Sentence correction questions appear in the verbal reasoning section along with reading comprehension and critical reasoning questions. You have 75 minutes to answer the 41 questions that appear in the entire section. So you have a little less than two minutes to answer each question. You will likely need more time to for reading comprehension, so plan to spend no more than one minute answering each sentence correction question.
Sentence correction questions present a statement in which words are underlined. You have to select from the answer options the best expression of the idea or relationship described in the underlined section. The first answer choice always repeats the original phrasing, whereas the other four provide alternatives.
In some cases, the original phrasing is the best choice. In other cases, the underlined section has errors that require correction. These questions require you to be familiar with the stylistic conventions and grammatical rules of standard written English and to demonstrate your ability to improve incorrect or ineffective expressions.
Tips for Sentence Correction
The key to performing well on sentence correction questions is to approach them systematically.
- Determine the nature of the original sentence’s error (if one exists). If a sentence has more than one error, focus on one error at a time. If you can, come up with a quick idea of how to fix the error before you look at the answers.
- Skim through the answer choices and eliminate any choices that don’t correct the error.
- Eliminate answer choices that correct the original error but add a new error or errors. You should be left with only one answer that fixes the original problem without creating new errors.
- Reread the sentence with the new answer choice inserted just to make sure that you haven’t missed something and that the answer you’ve chosen makes sense.