It seems I have learnt every single concept that can appear on the GMAT exam but still cannot hit the target score… What should I do next?


The scope of topics that may appear during the test is huge, frankly speaking. You may have spent months on drilling the theory, and it may even seem that you can answer any theoretical question now: How does a dependent clause differ from an independent clause? Are participles considered parallel on the GMAT? How do I find the discriminant? and many others. At the same time, you still cannot hit the desired score. So what’s the problem? What are you doing wrong?



The thing is that when you prepare for the test, you often know what topic is tested by this or that question and focus on that exact topic when doing the question. For example, when you are learning parallelism in sentence correction, you know that the practical question you are going to do will be connected with parallel structures, comparisons, or compound constructions. 



This is not the case on the GMAT exam. When taking the real test, you are not told how to do; instead, you are only told what to do. The sentence correction type of question may best illustrate this: when you are given a sentence with an underlined portion within it, you are not informed about the rule that is tested by this question. Indeed, you have to recognize these rules by spotting some markers. For example, the word like or unlike must tell you that you are dealing with a comparison, and, as you may know, any comparison must contrast comparable objects, so you need to establish the comparability between the contrasted objects. 



I recommend that you create a table consisting of two columns, the first called ‘Clue’ and the second named ‘Do this…’ Here’s how it may look like



What I do


Establish homogeneity between the contrasted objects


Make sure that ‘as’ compares clauses and ‘like’ compares objects

Either… or…

a) Check the consistency of the construction (either must be coupled with or, not with nor)

b) Check the parallelism


Check the homogeneuity of the enumerated objects



This table can be useful for any type of questions that may appear on the GMAT exam. It will not only reduce the amount of time you spend on doing the questions, but also raise your success rate.

by Nataly Linch


Log In or Sign Up to leave your comment!

× Logo
× Logo