Random Musings About GMAT Verbal

I’ve generally considered myself a quant when it comes to standardized tests.  However, my current GMAT scores show that my Verbal skills are much higher, at least according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council’s standards.

When I peruse the message boards of Beat the GMAT, I often see posts from people completing the GMAT, generally of Asian decent, with extremely high quant scores.  And they don’t even seem proud of it – they just note that quant is their strength.  (If I got a  51 split on my Quant section, I’d be jumping for joy)  I realize now that compared to people who grew up in China or India, my quantitive skills were not tested vigorously my during undergraduate studies, even though I am technically a finance major.

It’s known to many people that the Verbal section of the GMAT is worth more than the Quantitative section, and it’s for this very same observation I made in the forums.  Most people around the world who take the GMAT tend to score higher on Math.  While it makes sense to create a weighting from a statistical perspective, I still think it unfairly puts Quant heavy foreigners at a disadvantage.

One actual useful takeaway I’ve gained from studying for the GMAT: I now realize why English is so hard for foreigners to learn.  Lately, I’ve been studying a great deal on grammatical concepts for the Sentence Completion section of the test.  After going through all the grammatical concepts, with their exceptions, and the various idioms you need to remember, it becomes somewhat mind boggling to imagine how someone would learn this if English was not their native language.

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