Taking the GRE when English is not your first language is kind of like climbing Mount Everest backwards, says Orion. The GRE is already a big challenge and you’re taking it on with an added layer of difficulty. That’s no small feat – and we’re here to help you with some tips from Orion, who has taught hundreds of internationally-based, English second language GRE test takers in his career.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive course to maximize your score on the GRE exam, check out Achievable’s GRE course that was authored by Orion.
0.1s Welcome to GRE snacks episodes about Jerry exam and graduate school admission. I'm Tyler founder of achievable GRE and author of achievable GRE course. All right, let's get started for this podcast. We're going to talk about real. Quick is how the challenges that you were going to specifically face. If you are an international test taker of the GRE. These are not the challenges of logistics of signing up and things like that, which honestly how you should be able to handle? It's more like the test itself, which is where a Ryan is an expert. So right if you want to get started, 38.2s Why would say that I have a lot of respect for international students taking the GRE? It is a very hard test for native speakers of English to take the GRE in a non-native tongue is sort of like climbing Mount Everest backwards. It's like an extra Challenge on top of a very obvious challenge after English. I think my next most fluent language is Portuguese. I could not imagine taking this test in Portuguese. It would be very, very difficult. So I have a lot of respect for the folks outside of America, who are taking this test, it's not an easy task, but you know, 77.2s Do good things in life come easy. So it's like, sometimes being aware of the challenges ahead of oneself, help someone adequately prepare to overcome that challenge that I've seen over and over again, about a quarter of my students, over my 16-year history have been International students. So there is a huge international market for the GRE. In fact. During Z, validation. Is a test about 1/3 of the students who took the test were from outside the United States. So in general, what are the three students to take the GRE? Do so come outside the United States of America? Why is that important? 122.0s It's important because that fact has profound implications for the scoring of the test. How, well most people that I've worked with, especially if they're native speakers of English are very surprised to learn that the global median for the verbal section is lower than the global meeting for the quantitative section. What does that mean? That means that say, if you got a 150 on the verbal and 150 on the Quant, it would put you in like the 52nd percentile on the verbal, but like, the 38th percentile on the quad, what that means is getting the same score, on the quantum doing the verbal actually results in a lower percentile. Which means you actually have to answer more questions correctly in the quantity in a copper Bowl, score on the verbal and most native speakers of English. Like that doesn't make any sense. 171.8s The vast majority of students who come to me from within the United States do. So because there's trouble in the quantitative section that makes sense because there's just one of the three validation. Took the test outside United States. Even on, presumably a non-native speaker of English. There's so much as a challenging about the GRE that's invisible. The native speaker of English, not just in terms of the fluency of comprehending the information in English but there's also a lot of culturally adaptive things that or you just don't perceive with in American culture when you give me an example, like there is a Quant problems that talk about 218.7s The daily amount per month that a person pays rent for example, and you might think that's fairly straightforward, then you realize we'll wait a minute, some months have 28 days, some months have 31 days but then you realize that's actually just the Western calendar. There are certain cultures that loot use lunar calendars that are 28 days, are 27 days. And so just the term month is fraught with all kinds of cultural implications that most native speakers of English churches. They just don't understand. 248.4s Show. 251.3s That's the big reason why you have to perform higher on the Quant, to get a comprable percentile on the verbal section. That I've heard that a lot of the people that are applying from abroad and and taking the GRE from abroad are just very good in general, right? Because like I said, they're climbing Everest backwards, right? So like there's a, there's, there's a sense that if you not only, are you trying to apply to college, when you're trying to apply to American college, when you're not in America, you probably does a higher chance of you're an exceptional. And those exceptional students are generally like pretty solid in the Quan and then their verbal is, is brought down by the language barrier. Like you said, totally I think that to decide to leave your home country and to study or live in another culture. 308.9s XNXX takes an extraordinary person on some level. It's not an easy thing to do by any means. And I think that there is also something very positive. I called through the Immigrant work at, like my grandfather came over to United States with a secondary education. And he was one of the most hardest working people I've ever met in my life. What he was able to accomplish, maybe because he didn't feel like he had any other choice. I didn't have a safety net. He had to make it. Work was incredible. Like I hope that I can accomplish just a fraction of what he was able to him to do in his lifetime. Sometimes sometimes immigrants working really, really, really hard and US children or grandchildren, that immigrants can learn a lot from that work. 357.5s Yeah. Yeah I also think to it's it's it is a matter of defected to the primary language of the GRE is English which English is arguably. Kind of the worst language to learn a lot of ways like weed. I think, what did you say the other day? We were talking about vocab that there's like, 40000 vocab, arguably more. It's it's kind of an insurmountable amount of vocab. Interesting fact about English is that, it's actually, the largest language in terms of vocabulary that has ever existed in the history of the world. And that's mostly because of its use of technical terms, but also English in the FIFA likes to steal words from all other languages in to sort of incorporated into its own vocabulary set. So we take whatever works and we're just costly accumulating. I think that the English language has action millions of words at this point and any one of them can be 417.5s Mobile on the GRE. So it is this huge data set and sometimes International students despair over learning. All of these words, they think learning English is hard enough, but these are very hard English words, which is bad and I have never seen. 443.0s Foreign to English speakers like nobody in America is using perspicacious. If you use the word perspicacious in an everyday conversation with your friend, you're going to get some shade cast at you, because it's going to seem very unnatural right at the kind of comfort to English or actually in the same boat as they are. The best. During the time relative to the complicated Advanced vocabulary on the GRE they're also in many cases are doing it for the first time. 478.2s Yeah, I also I mean you just died the other aspect when you said you're going to get some shade from people. If I were not a native English speaker. I have no because it's like saying right? And it's lame that doesn't exactly make sense like it it is there's a lot of that when I was trying to learn Chinese there's so much of that in in Chinese or it's like kind of like a like almost like a synonym, but it's not really exactly the same and so you just you look at me like what is that? Asking some shade or throwing some? She had an idiom and idioms are like the hardest things to learn to any kind of foreign language. They're not what you learn in the textbook, it's not the technically awesome grammatically correct. Way of speaking or it's not the dictionary denotation of a word and there are shades of meaning that can crop up, especially the reading comprehension section. 538.2s Now the reading comprehension questions. These are actual passages that are taken from graduate-level texts and scientific journals. International students tend to have an easier time is some of the more technical a hard science e passages. But the softer science are the ones that are based on literature sociology. They do have more idioms and they can be more difficult to understand how do I comfort them by reminding them that they actually don't have to comprehend the passages. I talk about this over and over again. In the achievable app, the biggest tractor reading comprehension is trying to comprehend the reading ain't nobody got time for that. Tyler, the clock is ticking. You're not going to be able to comprehend what you're reading. And the good news is, you don't have to, because the vast majority of what you're reading is, totally irrelevant the questions you subsequently asked. 589.2s So aren't we? Let go of that compulsion or that Obsession, which is actually an emotional, emotional coping strategy. We want to learn more than one to understand more to reduce our feeling of not knowing, but that can get us into a trap of needlessly reading things for comprehension that don't actually help. It doesn't actually help us get points on the exam, right? I would also say this happens sometimes where students come to me and they tell me they're also preparing for the TOEFL. So if you're taking the test from outside of the United States or any of the United Kingdom, most likely you're going to be asked to take the TOEFL which is a language of English proficiency, which is also created by ETS. The makers of the GRE which is kind of an interesting study for the TOEFL. First, if you're still sitting for the TOEFL, you might not be ready for the GRE. 647.1s I mean yeah that's kind of understatement almost right? I'd like it though the TOEFL is is almost I would call it fifth grade English ish. I don't know, like a day and I hope I'm not doing, I'm not doing an Injustice 2 to Die Hard. The TOEFL is, I know it's a very hard test but it's it, it puts you at the English that I would say, the average American. Is that say that the GRE he is asking for graduate-level English. And so that's a level that maybe I don't know. Let's just throw a total number out there and say a quarter of Americans are a tad. Most half are comfortable with 11, imagine studying a language or 10 years. You should be somewhat of a master at that point. I would not dinner grade. Fifth grade comprehension in any language. 707.1s I'm so good. At, at that point, they're there. Their Mastery is even invisible to them. And now they're making up words, usually 5th grades when he started come up with your own saying, right? 719.3s Especially with saying it's really important. Absolutely, because now you're entering into inclusivity next facility stuff, which is more psychological but it's, it's really important when students come in there. I say that there's really only two prerequisites to studying for the GRE knowledge of basic arithmetic like how to subtract 1 multiply or divide and fluency in English to Wars. If you feel like you don't have 80% of the passage that you can understand it and 80% you might not be ready to take the GRE yet and that might be a bitter pill to swallow, but it's better to do. One thing improve your English, you're going to need it for grad school. Anyway, get to a point where the English is mostly invisible to you. You have that invisible Mastery and you can just understand the concept, then you actually have to pay 779.3s Which is hard enough as it is right off the Mystic note, which is that can be done. I have been consistently impressed by the victories that have been achieved by some of my International students. They work so hard. They often work hard because they know they have to which it sort of like the Tortoise and the Hare kind of situation of the new speakers of English. They kind of like off a little bit because they feel like they can Bank on some of their native ability. Whereas the tortoise is just like constantly working and sometimes when's the raise the stakes are higher and it feels so good to help. Some of these folks get the scores that they need. Staking started a new life and a new career over in America. It's it's a really cool feeling, that's awesome. 840.3s Cool. Thanks very much, a Ryan and thanks for sharing that. This is been GRE snacks hosted by a Ryan from Sailor. Jerry, and Tyler, from achievable at Shiva Bowl in a Ryan, have partnered to build the Great Cherry course. You can try it for free. At achievable. Me and use the code podcast to get 10% off at checkout.