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# GMAT SC changes?

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Manager
Joined: 24 Jul 2010
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01 Apr 2013, 05:49
Is it true that the GMAT SC trend changed to become more focused on meaning? Are idioms no longer tested?
If you have any questions
New!
Senior Manager
Joined: 13 Jan 2012
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01 Apr 2013, 21:14
Where did you hear that?
VP
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02 Apr 2013, 03:14
Idioms are still tested. Read this.

There has been a lot of noise on 'meaning based' SC. I don't think it's a new thing. You can't possibly attempt an SC without understanding the meaning. This basically means that there may be more than 1 grammatically correct option, and you would need to select the best one (intended meaning) out of those.
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06 Apr 2013, 02:53
jumsumtak wrote:
Idioms are still tested. Read this.

There has been a lot of noise on 'meaning based' SC. I don't think it's a new thing. You can't possibly attempt an SC without understanding the meaning. This basically means that there may be more than 1 grammatically correct option, and you would need to select the best one (intended meaning) out of those.

I understand. I am asking the question because sometimes I find answers which are more grammatically correct than OA but they have a slight change in meaning, and sometimes vice-versa.

For example:

By developing the Secure Digital Music Initiative, the recording industry associations of North America, Japan, and Europe hope to create a standardized way of distributing songs and full-length recordings on the Internet that will protect copyright holders and foil the many audio pirates who copy and distribute digital music illegally.

(A) of distributing songs and full-length recordings on the Internet that will protect copyright holders and foil the many audio pirates who copy and distribute
(B) of distributing songs and full-length recordings on the Internet and to protect copyright holders and foiling the many audio pirates copying and distributing
(C) for distributing songs and full-length recordings on the Internet while it protects copyright holders and foils the many audio pirates who copy and distribute
(D) to distribute songs and full-length recordings on the Internet while they will protect copyright holders and foil the many audio pirates copying and distributing
(E) to distribute songs and full-length recordings on the Internet and it will protect copyright holders and foiling the many audio pirates who copy and distribute

For example, the answer here is A while I see a problem in it because I feel that "that" modifies "internet" or "recordings on the internet". While answer D is more grammatically correct with no modification errors yet answer D slightly modifies the meaning with the use of "while they", but I don't see the change in the meaning to be huge.
VP
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06 Apr 2013, 04:12
score780 wrote:
jumsumtak wrote:
Idioms are still tested. Read this.

There has been a lot of noise on 'meaning based' SC. I don't think it's a new thing. You can't possibly attempt an SC without understanding the meaning. This basically means that there may be more than 1 grammatically correct option, and you would need to select the best one (intended meaning) out of those.

I understand. I am asking the question because sometimes I find answers which are more grammatically correct than OA but they have a slight change in meaning, and sometimes vice-versa.

For example:

By developing the Secure Digital Music Initiative, the recording industry associations of North America, Japan, and Europe hope to create a standardized way of distributing songs and full-length recordings on the Internet that will protect copyright holders and foil the many audio pirates who copy and distribute digital music illegally.

(A) of distributing songs and full-length recordings on the Internet that will protect copyright holders and foil the many audio pirates who copy and distribute
(B) of distributing songs and full-length recordings on the Internet and to protect copyright holders and foiling the many audio pirates copying and distributing
(C) for distributing songs and full-length recordings on the Internet while it protects copyright holders and foils the many audio pirates who copy and distribute
(D) to distribute songs and full-length recordings on the Internet while they will protect copyright holders and foil the many audio pirates copying and distributing
(E) to distribute songs and full-length recordings on the Internet and it will protect copyright holders and foiling the many audio pirates who copy and distribute

For example, the answer here is A while I see a problem in it because I feel that "that" modifies "internet" or "recordings on the internet". While answer D is more grammatically correct with no modification errors yet answer D slightly modifies the meaning with the use of "while they", but I don't see the change in the meaning to be huge.

I eliminated D as soon as I read it. "they" is so far from the intended subject, that it seems to modify songs & recordings.

In general, preserve the meaning of the original sentence and make sure 'hard gramattical' (SV, pronoun errors, tense, parallelism etc.) things look good. The more you practice, the more you will get comfortable with the stylistic element.
Manhattan GMAT Instructor
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13 Apr 2013, 23:13
The GMAT starting communicating in late 2011 that it was in the process of increasing the emphasis on Meaning and that it was phasing out Americanized Idioms on the GMAT. Here is a link to an article we posted back in 2011: http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... -the-gmac/

Meaning has always been "important", but in the past Grammar eliminations would get you to your answer on almost every question. Now the GMAT is forcing the issue by making you choose between two sentences that are grammatically correct but only one has the proper meaning. I didn't have to deal with that back in my day

Idioms are still fair game, but I think they are much more rare than before and they are supposedly focused on idioms that any "fluent" english speaker should be familiar with, not just those who hang out in America.

These changes are a bit difficult to deal with because most of the test prep material provided by the GMAC (ie, the Official Guides) comes from tests given before these changes to Meaning and Idioms, so most of the questions you practice with are heavily weighted toward idioms and have relatively few good examples of meaning-based questions. The new GMAT Prep software should provide you a decent example of what SC should be like on test day, and if you want to prepare for meaning-based questions, studying modifiers is a great place to invest your time.

KW
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Kyle Widdison | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | Utah

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Senior Manager
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14 Apr 2013, 00:36
Phasing out of American-centric idioms will make the GMAT exam fair to the test-takers across the world.
Re: GMAT SC changes?   [#permalink] 14 Apr 2013, 00:36
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