oreo2004

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Hi,
I am currently entering my senior year of college, I have a 3.97 GPA, MCAT of 28R (B=12, P=10, V=6, W=R). I have a very strong application with over 300 hours of volunteer clinical work. What's holding me back is my MCAT verbal. English is my second language, but my situation is unorthodox. I was born in the states, moved over seas when I was 5 months, learned Persian as my first language, moved back to the states when I was 5, learned English and began attending school here, my older stepsister had some drug problems so my mother had to move the family overseas again when I was 11 while she finished the divorce process, I excelled in the learning/ relearning of Persian but English took a back seat, I moved back to the states when I was 17, and now here I am. I know my verbal is low due to the last trip overseas, but is that an excuse that will fly with most schools. I worked hard all throughout college to get into a top-tier school and now, I'm not sure if I should take a year off, study my butt off for the verbal (and maybe, just maybe improve), and reapply, or if I should just apply this cycle and take the state school acceptance (which they say I have a good shot at). I'm sooo confused, I was always told to not settle, so aaahhhh!! Please help, and sorry for making it so long!!
 

Doc2007

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Apply and see what happens. I am in smililar boat as you.
 

ygreenst

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Doc2007 said:
Apply and see what happens. I am in smililar boat as you.
I am not sure what to tell you -- where did you go to college? Do you think if you retook the MCAT you could get an 8 in verbal? Your chances as is are probably good as well depending on your state school, etc. Would you consider DO school?
 
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oreo2004

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ygreenst said:
I am not sure what to tell you -- where did you go to college? Do you think if you retook the MCAT you could get an 8 in verbal? Your chances as is are probably good as well depending on your state school, etc. Would you consider DO school?
Well, I go to college at the university of CT, but I'm part of the honors program which i've heard is pretty prestrigious among new england schools. I was getting 7, 8, 9 on my practice verbals, so I was shocked when I saw my score, a 6 was my diagnostic score. But I guess if I work at it I could prob bring it up to a 8, but that is a probably not a definately. And besides, let's say I score a 30 or 31 second time around, who's to guarantee that a top school will accept me. Now you see my dilemma.
 

UCLAMAN

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oreo2004 said:
Well, I go to college at the university of CT, but I'm part of the honors program which i've heard is pretty prestrigious among new england schools. I was getting 7, 8, 9 on my practice verbals, so I was shocked when I saw my score, a 6 was my diagnostic score. But I guess if I work at it I could prob bring it up to a 8, but that is a probably not a definately. And besides, let's say I score a 30 or 31 second time around, who's to guarantee that a top school will accept me. Now you see my dilemma.
what sort of school are you aiming for when you say "top" school?

and i do not think it is a dilemma at all. if you truly do not want "to settle," then you would retake the mcat again and see what you get. i mean...if you raise your score to a 30 or 31 with at least an 8 in verbal you still have a great shot at your state school right? so either way you have a safety. why not try for the higher mcat score and have a slight shot at a "better" school than not have a shot at all? either way you know you can get into the state school. wheres the dilemma? are you guaranteed a position at your state school this year or something?
 

DropkickMurphy

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How the heck did you pull a 6 on VR? Thank God English is not your native language or I would be forced to assume you're just originally from somewhere in this country that has a fine tradition of linguistic shortcomings manifested as a horrible accent, a total lack of grammar and a very strong belief in the divinity of Christ but not the existence of a proper sentence structure.
 

MossPoh

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DropkickMurphy said:
How the heck did you pull a 6 on VR? Thank God English is not your native language or I would be forced to assume you're just originally from somewhere in this country that has a fine tradition of linguistic shortcomings manifested as a horrible accent, a total lack of grammar and a very strong belief in the divinity of Christ but not the existence of a proper sentence structure.
Would this be referring to southern indiana dropkick?
 

scpod

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oreo2004 said:
Hi,
I am currently entering my senior year of college, I have a 3.97 GPA, MCAT of 28R (B=12, P=10, V=6, W=R). I have a very strong application with over 300 hours of volunteer clinical work. What's holding me back is my MCAT verbal. English is my second language
All ESL students have problems with VR and some schools seem to have no problem accomodating that. That being said, you're still not likely to get into the "top" schools because you are not likely to improve your VR a whole heck of a lot. But, you can get in to some schools.

I have a theory about ESL students and the VR part of the MCAT. I made a 13 on that section, so I think I have a pretty good understanding of what it takes to do well on it. I think that the biggest probelm with ESL students (and many Americans as well) is that they are trying to understand the material as they read it. Most people who try to understand the material put their own spin on it in order to be able to do so. That kind of thinking makes it really hard to say what the author might have thought about something, since you have automatically fed a little of your own bias into the material. The best way to approach the VR is to look at it for "just the information" instead of trying to understand it. What I really think the VR tests is your ability to take the information out of the passage and manipulate it without any bias at all. How can you really say what the authot would think if you have taken the material and twisted it within your own context in order to understand it?

This issue came to light with me when I was taking a Spanish literature class. The prof kept asking us to just get the general information and stop trying to translate it all. It was incredibly hard for me. In fact, it kept me from getting a 4.0 GPA since I could only get a B+ in the class. Yet, I know that it helped me greatly because I used that idea on the MCAT VR section and did rather well.
 

CatsandCradles

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scpod said:
All ESL students have problems with VR and some schools seem to have no problem accomodating that. That being said, you're still not likely to get into the "top" schools because you are not likely to improve your VR a whole heck of a lot. But, you can get in to some schools.

I have a theory about ESL students and the VR part of the MCAT. I made a 13 on that section, so I think I have a pretty good understanding of what it takes to do well on it. I think that the biggest probelm with ESL students (and many Americans as well) is that they are trying to understand the material as they read it. Most people who try to understand the material put their own spin on it in order to be able to do so. That kind of thinking makes it really hard to say what the author might have thought about something, since you have automatically fed a little of your own bias into the material. The best way to approach the VR is to look at it for "just the information" instead of trying to understand it. What I really think the VR tests is your ability to take the information out of the passage and manipulate it without any bias at all. How can you really say what the authot would think if you have taken the material and twisted it within your own context in order to understand it?

This issue came to light with me when I was taking a Spanish literature class. The prof kept asking us to just get the general information and stop trying to translate it all. It was incredibly hard for me. In fact, it kept me from getting a 4.0 GPA since I could only get a B+ in the class. Yet, I know that it helped me greatly because I used that idea on the MCAT VR section and did rather well.
Nice theory!
 

CatsandCradles

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oreo2004 said:
Hi,
I am currently entering my senior year of college, I have a 3.97 GPA, MCAT of 28R (B=12, P=10, V=6, W=R). I have a very strong application with over 300 hours of volunteer clinical work. What's holding me back is my MCAT verbal. English is my second language, but my situation is unorthodox. I was born in the states, moved over seas when I was 5 months, learned Persian as my first language, moved back to the states when I was 5, learned English and began attending school here, my older stepsister had some drug problems so my mother had to move the family overseas again when I was 11 while she finished the divorce process, I excelled in the learning/ relearning of Persian but English took a back seat, I moved back to the states when I was 17, and now here I am. I know my verbal is low due to the last trip overseas, but is that an excuse that will fly with most schools. I worked hard all throughout college to get into a top-tier school and now, I'm not sure if I should take a year off, study my butt off for the verbal (and maybe, just maybe improve), and reapply, or if I should just apply this cycle and take the state school acceptance (which they say I have a good shot at). I'm sooo confused, I was always told to not settle, so aaahhhh!! Please help, and sorry for making it so long!!
My advice is to just try applying and see what happens. You are going to have to let the schools know that you are ELS. I think AMCAS has an option for that, but I'm not very certain.

The adcoms can be very picky, but they aren't dumb either. If they know you are ELS, they'll factor that in when looking at your application.


Best of wishes :luck:
 

ekydrd

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DropkickMurphy said:
Southern Indiana (also known as Indiatucky) is an example LOL
AKA Kentuckiana
 

ekydrd

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To the OP... you are very eloquent and fluent in typed english so I bet you will do better than you realize. As scpod said though, just try to glean the info from the passages and don't interpret. It takes practice. Not everybody will get a 13. Many will get only a 9 or 10... and those are native english speakers. I bet you will do just fine... have an excellent chance of getting into your top choice of schools. Just don't give up if you aren't successful the first try.