Quant Versus Verbal
It’s time for quant versus verbal. The final showdown. Yeah, oh wait, we have to…
We have to talk about quant and verbal. Right! So quant versus verbal, one of the most common questions we get. Where should I start?
Should I focus more on the quant or the verbal? What do you think Mike?
It won’t surprise our lovely viewers that it all depends on the person but let’s talk in some generalizations. One thing you might be surprised by, maybe not so surprised to learn, is that a distinct majority of the people we work with come to us for quantitative help versus verbal help.
At least that’s what they state upfront. Many of them end up only getting quant anyhow but a lot of people state that they only need quant and then they end up needing verbal help as well. Once your quant outstrips your verbal you want to bring them up to parity because that’s highly rewarded by the scoring algorithm.
Right! But that said, we talk in fact we talk a lot of shit every day. Yeah mostly. We talk, we read, we write, we live, we’re immersed in a world of language, a verbal world. Where even math professors only math a few hours a day. Okay yeah there is a verb – to math! This is not a GMAT word but it’s an Apex word because we math frequently. Yes!
So the issue there is fluency. If you’re already fluent in English, all the lessons you need to learn are much more easily attainable. Whereas with quantitative concepts even ones you think you know, often there’s more context. So you need a longer time period and more contact density with them in order to absorb all the stuff you need to then be flexible with them the same way you’re likely already flexible with the English language.
Right! I think a big part of that is that the verbal section is the verbal section but the math section is math in English. They’re not just equations. They’re not just giving you specific mathematics problems per se. They are giving you math problems wrapped up in words.
Too true, and that goes both ways, there are quantitative problems particularly on the critical reasoning and a lot of times these aren’t: here are some numbers figure it out. Rather, the cost-of-living index is growing more quickly than inflation, more than pensions or something like that. Where you have some sort of abstract inequality buried in a property – they require mathematical reasoning.
And just for all of our other viewers who might not be from Philadelphia. He meant buried in the problem that’s what that was. Buried not buried? Yeah okay. Although, if you are from Philadelphia don’t spit out your water, it’s okay to say buried, but that’s how it goes.
That’s how it goes, so anyway there’s a lot of overlap on the GMAT but especially on the quantitative side, a lot of the difficulty is puzzling out what you need to answer, not doing the equation but you’re saying what that hell is this asking me for?
Non-Native English Speakers
You know and this is something else that we feel like a lot of the other the other outfits, the other test prep factories don’t really do enough, they don’t do a good enough job in my opinion. Emphasizing what many of you may be thinking right now which is verbal help and mathematical help with verbal for non-native English speakers. There are plenty of students who come Apex who are actually very good mathematicians as it were and it’s the English that they need a little bit of help with. Not as it pertains to the verbal section but actually it’s the English on the quant section that’s difficult.
Absolutely, there’s vocabulary, there’s context, but what’s really important here is that native speakers and non-native speakers pick up language differently. Even the way you learned English if you’re a non-native speaker affects how we approach working with you on the verbal. So if you’re a non-English speaker don’t be too concerned that that’s a disadvantage. You know something I’d like to point out to my students quite often is that the GMAT is actually created specifically for native English speakers and a lot of the test itself is meant to trick native English speakers. So coming at it actually from a non-native speaking background can actually help you kind of skip over all of the little traps that are set up for native speakers. So don’t despair, it’s not that you’re at a distinct disadvantage, you just some different work to do to prepare.
Yeah, different advantages, having access to secondary grammars whether it’s your native language or whether you took say, Spanish in high school.
I’m fluent in emoji actually I can tell that from your text messages it’s frankly disturbing.
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