When it comes to GMAT grammar, it can be helpful to distinguish between those idioms whose use is tested (that is, ones that may be presented in either correct or incorrect form) and idioms whose misuse is tested (that is, ones that are almost always used incorrectly when they appear). Due to offers an excellent case in point. (more…)
In an attempt to better understand the grammatical issues that students studying for the GMAT typically find most challenging, I’ve started — belatedly, I admit — dipping a toe into the Sentence Correction forums on beatthegmat and gmatclub.
The experience is something I can only describe as a flashback to the days when I used to read students’ obsessive parsing of SAT grammar questions on College Confidential. I don’t dispute that there’s a lot of helpful information, and some really outstanding analysis, but a lot of what I read also makes me want to bury my head in my hands and groan.
To be fair, many of the students posting are not native English speakers, or come from countries where the English spoken is sufficiently different from standard American English that what’s on the GMAT might as well be a foreign language. That’s a huge challenge, and I’m not denying that. (more…)
When it comes to the GMAT, idiom questions seem to cause a disproportionate amount of anxiety.
To some extent, this is understandable. English is filled with idioms: fixed phrases that, by definition, are what they are for no other reason than that the language evolved a particular way. There is no logical reason that insist on is correct while insist at is not. And for ESL students, the sheer number of these phrases can seem overwhelming.
The reality, however, is that “pure” idioms are simply not that much of a focus on the GMAT. There are, of course, certain idioms that you absolutely need to know; however, the fact that two answers might contain the phrase research on while three others contain research into does not necessarily mean the only way to answer the question is to know which preposition the GMAT considers correct. (more…)
I realize that my 2017 blogging record hasn’t exactly been stellar so far, but I’ve been hard at work on a number of projects.
But, you say, didn’t the College Board get rid of all those (not really) obscure words? Isn’t vocabulary kind of…passé? As it turns out, vocabulary is still quite relevant. Both the Reading and Writing sections still include plenty of words that are unfamiliar to many students, and we’ve found an approach that efficiently targets only the material most relevant to the new exam. Stay tuned for more details. (more…)
All of the major grammar concepts tested on the Sentence Correction portion of the GMAT, complete with examples: https://thecriticalreader.com/complete-gmat-sentence-correction-rules/
They are also available for download as a pdf.