Sentence Correction

November 27, 2006

Correction Center

One thing common to all high scorers is that they all do the SC's with almost 100% accuracy. I feel that Sentence Correction is very very tricky and can make or break your 750+ dream. But even while I'm writing this post, I'm not so sure how to make the best of it. I am confused as to whether I discuss the grammar rules here, or make it a discussion forum for SC questions. So, just now I've decided not to do any of those and tell you how you can master SC. You must have heard that thing about giving a hungry man a fish to eat, or teaching him to fish and help him feed himself for the rest of his life. So I think I'll help you learn fishing. Let's fish!!

Your fishing gear:

  1. Official Guide
  2. Mahattan SC
  3. Kaplan Verbal Workbook
  4. A good eyesight!!
In addition to all this, i would recommend you to keep a good grammar book handy for reference. I have my good old Wren & Martin. My mantra is to keep your basics straight. Right after you finish reading this post, go and wipe off the dust off the book and start with the following topics:
  1. Nouns -- collective nouns, singular/plural rules
  2. Verbs -- subject-verb agreement
  3. Pronouns -- antecedents
  4. Adverbs
  5. Tenses, sequence of tenses
This is pretty much which you can cover from your grammar book. Once you enter the GMAT land, you will see many new terms -- dangling modifiers, split infinitives, things like that...scary stuff. But don't be scared. Just make sure you have covered the basic topics listed above thoroughly. When I say thoroughly, I presume that you've made notes and listed out the rules on a small notebook that you can keep handy with you. I stress on making notes, simply because it helps....a lot!!

Okay so now you have covered the basic stuff...time to move on to a higher level...start with the Manhattan SC. It has around 15 chapters I guess. I finished it off in a week. One important thing here...make sure that before you do the've covered the stuff thoroughly.

I know doing the problems over and over again helps...but there's a catch...if you do the same problem over and over again...your performance is bound to go up, although your actual performance may not be going up at all simply cuz you've memorized the answers. So whenever you take up the exercise for the first time...make sure you are properly prepared and don't cheat yourself.

Don't be smug about finishing off the book, you've to do it again after you realise you're doing some mistakes over and over again. So now it's time to start the OG. Follow the same 50 questions a day schedule and finish off the OG SC in not more than 15 days. Remember you have to take all the sections together and still manage to finsh them off simultaneously. The key is to schedule your sessions in a planned manner and execute the plan accordingly within strict time limits.

Finishing off the OG means that you've a list of all the mistakes, question type-wise analysis chart, accuracy meter readings and everything as told in my earlier posts. This is pretty much what you will do in with your CR, or RC or for that matter any section. Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes...they are your enemy. Spot them, destroy them!!

I'll come back with some really cool tips for SC and then you'll see how your accuracy rises up!! Till then happy prepping...lemme know about your preparations and problems you are facing.

Sentence Correction Tips & Tricks :

Okay I'm back!! Let's start right away....
  1. Try to spot the mistake before looking at the answer choices.
  2. Go over the list of common SC errors in your mind. There are around 8 common errors. (Kaplan gives you the 8 most common errors...subject-verb, pronouns,.....pick out the first letter from all these and form a word and go through it whenever faced with an SC.)
  3. Scan the answer choices vertically...this is very very useful!!
  4. Most of the answer choices have a 2-3 formation....that is 2 of one type and rest 3 of other try to narrow down on choices.
  5. Elimination....very helpful!!
  6. Last but not the least...don't right away discard choice me I think 5 out of 15 questions on my my final exam were A!!! (atleast I think they were A...and I got 45 on verbal :-D)
Here I would like to add that 2,3 & 5 did it for me...simple!!

Guys...these are only tips...but until and unless you focus on your weak areas in SC...nothing is gonna help. My weak areas were Parallelism and Pronouns. But I worked on them...wrote down every type of error I found and eventually got better on those types of SC.

Don't forget the idioms. It will take sometime to familiarise yourself with idioms. And everyone knows idioms are VERY important if you want to reach that 95% accuracy level. I have a list of idioms....go thru it...I stuck it before my study table and now I have memorised most of them without an extra effort.

To be continued...

Suggested Books : Wren & Martin, Manhattan SC, Kaplan 800, Kaplan Verbal Workbook, Official Guide

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  1. Anonymous10:04 AM

    What do you think about

    Is it a good community for GMAT?

    I am wondering to take their paid subscription for GMAT questions.

    Any idea?

  2. Anonymous2:54 PM

    Thanks for all your postings! The information you have provided has helped and motivated me.

  3. No idea bout the But I can help you deciding...what I wud have done in such a case wud be somethin like this...i wud start my prepping...and after a month of it...when one more month is left for...i wud go to the sites and judge them...cuz then I'll be the best judge..They usually give you free samples...go thru them...see if they are in do they add new knowledge....I didn't take up any coaching on the sites...the books are gud enuf..but its totally upto u..but the thing is spend ur money wisely...only after a month u shud make a decision...with one month in hand....

    hope that helps...

    And I am happy some of you find the blog good. Use the motivation to crack gmat...that's my idea of writing the blog...

  4. Anonymous9:38 PM


    I am just going through your posts.. very useful indeed...

    I have been looking for Manhattan SC but no luck so far.. book stores havent heard of it in Mumbai! Meanwhile i got my hands on a soft copy but its published in 2003 and not the latest one which is 2005... Do you think the 2003 softcopy will be enough??


  5. yupp!! I will say that again and again...editions really dont matter...even if u can finish off one whole book...its gud enuf...plz dont waste time after chasing latest editions...plz stick to ur schedules and finish off whichever edition u hav...


    1. Anonymous6:44 AM

      hi will strongly suggest to change the back ground color....may be to white is difficult to focus for long....

  6. Anonymous10:02 PM

    Thanks for your inputs.

    Another thing is PS. I feel I will manage the Verbal section by working hard on it now that I have identified the resources. But PS is rusty and I dont know what to use. I got an old IMS BRM to brush up my PS skills. I have OG 11th ed as well. What books will you recommend?
    I am planning to give GMAT by July end and haven't yet started the prep. Do you think 4-5 months is good enough?


  7. Anonymous1:25 AM

    Try getting books from ebay...You will get the Manhatten SC book from there.

  8. Anonymous4:36 PM

    hey there,

    Great blog. I am doubtful if you are still around answering the queries. nevertheless, I am giving it a try in a hope to hear from you.

    I have taken GMAT date in Aug 1st week. I have done OG11 once but my verbal accuracy is about 75% as yet.

    I don't have the exclusive Verbal Workbook and have only used OG11 and Kaplan GMAT Premier program.

    Since I don't have time for a separate verbal workout now, what do you suggest my strategy should be ? I referred Manhattan SC for the Sentence correction part though.

    Thanks a lot,

  9. I am certainly around. Its a pleasure answering ur questions.

    First of all you HAVE time! 20 days is enough. Take up GMAT 800 and do the verbal portion twice in a span of two weeks.

    refer to my website for the notes.

    Hope that helps.

  10. Anonymous3:50 AM

    that was quick !!
    thanks a lot for those encouraging words :-).

    I will surely go thru the website. Shall bug you again if required.

    btw, have you already landed in your dream college?

  11. Anonymous11:49 AM

    Hi there,
    << Hope u are there, all fingers and toes crossed :-)>>

    Before i start with my problems, i would like to compliment you on this amazing blog.

    Alright, I had my test today. I got a 650. I Did very bad in verbal (33), which is quite shocking. It would be great if u could help me with 2 of my major issues :

    1>I did really bad in SC.
    I had done the Manhanttan SC several times and even did well with the SCs in the Manhanttan CATs. But the SC in today's test were very difficult and really took me by surprise. They looked so different from the ones i am used to in Manhanttan. How shall i improve in SC?

    2>CR was always a problem. What are ur suggestions.

    I am taking the test again in a month. Please let me know how i can get 700+.Please.........

  12. hi when u say manhattan sc which one do you mean there are two manhattan Sc ,1. Sentence Correction GMAT Preparation Guide, 4th Edition (Manhattan GMAT Preparation Guides) and 2. Sentence Correction GMAT Strategy Guide . whaich one are u suggesting ..

  13. I believe that Spidey SC notes are also a great source of information on the common errors tested in the GMAT SC.

  14. Sentence Correction is one of the difficult section of GMAT exam. So joining a course for GMAT Sentence Correction Practice is a great idea. I found e-GMAT Online Sentence Correction course. They are the best in the industry and have a good base of students.

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  17. Anonymous7:09 AM

    Very hapy, thank i learn many thing thank you blog.
    GMAT Very dificult, me score 740, study one month, but no time go toilet. Very hard, now hapy go best uni. Posible me family move amerika.

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