“Consider” this Popular GMAT Idiom

UPDATE: You can find this blog and others about idioms in our new GMAT Idiom eBook!

What is the proper way to use the word “consider”?  Considering that this very word may appear on the GMAT Sentence Correction, you should be prepared for its related idioms!

Idiom #1: consider + noun + noun

1) Many Magoosh users consider my friend Chris an authority on the GRE.

2) I consider Ted Williams the greatest baseball hitter of all times.

Both of those use this idiom correctly.  The structure of this idiom is

[subject] “considers” A B 

The noun A is the person or thing you are evaluating, and B is the rank or level or station or etc. to which you are assigning them.  In sentence #1:

A = my friend Chris

B = an authority on the GRE

In sentence #2

A = Ted Williams

B = the greatest baseball hitter of all times


Idiom #2: consider + noun + adjective

3) I consider Margarette very intelligent.

4) Many unfairly consider New York City unfriendly.

5) The analysts considered tech industry stocks unlikely to rise before the new year.

This idiom is similar to the first, and all three of those use this idiom correctly.  The structure of this idiom is

[subject] “considers” A B 

Again, the noun A is the person or thing you are evaluating, and B is the adjective, the quality, which the subject ascribes to A.   In sentence #3:

A = Margarette

B = very intelligent

In sentence #4:

A = New York City

B = unfriendly

In sentence #5:

A = tech industry stocks

B = unlikely to rise before the new year


Keep it simple

Notice, this is a very clean, simple idiom.  On the Sentence Correct, the GMAT loves to give incorrect version of the form:

In 99.9% of cases, all of those are wrong.  All of those may sound more “dignified”, more “formal”, than the simplicity of “someone considers A B”, but in this case, the simple answer is 100% correct, and all these variants with extra words will be incorrect on the GMAT Sentence Correction.  Keep it simple! The only exception to this rule is if one of the more complex options above is your only choice, and all other alternative choices are flawed. It’s rare that this happens, but I do know of one instance offhand: in the 2017 GMAT official guide, question #747 has the pattern “consider A to be B” in every answer choice. Again though, this is very rare. So think of the above, more complicated options as wrong by default.


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  • Mike MᶜGarry

    Mike served as a GMAT Expert at Magoosh, helping create hundreds of lesson videos and practice questions to help guide GMAT students to success. He was also featured as "member of the month" for over two years at GMAT Club. Mike holds an A.B. in Physics (graduating magna cum laude) and an M.T.S. in Religions of the World, both from Harvard. Beyond standardized testing, Mike has over 20 years of both private and public high school teaching experience specializing in math and physics. In his free time, Mike likes smashing foosballs into orbit, and despite having no obvious cranial deficiency, he insists on rooting for the NY Mets. Learn more about the GMAT through Mike's Youtube video explanations and resources like What is a Good GMAT Score? and the GMAT Diagnostic Test.

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6 Responses to “Consider” this Popular GMAT Idiom

  1. Subbu January 22, 2016 at 10:15 am #

    Thank you for the article. I am a little confused by the way you made the comparison between the two phrases in your last paragraph. All of those may sound more “dignified”, more “formal”, than the simplicity of “someone considers A B”.

    You have compared the “simplicity”(noun) of a phrase to the behavior of another phrase (sound formal, dignified). As for GMAT, I feel it is not structurally parallel.

    Please correct me if I am wrong and let me know if I am overthinking 🙂

    • Magoosh Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 10, 2016 at 9:55 am #

      Hi Subbu,

      You’re right! This sentence would be considered un-parallel on the GMAT. Nice catch! Fortunately, we only have to really worry about this on the GMAT itself 🙂

  2. Al August 12, 2015 at 10:40 am #


    As an aside, I believe that you’ve misused the expression “of all times” in example 2).

    “Of all times” indeed has its place in the right context, which could be something like “Trudy’s fingers cramped up, of all times, during the AWA portion of the GMAT.” But for the comparison scenario you intended (declaring someone the best throughout the ages), “of all time” is the go I reckon.

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike McGarry August 13, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

      Dear Al,
      I’m happy to respond. 🙂 The expression “of all times” is a curious expression, because it has a multiplicity of uses. The use I made in #2 is more literal use, “the greatest of all times,” meaning the greatest in comparison to all others through the ages. The use you made is more colloquial and emotionally emphatic, drawing out the irony of a particular situation. This is a extremely sophisticated use, but because it is more emotionally charged and less academic, it would be unlikely to appear on the GMAT SC, which tends to be more reserved and emotionally neutral.
      Many words and phrases and expressions have more than one meaning, depending on context. What is totally on the mark in one context can be patently absurd in another.
      Does all this make sense?
      Mike 🙂

  3. vardhaman lodha February 5, 2015 at 4:00 am #

    Dear Mike,
    check out this gmatprep SC question which uses ‘cosider to be’ in the correct answer choice.Please help me out with this.Thanks 🙂


    • Charan August 26, 2015 at 11:07 am #

      Hai Mr.Lodha,
      Did you get any answer for this question?

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