Ibn Alnafis MD

10+ Year Member
Dec 26, 2008
5,057
3,282
Where the past and the future intersect
forums.studentdoctor.net
Status
Resident [Any Field]
English is my second language. I am good in grammer, communication, and writing...but not good enough to score high on the verbal section of the MCAT. I am now in my sophmore year pursuing a degree in bio. Can someone give me any advise on how to improve my english language skills fast enough to do well on the mcat?
 

Marjan Islam

10+ Year Member
Oct 26, 2008
338
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Just read stuff. If you're going to be taking the MCAT in only 1 year, it'll be tough. You'll definitely have to put a lot of time into VR, buying all possible VR tests (there are a total of like 60 that I know of!).

If you're taking the test in 2 years, and feel it's too early to start studying, just read more. Novels, journals, newspapers, keep reading. It's a slow process to get better, but helps better your comprehension.
 

J ROD

Watch my TAN walk!!
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Aug 1, 2005
58,365
2,283
working on my tan......
Status
Attending Physician
I imagine there are programs out there that can help you learn to read faster and better.

Also, as mentioned above, just read more and interact more with people.

There is no magic involved. It just takes time and effort.
 
About the Ads

MossPoh

Textures intrigue me
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2006
7,990
45
Tally/Willkillya County
psu.facebook.com
Status
Medical Student
You improve language skills by reading, writing, and speaking...and doing lots and lots and lots of it. Your goal shouldn't be too look up every word you don't know, but try to learn 5 to 10 new words a day and use them in your daily conversation. If you do that every day then you will find your vocabulary and understanding of the language increasing very quickly after a few months. (It won't be instant)


When I was studying German and enrolled in classes at a German university there was NO way I could retain the same amount of information as the German students. I took the initiative to read anything and everything I got my hands on. I made an effort to carry a dorky little dictionary around for the occasional word. I stopped hanging with people that spoke English. I stopped watching movies in English. For some of the colloquialism stuff I was able to watch tv shows that were in English but had German subtitles, so I was able to see how they chose to translate it. It is a ton of work but that is how you do it...work.

The MCAT verbal almost feels like it is detrimental to have a firm grasp of the language. I was trained to analyze literature and extract information from it. That is something you are NOT supposed to do on the MCAT and it screwed me up once in a while.
 

katarina90

10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2008
255
1
Nevada
Status
Medical Student
Just read stuff. If you're going to be taking the MCAT in only 1 year, it'll be tough. You'll definitely have to put a lot of time into VR, buying all possible VR tests (there are a total of like 60 that I know of!).

If you're taking the test in 2 years, and feel it's too early to start studying, just read more. Novels, journals, newspapers, keep reading. It's a slow process to get better, but helps better your comprehension.
I second this. My advisor suggested to us soon-to-be MCAT takers that reading a news journal timed (ie Newsweek, TIME, etc.) and then having friends quiz you on the content helps.

Also agree with Moss Poh about immersing yourself in the language. While taking Russian, I listened to a lot of Russian pop on Youtube, it sounds silly but it really helped build my vocab.
 

rama kandra

Actual Psychiatrist jk
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2008
1,439
2
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
My mother thinks learning a lot of words in the dictionary is the best thing - but she never uses out of the ordinary words! Personally I think talking to people is the single BEST way to improve your use of dialogue and expressing ideas. I know people who are very 'well read' in that they read a lot of books and magazines but barely communicate with people. And when they do, I get the feeling they have not improved in their ability to communicate - which is the point of language in the first place.

Pick up on peoples inflection, tone, ways of putting words into an expression. It will help you in the writing sample, and help you with your reading if you imagine how a person would say what is being written or read.


Just talk in depth about a topic with someone, in person and pay attention to your way of saying something and the way they say it.
 
About the Ads