While preparing over last few months, I have seen a major shift in the SC questions ( verbal segment of GMAT), and i though i must discuss the same with my fellows on gmatclub.
The change visualized is in terms of increase in meaning based questions that are encountered during actual GMAT and their relationship with modifiers.
I would go into little background :-
(1) During the 4th GMAC Test Prep Summit held last year, Dr. Larry Rudner, who is in charge of psychometrics for GMAC confirmed that there were significant changes that were made to the Sentence Correction questions that appear on the GMAT. Things like: deciding to phase out Idioms; emphasising on the meaning along with grammar and thus you will get to see two answer choices that are grammatically correct.( More on this issue is elaborated by Stacey( instructor mgmat) in her article http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... -the-gmac/
(2) Though the meaning has always been an integral part of the SC, however, it clearly has assumed more importance lately. A reason to celebrate for the non-natives was that the Idioms are being phased out
( Though Idioms with built-in parallel structure are still relevant)
(3) A number of test takers in their debrief have confirmed the phasing out of idioms and the increased importance of meaning..Test prep companies, such as e-GMAT
, have given priority to meaning over grammar and brevity ( rightly so, i agree with e-GMAT
).( i won't be surprised to see meaning assuming more importance in mgmat SC
V edition, which will be released soon)
Now, with a heavy background
, I come to the meat of my observation.
In my opinion, Meaning based questions mostly test modifiers, especially when the test taker is hovering above 700. I have come to this conclusion based on following assumptions:-
(1) We all know the role misplaced modifier plays in changing the intended meaning of the sentence.Remember the question on earthquake, in which some building were destroyed...OG verbal
2 Q 37..
(2) By choosing adjective rather than adverb or choosing an infinitive rather than verb-ing and vice -verse .
(3) Though the intended meaning can be changed using different connectors, however,In my opinion, the same would be more likely to be used in 600 or below level questions.
(4) A number of high verbal scorers have confirmed that they saw a number of long sentences entirely underlined. Such sentences are more likely to be meaning oriented (having more emphasis on modifiers). IMO, modifiers is relatively a difficult concept when compared with S-V, pronoun or other topics. So all likely that it will figure frequently in higher range questions.
Thus, i think the one chapter that assumes more importance than any other chapter ( including parallelism) in SC would be modifiers and all future test takers must give adequate time to this particular topic, which in my opinion will be tested very frequently above 700. There do exist two great resources on this meaning and modifier issue and i suggest all my fellows to go through these links5-strategies-that-gmat-uses-to-distort-meaning-124296.html
Payal Tandon , instructor of e-GMAT
does a fantastic job in explaining how the meaning can be changed.http://vimeo.com/34858375
mgmat instructor discusses the relation between meaning and modifier in THURSDAYS WITH RON ( though voice of lunarpower is missing
Probably, my point will be further strengthen once og 13
is released ( likely april first week), in which i expect to see the idioms based question of og 12
getting phased out and a number of modifiers based questions added.
The views mentioned above are welcome to criticism or appreciation
. I would be grateful if you fellows share ur views on my observation. ( Instructors opinion is always solicited