# GMAT Practice Questions: Who’s Afraid of Sentence Correction?

##### June 6, 2017

Challenge yourself to these two sentence correction problems.

Aspiring MBA applicants often find sentence correction to be one of the more challenging question types on the GMAT. Well, we’re here to tell you there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Today we’re going to walk you through two GMAT practice questions, providing answers and explanations to build your confidence for tackling sentence correction on Test Day.

## GMAT practice question #1:

Read the sentence below carefully and try to spot an error in the underlined portion of the sentence. Then choose the option that best corrects that error.  Keep in mind that there may not be an error in the sentence, in which case answer choice (A) would be correct.

Researchers have found that, on average, one American should be struck by lightning every 13 days.

• A) one American should be struck by lightning every 13 days
• B) an American should be struck by lightning once in every 13 days
• C) lightning will strike some American once every 13 days
• D) every 13 days an American is struck by lightning
• E) every 13 days an American should be struck by lightning

## How to correct sentence #1:

Always start these problems by eliminating as many of the answers as you can. Do a vertical scan of the answer choices and you will see three options—“should be struck,” “will strike,” and “is struck.” “Should be struck” implies that the researchers believe Americans ought to be struck by lightning, which is illogical and slightly inappropriate. So, you can eliminate options A, B, and E.

Next, look at option C, which suggests that the same American will be struck by lightning every 13 days. That’s one unlucky American! However, it’s not the correct meaning of the original statement. Remember, a correct sentence correction answer will never change the meaning of the sentence.

That leaves you with D. The present tense generalizes the action in a way that makes it clear lightning strikes different Americans on different occasions. D is your correct answer.

## GMAT practice question #2:

Read the sentence below carefully and try to spot an error in the underlined portion of the sentence. Then choose the option that best corrects that error.  Keep in mind that there may not be an error in the sentence, in which case answer choice (A) would be correct.

Experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning are not as applicable to “ball lightning” as they are to normal lightning, because it is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived.

• A) Experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning are not as applicable to “ball lightning” as they are to normal lightning, because it is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived.
• B) Because it is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived, experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning are not as applicable to “ball lightning” as they are to normal lightning.
• C) Because it is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived, “ball lightning” cannot be studied by the same experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning as normal lightning.
• D) Because “ball lightning” is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived, experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning are not as applicable to it as they are to normal lightning.
• E) “Ball lightning” is not subject to experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning in the same way as normal lightning, because it is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived.

## How to correct sentence #2:

Start by eliminating the answers that cannot be true. With this question, the false statements confuse “ball lightning” and “normal lightning” so that you cannot determine which is rare and unpredictable. By that logic, you can eliminate A, as you cannot tell from the structure whether “it” refers to “ball lightning” or “normal lightning.” The use of “it” must refer clearly to “ball lightning,” and with that in mind you can eliminate both B and E as well. That leaves you with C and D.

Option C implies that the experiments are studying the lightning but, in fact, people are studying the lightning via the experiments. If that’s not enough for elimination, C also uses the odd phrasing of “understanding of lightning as normal lightning.” C can be eliminated.

That leaves you with the correct answer: D. Though it may not sound “right,” it does express the idea best. You may be able to write a better sentence, but you won’t get any points on the GMAT for that, so D is the best answer choice.

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