Use of “So As To” on GMAT

Watch this short video to understand the usage of "so as to", particularly from the perspective of the GMAT sentence correction questions.

Use of "So As To" on GMAT

Idioms are a particularly challenging part of the GMAT syllabus. Idioms are certain phrases that must be used in particular ways and what makes them so challenging is that there is not much logical reasoning behind them; they are simply arbitrary rules of grammar that you must memorize to identify incorrect sentence correction answer choices on the GMAT. In this short article, we will cover the correct usage of the idiom "so as to".

"So as To"

On the GMAT, the correct use of this phrase is "so + cause + as to + effect". Any other form of this phrase will be idiomatically incorrect. Let us illustrate the correct usage through the following example:

Example 1 - Jack is so sharp, as to be admired.
In this sentence, being sharp is the cause and the effect is being admired. Thus, Example 1 follows the correct use of the phrase - so + sharp (cause) + as to + be admired (effect) and is correct.

Now that we have covered the correct use of this phrase, let us take a look at what to expect from "so as to", on the GMAT. To understand this point, please consider the following example:

Example 2 - Jack studied hard, so as to score high on GMAT.
Example 2 is fairly wordy; the same sentiment could be expressed in a much more concise way as "Jack studies hard, to score high on GMAT." At this point, it would be wise to remember that GMAT sentence correction favors conciseness, meaning that, broadly speaking, the phrase "so as to" will not be part of the correct answer choice. Certainly, if the choice is between an answer choice that uses "so as to" and one that uses "to", the latter is more likely to be correct.

Nevertheless, it is important to keep the correct usage of "so as to" in mind, while attempting the GMAT sentence correction questions. There may still be the occasional question where the answer choice that utilizes "so as to" is the most appropriate one. Furthermore, understanding the correct use of this phrase will allow you to identify incorrect uses and eliminate the answer choices that use them, immediately.

This article has deliberately been kept brief; for a more elaborate explanation, please refer to Experts' Global's Stage One Sentence Correction videos.

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