Here's a question we are asked frequently:
Are the Verbal Sections of the GMAT and SAT like the TOEFL?
Our non-native English-speaking students often assume that the verbal section of the SAT or GMAT will be just like the TOEFL. However, the SAT and GMAT could not be more different from the TOEFL. The TOEFL is designed to test language ability and fluency while the SAT and GMAT test reading comprehension, critical reasoning (yes, there is an element of this on the SAT), and grammar.
So what does that mean? It means that the SAT and GMAT are not really about how well you speak English but whether you can understand and reason through what you read. I recently had a Sudanese student for GMAT whose spoken English was difficult to understand. I thought that, maybe, he didn’t understand me either and was not getting much out of the class. When I looked at his answers to the practice questions, though, he had all of them right. While his spoken English was not good, his understanding of written English and ability to answer questions was good.
Keep in mind that the GMAT and SAT are not really designed for non-native English speakers. They are designed to confuse and frustrate American students (just kidding). If you want increase your verbal score, you do not have to necessarily improve your English directly. You should focus on reading regularly and broadly. If you’re taking the SAT, read English language books that sound interesting. If you’re taking the GMAT, pick up Business Week or the Economist as well as a National Geographic Magazine (don’t forget about those natural sciences passages on the GMAT) from MacGrudy’s and read them from cover to cover. Read, understand, and improve your verbal score all at the same time.
Need help preparing for the May SAT or the GMAT before the "New GMAT" starts in June? Now is the best time to begin your preparation with our American native English speaking tutors. Private tutoring is simply the best! Call us at 04 311 6830 to find out how we can help you.