Learning Verbal..!

Lord Gautam Buddha was awakened or enlightened under the tree of Pipal or the Bo-tree which is famous for the story of how Prince Siddharth became Lord Buddha. So that particular tree has been famous by the name of BodhiVruksha. Now, that tree also signifies us something other that we don’t often care to understand. We do see the huge setup of the tree but we often forget how deep in the ground the roots of the tree are! Unless the tree grows its roots meters in the ground, it cannot gain the sky catching height we see. That teaches us that to reach heights of knowledge it is absolutely necessary to have roots of basics firm. So learning the basics of any subject will provide you knowledge that will be thorough and long lasting.

As far as Verbal is concerned good knowledge of English is necessary and that doesn’t mean that people, who don’t get on with English language well, won’t do well. Learning the Verbal section with right approach is necessary. Many students have a common misunderstanding that learning wordlists by heart is the only way to score good in verbal sections. I would suggest learning in right approach will make it easier to understand, interesting and long lasting in memory. How many words will you memorize? 300? 400? 500? And how long will you remember them? There are some 4000 words that are commonly used in Spoken-Written English in countries like U.S. and U.K.

The aim for keeping this Verbal section in exams like GRE, GMAT, SAT is that the students should get familiar with the type of language, the variety of words that are commonly used in English speaking countries. Not with the aim of ‘lets see how much can you memorize?’ Ok, You will learn Nouns, then Adjectives, then Verbs-Proverbs and all the parts of speech; so you can tell me that you have learned everything for Verbal section and you are now ready to take on the test. But I will ask you, ‘Have you learnt English?’ The aim of learning often gets sidelined. Then what is the use of learning it? There are techniques of learning. If you follow them the learning will become a merry journey rather than prolonged, boring and unending process.

The way to prepare for Verbal section goes through understanding of construction of the language. Every word that comes before us has been made up with some basic elements like suffix, prefix and the main root or stem of the word. Now, the approach towards learning should be like a Surgeon; you should look to dissect the word in its elements. Try to separate the root of the word and then look for its meaning. Then go for the prefix and suffix that are attached to the root and get what information they provide about the word. This method should be followed for each word that comes before us, that may be in Eveready’s newspaper, in any book or in day to day listening. It’s all about getting it as a habit. Look at a verb- “confine” that means “to restrict”. Now instead of just memorizing it, lets dissect it! ‘con’ is the prefix that signifies ‘within’ and ‘fin’ is the root which tells us ‘limiting something’. The whole word turns out ‘to limit within’ or to say ‘to restrict’. Now lets see word ‘finite’, which is a noun. Look for the root; it is ‘fin’ which now we already know. It says something about ‘limiting’. And the given word is a noun without any prefix. So can the meaning be derived as ‘limited’; yes, that is the step towards getting the meaning.

Students must get the habit to look beyond just the word, the sentences and create awareness about what and how they read, listen or speak. This awareness is more important while preparing for SAT as SAT test have a bit weight on Grammar. Learning the language as a whole will be the better option than trying to memorize the words. Same goes with the writing of essays. Once you get the central idea of what to write, the ideas will start to flow automatically. It’s all about explaining yourself the same topic. Once you convince yourself that you have understood the subject, it will be matter of typing the same matter on the computer screen and the reader will understand it as you have understood it. Nothing makes the joy of understanding something more appreciable than knowing it thoroughly and in right approach. Learn to enjoy the process and then results will follow you.

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CRACKING THE TOEFL !

Test of English as foreign language is widely recognized as a necessary prerequisite by most of the English speaking countries.

These are the 5 easy steps to crack TOEFL :

1.practice reading comprehensions
2.brush up your listening skills
3.breathe some spontaneity in speaking
4.put your writer’s cap on
5.make a habit of giving the full length tests for 4 hours as your test date draws near.

TIPS TO CRACK RCs

1.never read the passages in a reading comprehension
2.remember that TOEFL is a student friendly test,so as soon as you finish scrolling, the computer senses that you are done reading the RC and starts shooting questions.
3.so the first thing you do when you see the RCs is scroll down to the end of the page.
4.also remember that the paragraph which appears on the screen corresponds to the question being asked & thus making it easier for student to answer questions.

TIPS TO CRACK THE LISTENING SECTION

1.Jot down points as fast as possible when the conversation on a lecture is played
2.If your retention and grasping power is good, maybe you would just jot down the major points
3.when the question flashes on the screen ,correlate it with your points, scan the options and then make your answer choice.
4.listening section requires practice but its very simple once you get the hang of it.

TIPS TO CRACK THE SPEAKING SECTION

1.The first two tasks in the speaking section requires a good presence of mind and spontaneity. So be careful while answering them.
2.for the remaining 4 tasks, if you are well versed with speaking sections from the CD tests ,you can very well answer the questions smoothly.
3.for those who fumble while speaking here Is a tip :- you can record your voice,say in the cell phone or a recorder,as if you are answering a question from toefl speaking section itself and then listen to it.You yourself will be able to judge your mistakes and hone your speaking skills and vocabulary.
4.Toefl requires clear,lucid pronunciation with simple yet a sound knowledge of vocabulary
5.for the first two tasks, group discussions ,or one on one discussions with a friend is recommended.

TIPS TO CRACK THE WRITING SECTION

1.the section which most of students tend to neglect is in fact the most important section of all.
2.just two tasks carrying weightage of 30 on scale
3.for answering the issue ,remember to ask 3 “ WHY ” questions,jot down points which support or bolster the answer tp those “WHY” questions and then garnish it with apt and suitable examples.
4.use simple, good vocabulary, avoid spelling mistakes and do not present your views in a complicated way.

ALL THE BEST.

Let’s play with words !!

Learning the ‘Word Lists’ is a big problem for students. Here,we can discuss and follow some strategies and become ‘Wordsmith’. First of all, don’t go for the rote learning or ‘rattafication’ as they call it. Always try to understand the meanings of the words. Most of the words may have more than one meanings. Study all the meanings minutely as many of them can be tricky. Keeping all the meanings of a certain word in mind may be a real challenge. But DONT run away. Take the bull by its horns instead. Plan and follow a well-defined strategy. You can form sentences mentally in order to remember different meanings of different words. In case of adjectives, you can personify them i.e. you can allot the adjectives to certain persons whom you know. Don’t worry, s/he will never know it. You are doing everything mentally.

Secondly, do not depend on only one or two sources for your words .Learn them from different sources viz. newspapers, magazines, books, flash cards, etc. There is a very good book in the market to improve word power. It’s called ‘ Word Power Made Easy’ written by Norman Lewis. Watching good T.V. channels like CNN or BBC is also a good idea. Just keep your sensors alert, you will learn a lot in the process.

Last but not the least, while going through ‘ Word Lists ‘ of any good book like ‘Barron’s, you should revise them periodically. I will elaborate this point through an example. Barron’s GRE has fifty word lists. I recomend ten word lists in the first week. Once you have completed ten of them, revise those ten and then go ahead. Complete next ten in the second week. After two weeks, you will have completed twenty word lists. Again revise those twenty and so on. Thus, by the end of five weeks you will have completed and revised all the fifty word lists.

However, don’t stop even after completing all the fifty word lists. If you don’t practice them, you will forget them very fast. So in order not to forget those words and to learn many more new words, read. Thus, you will come across the words you have learnt and they will remain with you for the rest of your lives. Further, use the words on daily basis in your writings and conversations. Take my word for it. Work in a planned manner and it will pay very handsome rewards. All the best………

Preparing for the tests…Work Hard and Relax !!!

Many students work really hard for their tests (SAT/GRE/GMAT/TOEFL/IELTS). But still they do not score good marks. Morever, they are unable to make out what went wrong. A very BIG reason for doing bad in the test is that they worked HARD. May be too hard. There is a whole lot of difference between working ‘hard’ and working ‘intelligent’.
It is very important to make a proper schedule for your studies and follow it properly. Break your study time into short intervals. An ideal duration for one session is two hours. Study for two hours and then take a short rest for upto half an hour. In that half an hour, you can eat or drink something light. Don’t take a big meal if you want to study. Eat something light at short intervals. If you take a heavy meal, you will feel lethargic and may fall asleep. If you want to sleep during day, take a siesta after lunch. It is also known by other names like cat nap or power nap. After this, you can start with fresh energy. It should not exceed 30 minutes. Else it will make you feel lazy.If you are tired or bored of studies, do not force yourself too much. take a break. You can do deep breathing exercises. Our brain does not work to its full capacity if it lacks oxygen. Therefore, it is our responsibility to supply it with fresh oxygen. You can take a cup of strong tea or coffee also.

The most important day of your preparation is the previous day of the exam.
And the most vital activity of that previous day should be to RELAX. You have prepared for the hundred meter race. You have worked very hard for it. Hence, DON NOT practice just before going to the field. What I mean to say is that your frame of mind at the time of the test is very important. If you have already exhausted it, it is going to take revenge which may be disastrous.

Therefore, take proper sleep on the previous night. Eat good food before going for the test. ‘Good food’ means the food which provides you energy but does not make you feel sleepy. Drink water at regular intervals. While taking the test ATTACK every question. It means that you should be fully alert and should utilize your brain to the hilt.

It is important to work hard for whichever test you are preparing for. But it is equally important to reward yourself on a daily basis for the hard work you have done. You must be aware of the saying : ” All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Hence, avoid being a dull boy and enjoy and relax after you have done your hard work. All the best…….

Learning the vocabulary ..

Step 1
Get a GOOD vocabulary list for the test that you are preparing for. The key for this method is repetition. First, find out what you do not know. Then, memorize them by repetition by tricking the brain to recognize the information as very important. The goal is to make the new vocabulary into long term memory using this method.

Step 2
For the first time, read (skimming speed) the entire list from the beginning to end. Check the words that you do not know. You are done for the day.

Step 3
The next day, start with any alphabet letter you want. For the words you do not know, take time to understand the word by reading the meaning and word usage in a sentence. No need to write the words more than a couple times.

Step 4
The following day, read the vocabulary list again. Focus on the words you checked earlier. However, this time around cover the meaning part to see if you remember them. If you don’t, put a check mark again on the side of the word. Read the meaning and sentences usage again. Do the prior step with a new set of alphabet.

Step 5

Do this step until you cover all the alphabets in the vocabulary list and there are at least 3 check marks for the words that you do not know. This should have taken 1 to 2 weeks working 2 hours a day, 3 to 4 days of the week.

Step 6
Now the number of the words that you do not know would have reduced significantly. From now on, highlight the words that you do not know as you go through the list again. Spend one week (3 to 4 days). Next time around, use different colors.

Step 7
Now, create a separate vocabulary list of the words that you have not yet memorized.

Step 8

Remaining words are, for some reasons, especially difficult for you to master. For these words, use methods such as association and giving special meaning to the words. The more personal, the easier to remember. Group the words into synonyms and antonyms. Studying prefix, suffix and roots of vocabulary is helpful, too.

Step 9

For the last couple of weeks, just review the final list that you made. On the last week, take couple of sample tests. You should be pleasantly surprised to find your score improvement.

Step 10
Now, You are ready. So go get them !!!

Preparing for the Graduate Management Admission Test.

The first thing you need to do when all that stands between you and the top business schools is learn how this particular test is formatted. When you understand the format of the test it will be easier to prepare for the test and then perform well when the time comes.

Next, you should download the free software that is available to people who are going to take the GMAT. When you download the GMATPrep software you’ll be introduced to the format as well as sample questions. These will help you prepare for all three sections of the test. You may also want to purchase three GMAT Paper Tests that you can use for extra practice.

Many people struggle with the analytical writing section of the test. If writing is not your strong point you will want to practice writing essays and have them looked over by people who have done well with this section of the test. You can find sample topics on the internet that will guide you to the sort of topics that you may be faced with.

You will want to review all of your basic skills as well as possible. Think about grammar, punctuation, and even basic math skills. You will need to call on all of these skills during the test and you don’t want to overlook anything.

From the date you start studying, you should allow for at least four weeks of study. During this time you should focus on just one aspect of the test at a time as this is how you are going to pass the test and get into that MBA course that you have been looking into. Being prepared as possible will require a lot of study time, so really dedicate yourself to it and get your hands on all of the GMAT materials that you can find to help guide you through the study process.

Using variety in studies

You must have heard the phrase:”variety is the spice of life”.This is true for your studies as well.Many a time,students get bored doing too much of the same thing viz.word lists,etc.But if one does word lists day and night,one will easily get bored and tired and cannot retain much of what one has learnt.In order to get rid of ‘boring’ word lists or any other section for that matter,some students keep on studying the same thing for too long a period repeatedly.But this is NOT a good strategy.

Lets consider TOEFL as an example.

TOEFL has four sections i.e.Reading,Listening,Speaking and Writing.Let’s discuss them one by one:

1. Reading:
Sections such as Reading and Writing are common to all the tests viz. GRE,GMAT,SAT,TOEFL and IELTS.To perform well in Reading,one should follow three most important strategies.These strategies are i).to read,(ii).to read and (iii).to read more and more.You should read not only the help books but also a lot of other books,newspapers and magazines of your choice.Whatever you read,read it fast and get used to grasp its contents at a very fast rate.Thus,the pressure of the time limit during the tests can be handled efficiently.

2. Listening:
For some students,this section can be very tricky as they are not used to American accent.Therefore,it’s a good idea to watch some good news channels like CNN,BBC,etc.Listening to news programmes on All India Radio also is a good idea.Thus,you will realise the benefit of being a ‘good listener’.

3. Speaking:
Students can learn a lot from Radio Jockeys (RJs).They should try to inculcate the quality of being spontaneous from a good RJ.A good RJ speaks with clarity and does not fumble.Even if he fumbles,he does not stop (But unlike RJs,you should know where to stop).He excuses himself and moves ahead.In the same manner,you also should avoid fumbles.And if you have fumbled,you have not committed a crime.It’s better to maintain your calm and move ahead. Reading something (newspaper,etc.) out improves your diction and clarity.Hence,you can perform well in this section.

4. Writing:
If you read and listen to a lot of quality English,writing will be very easy for you.While reading and listening/watching T.V.,you will gather a lot of useful information which can be used effectively for organising an essay.

Whether you are preparing for SAT,GRE,GMAT or TOEFL, making a consolidated effort always helps.Read newspapers,magazines,etc.and watch news channels on a daily basis.In addition to these,study your help books such as Barrons’,Kaplan’s,etc.Believe me,you will do wonders. All the best…….

Time Management while preparing for the tests

Time management has been in existence for more than 100 years. Unfortunately the term “Time management” creates a false impression of what a person is able to do. Time can’t be managed, time is uncontrollable, and we can only manage ourselves and our use of time. Time management changed my way of thinking for life from one major perspective: efficiency. It taught me the true meaning and importance of being efficient.
Time management is important in any situation and most people have difficulty getting started. Time management is a skill that you have to learn. It is a life style. The best place to begin working on time management is by changing your behavior and your environment.

Time management helps you add discipline in your life and brings a sense of self-confidence
and positive attitude in whatever you do. Time management is the tool that can shape your skills as well your personality.College is a competitive environment; in order to succeed in it a student needs certain skills. Those skills can only be learned. A college professor mentioned that there are five basic rules that need to be followed in order to become a good student: study, do all the homework and the assigned reading, attend class, and, most importantly, develop self-discipline and time management.

So, always remember that you will never find time for anything, if you want time you must make it. I recommend you take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves..Time once gone can never be retrieved hence learn to use it wisely.

WANT TO STUDY ABROAD?

Importance of foreign education:
Globalization is the word today. International business has risen, cultural exchanges are taking place. As a result, number of students wanting to study abroad to gain valuable international exposure is increasing day by day. Also, increasing scholarships abroad and easy availability of loans have added to this trend. Hence, foreign education is on the rise and will keep doing so in future. But there are few important points which have to be kept in mind by both students and their parents while taking the important decision of foreign studies.

a) Selection of country

A wrong country selection can be detrimental for your career. Many Indian students expect jobs after studies in foreign countries. But this is not possible in many countries. Jobs are given depending on the vacancies in a particular field.

b) Easiest is not always the best

If a student is guaranteed admission within 15 days or without any exams or on less marks,then there are chances of fraud and exploitation of the student.

c) Go with the flow

It is always better to go with the course which is most preferred while going for abroad education.

d) Contact your Indian counterparts

It is always wise to contact your Indian counterparts at the university which you have selected because many times their advice will be valuable to you in making decisions.

e) Choose your counselor carefully

Counselors for foreign education have mushroomed today. So it is imperative that you
be watchful at every step while choosing your counselor. Consider his/her qualifications, experience in this field. Many agents play with the students career by sending them to wrong universities just for the sake of making money.

f) Financial Responsibilities

Many parents are unaware of the total financial estimates associated with foreign studies and many end up getting duped by this commission agents. Hence, parents must always contact universities and confirm the total amount of money required for the course.

GOING USA FOR STUDIES

Considering the number of Indian students going abroad every year for education, the number of institutes have also mushroomed up. Some are genuinely in the business of making the careers of these students while some are just for exploiting the students for filling their own pockets.

FEW TIPS FOR PEOPLE GOING FOR USA STUDIES :

1. USA universities stress on research work and academic studies equally. That’s why students get scholarships while doing research work. Hence American education is considered best today with students from various countries studying there. In that also, the percentage of Indian students is far higher. This is coupled with the easy availability of loans from Indian banks thus enabling the middle class to dream of studying in USA.

2. When you approach any counselor who is into sending students abroad, be sure to ask the following things : Which field to study ? Which university to select ? How to raise funds, get scholarships and financial issues ? Guidance for VISA . Ensure that these things are properly addressed by the counselor.

3. If you don’t get proper guidance, then you can be playing with your career.Here, parents should be more cautious and alert. It is very important to understand that two types of counselors exist. First type are the one who act as commission agents for certain universities and send students to those universities only. Second type are the ones who donot act as commission agents and send students to universities solely on their merit. Since the First type counselors get commission from universities, they do not charge the students. But before approaching such counselors, parents and students must ensure whether the university and course offered fits his/her choice.

4. Foreign education builds students career but also involves investment from parents.So it was very necessary to get proper guidance. Think wisely before taking any decisions while choosing your counselor.

Consider the following factors for selection of your counselor :

Experience of counselor in the field
– If the organization is certified or registered.