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Admissions Success Stories Idioms and Sentence Correction - a message from GMAC

This topic has 1 expert reply and 7 member replies

GMAT/MBA Expert

Idioms and Sentence Correction - a message from GMAC

Post Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:31 am
The good folks at GMAC (makers of the GMAT) sent this message to Beat The GMAT this morning, to share with our community:

Quote:
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

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jzw Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post 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?

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ronnie1985 Legendary Member
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Post Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:42 am
GMAC doing it's bit...

Well it is logical as well.

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bhaski.raghu Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:41 am
Well, GMAC is keeping us informed. Thanks

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eski Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:52 am
Its logical and accepted .

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BTG14 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post 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...

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Bill@VeritasPrep GMAT Instructor
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Post 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.

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sahilchaudhary Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:28 pm
Thanks GMAC and BTG for informing the GMAT test takers.

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danielle07 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:27 pm
Thanks for the information.

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