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Mastering the GMAT: How Good Does Your English Really Need to Be?

If you’re planning to study for an MBA and take the GMAT exam, then you’ll want to know just how good your English needs to be. The Verbal Reasoning section of the exam tests your ability to reason logically through arguments, understand and analyze written material, and express yourself effectively in writing. These skills can be honed with a bit of dedication and practice - but just how much do you need? In this blog post, we’ll offer some tips on how best to prepare for the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section so that you can get ahead of the competition as you prepare for your MBA dreams!

What the GMAT Verbal Reasoning is and what it measures

The GMAT exam is divided into Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment. The GMAT Verbal Reasoning section is a critical measure of one's ability to reason through arguments systematically, read and understand written material,  and accurately reformulate written language with the objective of communicating ideas effectively in English. In other words, GMAT Verbal Reasoning scores provide an accurate evaluation of one's knowledge and understanding within a given language as well as test taker's skills in attempting to precisely communicate these knowledge and understanding to others.

What good English proficiency looks like for the test

Superb English proficiency on the GMAT Verbal Reasoning exam is demonstrated by a thorough understanding of written material and the ability to reason and evaluate arguments. Furthermore, top scorers demonstrate a mastery of the English language, utilizing correct grammar and punctuation, as well as precise verbal expression, to communicate ideas effectively in written form. Those who excel at the GMAT Verbal Reasoning have a firm grasp of the nuances and subtleties of English words, able to accurately convey their meaning when constructing sentences. As such, having strong English skills is an important part of being successful on the GMAT Verbal Reasoning test.

So, if you have an elementary knowledge of the English language, you may need to take a basic course of English as a second language (ESL) before attempting the GMAT. An intermediate level - or even better yet, an upper intermediate level - would be optimal to take the GMAT exam. If you are uncertain about your level of English, there are some tests online available for you to know where you are standing with the English language.

Tips for improving your English skills specifically for the GMAT

GMAT Verbal Reasoning tests your ability to demonstrate a mastery of the English language. To prepare for the GMAT, there are distinct strategies that can be used to improve your language proficiency. Start by expanding your vocabulary and do so in context: read articles and books regularly and track key arguments within them and identify similarities, as well as any potential errors in reasoning. Watch television shows and movies, and hear dialogues spoken by native speakers. Supplement these activities with a GMAT preparatory course; GMAT tutoring lessons will provide you with the practice needed to improve your verbal reasoning skills as well as guidance for time management during this portion of the GMAT. Additionally, focus on mastering sentence construction - use proper capitalization and punctuation, make sure all sentences are grammatically correct and cohesive, and aim for varying sentence lengths. With dedication and consistent practice you can sharpen your skills to score high marks in GMAT Verbal Reasoning.

In summary, the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section is an important piece of the exam process, as it tests your ability to read and understand written material and reason and evaluate arguments using accurate grammar. This section requires a good grasp of English language skills, including proper grammar usage and correct punctuation for writing effectively. Practice makes perfect when it comes to improving your English skills specifically for the GMAT. Merchant GMAT & Admissions provides personalized coaching to help you prepare for the many Verbal Reasoning questions found on this portion of the exam. It can be difficult committing yourself to hours of studying and practice tests, but focus on where you want to go, not how hard it will be getting there. Invest in your future today with expert coaching that allows you to reach an excellence playing field and surpass any personal goals you have set. So take action now and start your GMAT journey with expert coaching from Merchant GMAT & Admissions! Good luck!


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Anish Merchant
Anish Merchant

CEO & Co Founder

- "Preparing for the GMAT and applying for an MBA requires a tremendous commitment, and that doesn’t take into consideration the personal challenges our students must face when deciding if they want to leave their friends, families, and native cultures behind to advance their careers abroad. An MBA is not for everyone and that’s precisely what makes this advanced degree so valuable. 

For these reasons, we at Merchant only work with students we are confident have what it takes to succeed throughout the preparation and application processes.

Given an increased demand in our services, we do not have the ability to offer free consultation services to unserious applicants. If you are interested in learning more about Merchant, please fill out this form. After reviewing your LinkedIn profile, our team will be in touch with you if we feel you are a good fit for our services."