A ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church, as indicated in its eastward orientation and by its overall plan, as well as artifacts, such as glass oil-lamp fragments, found at the site.


A ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church, as indicated in its eastward orientation and by its overall plan, as well as artifacts, such as glass oil-lamp fragments, found at the site.

A. A ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church, as indicated in its eastward orientation and by its overall plan, as well as

B. A ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, once probably being a church, was indicated by its eastward orientation, overall plan, and

C. Indicating that a ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church were its eastward orientation and overall plan, but also the

D. A ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church, as indicates its eastward orientation and overall plan, as well as the

E. That a ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church is indicated by its eastward orientation and overall plan, as well as by the


Correct Answer Below (so you don’t see it while reviewing the question)

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Correct Answer: E

Tough GMAT sentence correction question that comes up a lot in GMAT tutoring sessions. The main issue is list parallelism but there are a couple of other small things that can be helpful to look at.

One general strategy point to consider here: don’t eliminate just because you don’t like the structure/placement of something. If you don’t have a black and white rule to get rid of an answer choice then keep it in.

You can always re-evaluate before making your final choice. In this case, many people cross off choice E because they don’t like starting the sentence with “that”. I always ask: why? The answer is: I don’t like it or I though you couldn’t start a sentence with that? Once E is gone it’s hopeless:(

So, again, keep choices in unless you have a very solid reason for eliminating.

A ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church as indicated in its eastward orientation and by its overall plan, as well as artifacts, such as glass-oil lamp fragments, found at the site.

(A) A ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church, as indicated in its eastward orientation and by its overall plan, as well as

Parallelism is off. I added the word “indicated” where it should be given the parallel structure so you can see the issue.

A ruined structure was probably a church as indicated in its eastward orientation, as indicated by its overall plan, as well as indicated artifacts. This makes no sense.

Ideally give each item in a list the same structure. Also, try to keep your prepositions parallel.

(B) A ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, once probably being a church, was indicated by its eastward orientation, overall plan, and

Past tense “was” doesn’t work. We’re talking about the present.

 

The list parallelism is also off. Do the distribution test with indicated by its.

Indicated by its eastward orientation

Indicated by its overall plan

Indicated by its artifacts found at the site

The first two are OK but the last one doesn’t work.

(C) Indicating that a ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church were its eastward orientation and overall plan, but also the

Not Only But Also. We have “but also” but missing the “not only”.

(D) A ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church, as indicates its eastward orientation and overall plan, as well as the

Once again test the parallel structure:

As indicates its eastward orientation

As indicates its overall plan

As indicates its the artifacts.

The last one doesn’t work.

(E) That a ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church is indicated by its eastward orientation and overall plan, as well as by the

It’s fine to start a sentence with “that”.

Summary: A ruined structure found at Aqaba

-Be strict with list parallelism and test the list by subbing in the word that has to be distributed across the list.

-Keep an open mind in terms of “ugly sentences”. Unless you are certain about a rule don’t apply it. Wait until you’re making a final choice and do a head to head comparison of your finalists.

-Even if you’re stuck on the main rule (the list in this case) there are still other things to look at. Here, not only but also and the tense issue could have gotten you down to three choices.

For some SC guidance, here’s a link to a breakdown of GMAT sentence correction.