Sentence Correction Tips to Ace the GMAT Verbal Section


For any aspirant who wants to score high on the GMAT, the challenge that Sentence Correction questions throw is the most difficult. The most common of the challenges is the “down to two syndrome”.

Students who have completed their GMAT online course are quite strong in the concepts and are also able to apply the strategies to questions well. However, when the score isn’t to their expectation, the reason they give is that “I can eliminate three options, but I get stuck between two always and somehow land up at the wrong elimination”!

Let us look at some of the TIPS to ace the GMAT Sentence Correction:

Read the sentence for the meaning it conveys

This means one has to get to the CORE of the sentence – The Subject and the Verb. Then focus on the underlined part for spotting errors.

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Know the tested Errors on GMAT Sentence Correction questions – Out of the ocean of grammar rules, GMAC tests SIX basic rules

  • Subject-Verb Agreement lookout for verbs in the underlined part of the sentence
  • Pronoun Agreement & Ambiguity lookout for pronouns – it, its, they, them, their-either in the underlined part of the answer options
  • Verb Tenses – look out for time clues suggesting an ongoing action from the past or an earlier action of two past actions. GMAC loves to test the perfect tenses
  • Misplaced Modifiers – beware of participles in the introductory phrase of sentences and check what they modify after the comma.
  • Parallel Construction (including Comparisons) Look out for “and, but, not only…but also…., not… but… Items in the list must be parallel i.e. of the same part of speech/grammatical format. Comparison words such as “like, unlike, as, more than, different from, similar to” also need to be checked for parallelism.
  • Idioms – lookout for prepositions changing in the answer choices. Learn the common idioms by heart.


Do not force an error where there isn’t any

If you are not able to spot an error in the underlined part, scan vertically at once to look for errors. If you still have Choice A and another option, do not hastily eliminate A since it happens to be the underlined part. The sentence given can be the right one in four times. Eliminate any option only after you spot an error.

Say NO to sound, feeling, and looks

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Never should you begin the process of elimination with reasons such as- doesn’t feel or look nice… or this is not the way it should be written… or there should have been a comma in this place… etc. Remember, the phrasing of answer options is GMAC’s job.

Remember the order of Errors

Always check for errors in this order:

  • Grammar errors
  • Meaning errors
  • Style errors


Take clues from the non-underlined part of the sentence

Very many times, to understand the error, the non-underlined part (which is always correct) is of great help.

Two-third splits are great giveaways

Do not get stuck at the underlined part for more than 30 seconds. Look for 2-3 splits either at the beginning of options or right at the end of the options.

Re-check your credited response

Always read back the entire sentence with the correct response to dispel any other error that probably was hidden. Your response ought to cater to consistency with the whole sentence and has to be precise.

Learn some GMAT favorites

This helps when you are down to two and when both options have neither any grammar error nor meaning issue.

  • Prefer the infinitive over the noun
  • Rather than over instead
  • Because of overdue to
  • Between ‘so’ and ‘enough’, use SO
  • Do so overdo it
  • Try to over try and
  • Likely over liable
  • Avoid possessives/apostrophes
  • Active voice over passive voice

So, for your GMAT Prep online, try to use the above.

All the best for your GMAT online test series wherein the above tips can be tested.

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