And even more universally than that, here’s why grammar-seekers often end up struggling with Sentence Correction problems. The general thought process you should use on a question like this is one that, with repetition and practice, you can master. Find decision points, think logically, and use core grammar rules that get tested over and over and over (verb tenses, pronouns, modifiers, etc.). Those who take the time to study asyndeton and hyperbation, however:
- Have to find that time somewhere, and often it comes at the expense of repetition and mastery of core strategy.
- Fill their minds with so many terms, structures, and examples that they can’t function efficiently on the test – a classic case of “paralysis by analysis”.
- Find that there are thousands of unique structures and rules, and even if you’ve studied hundreds the GMAT finds a way to present you with a few you haven’t seen or mastered.
The GMAT isn’t a grammar test, but many test-takers treat it that way. And doing so enters you into a game that you have extremely little chance of winning. What’s more, it’s a frustrating and time-consuming exercise to pore over “idioms lists” and grammar flashcards when that’s not what the GMAT is really testing. Strategy and logic – mixed with sound understanding of the handful of commonly occurring grammar concepts that the GMAT tests – are your only hope. So valuable is your time, so limited your study energy, that wasting it chasing prozeugma and asyndenton is a fruitless pursuit. Don’t do it.
Brian Galvin is Director of Academic Programs at Veritas Prep, a GMAT prep and graduate school admissions consulting provider. This is his second column for Poets&Quants.com. His contrarian views appear monthly.