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380 to 680 for non-native English speaker

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380 to 680 for non-native English speaker  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2018, 10:07
Hi all,

I did my first CAT today (without any studying, except reading a bit about GMAT) and scored 380. I was struggling with the time and some basics of maths, but especially the verbal questions, as I'm a non-native English speaker. I think that the time management and the math won't be super hard for me to improve, however the verbal is my biggest concern. I know the basics of English and understand/can speak quite alright, but I find the English used in the GMAT exam super hard. I have a hard time understanding questions and the reading comprehension. Does anyone have any tips in order for me to improve the verbal, as well as improving my academic/professional English?

With this said, I'm aiming a 680 score. I don't know whether that is possible or not, but it's my goal (my back-up plan is to score about 550, which is enough for another University). I'm studying full-time (BSc in Business and Economics) and the application deadline for the master programme is in mid-January. My plan is to write the GMAT once in November and then retake the GMAT in January. Is 680 a manageable goal for me? About how much would I need to study in order to reach that goal (a wild guess)? I want to make a study-plan and in order for that, estimate how much time/week I need to put on my GMAT-studies.

Thanks in advance! :-)
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Re: 380 to 680 for non-native English speaker  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2018, 10:12
nathalier wrote:
Hi all,

I did my first CAT today (without any studying, except reading a bit about GMAT) and scored 380. I was struggling with the time and some basics of maths, but especially the verbal questions, as I'm a non-native English speaker. I think that the time management and the math won't be super hard for me to improve, however the verbal is my biggest concern. I know the basics of English and understand/can speak quite alright, but I find the English used in the GMAT exam super hard. I have a hard time understanding questions and the reading comprehension. Does anyone have any tips in order for me to improve the verbal, as well as improving my academic/professional English?

With this said, I'm aiming a 680 score. I don't know whether that is possible or not, but it's my goal (my back-up plan is to score about 550, which is enough for another University). I'm studying full-time (BSc in Business and Economics) and the application deadline for the master programme is in mid-January. My plan is to write the GMAT once in November and then retake the GMAT in January. Is 680 a manageable goal for me? About how much would I need to study in order to reach that goal (a wild guess)? I want to make a study-plan and in order for that, estimate how much time/week I need to put on my GMAT-studies.

Thanks in advance! :-)


Hey Buddy,

1st of all the good news, to master the GMAT in general and the verbal section in particular you do not have to be a native speaker.
While it might be helpful to be a native speaker, there are a multitude of things you can learn and understand to be able to achieve a great GMAT verbal score without being Shakespeare.

With regards to verbal these are a couple of points I tend to recommend to people:

1. Check out the SC specific threads on this forum, some of them (generally those with a lot of kudos) are very helpful

2. Listen to some of the videos on the YT chanel from Veritas, Magoosh and GmatNinja

3. Maybe check out the link in my signature, it adresses some verbal topics in general.

If any points are unclear please feel free to reach out.

All the best for your prep my friend,
Chris
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A couple of things that helped me in verbal:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/verbal-strategies-268700.html#p2082192

Gmat Prep CAT #1: V42, Q34, 630
Gmat Prep CAT #2: V46, Q35, 660
Gmat Prep CAT #3: V41, Q42, 680

On the mission to improve my quant score, all help is appreciated! :)

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Re: 380 to 680 for non-native English speaker  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2018, 11:06
Hi nathalier,

Welcome to gmatclub!

To make a study plan, follow this link:
The Definitive GMAT Study Plan

Here are two awesome threads on improving verbal:
[url=https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-improve-verbal-from-v30-to-v40-142361.html]
How to Improve Verbal from V30 to V40[/url]
How to improve your verbal score

The key to succes is studying consistently and practicing every day. It is better to study and read in English 1 hour a day than 7 hours on Sunday. Little by little, you'll get the score you want.

Happy studying! :)
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Re: 380 to 680 for non-native English speaker  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2018, 20:04
Hi nathalier,

Many Test Takers are unhappy with their initial practice scores, but you really shouldn't be. It's just a measure of your skills right now - and you'll be working over the next several months to learn the necessary content and Tactics to score higher. That having been said, raising a 380 to a 680+ will likely require at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and your goals:

1) What were the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for this practice CAT Test?
2) Did you finish each section? Did you have to rush through any questions just to finish (or leave any questions unanswered?)? If so, then how many in each section?
3) If you're already a full-time student, then how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: 380 to 680 for non-native English speaker  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2018, 13:56
Thank you a lot Chris, Akela and Rich for the tips, the link and the positive energy! It does not only help me, but is also giving me hope! :-D

Rich: Regarding the questions, please see below.

1) What were the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for this practice CAT Test?
Quant scores were 17 and Verbal 20 (however, I did not find the Quant very hard - just need some refreshing of the basics as well as learning the English math terms, as I only know them in Swedish, which made it hard during the CAT as I fully did not understand the Quant questions).

2) Did you finish each section? Did you have to rush through any questions just to finish (or leave any questions unanswered?)? If so, then how many in each section?
I finished each section, but rushed both on the Verbal and the Quant. On the Verbal I skipped one Reading Comprehension (and 3 questions related to that text) and simply just chose a random answer, as well as I rushed through about 4 more questions. On the Quant I rushed through the whole test, which clearly damaged my result.

3) If you're already a full-time student, then how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?
I think I would be able to study GMAT about 4 hours a day on average (2 hours in the morning and 2 in the evening, some days less some days more). Maybe 2 more hours on weekends. So about 28-32 hours a week on average I believe would be manageable for me.

Thanks once again!

/Nathalie
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Re: 380 to 680 for non-native English speaker  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2018, 14:08
Hi nathalier,

With a planned Test Date in November, you have over 3 months of potential study time - which is good. Studying 30 hours a week - in addition to your other studies - will be a LOT of study though, so you will have to pay attention to how you are feeling over the next several months. We don't want you to 'burn out' from all of this studying and gain little from all of the work that you'll be doing.

Since you have plenty of time available, you can proceed with your studies however you choose. That having been said, you will want to be efficient about learning all of the patterns, tactics and 'secrets' of the GMAT (without having to try to figure out all of that stuff on your own). As such, you would likely find it beneficial to invest in a GMAT Course of some kind (either Guided Self-Study or instructor-led). Most GMAT Companies offer some type of free materials (practice problems, Trial Accounts, videos, etc.) that you can use to 'test out' a product before you buy it. We have a variety of those resources at our site (www.empowergmat.com). I suggest that you take advantage of all of them then choose the one that best matches your personality, timeline and budget.

If you have any additional questions, then you can feel free to contact me directly.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

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Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

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Re: 380 to 680 for non-native English speaker &nbs [#permalink] 16 Jul 2018, 14:08
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