Demystifying GMAT SC !!!

Demystifying GMAT SC !!!

GMAT Sentence Correction – The key to crack SC?

GMAT Sentence Correction has about 33% weightage and there is no doubt that cracking GMAT SC is a must to break into the 700+ score on GMAT. It is also important as one needs to solve each SC question in less than 60 seconds so that one has enough time to spend on CR and RC, which require substantial amount of time. So how does one go about studying for this section???

Let’s take an official question and understand how to go about it
In a review of 2000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940’s, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.

  1. psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size,
    B. psychologists, declaring that most of the studies failed in not controlling for such variables like social class and family size, and
    C. psychologists declared that since most of the studies, having failed to control forz such variables as social class and family size,
    D. psychologists declared that since most of the studies fail in controlling for such variables like social class and family size,
    E. psychologists declared that since most of the studies had failed to control for variables such as social class and family size,

Let’s first apply two basic rules to solve this question:

1) For any sentence to hold, there should at least be one independent clause or a sentence. If a clause or sentence does not have any independent clause then there is an error with that sentence or clause.

2) The independent clause should have a Subject + Verb + Object.

Let’s analyze the 1st sentence:
-> In a review of 2000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940’s
That -> Introduces a subordinate clause that modifies noun “behavior” so this clause is not independent as I need behavior to support that subordinate clause
-> Two Swiss psychologists -> Looks like subject of the sentence

->  declaring that (since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously)

Now the bracketed part is again a subordinate clause and explains what was declared.

And “Declaring” can never be a verb as we require a supporting verb called auxiliary verb such as is/are/was/were etc. to turn any ‘verb+ing’ form into a proper verb

As we see, we have NO VERB at all in the sentence and I call this a “Hanging Subject” -> one of the most widely used strategies by the GMAT to introduce errors.

Now that we see that Option A is incorrect and we have identified the error in Option A, we move on to the other options and see which option is the best among the given five.

Option B) psychologists, declaring that most of the studies failed in not controlling for such variables like social class and family size, and

Error – The original error of a hanging subject is again repeated in option B and hence this option too is incorrect.

Option C) psychologists declared that since most of the studies, having failed to control for such variables as social class and family size,

Error – Observe that there is no verb for the subject and hence this option too is incorrect.

Option D) psychologists declared that since most of the studies fail in controlling for such variables like social class and family size,

Error – This option is better than the above options as this is at least a sentence. However there are two errors in this sentence – First there is a tense change in this sentence. Fail is simple present but is used to describe an event that happened in the past. The second error is the usage of like.

Option E) psychologists declared that since most of the studies had failed to control for variables such as social class and family size,

Option E eliminates all the errors in the original sentence and uses appropriate tenses and hence is the correct option.

Strategies one should follow in solving a GMAT SC question:

1) Read the sentence and make sure you can break those clauses into modifiers, independent clauses and dependent clauses.

2) Understand the meaning of the sentence.

3) Identify any errors if you can.

4) If one cannot identify any error, no problem, read the other options – Option B, C, D and E and try to see what changed (Split method). Use the split method after understanding the meaning of the sentence. GMAT also uses the split method to introduce errors.

5) Normally, there will be multiple options to split the answer choices and if they result in different splits, you should be happy you are doing pretty well on GMAT. Take a deep breath and continue or skip based on exit plan.

As you can see, Sentence Correction is about two things

  1. Learning the rules.
  2. Learning how to apply those rules.

If you are struggling with GMAT SC, look no further than Gmatify.

Attend the demo class and let us know about the Demo classes by mailing to bondwithus@gmatify.com.

 

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