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MCAT verbal for ESL

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by grasshopper, Jul 23, 2001.

  1. grasshopper

    grasshopper Senior Member
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    I took MCAT last year and am a native English speaker, and found the verbal section kind of an IQ test--I studied and improved sceince scores but verbal basically just was whatever I got to start with plus a little inflation from learning the format. So it seems to me that it makes sense that people say schools put the most emphasis on that section, since it's how smart you are rather than how much money you want to give for a course or whatever. HOWEVER, I know a bunch of people who get like 11, 11, 7 (verbal) and such things because they aren't first language speakers. Even though they communicate perfectly well enough to be doctors with no problem and are very smart, their overall score is brought way down by this, and there's not anything they can do if they learned the language after age 7 or something, because they're never going to recognize the subtleties of the language, no matter how smart they are (especially annoying for Asians, I'd guess, since they're not even considered URMs). Was wondering if we had any ESLers here who would like to comment or if people think admissions committees take that into account .
     
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  3. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member
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    I am an ESL student (Asian) who has been speaking English for less than 7 years. As I prepare for August MCAT, I am getting really frustrated thinking MCAT Verbal will be the major stumbling block in becoming a doctor. For me, there will be a better chance of scoring 15's in sciences than scoring 10 in verbal. I am totally not motivated to study MCAT anymore after consistently scoring 6-8 in all my practice tests.
    I hear from some people that med schools may understand a low verbal score if English is not your native language. However, I don't think that is necessarily true for two reasons. First, there are many ESL students who do well on verbal. I have a friend who scored 12 in verbal after learning English for only 5 years. Second, there are many highly qualifed native speakers who get rejected because of their low verbal scores. There is no reason for ESLers to be given special attention. It is impossible to determine if English as a second language is the only reason for a low verbal score.
    All I can say is that it will be much much harder for ESLers to get into US med schools than native speakers.
     
  4. Denilson

    Denilson Senior Member
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    i'm an esl too...i'm korean phenotypically, but brazilian by birth and american by citizenship...i tried to make the most of my ability to speak several languages to reach out to different sectors of our community...if you speak other languages, then say how it can be advantageous inyou medical practice...
     
  5. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Membership Revoked
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    Let me interject for a moment. Remember that the MCAT is scored on a relative scale to your peers. Since there are so many Americans taking the test for whom English is a first language, their scores will tend to be higher than ESL students. Due to this fact, a low verbal score does not necessarily mean you cannot communicate well enough in english, it just refers to your ability relative to native speakers. I think most adcomms are aware of this fact. Plus, being fluent in another language besides english can give your application an advantage, so overall I think it evens out.
     
  6. amayer24

    amayer24 Member
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    Unfortunately there is no advantage of speaking another language. Adcoms dont care too much if english is not your first language. English is not my first language, I did well on my sciences but unfortunately did not do well on the verbal section. A lot of schools actually just screen your numbers through a computer, if you fall under their requirements they will never find out that you had difficulties with MCAT verbal section because english is not your first language.
    But putting this all aside, there are many people that do very well on the verbal even though english is not their native language. So it is possible and therefore there are no excuses for it, unfotunately. Even if the adcoms look at your application you are competing with people with the same backgrounds(I dont mean URMs) and that have excellent scores.

    Best wishes!
    Alex
     

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