lawestside

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Hi, I'm trying to solicit feedback and advice wrt my current situation. Anything would be sincerely appreciated. I have not taken the real MCAT, but the practice tests, including tests from TPR and Kaplan courses have entailed pretty low MCATs on the verbal section. I've been in the states for about six years and have not had any english experience prior to my arrival. I am currently a US citizen and would appreciate any feedback on how US med schools deal with ESL students. I know that they vary, but is there any chance with a low verbal score.

Some schools that I've called say unless you're disadvantaged or URM, we will not show any consideration. Other schools, like MSU, say a 7 minimum on the verbal is required since this number is the minimum indicator for success is med school (i guess they did studies or something). However, most schools tell me that its the entire overall picture, including all other factors. But I have a hard time accepting the "overall candidate" thing since most schools use the initial computerized cutoff for screening using MCAT scores and GPA.

if you guys know of stories or have friends that applied in similar situations, I'd sure like to know how it materialized.
 
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gschl1234

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Originally posted by lawestside
Some schools that I've called say unless you're disadvantaged or URM, we will not show any consideration. Other schools, like MSU, say a 7 minimum on the verbal is required since this number is the minimum indicator for success is med school (i guess they did studies or something). However, most schools tell me that its the entire overall picture, including all other factors. But I have a hard time accepting the "overall candidate" thing since most schools use the initial computerized cutoff for screening using MCAT scores and GPA.

I didn't apply to the University of Utah but my pre-med advisor told me that the adcom who visited last year flat-out said that their policiy is not to accept anyone with a 6 or lower on any section even if the other sections were very high. Judging from your message, your writing is very good and easy to understand so perhaps you could address your concern about the verbal section and your unusual situation in your personal statement on the AMCAS. You'll be able to demonstrate that although under a time crunch your performance is not stellar, you're still a good communicator. Better yet, if you have one particular school in mind, try speaking with someone there (maybe a recruitment or admissions counselor) and feel out the situation. In the meantime, try reading the New Yorker magazine or the Economist. I read those magazines throughout college for entertainment and news not thinking that they'd be helpful for standardized tests or anything. To my surprise, I think that reading those magazines really helped me on the verbal section because the style is very similar to the MCAT passages. Good luck and don't be bothered by mean-spirited people who make unnecessary condescending comments.

P.S. Remember when you're first starting out preparing for the verbal section to read for content/comprehension, not for speed. :)
 

CalBeE

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Well I'm sorta in a similar position as the OP,

V8, but 13 in BS and PS, Q in Writing.

English's my second language and I've been here for 7 years, though I'm not a U.S. citizen or green card holder.

My experience: Low verbal matters very little if English's your second language, and if you have strong LOR commenting on your communication skills, AND if you actually can communicate fine during interview.

At least 4 of my interviewers said my verbal score is not very high, but I can communicate fine and they didn't see any problem with that at all (Stanford, UCLA, Albert Einstein, Columbia). Now I was rejected by Stanford, but I doubt verbal score was the reason. I have yet to hear back from Columbia though.
 

chintu

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Hey Lawestside

You are in a similiar situation as mine. I too came to the states 6 yrs ago and attained citizenship recently. I know how difficult it can be to score well on verbal for us ESLers. Although I had some english background prior to coming here I only made a 6 the first time I took mcat (had 11 and 12 in sciences). I was so confused as to whether I should retake or not; I asked a lot of people for advice on my situation and they all said that a 6 verbal will not be acceptable, regardless of how good the rest of my application was. From what I've seen and been told a 7 or an 8 is okay, but a 6 or lower is not. Med schools think that we won't be able to do as good on boards w/ that low a verbal; (which i think is not true considering how well we can do in sciences, which correlates more with boards than verbal). Anyway, I managed to convince myself to go through the pain of retaking the mcat. I only spent my summer preparing for it, devoted most of my prep to verbal. I just couldn't believe when the results came, I had made a 10 on verbal. Now this came after a lot of hard work, but I think its very possible even being an ESL to do well on verbal. Don't let your non-english background discourage you; If you want advice on how I prepared for it, pm me.

p.s I took the aug mcat and applying this year; got quite a few interviews that I didn't expect and hoping for an acceptance soon. I really hope things work out for you.
 

gschl1234

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Originally posted by chintu
Anyway, I managed to convince myself to go through the pain of retaking the mcat. I only spent my summer preparing for it, devoted most of my prep to verbal. I just couldn't believe when the results came, I had made a 10 on verbal. Now this came after a lot of hard work, but I think its very possible even being an ESL to do well on verbal. Don't let your non-english background discourage you; If you want advice on how I prepared for it, pm me.

Hey, congrats! Good for you! :clap: :clap: :clap: It's so encouraging to hear about your wonderful success story!

I guess I feel pretty fortunate because I started school in the US at the age of 6 without knowing any English. I took my lumps earlier in life because one of my teachers (second grade) actually believed that I was ******ed since I never talked in class. It was pretty discouraging for me when my mother told me but it motivated me to work harder on speaking, reading and writing. I think it took about 3 years to catch up with everyone but it happened gradually.
 
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