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Sentence correction - where to start?

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Sentence correction - where to start?  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Nov 2018, 15:29
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I have just started studying for GMAT a week ago with the aim of getting a 720+ score for my MBA application, I did official practice test 1 without studying last week and completed official test 2 yesterday after 1 week's of study and the results are below:
Practice test 1: 630 (IR 7, Q 43 and V 34)
Practice test 2: 660 (IR 8, Q 48 and V 33)

A common theme in both tests was my inability to answer sentence correction questions correctly, I only got 1 out of 12 sentence correction questions correct in the first test and 2 out of 12 sentence correction questions correct in the second test. I believe (please correct me if I am wrong) that I can get 720+ if I can improve my sentence correction section.

The frustrating part is I got 24 out of 24 in the remainder of the verbal section in practice test 1, clearly I am just missing something that I need to understand and answer sentence correction questions correctly.

I only have 2-3 weeks before I had to do my GMAT test as I am looking to meet the round 2 application deadline in early January, I am based in Melbourne, Australia and I work full time, so my options for private tutoring is limited.

Anyone got good suggestions on how to improve my sentence correction quickly? In some ways I am a native speaker as I grew up in an English speaking country, but conversely I never learn grammar from grounds up and I only recently figured out what is a verb and what is a subject in a sentence....
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Re: Sentence correction - where to start?  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Nov 2018, 17:47
Athenian49 wrote:
I have just started studying for GMAT a week ago with the aim of getting a 720+ score for my MBA application, I did official practice test 1 without studying last week and completed official test 2 yesterday after 1 week's of study and the results are below:
Practice test 1: 630 (IR 7, Q 43 and V 34)
Practice test 2: 660 (IR 8, Q 48 and V 33)

A common theme in both tests was my inability to answer sentence correction questions correctly, I only got 1 out of 12 sentence correction questions correct in the first test and 2 out of 12 sentence correction questions correct in the second test. I believe (please correct me if I am wrong) that I can get 720+ if I can improve my sentence correction section.

The frustrating part is I got 24 out of 24 in the remainder of the verbal section in practice test 1, clearly I am just missing something that I need to understand and answer sentence correction questions correctly.

I only have 2-3 weeks before I had to do my GMAT test as I am looking to meet the round 2 application deadline in early January, I am based in Melbourne, Australia and I work full time, so my options for private tutoring is limited.

Anyone got good suggestions on how to improve my sentence correction quickly? In some ways I am a native speaker as I grew up in an English speaking country, but conversely I never learn grammar from grounds up and I only recently figured out what is a verb and what is a subject in a sentence....
There is a comprehensive list here. And yes, your score should go up significantly if you improve your accuracy in SC.
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Re: Sentence correction - where to start?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2018, 07:45
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Hi Athenian49,

Manhattan prep sentence correction textbook with practice should be enough to improve SC. I'd get 6th edition. You can access all official questions here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmac-officia ... 40610.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-most-com ... 40372.html

Hope this helps!
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Re: Sentence correction - where to start?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2018, 19:42
Thanks all, I have just got the MGMAT book on SC and started reading, wish me luck! :)
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Re: Sentence correction - where to start?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2018, 07:16
Do not neglect RC and CR. They tend to get harder.

Good luck!
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Re: Sentence correction - where to start?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2018, 06:51
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Focus on SC sentence structures -- because those sentence structures will also appear in CR and RC passages. Having 100% confidence in the sentence structures will make reading passages so much easier to make sense of. So take baby steps -- dedicate multiple "SC Days" to your studies - where you do nothing except eat, breathe, sleep, and do SC. Then, when you are ready, transition to CR/RC.

During your SC studies, we encourage you to follow along expert video explanations to guide you in your thought process.

Here's a shared Google doc of video links you may find helpful:


https://drive.google.com/open?id=1f_ckd ... H1HmTgctJI

You can learn more about GMAT Pill at:

http://www.gmatpill.com
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Re: Sentence correction - where to start?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2018, 04:49
1
Athenian49 wrote:
I have just started studying for GMAT a week ago with the aim of getting a 720+ score for my MBA application, I did official practice test 1 without studying last week and completed official test 2 yesterday after 1 week's of study and the results are below:
Practice test 1: 630 (IR 7, Q 43 and V 34)
Practice test 2: 660 (IR 8, Q 48 and V 33)

A common theme in both tests was my inability to answer sentence correction questions correctly, I only got 1 out of 12 sentence correction questions correct in the first test and 2 out of 12 sentence correction questions correct in the second test. I believe (please correct me if I am wrong) that I can get 720+ if I can improve my sentence correction section.

The frustrating part is I got 24 out of 24 in the remainder of the verbal section in practice test 1, clearly I am just missing something that I need to understand and answer sentence correction questions correctly.

I only have 2-3 weeks before I had to do my GMAT test as I am looking to meet the round 2 application deadline in early January, I am based in Melbourne, Australia and I work full time, so my options for private tutoring is limited.

Anyone got good suggestions on how to improve my sentence correction quickly? In some ways I am a native speaker as I grew up in an English speaking country, but conversely I never learn grammar from grounds up and I only recently figured out what is a verb and what is a subject in a sentence....


Hi Athenian49,

For verbal, I would highly encourage you to consider e-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live course. They are both amazing courses especially designed for non-natives. They offer almost 25% of their courses for free so you can try out their free trial to decide which one you want to go for. Plus the e-gmat Scholaranium which is included in both the courses is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market. You can easily track your progress in that you can identify your strengths and analyze and improve on your weak areas. You can focus on SC if you like and can complete their entire course in 10 days.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practise tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

I would also encourage you to purchase the GMATPREP QP 1 for some great additional practice. Here is a link that will help you with your decision.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ve ... ml?fl=menu

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: Sentence correction - where to start?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2018, 04:56
Hey Athenian49

Welcome to GMATClub.

In addition to what has been suggested - you can check this link (for everything SC)
ttps://gmatclub.com/forum/sentence-corr ... 04883.html

Hope that helps!
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Re: Sentence correction - where to start?  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2018, 02:26
If it helps you in anyway. The below link has my eGMAT SC notes consolidated. Given the limited time that you have, you can go through these notes in a day and apply the learnings in your practice there on in the remaining time you have.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/sc-study-not ... l#p2066141

P.S: Do give Kudos if you find these helpful.
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Re: Sentence correction - where to start?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2018, 19:30
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Hi Athenian49,

Although it may be challenging to improve your SC skills in just 2 weeks, I’m happy to provide some general advice on how to improve those skills. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, it is likely that you will have to work on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure.

This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer. As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns clearly refer to nouns? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey meanings that make sense. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and to figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. Are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently to extend your streak.

After learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

Good luck!!
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New post 06 Dec 2018, 00:00
Thanks everyone, apologies for the lack of replies, I was spending as much time as I could studying.

Let's get to the result first, I did the actual GMAT test today and bombed out, getting only 680 (Q48, V34 and IR8), so I cancelled the result and looking to regroup for round 2.

I think my downfall is I tried to study too many materials in too short space of time, I went through the MGMAT SC book in 1 weekend, at first that improved my SC accuracy to 50%, but it quickly went back down to 20% as my brain just couldn't retain that much information.

I am thinking about enrolling in the eGMAT course, but it seems like while I know all the theory, it doesn't improve my ability to solve SC questions, what's the best way to break out of that barrier? For example, let's say there's a question about parallelism and subject-verb agreement, I would see the word "and" and say, "aha, that's a parallelism question", but then I would struggle to find which verb should be parallel. Even if I correctly eliminate the wrong answers that are not parallel, I couldn't figure out what to look for next, maybe it's the "which" in answer choice B, but in the heat of moment I can't really tell whether "which" should be in the sentence or not.

It just feel really frustrating because I have been using English since I was 9, yet I just couldn't get my head around sentence correction despite studying for it for the last 2 weeks and I have just about exhausted the sentence correction questions in the official guide. I am still getting 90%+ for RC and CR questions, but getting 20% on SC. :cry:

I am not sure what's the best way to convey the difficulty I have having, it's as if I am asked to draw a 3D picture and I know all the techniques needed to draw 3D, but no matter how hard I try I just keep drawing a 2D picture instead of 3D....

ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi Athenian49,

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

Good luck!!


Thanks for such a detailed reply, I must admit I fall into the "trap" answers more times than I got the correct answer! You mentioned one method is to try 30 questions in one area before moving on, may I ask what would be a good source for this? The official guide don't have that many questions and in any event, you can't do those questions by topics tested.

Right now my "best" method is to use my ear, which as you said is far from ideal, but when I tried to use the techniques I learned I really struggled. It's easy when it's a simple parallelism issue, but when you then stack that with answer choices that tests you on the entire modifier being moved around in the sentence and subject verb agreements, my brain just wave a white flag.
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Re: Sentence correction - where to start?  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2018, 08:30
In addition to the Official Guide, you could check out other GRE verbal courses. Also, I realize that you are still struggling with certain Sentence Correction questions, but improvement takes time! So, just follow the advice I provided and keep working hard. Your Sentence Correction skills WILL IMPROVE.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: Sentence correction - where to start?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2018, 02:32
Thanks Scott, I will keep working on my sentence correction ability, appreciate the feedback. :)
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Re: Sentence correction - where to start? &nbs [#permalink] 11 Dec 2018, 02:32
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