Secondary prompt that asks to explain academic weaknesses

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liutimot

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Hello,

I would like to get some help on how to approach this weakness-type secondary prompt.

My MCAT CARS section is quite low, but overall is decent. 515 (C/P:132, CARS:123, B/B:130, P/S:130). I only took the MCAT once. My cGPA is 3.94 and sGPA is 3.97 from chemical engineering. I grew up in Asia, where I used Chinese Mandarin both at home and in school, until the age of 14 and then went to a school in Canada where I started learning English (I know this is not an excuse but this gives some context).

I understand the consensus here is to NOT bring attention to any weakness. However, does this school of thoughts still hold when the secondaries ask for it?

For example:
1. NOVA Southeastern: Please explain any gaps or inconsistencies in either academic or standardized test performances throughout your undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate career.
2. SUNY Upstate (Last year prompt): Are there any areas of weakness in your application that you would like to clarify for the Admissions Committee?
3. Albany (Last year prompt): Please explain any inconsistencies in your university, graduate, or professional school academic performance and/or MCAT scores.

Any thoughts on how to approach this situation?
Should I leave it blank or should I attempt to explain? And if I were to explain, what information should I include (ESL? how I prepared for the MCAT CARS but the score unfortunately didn't budge? what I have been doing currently to improve my reading?)?

I apologize for bombarding you with a lot of questions but hoping to get some feedback! Thank you for your time.

@Goro @LizzyM @gyngyn

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Goro

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Hello,

I would like to get some help on how to approach this weakness-type secondary prompt.

My MCAT CARS section is quite low, but overall is decent. 515 (C/P:132, CARS:123, B/B:130, P/S:130). I only took the MCAT once. My cGPA is 3.94 and sGPA is 3.97 from chemical engineering. I grew up in Asia, where I used Chinese Mandarin both at home and in school, until the age of 14 and then went to a school in Canada where I started learning English (I know this is not an excuse but this gives some context).

I understand the consensus here is to NOT bring attention to any weakness. However, does this school of thoughts still hold when the secondaries ask for it?

For example:
1. NOVA Southeastern: Please explain any gaps or inconsistencies in either academic or standardized test performances throughout your undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate career.
2. SUNY Upstate (Last year prompt): Are there any areas of weakness in your application that you would like to clarify for the Admissions Committee?
3. Albany (Last year prompt): Please explain any inconsistencies in your university, graduate, or professional school academic performance and/or MCAT scores.

Any thoughts on how to approach this situation?
Should I leave it blank or should I attempt to explain? And if I were to explain, what information should I include (ESL? how I prepared for the MCAT CARS but the score unfortunately didn't budge? what I have been doing currently to improve my reading?)?

I apologize for bombarding you with a lot of questions but hoping to get some feedback! Thank you for your time.

@Goro @LizzyM @gyngyn
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LizzyM

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I think that it is reasonable to note that you lived in Asia until age 14 when you began attending school in Canada and began intensive English language instruction (French too?). Therefore, understandablly, your reading speed is perhaps slower than a native speaker of English and that you are continuing to hone your reading speed and comprehension skills through [describe what you are doing].
 
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