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In this article, we’ll look at the solution to this GMAT sentence correction question. We have analyzed the 5 answer choices and arrived at the correct choice through 3 steps:

1. Meaning analysis
2. Error analysis

## General information on this question

• Difficulty level – Hard
• 55% of people got this question correct
• The average time taken to answer this question correctly – 1:18 correctly

Let’s look at the question-and-answer choices.

According to a survey of graduating medical students conducted by Association of American Medical College, minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice in socioeconomically deprived areas.

(A) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice

(B) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than other graduates who plan on practicing

(C) minority graduates are nearly four times as likely as other graduates to plan on practicing

(D) it is nearly four times more likely that minority graduates rather than other graduates will plan to practice

(E) it is nearly four times as likely for minority graduates than other graduates to plan to practice

## Solution

### Meaning Analysis

According to a survey of graduating medical students conducted by Association of American Medical College, minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice in socioeconomically deprived areas.

• According to a survey of graduating medical students
• conducted by Association of American Medical College,
• minority graduates are nearly four times more likely
• than are other graduates in planning to practice
• in socioeconomically deprived areas.

This sentence presents a comparison. The comparison is presented between the minority graduates and other graduates. The basis of the comparison is that the former is more likely to plan on practicing in poor areas than is the latter. This information was presented in a survey of graduating medical students. This survey was conducted by Association of American Medical College.

### Error Analysis

#### Idiom Error

This sentence uses the expression “more likely”. The correct way to use this expression is “A is more likely to do something than B.”. However, in this sentence “more likely” is not followed by a to verb phrase. It is followed by the prepositional phrase “on planning”. This phrase makes the usage of “more likely” incorrect.

### Choice A:  minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice

Incorrect: for the reason stated in the Error Analysis section.

### Choice B: minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than other graduates who plan on practicing

Incorrect: Idiom Error leading to Meaning Error

This choice is incorrect for the usage of “who plan”. We need the phrase “to plan” to present the intended comparison clearly and correctly. Because of the usage of “who plan” that modifies the preceding noun “other graduates”, the comparison is not even complete as the sentence just does not mention what the minority graduates are more likely to do.

### Choice C: minority graduates are nearly four times as likely as other graduates to plan on practicing

Correct: It corrects the idiom error of Choice A

Correct. This indeed is the correct answer choice as it corrects the idiom error of Choice A and presents the intended comparison logically and grammatically.

P.S.:Many reject this answer choice because of the usage of “four times as likely  as” instead of “four times more likely than”. However, in the context of the sentence, both these expressions present the same meaning. The change in expression does not lead to any change in the intended meaning.

### Choice D: it is nearly four times more likely that minority graduates rather than other graduates will plan to practice

Incorrect: Idiom Error leading to Meaning Error

The phrase “rather than” is used to present preference, not comparison. Hence, the usage of this phrase makes this choice incorrect.

### Choice E: it is nearly four times as likely for minority graduates than other graduates to plan to practice

Incorrect: Idiom Error

The phrase “four times as likely… than” is an incorrect expression. This choice fails to present the intended comparison clearly.

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