Stuggling with the Verbal (English is not my first language)


Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2004
    I am ESL too, but be rest assured that not having English as your first language will not let you off the hook.

    The first thing to do is to build your vocabulary. Get some SAT/GRE vocabulary builders. I am saying this because having this done will make your reading easier and faster. But I doubt the efficacy of this advice given that the MCAT is only a few weeks away, but every little bit helps.

    I strongly suggest getting the EK strategies book, they offer very good advice on taking the MCAT verbal.

    As for me I am so so on verbal. sometimes I do great, sometimes I flunk it depending on my moods, but hopefully God won't let this happen April 27.

    One more thing--don't forget to pray :p.
    About the Ads


    Junior Member
    15+ Year Member
    Aug 21, 2003
      I use a Kaplan Verbal Workbook, and I keep on getting 6-8 and always 2-3 passages behind. I guess my only problem really is the speed at which I finish the passages. Any advice.:)

      PS: For the ?Nursing school person? I will refrain myself from making any pejorative comment only to say, ? Admitting one's ignorance is the first step in acquiring knowledge.?:cool:


      Full Member
      10+ Year Member
      15+ Year Member
      Mar 14, 2000
        Geez.. getting 6-8 on Kaplan verbal doesn't mean that you have significant disadvantage!!! All you gotta do is practice verbal passages!!! It all depends on each individual's inherent language skill. Some ESL student learn foreign language quicker, some ESL students JUST struggle with English for the rest of their life.. When I first started looking at the MCAT passages, it took an hour to do 2 passages!!!! I'm serious and STILL had NO IDEA what the passage was about!!!!! I didn't even know some middle school level vocabs. !!! Though I didn't attend school in the U.S. until college. If you get 3-4 on verbal score mostly because of slow reading, poor comprehension or bad vocabs, do not start with MCAT passages. Start with easier book and shorter paragraphs. Work on vocabs as well. It takes A LOT of time and effort in the beginning to improve verbal skills. Do not give up!!!

        Jade Tigress

        Something something
        7+ Year Member
        15+ Year Member
        Oct 27, 2003
          Some things that worked for me:

          For those of you having difficulty getting through the entire section:
          - Learn to speed read and skim effectively
          - Practice and practice reading - BUT, not just mindlessly reading over and over. Give yourself a time limit to each passage, Ie. like 5 minutes.
          - Mark where you finish after each reading. Don't worry if you can't finish. First couple of times you won't. Don't get discouraged.
          - Also, like someone said- a probable reason of why you are having difficutly getting through the section is because you are caught up on vocabulary.
          - Improve your vocabulary. It is probably the fastest way to become a faster reader, especially if you are an ESL.

          Note: don't just focus on reading faster. Practice reading effectively and efficiently.
          - Some suggestions to practice that:
          - outline difficult passages: youll be amazed at the pearls you miss and as you do more. you'll get used to the general format and patterns of language indicating those important parts.

          Hope this helps. GLuck!
          This thread is more than 17 years old.

          Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

          1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
          2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
          3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
          4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
          5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
          6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
          7. This thread is locked.