• 7 CATs FREE!
    If you earn 100 Forum Points

    Engage in the Beat The GMAT forums to earn
    100 points for $49 worth of Veritas practice GMATs FREE

    Veritas Prep
    VERITAS PRACTICE GMAT EXAMS
    Earn 10 Points Per Post
    Earn 10 Points Per Thanks
    Earn 10 Points Per Upvote
    REDEEM NOW

Idioms and Sentence Correction - a message from GMAC

This topic has expert replies

GMAT/MBA Expert

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 6728
Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Thanked: 1249 times
Followed by:980 members
The good folks at GMAC (makers of the GMAT) sent this message to Beat The GMAT this morning, to share with our community:
Idioms, Sentence Correction, and the GMAT Exam

Recently there has been some discussion and questioning about the role and place of idioms and sentence correction as they apply to the skills tested in the GMAT exam. Much of what has been written has been well-reasoned, but some of what has been written is only partially accurate or reflects some misconceptions. With this posting, I hope to put these two important pieces of the GMAT exam in their proper place within the context of what the exam measures and how.

Idioms:

The general categories of language-use skill tested in GMAT Sentence Correction items haven't changed, and test takers do not need to do anything different to prepare for the Verbal section of the GMAT exam.

For years, GMAC has paid close attention to the growing international make-up of GMAT test takers and has worked to assure that the exam is not viewed as -- nor is it actually -- an American test. As the GMAT exam has expanded globally and been taken by more students from around the world, GMAC has continually made extra efforts to ensure that newly introduced GMAT items do not depend on familiarity with distinctively American expressions and usages. We have taken steps all along the way to ensure global fairness and appropriateness.

Still, every language everywhere in the world consists of idioms, or standard constructions that are not literally derived from the most basic rules of grammar and vocabulary. Some Sentence Correction items continue to pose reasoning tasks that incorporate English-language, NOT American, idioms. These are not intended to test specialized knowledge of colloquialisms and regionalisms.

Grammar in Sentence Correction:

In recent years, GMAT item writers have been concentrating on the reasoning aspects rather than the purely grammatical aspects of Sentence Correction skills. As always, test takers need to carefully read the prompt in order to choose the answer that produces the most effective sentence. This means that whereas two sentences may both be grammatically appropriate, the correct answer is the sentence that is most "effective" -- the sentence that better expresses the idea.

The end result is a GMAT exam that doesn't test simply a person's ability to memorize grammatical rules or recognize idioms for their colloquial meanings, but a test that rewards reasoning regardless of the test taker's background.

The recent back and forth around whether idioms are in or out or how Sentence Correction works ignores the fact that the core purpose of the exam hasn't ever changed, even as the way we treat certain categories in order to meet the needs of our ever expanding marketplace may have. The GMAT exam tests higher-order reasoning, and preparing for the exam remains an exercise in developing and exercising those skills.

-- Lawrence M. Rudner, GMAC vice president of research and development and chief psychometrician
Beat The GMAT | The MBA Social Network
Community Management Team

Research Top GMAT Prep Courses:
https://www.beatthegmat.com/gmat-prep-courses

Research The World's Top MBA Programs:
https://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/school

Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 79
Joined: 13 Feb 2012
Thanked: 2 times
Followed by:3 members

by jzw » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:19 pm
beatthegmat wrote:The good folks at GMAC (makers of the GMAT) sent this message to Beat The GMAT this morning, to share with our community:
Seriously - is it a crazy idea to ask the GMAC people to create a profile and answer questions too?

User avatar
Legendary Member
Posts: 626
Joined: 23 Dec 2011
Location: Ahmedabad
Thanked: 31 times
Followed by:10 members

by ronnie1985 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:42 am
GMAC doing it's bit...

Well it is logical as well.
Follow your passion, Success as perceived by others shall follow you

Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 2
Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Location: Bangalore, India
Followed by:3 members

by bhaski.raghu » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:41 am
Well, GMAC is keeping us informed. Thanks
Education is not confined to the corridors of the academic Institution.

Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 47
Joined: 05 Sep 2012
Thanked: 2 times
Followed by:3 members

by eski » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:52 am
Its logical and accepted .

Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 45
Joined: 06 Apr 2012
Thanked: 3 times
Followed by:1 members
GMAT Score:500

by BTG14 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:26 am
The end result is a GMAT exam that doesn't test simply a person's ability to memorize grammatical rules or recognize idioms for their colloquial meanings, but a test that rewards reasoning regardless of the test taker's background.

Really GMAT is becoming harder and harder...

GMAT/MBA Expert

User avatar
GMAT Instructor
Posts: 1248
Joined: 29 Mar 2012
Location: Everywhere
Thanked: 503 times
Followed by:189 members
GMAT Score:780

by Bill@VeritasPrep » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:04 pm
Milan wrote:The end result is a GMAT exam that doesn't test simply a person's ability to memorize grammatical rules or recognize idioms for their colloquial meanings, but a test that rewards reasoning regardless of the test taker's background.

Really GMAT is becoming harder and harder...
I think focusing on logic and meaning is much easier than trying to memorize idioms.
Join Veritas Prep's 2010 Instructor of the Year, Matt Douglas for GMATT Mondays

Visit the Veritas Prep Blog

Try the FREE Veritas Prep Practice Test

User avatar
Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Posts: 153
Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Location: India
Thanked: 22 times
Followed by:7 members
GMAT Score:540

by sahilchaudhary » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:28 pm
Thanks GMAC and BTG for informing the GMAT test takers.
Sahil Chaudhary
If you find this post helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Thank" icon.
https://www.sahilchaudhary007.blogspot.com

Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 40
Joined: 30 Aug 2017

by danielle07 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:27 pm
Thanks for the information.

Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 4
Joined: 20 Oct 2018

by victoria_18 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:50 am
Thanks a lot! it really helps!

GMAT/MBA Expert

User avatar
GMAT Instructor
Posts: 270
Joined: 09 Nov 2016
Location: Lahore, Pakistan
Thanked: 87 times
Followed by:202 members

by Ali Tariq » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:19 pm
Good knowledge of Idioms as used in GMAT SCs can be useful.

I will post a list of all the idioms that have appeared in official questions in future for the general benefit of test-takers.

Please allow me some time to compile a comprehensive list.

It will, I strongly believe, be a huge pain killer for test takers from non-native countries.
_________________
PM me for private tutoring (online and in Lahore).

www.PrepVista.com

Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 2
Joined: 27 Mar 2020
Very good work done.

Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Posts: 14
Joined: 01 Oct 2019
namokshi wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:04 am
Very good work done.
Agree with namokshi there. Very good sharing indeed!