The Verbal Reasoning section of the GMAT is often considered the most challenging one to get through. Understanding the core idea behind this test section and planning your approach to the questions will help you score those extra points.

Through this article, you will understand the GMAT sentence correction section a little bit better and learn a few tips and tricks to get your answers right.

Let’s begin!

GMAT Sentence Correction Sample Questions with Answers

CLICK HERE to download GMAT Sentence Correction Sample Questions with Answers!

What is Sentence Correction?

Before we delve into the Sentence Correction section, let us take a quick look at the Verbal Reasoning section. The following table will give us a brief on the Verbal Reasoning section: 

Section Duration No. of QuestionsQuestion Types
Verbal Reasoning 65 minutes 36 questions Consists of three question types: 
Reading Comprehension Sentence Correction Critical Reasoning

The three question types in the Verbal Reasoning section are aimed at testing different skills in your reading and comprehension capabilities. For example, the Sentence Correction section specifically tests two aspects in an examinee —the correctness of a sentence and the efficacy of a sentence. Correctness refers to the grammatical and structural properties of a sentence, while efficacy refers to the clarity and preciseness of its expression.

Interestingly enough, the GMAT sentence correction questions are designed to test whether or not you can detect the common misuse of phrases, such as “due to.” Once detected, you must focus on the correction of the sentence. 

In fact, there are more factors that make the sentence correction section a tricky one to handle. Let’s read in detail about that.

Why Sentence Correction is Challenging?

The first reason that makes correcting sentences extremely challenging is the way the human mind works. It has a habit of automatically filling in the missing information or automatically mentally correcting certain minor errors. So while you see the text, the errors don’t register in your mind, making you select the wrong answers.

Not surprisingly, to make things more complicated, this part is the very tailender of the section; the time when the mind is already exhausted. At this stage of the examination, you are probably uncertain about your performance so far and second-guessing your previous answers. Therefore, it is crucial to stay sharp and pause at each word you read to ensure you don’t miss out on any information in a sentence.

The second reason is that the sentences are designed to confuse the reader. Often, only a tiny part of a sentence is actually meaningful, the rest of the sentence acts as a filler.

So, then, what is an effective way to deal with this part of the test? Knowing the sentence correction rules of GMAT gives you a milestone to start with your preparation. Furthermore, practicing using a GMAT Sentence Correction rules PDF helps you glean better information from examples. So, let’s elaborate on these rules for better understanding.

GMAT Sentence Correction Rules

We have not precisely listed “rules” per se, but this set of generally accepted concepts is guiding beacon that aims to help you eliminate the wrong answer instead of finding the right one. So let’s see what they are.

Steer Clear of Gerunds

You will find that reading sentences with a conjugated verb instead of a gerund is more natural and easily understood. However, wherever there is a gerund (“being” in particular), the sentence structure becomes fragmented and sounds awkward and incoherent. It is for this reason that such errors find their way into the GMAT sentence correction section.

If you spot the use of gerunds, it is a raised flag to scrutinize the sentence.

The Shorter, The Better

Shorter sentences are easier to comprehend. Their construction is straightforward, there are fewer errors, and are precise. As such, eliminating the needlessly wordy sentences from the list of answers should get the ball rolling in trying to find the right one.

Aim for the shortest structurally complete answer. However, do pay attention to the overall idea expressed by the sentence. It needs to answer the question asked.

Say No to Passive Voice

A corollary to the rule of shorter sentences further emphasizes that shorter sentences are preferred to the longer ones. Passive voice invariably increases sentence length significantly as compared to active voice. As such, it is always better to avoid answers that have flipped subject and object.

The Case of Dangling Modifiers

Phrases, words, or clauses that modify or further define the subject of a sentence have their proper place in it. These are called “modifiers.” A dangling modifier is just a misplaced modifier, so it describes the wrong element of the sentence.

For example, consider this sentence:

The pair of dogs belonged to the old ladies, just drinking tea all day in the deck and tanning themselves.

Here, there is ambiguity. You don’t know whether it’s the dogs or the old ladies who are drinking tea and tanning themselves.

You can spot a dangling modifier easily because it often makes a sentence sound illogical. Try to spot these to narrow down your search for the correct answer. You may use the GMAT sentence correction sample questions PDF or refer to the sentence correction examples on the ETS website to get a good practice session in. Additionally, you may also look for GMAT Sentence Correction Modifiers examples online to get an idea of the same.

Illogical Comparisons

Apples can’t be compared with oranges. Similarly, in a sentence, nouns must be compared with nouns. This is the logical flow. Examine the element being compared, and what it is compared to: both must belong to the same family.

The best way to spot illogical comparisons is to look for the words “like” and “unlike.” These errors may not be self-explanatory initially, but you can spot them somewhat upon a critical inspection.

Now that you know what sentence correction is and rules you should follow, preparing sentence correction questions for the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section is easier. 

Sample Questions of Sentence Correction 

1. Unlike fur seals and sea lions, which are living almost exclusively in marine habitats, Baikal seals spend their whole life in freshwater habitats. 

A – which are living almost exclusively in marine habitats, Baikal seals spend their entire life in freshwater habitats. 

B – who are almost exclusively living in marine habitats, freshwater habitats are where Baikal seals spend their entire lives. 

C –  which live almost exclusively in marine habitats, Baikal seals spend their entire lives in freshwater habitats. 

D – who live almost exclusively in marine habitats, the Baikal seal spends its entire life in freshwater habitat. 

E. of which live almost exclusively in marine habitats, freshwater habitats are where the Baikal seal spends its entire lives. 

Right Answer: C

Error Identification

IdentifierError Type
Unlike (The baikal seals vs freshwater…)comparison
Which, who, of which Pronouns / Misc (Usage) 


Explanation: 

There are two key identifiers: the comparison “fur seals and sea lions” vs “Baikal Seals” and the use of the relative pronoun ‘who’, ‘which’ and ‘of which’. The comparison must be between the seals. The correct pronoun use is ‘which’ since only this refers to the seals. ‘Who’ is used to refer to people and ‘of which’ refers to a subset of something and not the ‘thing’ itself. There are 15 species of monkeys, of which 5 are non-arboreal. 

A  – ‘are living’ is the wrong tense (we need simple present); ‘entire life’ is incorrect since this refers to the lives of Baikal seals. 

B – ‘who’ is incorrectly used – the correct pronoun here is ‘which’; ‘freshwater habitats’ is incorrectly compared to ‘fur seals and sea lions’. 

C – This is the correct answer. 

D – ‘who’ is incorrectly used; ‘fur seals and sea lions’ is compared to ‘the Baikal seal’ – this creates a noun agreement issue. 

E – ‘of which’ is incorrect; ‘freshwater habitats’ is incorrectly compared to ‘fur seals and sea lions’. 

2. To keep it going, the body doesn’t need a functioning brain, therefore it needs something to provide energy, which is done by the gut. 

A – therefore it needs something to provide energy, which is done by the gut. 

B – as a result, therefore, it needs something to provide energy: the gut. 

C – but it does need something to provide energy: the gut. 

D – but it does need a source of energy, which is provided by the gut. 

E – however, it does need something to provide energy, which is done by the gut. 

Right Answer: C

Difficulty: Medium

Error Identification

IdentifierError Type
Therefore Miscellaneous 
Something to provide energyMiscellaneous / meaning
Which is the gutMiscellaneous / Conciseness

Explanation:

The key identifier here is that of ‘therefore’ which is used incorrectly here. We need a connector that shows contrast. Furthermore, the phrase ‘which is done by the guy’ is wordy. 

A – ‘therefore’ is incorrect’; ‘which is done by the gut’ is wordy. 

B – ‘therefore’ is incorrect. 

C – This is the correct answer. 

D – ‘which is provided by the gut’ is wordy; ‘needs a source of energy’ changes a meaning suggesting that the gut is a source of energy – this is not the case, the gut helps provide energy. 

E – ‘which is done by the gut’ is incorrect. 

Conclusion

The GMAT tests your language proficiency through its Verbal Reasoning section. It is structured in a way that brings out your aptitude in understanding the subtle nuances of English.

A little hands-on practice with CareerLabs’ GMAT sentence correction questions PDF goes a long way to gain a thorough understanding. In addition, CareerLabs provides a wide range of resources for candidates of GMAT, including a huge collection of sentence correction examples and  sample questions. Sentence correction sample questions with answers and explanations PDFs are also available. It also provides a printable set of sentence correction rules to use as a handy guide.

Gain a detailed insight on the sentence correction aspect of GMAT and improve your score on the test significantly.

FAQs

  1. What questions does the GMAT Verbal Reasoning consist of? 

A: The GMAT Verbal Reasoning consists of Reading Comprehension, Sentence Correction, and Critical Reasoning. 

  1. What is the duration of the Verbal Reasoning section?

A: The duration of the Verbal Reasoning section is 65 minutes. 

  1. On average, how much time can you  spend on the GMAT Sentence Correction section?

A: The duration of the GMAT Verbal Reasoning is 65 minutes and you have to solve 36 questions within that time. Hence, you can spend about two minutes on every question in the GMAT Sentence Correction section.  

  1. How many questions do you have to solve on the GMAT Verbal Reasoning?

A:  The number of questions you have to solve on the GMAT Verbal Reasoning are 36 multiple-choice questions.

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