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# Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers?

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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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27 May 2010, 06:05
I have to say 2 things:

- For me, the GMAT has very little to do with aptitudes. It is all about english language.
- Being a not-native speaker, the GMAT is really challenging, so it´s more fun.

I got a 680 (Q50, V31), and a 99 in the TOEFL.

I will retake both of them in a couple of months. Im looking for a 110 TOEFL, and a 750 in the big monster.
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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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27 May 2010, 07:37
It does for sure.
May be not for quantitative but for verbal CR and RC :
RC : it took me (i'm french), 50% more time to read texts.
CR : more difficult for a non-native speaker to understand nuances.
SC : was fine for me. i focused a lot on this topic. Always the same strategy and rules...

My results : 82% (660)
78% (47) Q
68% (don't remember) V
4% (2.5) AWA

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Last edited by alexxx4 on 27 May 2010, 09:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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27 May 2010, 07:40
Ps : i'm confident that business school are aware of that and distinguish english native speaker from others...

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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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27 May 2010, 08:14
alexxx4 wrote:
Ps : i'm confident that business school are aware of that and distinguish english native speaker from others...

Posted from my mobile device

I have just imagined a funny example : "Hmm... he is non-native speaker?!, lets increase his gmat overall score by $$k%$$ and then lets make comparison", No adcoms would rather look at gmat score of 670 and 720 and think "hm... his gmat is lower, lets look at raw scores .Q score is the same.... ohh, this is the reason, he scored lower because his verbal is not so good, these international students always score lower in verbal, they must study english better and then they will have higher GMAT scores".

I think for Adcoms, the fact that you are an international student is not an excuse of "not so good" english, this is just a fact, neither more nor less.

I don't think they somehow adjust and then compare the overall gmat score, they just look at it as it is.

Alex4444 your verbal raw score was 33 , see my thread "all gmat scores/conversion" (find an XS file).
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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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27 May 2010, 09:42
Hi pkit :
nearly => i checked it and V was 34. If it can help to refine your .xls
(gmat was taken in april 2010)

it could be interesting to draw a graph : Q vs. V instead of your .xls (i saw one of this kind in a website, tried to find it again & never found it).

Alex

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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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27 May 2010, 09:57
alexxx4 wrote:
Hi pkit :
nearly => i checked it and V was 34. If it can help to refine your .xls
(gmat was taken in april 2010)

it could be interesting to draw a graph : Q vs. V instead of your .xls (i saw one of this kind in a website, tried to find it again & never found it).

Alex

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Raw scores may vary +-1 point, I said 33 with an approximation just to help you )))
By the way, you may draw it by yourself , using my xls file, this needs basic excel skills, not more.
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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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27 May 2010, 10:00
well obviously the gmat is easier for native english speakers, especially for the AWA and verbal sections.

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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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27 May 2010, 10:15
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1 - MBA was invented in the US;
2 - GMAC is primarily an American institution;
3 - European schools voluntarily adopted the GMAT;
4 - English is the universal language for everything;

Enough said !
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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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27 May 2010, 12:18
MBAUncle wrote:
1 - MBA was invented in the US;
2 - GMAC is primarily an American institution;
3 - European schools voluntarily adopted the GMAT;
4 - English is the universal language for everything;

Enough said !

Exactly. Your point is the same as mine: GMAT and the whole thing is all about mastering english language.
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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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27 May 2010, 22:36
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This is a good topic to debate .......... here's my point of view as a non-native speaker
Yes, its true that GMAT Verbal part is difficult for non-native but this rule applies to everything, everyone, and every type of education in the world. Let say, i belong to an non-engineers family and now want to be a engineer (in real life its exactly opposite ). I cannot blame that because no one is an engineer in my family so i cannot do/do well in engineering. one need to work hard to be a engineer (a different field from what he/she has seen since childhood) and choose the right school for that (ofcourse do well in high school or any entrance exam for that to get into a good engineering school, without excuses/exceptions).

Same thing applied to GMAT, it helps to get admission to the best business schools in the world, which create leaders/top managers. Because english is the international language or say considered as an international language, so i would say its a must these days to grow or get your dream job specially at international level (here we are talking about MBA's not entrepreneur, later are exception to this rule ). Can we communicate on this forum if we dont know english? No, we cannot. So friends tighten your seat belt to beat this monster (GMAT).

I didnt do well in GMAT prep 1, score 560 (Q48, V20) and this score is without any preparation for verbal at all and a month of quant prep on gmatclub (i think one do not need any quant material to do well in quant section, if he/she just follows quant on gmatclub, some great people are here to help you all the time). I could not even finish the verbal section, may be one of the reason for low score in verbal. But no blame to anyone, if this is the requirement of getting into a good B-school, then i am up for it, more focused than ever before.

REMEMBER CHANGE IS ALWAYS DIFFICULT BUT FRUITFUL (just made it now, i a getting better )

Excuse me for any grammatical mistakes and offence, if any.

Good Luck!!!!
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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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28 May 2010, 06:02
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My favourite topic on GMAT club. Thanks for starting this thread this is the value add that gmatclub provides that no other coaching on GMAT can provide.

My contribution to the discussion :

GMAT is a primarily a test of your command over English. PERIOD.

You can see this both in verbal and quant. Specifically in quant word problems. Most of the quant mistakes would happen on this section of the test for non-native speakers.
Verbal anyways is a test of English language not necessarily British or American but only GMAT English. Which can be mastered for the test and then forgotten. If you feel that scoring good on GMAT verbal will secure your life or ensure you would not make any English related mistakes it's a dumb narrow view.

About me english is not my native language however I have only had my eduacation in English throughout my life and have taken classes in subjects primary standards onwards with books written by American or British writers my verbal sucks on GMAT however I never had issues understanding the content of these books and scoring high as well.

American business schools they don't care about your English, because in that case people with 550 or 650 score will not have a shot at business schools. However schools take a wide variety of scores ranging from 550 to 800. For the schools it's simple if the doesn't need a job or has a would be successful business plan his admission is gaurantteed regardless of the score.

Also consider this out of all of the CEO's in US only 38% have a business degree. I am hoping they are makin lot of mistakes in ther presentations. Whatever they are still making a lot of money.

Unfortunately GMAT is a pretty acceptable score everywhere these days in business schools wether US or anywhere else in the world. GMAC only attracts around .2 million test takers. That is less than total test takers that appear for an MBA exam for top 10 B-Schools in india. Yes this exam is also in english dosent test English the way GMAT does. Still from top schools People get places in all kind of companies wether Indian or American or europian.

GMAC has decided to keep this exam in English & current format 75% test takers from US.

As a business idea GMAC could have made a lot of money by ensuring multiple language exams. However they don't want to make more money (dosent sound like a good business plan) but who cares they want people to qualify only if they have GMAT English skills.

Do I care ? No. PERIOD.

It's a tough English exam, and I am Gonna crack it.

Though after getting a admission in the top B-School I might still flunk out in some subjects. If I don't pay attention.

GMAT is just the means to a particular type of an end which is business school.

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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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28 May 2010, 08:11
shrivastavarohit wrote:
GMAT is a primarily a test of your command over English. PERIOD.

So, why do business schools require foreigners to take the TOEFL?
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28 May 2010, 08:19
xolod wrote:
shrivastavarohit wrote:
GMAT is a primarily a test of your command over English. PERIOD.

So, why do business schools require foreigners to take the TOEFL?

Because the TOEFL covers listening and speaking abilities, things not tested on the GMAT.

The GMAT tries to evaluate the applicants reasoning and thus his ability to perform well in the MBA program, whereas the TOEFL is just to check whether the applicant has sufficient command of English to communicate with his/her classmates.

There are some schools, [strike]like[/strike] such as the MIT, that do not ask for the TOEFL since they believe the GMAT is enough.
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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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28 May 2010, 09:42
MBAUncle wrote:
xolod wrote:
shrivastavarohit wrote:
GMAT is a primarily a test of your command over English. PERIOD.

So, why do business schools require foreigners to take the TOEFL?

Because the TOEFL covers listening and speaking abilities, things not tested on the GMAT.

The GMAT tries to evaluate the applicants reasoning and thus his ability to perform well in the MBA program, whereas the TOEFL is just to check whether the applicant has sufficient command of English to communicate with his/her classmates.

There are some schools, [strike]like[/strike] such as the MIT, that do not ask for the TOEFL since they believe the GMAT is enough.

The TOEFL is a piece of cake comparing to the GMAT.
Just compare RC passages 20 minutes per passage in TOEFL and 14 questions, each question is referenced to paragraph to which it relates.
GMAT RC time available is 2min*number of questons+1min per question - no reference or anything else.

TOEFL is more general, GMAT is more specific test of english.

I would agree to exclude TOEFL if one has passed GMAT. Speaking/Listening sections are very easy in TOEFL, or these sections may be tested separately.

Why? because instead of paying only 250 for GMAT, an international students must pay additional 225$to take TOEFL. And of course additional 17$ per/report to send it to the university.

TOEFL is valid only for 2 years, and if you want to apply 2 years consecutive, you must take this test one more time, I mean to pay additional +225$) Now, multiply 225$ * the number of applicants to bs in each year.

Another point of view: why Speaking/Listening as separate sections were introduce in iBT TOEFL? Because Business schools had complained that international students are bad in speaking and listening.

in conclusion, GMAT and TOEFL have overlaps, but these two test are quite different.
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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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28 May 2010, 14:13
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Pkit wrote:
I believe that, if an indian, chinese or russian would take the gmat in his/her native language, results would be different and probably much better because of language barrier.

Now you discriminate me. You don't think that Spanish speaker would do well in the gmat in Spanish? Well, probably not, hehe.
Just kidding.
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28 May 2010, 14:30
cano wrote:
Pkit wrote:
I believe that, if an indian, chinese or russian would take the gmat in his/her native language, results would be different and probably much better because of language barrier.

Now you discriminate me. You don't think that Spanish speaker would do well in the gmat in Spanish? Well, probably not, hehe.
Just kidding.

I am sorry my friend, I am just listed those nations that seemed with the biggest population/territory. However, I recognise that Spanish speakers are more than 300 mln people in the world (some sources state that even more than russian speakers are). You see I need global vision, I mean to look overseas as well
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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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28 May 2010, 14:37
MBAUncle wrote:
xolod wrote:
shrivastavarohit wrote:
GMAT is a primarily a test of your command over English. PERIOD.

So, why do business schools require foreigners to take the TOEFL?

Because the TOEFL covers listening and speaking abilities, things not tested on the GMAT.

The GMAT tries to evaluate the applicants reasoning and thus his ability to perform well in the MBA program, whereas the TOEFL is just to check whether the applicant has sufficient command of English to communicate with his/her classmates.

There are some schools, [strike]like[/strike] such as the MIT, that do not ask for the TOEFL since they believe the GMAT is enough.

I am more under the impression that GMAT evaluates how logical a person is, nothing else.
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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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28 May 2010, 14:42
Pkit wrote:
cano wrote:
Pkit wrote:
I believe that, if an indian, chinese or russian would take the gmat in his/her native language, results would be different and probably much better because of language barrier.

Now you discriminate me. You don't think that Spanish speaker would do well in the gmat in Spanish? Well, probably not, hehe.
Just kidding.

I am sorry my friend, I am just listed those nations that seemed with the biggest population/territory. However, I recognise that Spanish speakers are more than 300 mln people in the world (some sources state that even more than russian speakers are). You see I need global vision, I mean to look overseas as well

Hehe, don't worry. Did you check in how many countries Spanish is spoken as well? That's quite a number. Territory wise is quite impressive as well.
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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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31 May 2010, 15:13
English is my third language that I had to learn as an adult.

As far as I remember my verbal tests were horrendous.
That being said when I started studying for standardized tests, I set a goal for myself. I would get into 90th percentile no matter what. The next two years I spent brute forcing English language. I read The Economist, etc. cover to cover for two years. I did and analyzed every single LSAT CR/RC problem multiple times.

I reached my goal and scored in high 90's percentile on LSAT.

I think after crossing a certain ridge, all of this becomes a moot point. If you're scoring at 90th+ percentile on verbal, and many non-native speakers do, you're already above the level of most native speakers.

Sure, it might discriminate against people with rudimentary English knowledge, but those people would fail in B-School anyway...
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Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers? [#permalink]

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31 May 2010, 16:00
i think the GMAT, to certain extend, does discriminate non-English speakers because it's hard for non-English speakers with limited amounts of vocabularies to read some passages in a few minutes and answer several questions. while the natives can use their "ears" to spot the problems for the SC questions, non-English speakers have to memorize the rules!!
Re: Does the GMAT discriminate non-english speakers?   [#permalink] 31 May 2010, 16:00

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