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Not a native English speaker seek your advise

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Gpan, May 18, 2008.

  1. Gpan

    Gpan 10+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2007
    I found out why I didn't do so well on the verbal section. It is because of these long, weird structured sentences that made me distracted and forgot the main idea of the passage:

    Can anyone give me a tip on how to quickly and easily break down these kind of sentences with full comprehension? Thanks:)
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  3. paranoid_eyes

    paranoid_eyes 2+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    the best way to gain a mastery of the english language (and by mastery, i mean being able to comprehend annoying sentences and reading for tone/attitude) is to read A LOT.

    my native language isn't english, but i went through the entire school system here so it's practically "native" now. I still have a TON of difficulty with verbal. but ive made it a habit to wake up an hour early every day to read the wall street journal's opinion section online. And it has really helped me. I'd suggest the same for you. just keep reading mcat-style text: text that is short (5-600 words), has complicated organization, and has tone (opinion?).

    pretty soon, the understanding will come, but it takes time for everyone (especially for non-native speakers)
  4. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me 7+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Tally/Willkillya County
    Unless you just learned English 2 years ago or so, then you are really encountering normal growing pains with the stuff. The best way to practice is just to do it over and over again. English speakers have a tough time with really long sentences....we tend to forget the verb or what was being talked about. My years of German probably helped since I had to force my mind to read a little differently. Just practice. There isn't really a set way to break stuff down. The important thing is to not get bogged down and burn too much time.
  5. LittleRocker

    LittleRocker 2+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    I've been speaking the language all my life and that sentence is just one of the many convoluted, poorly written ones that AAMC is oh so fond of.
  6. Gpan

    Gpan 10+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2007
    Oh so it's not just me. That's good to know. Thanks. I try to read a lot with the Wall Street and Economists. It's just that I recently found out my weakness with those weird sentences. If there is just a way to quickly extrapolate important info and get rid of garbage info, that would help me tremendously. How do you guys attack these sentences? Do you slow down and read carefully, or do you focus on the nouns, adjectives and adverbs to sense a tone and ignore the rest?
  7. BloodySurgeon

    BloodySurgeon Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Nov 19, 2006
    hSDN Member
    hSDN Alumni
    I agree, I never have problems reading the economist/new yorker/news papers/research papers etc. but I still have problems with some of the passages the AAMC gives out. They always look for the ones with the weird writing styles and/or hidden opinions. You just gotta love the MCAT for that :p
  8. supertrooper66

    supertrooper66 Banned

    Apr 28, 2008
    yep, their passages have some of the worst phrased sentences EVER. scientific publications, not something from like National Geographic but from journals you find on a search engine, are many times even worse to read IMO. these ppl are scientists, not writers! haha but yea for the mcat, you really have to concentrate to read some of those passages. i'm pretty sure the verbal wears me way more down than the other sections.

    so anyways, AAMC purposely picks the worst passages to confuse you. don't think AAMC passages are examples of fine English writing haha.

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