How to Approach the GMAT as a Non-native English Speaker

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The GMAT is very much about how you attack the exam. You do not need to have a very advanced understanding of English to do well on the test.

Find practical GMAT tips for non-native speakers provided by one of the Verbal content experts and the academic director at GMAT Tutor.

In our previous post, we outlined how you can improve your general knowledge of the English language as you prep for the GMAT. Today, we’ll be providing tips on how to approach specific sections on the GMAT as a non-native English speaker.

Critical Reasoning (CR) and Reading Comprehension (RC) Sections

For the CR and RC sections, become familiar with what the questions are really asking from you.

Know your strengths and weaknesses, and be picky about what questions you choose to attack. For a non-native speaker, consider that it may be wiser to deal with questions that are achievable for you. It may also be wiser to not go too quickly just to get through all the questions. Be more careful and selective. This will go hand-in-hand with a proper time management strategy.

For vocabulary, try not to worry about official or scientific technical terms because these do not matter much. For example, knowing exactly what Paleocene means in the Paleocene era does not help much except to know that it is a specific era. The context of the text there to help you.

Sentence Correction (SC) section

In SC, the grammatical and most stylistic rules are very structured, and these rules can be tested in a systematic manner. You may have trouble with identifying the intended meaning or making comparisons and difficult sentence modifications. Just take a deep breath and remember that it is not necessary to get all the questions correct. Answer what you can.

As with the RC and CR sections, the SC will also have to be achieved with time management in mind. You simply cannot afford to stare at the screen wondering what the sentence means.

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Section

In the AWA section, use the templates taught on the Economist GMAT Tutor! Keep sentences very clear and noncomplex. Do not try to impress with words you may not fully understand. Use vocabulary that you feel comfortable with, and practice breaking down arguments quickly so that the essay writing task becomes simply a matter of filling the template.

Quantitative Section

Learn the specific math vocabulary in the Quant sections.

Remember that you do not need to have a very advanced understanding of English to do well on the GMAT, but you can certainly help yourself by improving your English skills. The GMAT is not only about pure knowledge; it’s about how you attack the exam.

Read the original article on the blog of The Economist’s GMAT Tutor.

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