How Should ESL Students Approach the MCAT CARS Section

We’re often asked if there’s a certain way ESL students (students whose first language is not English) should prepare for the MCAT. Is it any different from how other students should prepare? 

Around 60% of our students are students from foreign countries with English as their second language. They’re excellent students but sometimes have a little difficulty because they’re not as familiar with English as their American counterparts. What we do is give them extra assignments in vocabulary and in reading to help them catch up. These assignments have been very effective. For example, one of our Arabic speaking students just scored a 36 on his last practice test for the old MCAT.

So if English isn’t your first language and you find yourself struggling with the verbal section of the MCAT (now the Critical Analysis & Reasoning Skills section), work on improving your vocabulary and reading skills. Here’s a good list of words to start with: http://www.majortests.com/sat/wordlist.php

It’s been our experience that students whose first language is not English can do just as well as students whose first language is English if they just put in a little extra work.