As literary criticism grows more complex, students majoring in specialized areas like those of post-colonialism and Marxist discourse have been becoming increasingly successful at finding positions in the faculties of top universities.
(A) majoring in specialized areas like those of post-colonialism and Marxist discourse have been becoming increasingly
(B) who major in such specialized areas as post-colonialism and Marxist discourse are becoming more and more
(C) who majored in specialized areas such as those of post-colonialism and Marxist discourse are being increasingly
(D) who major in specialized areas such as those of post-colonialism and Marxist discourse have been becoming more and more
(E) having majored in such specialized areas as post-colonialism and Marxist discourse are being increasingly
I'm happy to help with this. Split #1a
: category with examples
This is one of the GMAT's favorite grammar splits. Suppose we have a category (e.g. baseball teams) and we want to give a few examples (say, the Mets and the Giants). In colloquial speech, one might say ".... some baseball teams, like the Mets and Giants
..." , and this may sound fine to native speakers, but this is dead wrong on the GMAT. The correct idiom for listing examples is not "like" but "such as": ".... some baseball teams, such as the Mets and Giants
...". Choice (A)
makes this mistake.
A related mistake ---- We see a split among the answers .....
(1) "in specialized areas such as
" in (B)
(2) "in such specialized areas as
" in (C)
The first is just the ordinary idiom for listing examples of "specialized areas" --- perfectly correct. The second one seems to put a special emphasis on "specialized" --- as if we are talking about some areas that are particularly or uniquely specialized. First of all, that's a little strange --- there really aren't that many ways to be specialized --- yes, there's more or less specialized, but beyond that, the adjective doesn't allow for that much variation. More to the point, nothing in the sentence really indicates an extreme specialization. The categories "post-colonialism and Marxist discourse" are rather large categories. If the sentence had mentioned something super-specialized -- say, Marxist discourse by a fringe Trotskyist school in Burma in the 1930s --- OK, that would really be specialized, and in that case, an emphasize on "how specialized?" would seem appropriate. In the absence of that, idiom (2) seems uncalled for, and (1) seems preferable. Split #1a
: the examples themselves
Look what happens after the word "as" ---- in (B)
, we have: "... as post-colonialism and Marxist discourse
...". In (C)
, we have "... as those of post-colonialism and Marxist discourse
...". The addition of the words "those of" makes it sound fancy and more GMAT like, but these words are incorrect. We are listing examples of "specialized areas", and "post-colonialism and Marxist discourse" are themselves examples of specialized areas. It's not anything about post-colonialism, or belonging to post-colonialism --- it's just post-colonialism itself. Choices (C)
are wrong. Split #2
: the verbs
The main subject of the sentence is "students
", and here is the split among the main verbs(A) .... have been becoming ....
(B) .... are becoming ....
(C) .... are being ....
(D) .... have been becoming
(E) .... are being ....
All of these are variants on the progressive tenses
. First of all, the progressive tense with the verb "to be" ------ "are being
" ---- is irredeemably awkward. This should be taken out back and shot. Choices (C)
are wrong. The verb "to become" works in this context much better anyway. The form "are becoming" is the present progressive, and the form "have been becoming" is the present progressive perfect
. The first, the present progressive, indicates that a process is ongoing and continuing in the present moment. The present progressive perfect indicates that the action has been ongoing for some time and continues up to and through the present moment. The other verb in the sentence ("grows
") is in the simple present tense, and the participle "majoring" is also a present participle. The present progressive, "are becoming
", is a natural fit with these. By contrast, the present progressive perfect "have been becoming
" introduces information about the period of time leading up to the present, and this period is not really discussed elsewhere in the sentence. The best verb choice is (B)
For all these reasons, the best answer is (B)
Let me know if you have any further questions.
Magoosh Test Prep