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ESL-er, how to improve verbal?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Lisochka, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. Lisochka

    Lisochka Senior Member
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    I am an English Second Language person (I have been in the US for 3 years)
    what would you recommend to improve my verbal, because I have a very low level of English (I communicate just fine, but when I looked through couple passages from the MCAT- I could not understand what they even were about!)
    O man!
    Guys, what to do?
    I did take English 111 in college- waist of time! Did not improve my vocabulary a bit! It just teaches how to write essays (By the way, is there an essay you have to write on the MCAT?)
     
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  3. albaniandoc

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    Hi, although I have been in the US for 7 years, I am dealing with this problem myself to some degree. From my experience the best advice I could give you is to shut off the TV and read. I have been reading quite a bit, since I attended college here, but otherwise I read other stuff like books and magazines. What has helped me a lot when I first got here was reading books that I had previously read in my own language ( you know classics, Sheakspeare, Balzak, Tolstoi etc).
    On top of that practice, practice with the MCAT verbal stuff. I got a 6 the first time I took the diagnostic this summer and just this week I got a 10 with practice exams. I hope to improve by at least another two points by April. I can honestly tell you that I felt like I was never going to understand the material in the begining and I always thought of the verbal as my nightmare for the MCAT. I became very frustrated with the scores but persistence paid off. I can finally see the light (or at least some of it). Don't give up.

    Good luck
    Off to do some Acid-Bases and Electrochemistry now.
     
  4. albaniandoc

    7+ Year Member

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    By the way, there are college reading classes too. When I took the placement test, my reading comprehension was below average so I had to take a non-credit class of reading with lab. It helped a lot, besides that there was a REA 1105 College reading class where I went. I never took it, but I heard that it was beneficial to students.
     
  5. nouveau007

    nouveau007 Junior Member
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    If you want to improve your vocabulary, there is a set of vocabulary that people in university are expected to know (these words appear on the SAT). If you want to get hold of those words, I know that Princeton Review provides them online for free: www.princetonreview.com/college/research/wdj.asp?wordType=2
    You get a word per day and this is how you can slowly expand your vocabulary and build confidence.

    My next advice would be do a lot of critical reading and practice, practice, practice.

    Some links related to critical reading:
    http://www.criticalreading.com/critical_reading.htm
    http://www.salisbury.edu/students/counseling/New/7_critical_reading_strategies.htm

    Good luck :)
     
  6. Lisochka

    Lisochka Senior Member
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    thanks a lot for your answers, guys!

    hey, nouveau007, what a great links you gave me!
    Especially I like the prinstonreview words!
    I have noticed you recommend for the MCAT SAT words. Why?
    What about GRE, bussiness, law and medical words?
    Thanks a lot!
     
  7. nouveau007

    nouveau007 Junior Member
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    Hey Lisochka,
    Word du jour gives you a new word each day under differente categories.
    SAT -> words for the SAT exam in the US (college admission). These are must-know words for university/college students.
    GRE -> words for graduate or professional school admission.
    Bussiness, Law, Medical -> jargon specific to those fields.

    Although you are taking the MCAT, Medical word du jour isn't likely to improve your verbal score ;) Once again, vocabulary is a small share of the MCAT verbal, you should concentrate on critical reading.

    Good luck :thumbup:
     
  8. sweetstuff25

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    i like u're link on critical reading. thx.
     
  9. Lisochka

    Lisochka Senior Member
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    thank you guys, a lot!
     

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