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Sentence Correction Strategy

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Sentence Correction Strategy [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2010, 07:29
Hey everyone,
Want to thank everyone on the site- it's been a great help.

So, I'm scoring in high 600's on my MGMAT CAT's and I have 1 month of study left. I've been studying for about 2-3 months. Sentence Correction is killing me still- I'm getting about 40% of the questions right. I have gone through the MGMAT SC book twice (no OG problems though), SC portion of Kaplan 800, and I have read a basic grammar book twice (The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need).

I'm a native English speaker. I read business books/articles consistently. I'm just awful at grammar.

One problem I have is I understand the MGMAT SC book, then I look at a SC problem and I have no idea where to start. I haven't started on the OG SC problems yet because I don't want to waste them.

Anyone have any specific strategies on how they analyze a SC problem? I've heard to come up with a better sentence and then compare to answer choices. Also the 3/2 splits etc. Anyone have a good strategy on how they attack these problems? Should I just start doing OG problems and hope it eventually clicks?

I figure there is no point on getting any other SC books, but let me know if you think that would be a good idea. I also have Veritas books I haven't looked at yet. My current plan is to spend at least 1-1.5 hour a day doing Sentence Correction until the test date. I will switch between the MGMAT book and doing OG problems.

Thanks for any help! Hopefully I can fix my SC problem, and hopefully push me past 700. Cheers
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Re: Sentence Correction Strategy [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2010, 12:15
Hi,
It will be a very good idea to start OG asap. Afterall OG reflects the the correct standards of the questions. You must follow the explanations provided in the OG. In forums also you will find discussion about gmat prep SC questions. Following those discussion and taking part in those can be very good idea to increase your strength in SC.
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Re: Sentence Correction Strategy [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2010, 12:33
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i think you are in "luck" since SC is arguably one of the easier sections to improve due to the rules and everything. Here's what i try to do:

1.read the entire sentence.
2. check for Subject-verb agreement - this gets tested a lot and makes 3/2 splits very easy to find. If the subject is "teenagers" then in your mind you should be actively searching for verbs that are plural like "are" instead of "is" etc. In a lot of sentences they try to mess you up with phrases that comes between subject and verb like "the teenagers, after playing football for 2 hours, are/is" Always try to ignore the "extra garbage" in between to find the plural or singular verbs
3. Idioms - this is done by memorizing a list and practicing. some you can probably figure out by ear but you should really memorize them.
4. Run-on sentences. Always check if the sentence is a run on and if it is you can fix it with FANBOYS(For,And,Not,But,Or,yet,so) or semicolons/periods. Remember when in doubt read the 2 phrases separately and see if they can be written off as individual sentences. If they can be then you will need to use FANBOYS or the other ways to not make it a run on sentence.
5. check subject after phrases - some of the question on GMAT might start the sentence with a phrase that is modifying a subject and you need to make sure it is the right subject. Something like "After weeks of revision, the book "Grammar A to Z", authored by Henry, is going to be published" vs. "After weeks of revision, Henry, the author of "Grammar A to Z", is going to publish it". Notice how the beginning phrase it is talking about revision - the 1st sentence i gave the subject is the book. The 2nd sentence it is Henry - obviously he isn't the thing being revised so the subject should be the book not the person. Again i am not the best person to give examples but i hope you got this one..

If you get really stuck you can also try to see what the major difference among all the answer choices are - is it is/are usage, amount/number, and punctuations etc.
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Re: Sentence Correction Strategy [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2010, 18:57
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Focus on the strategies in the MGMAT SC book:

1. Read the sentence and try to figure out what's wrong/how to fix it (this should be 60% of your questions)
2. If #1 did not work, create a check list of 5-10 items exactly as shaselai suggested above and run through it to figure out if you can spot an issue. (this should be 30% of your questions)
3. If #2 did not work, compare the sentences and see if the differences can give an idea (this is 10%)

The more questions you can shift to strategy #1, the better since you can answer questions the fastest this way.
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Re: Sentence Correction Strategy   [#permalink] 19 Apr 2010, 18:57
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