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Non-native speakers..pls. share your experience(6 week left)

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Non-native speakers..pls. share your experience(6 week left) [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2007, 05:58
Hi there,

i am a non-native speaker and work on the gmat.

I think my english is in general not too bad, but on the verbal tests, especially in the SC and CR I sometimes have big trouble in understanding the meaning of the key-words, like bird or vegetable names ( what the h*** is a turnip...??!! now, i know) or some medicinal expressions.

Gmat takers, do you have a good strategy to work through the verbal part as a non-native speaker? my test is in 6 weeks....

I really appreciate when you have some suggestions.
thanks
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2007, 06:46
One strategy might be to put an English dictionary in your pocket and as you go through your day, look up every word you hear that you don't know. You could even go through it and look for words that you don't recognize. Just be sure you are looking at a simplified dictionary, not an extensive one.
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2007, 07:03
U should read the economist :)...

This revue is really well done (interesting) and meanwhile contains the kind of topics/sentences u would encounter in the GMAT. :)
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2007, 07:43
I am not a native speaker either, and I do have a similar experience with highly technical words or the words that are narrowly/rarely used. Since you don't have much time left before the test, I don't think reading the Economist or carrying a pocket dictionary will help you much.

The strategy I have and the one that worked for me in CRs and RCs is what I call "renaming". When I see a word I don't know, I just assign a name or a term that I know and say, ok this "turnip" is actually a "tulip" or whatever works in the context of the paragraph. The thing is that none of the CRs or RCs or SCs is going to test your knowledge of a specific term. It's the content and context that you are tested on. Trust me, a lot of native speakers are not familiar with technical terminology used in scientific RC passages either. The key is to not get caught up with unfamiliar words and just try to understand what the paragraph is trying to say in general.

This strategy will work most of the time but sometimes it won't. I have an anecdotal example that shows when it's not going to work. In my first GMAT attempt, I encountered an RC passage that talked about deities and some kind of figurines. I know that some of you will laugh at me for not knowing exactly what a "deity" means but at that point of time I had no clue. Anyway, I used my "renaming" strategy and decided that a "deity" means "clan". I read the passage very carefully, trying to comprehend every single word.

Guess what was the 1st question that I got? Well, it was something like this: "what is the best term to describe the author's tone in the context of describing the deities mentioned in the passage?" It got even worse because the choices looked something like that:
A) Vehement blah-blah (blah denotes the word I have no idea about)
B) Insightful doh-doh (see blah in 1 for the definition of doh-doh)
C) Blahodohcious
D) Critical yet doh-dohblahous
E) **?!@#ful - Huh?
:shock:
I stared at the choices for a while trying to eliminate at least one. Decided that the tone couldn't be vehement since it's too strong of a word, so I picked Blahodohcious (C) and moved on.

Clearly, this is a great example of why broadening one's vocabulary is a great idea in a long run :wink:
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2007, 05:16
nervousgmat,

i was laughing till my tears were running down my face. :rotate your example is EXACTLY what i am going through with some of the questions.

your passage must be quoted it the classics.

ok, well when i realized then, that this is the reality for me so far i really have to do something for my grammar. i think reading the economist or a magazine in english is definitely helpful, and also, to look up the words i don´t understand.

do you know any books or software which might helps to improve the english especially for the gmat?

thank you for your valuable suggestions.
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2007, 11:26
crackthegmat!,

I heard that Elements of Style by Strunk & White is an excellent book to have not only for the GMAT but for improving you verbal skills in general.

Good luck!
  [#permalink] 26 Jul 2007, 11:26
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Non-native speakers..pls. share your experience(6 week left)

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