-intensive questions like critical reasoning and reading comprehension. A lot of the questions in SC don't even require you to read the entire answer or all of the entire answer choices. Remember, you want to think smart. And often times, thinking smart means only looking at the portions of a question that you absolutely need to. Don't waste time on answer choices that don't matter. Conquer these sentence corrections and you'll be in much better shape for those critical reasoning and reading comprehension questions that count more towards your overall 800 score.
Q: Can you give me an example of why Verbal is important?
Sure. This student aced Quant with Q49, but still could not get over a 620. Why? Because his Verbal was stuck at V25. It was not until he took GMAT Pill that he brought verbal and his overall score over 700.
Q: What are the 10 Core Frameworks?
The 10 core frameworks are 10 ways to approach GMAT sentence corrections that we created here at the GMAT Pill. Almost every type of sentence correction question can be grouped into one of these 10 core frameworks. Understanding these frameworks and knowing how to apply them to GMAT questions is the key to acing the GMAT sentence correction section.
Q: How many videos do you have covering the 10 Core Frameworks?
We have 30 videos explaining the core frameworks and another 35 videos teaching you how to apply these frameworks to realistic GMAT questions. In total, we've narrowed down everything you need to know for sentence correction in just 300 minutes (5 hours). Review these videos at your own pace.
You can purchase the SC Pill here.
Q: Can I watch SC Videos on my iPad?
Yes! You can even download these videos onto your iPad so you can view them on the train, on the, on the subway, or anywhere else on-the-go. Simply find our app in the iPad section of the app store. The name of the app is "GMAT Pill HD" - from there, you can go into your settings panel and select which videos you would like to download. You can even select entire sections to be downloaded over night so they are ready on your device in the morning.
Q: Do you have video solutions for the OG2016/2015/13 books?
Yes, you can view them here. Not all of them are posted but a good amount are there. Be sure to get a copy of your Official Guide.
GMAT Tip: Visualize and mimick your exam conditions as best you can while you study.
Pretend you are sitting at the test center when you study.
> Read more GMAT psychology and timing strategies.
Core Framework #5: Idioms