If you speak a foreign language, how many schools made you interview in that language.


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Aug 28, 2016
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I heard that if you write on AMCAS that you speak a foreign language, that schools might interview you in that language.

Can anyone comment on:

1) How frequently schools do this

2) Which schools exactly might do this

3) What languages schools tend to do this with
 
Last edited:

To be MD

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I heard that if you write on AMCAS that you speak a foreign language, that schools might interview you in that language.

Can anyone comment on:

1) How frequently schools do this

2) Which schools exactly might do this

3) What languages schools tend to do this with
I would imagine this typically only comes up for people who say they are "fluent" in Spanish after taking it in college.

Spanish is the only one of critical importance in the US. We don't have a dire need for doctors who speak Swahili or Urdu, so, for those languages, they'll probably just expect you to be true to your word on your app.

Additionally, the school would have to have faculty to 'test' you on your II day, which seems unlikely to me... especially if you speak a relatively esoteric language like Swedish or something.
 
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I also like to point out that, despite the rumors to the contrary, being multilingual was found to be of lowest importance in a 2013 AAMC survey* where 127 medical admissions offices responded. It appears to be myth that many premeds think listing fluency in another language has much of an impact on admissions decision (see last row, third column)



277 MCAT Student Selection 2014 - mcatstudentselectionguide-page-012.jpg
 
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aldol16

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You should simply mark the level of proficiency you feel that you are at on the AMCAS. If you mark that you know "basic" Spanish, then nobody is going to penalize you for speaking broken Spanish. On the other hand, if you mark that you are "native or fluent" in Spanish and cannot speak Spanish in most contexts, then you shouldn't have marked that to begin with.
 
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Aug 28, 2016
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Well when you speak a foreign language at a level below "native" preparing for some of the guaranteed questions (describe yourself, why medicine, talk about your activities, etc.) can make a huge difference in your ability to articulate your thoughts to an interviewer.

Heck I've even practiced what I'm gonna say to these questions in English and I'm a native English speaker.


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I heard that if you write on AMCAS that you speak a foreign language, that schools might interview you in that language.

Can anyone comment on:

1) How frequently schools do this

2) Which schools exactly might do this

3) What languages schools tend to do this with
You'll never get a useful answer on this -- Schools don't do it as a matter of policy, but if you say you are fluent in, say, Portuguese, Adcoms might think it cool to pair you up with the guy on adcom who happens to be from Portugal. Similarly, if Adcom members have a choice of who they interview, it's only natural that the guy from Portugal might want to grab the application of the guy who lists that they are fluent in Portuguese. These are human beings.

So schools don't generally do this just to call your bluff, test you or trip you up, but it sometimes plays out this way, if applicants choose to lie. And ALL schools have done this at times, again not to test applicants but because an adcom member who happens to speak a foreign language might think it would be fun for either you or them. It's meant as an opportunity to let someone strut their stuff, put on a good show, not crash and burn. It only can hurt you if you are lying.

Similarly if you list you are a concert pianist, don't be too surprised if your school tour takes you to someplace where there happens to be a piano. It's meant to let you show off, to let you wow them, not to call your bluff.
 
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Goro

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You heard wrong.

You might get a single question in the language if the interviewer is a native speaker, as a warm up.


I heard that if you write on AMCAS that you speak a foreign language, that schools might interview you in that language.

Can anyone comment on:

1) How frequently schools do this

2) Which schools exactly might do this

3) What languages schools tend to do this with
 
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