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# Reading to improve verbal score

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Intern
Joined: 29 Sep 2009
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15 Jan 2010, 10:57
Hi everybody,

As a non native english speaker, I think that it could be useful to read some english books. Consequently, I went to the library and chose books such as "Of mice and Men", "The old man and the sea", "The great Gastby" ect...

However, I do not know the strategy to use during my reading.

1) Try to understand all the words and spend lot of time on my dictionnary.
Advantage : I increase my vocabulary.
Drawback : I spend lot of time looking for the word in the dictionnary and so the reading becomes boring and long.

2) Try to guess the most difficult part
Advantage : The reading becomes more pleasant. Moreover, in the GMAT, I won't have a dictionnary so this method trains me for the G-day.
Drawback : I miss some words and I am not sure my guesses are correct.

Honestly, I do not know which is the best method. I really want to use the reading to improve my verbal score. I think it is a good way but I need to do it in a smart way.

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15 Jan 2010, 11:13
Great question!

In your case, I used to look up only the words I would have seen twice or the ones that were important to understanding the plot/situation (something I wanted to know). I would write them down in a notebook with a definition and also sometimes I would write out a phrase or the entire sentence - that would help me remember the definition much better.

Gradually as I got better, I would be looking up fewer words (or sometimes look them up from my notebook).

Hopefully this helps.
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Intern
Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 23
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Kudos [?]: 11 [0], given: 1

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15 Jan 2010, 11:37
bb wrote:
Great question!

In your case, I used to look up only the words I would have seen twice or the ones that were important to understanding the plot/situation (something I wanted to know). I would write them down in a notebook with a definition and also sometimes I would write out a phrase or the entire sentence - that would help me remember the definition much better.

Gradually as I got better, I would be looking up fewer words (or sometimes look them up from my notebook).

Hopefully this helps.

Hum...This is more or less what I did. Just look for the words appearing at least twice or for words that I want to know. But I wonder if this approach will be wothwhile. This feeling will probably evolve with the time and abnegation.

I hesitated for the notebook but I am going to do it. You right, it's better to keep a track of what I done.

Thank you.
Director
Affiliations: Columbia, Wharton, LBS
Joined: 02 Nov 2009
Posts: 592
Schools: Harvard, Stanford, LBS, Columbia, Wharton, HEC Paris
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15 Jan 2010, 15:01
We assist a lot of non-native speakers around the world. Our Manhattan Review Turbocharge Your GMAT verbal book has a section for GMAT vocabulary. Our math book has a glossary of all math terms. Many of our non-US students have found them very useful. If you visit our Web site at http://www.ManhattanReview.com, you can download GMAT Sentence Correction Guide for free.

Sentence Correction - You don't need to learn a lot of vocabulary there. Just make sure you get the sentence structure elements right and know all the rules and error types. This is the area you can improve fastest without memorizing new words.

However, Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension are the two areas that require inherent skill sets and knowledge. There are limited shortcuts. You need to find the best way you can read fast and comprehend accurately. Locate a LSAT book and do the Critical Reasoning problems from there. They are harder than the GMAT. It will be a good practice. You need to read editorial columns of a top English newspaper on a daily basis to improve your Reading Comprehension.

Private tutoring will be helpful. We have seen our students improved over 1 month's period. Manhattan Review does have tutoring services that can be tailored to your individual needs and that are relatively inexpensive. It can be in-person or online. If you're interested, give us a call at the number in our sig below or just private message us.

If you're not looking for tutoring, our self-study package or our online library is also a good, inexpensive option for extra prep.

Hope this helps!

Manhattan Review US
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Senior Manager
Joined: 29 Jul 2009
Posts: 312
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20 Jan 2010, 06:12
nesta wrote:
Hi everybody,

As a non native english speaker, I think that it could be useful to read some english books. Consequently, I went to the library and chose books such as "Of mice and Men", "The old man and the sea", "The great Gastby" ect...

However, I do not know the strategy to use during my reading.

1) Try to understand all the words and spend lot of time on my dictionnary.
Advantage : I increase my vocabulary.
Drawback : I spend lot of time looking for the word in the dictionnary and so the reading becomes boring and long.

2) Try to guess the most difficult part
Advantage : The reading becomes more pleasant. Moreover, in the GMAT, I won't have a dictionnary so this method trains me for the G-day.
Drawback : I miss some words and I am not sure my guesses are correct.

Honestly, I do not know which is the best method. I really want to use the reading to improve my verbal score. I think it is a good way but I need to do it in a smart way.

I'm gonna recommend something different.

I suggest that you read articles about economics or science from your favorite magazines. Do so as if it were a GMAT passage, so follow whatever technique you use to read actively. My advice here would be that you read looking for the structure of the article, don't waste time trying to understand everything in the passage. You just need to get the general picture. Once you have read the article, extract the main idea and the purpose. Remember that, in principle, you read the passage to answer general questions.

Increasing your vocabulary will definitely help you so don't stop doing so. Write down the words you don't understand and phrases in which they are used to provide context. You might want to create flashcards and review them as frequently as possible.
Manhattan GMAT Student Services Associate
Joined: 30 Oct 2009
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Location: Manhattan, NY
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20 Jan 2010, 08:39
Hi!

While I don't have as much experience in terms of non-native speakers working on reading comprehension, I would agree with mikeCoolBoy on this one. What we suggest for our students who want more practice than what they can get in the OG guides is to read scientific magazines. In the forum thread here: http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/how ... t9175.html , Stacey Koprince, one of our instructors lists several good places to find articles that are similar in tone to the ones you'll find on the GMAT. These include:

http://magazine.uchicago.edu/ - particularly articles in the "Investigations" tab
http://harvardmagazine.com/
http://sciam.com/ (This can get a bit too casual for the GMAT, but it's probably worth including because so many people get freaked out by science passages on the GMAT.)

To this list, I have also heard our instructors add the Economist, though a subscription to that can be pricey.

While I think that for a non-native speaker, building vocabulary is important, I would also urge you not to focus on that too much. A lot of RC passages intentionally put in big words that you don't really need to know in order to answer the questions they ask. It is more important to be able to grasp the meaning, and to know how to dissect each passage so you can refer back to the correct part of the passage quickly when answering questions.

If you haven't already, you might also think about getting a book. I know another test prep company posted some options, and I'd like to add that we also carry a Reading Comprehension book (you can read the description here: http://www.manhattangmat.com/storeitems ... 25&catid=6 )

I hope you find this information helpful!

Best Wishes,
Caitlin Clay
Student Services Associate
Manhattan GMAT
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# Reading to improve verbal score

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