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Sentence Correction: Concise vs. Short & Redundant vs. Long

Some college students find it difficult to decide whether or not to attend graduate school during an economic recession.

In the GMAT, the word if should be used in Conditionals only. Since in this question there is no condition, if should be replaced by whether.

Think of whether as a choice between two possibilities dealing with the same subject or as a yes/no question.

Example: I do not know whether this will work. (yes or no)

He was not sure whether he wanted banana or chocolate cake. (a choice between 2 possibilities)

In the GMAT, the addition of the phrase or not at any point after the word whether is considered redundant.

This answer choice repeats the original Redundancy error. In the GMAT, the addition of the phrase or not at any point after the word whether is considered redundant.

Although this answer choice corrects the original Redundancy error by removing the phrase or not, it loses some of the meaning of the original sentence by removing the phrase during an economic recession.

Do not automatically choose the shortest answer choice. Make sure that shorter answers express the same meaning that's been stated in the original sentence. If they don't, they're probably incorrect.

Good work!

In the GMAT, the addition of the phrase or not at any point after the word whether is considered redundant.

whether or not to attend graduate school during an economic recession
if, during an economic recession, they should attend graduate school
whether they should attend graduate school
whether to attend graduate school during an economic recession
whether to attend graduate school during an economic recession or not