TOEFL – SPEAKING TIPS !!

Tradeshow-Speaker1Hello, My awesome students …!  

As discussed with you all, we will study & now more about the TOEFL Speaking Tips :These simple tips will assist you achieve higher score on the Speaking section of TOEFL exam.

Content under the Speaking Section of TOEFL:

It comes directly after the 10-minute break. It measures the test taker’s ability to converse and communicate in the Speaking section of English. The Speaking section of TOEFL consists six tasks, majorly into two types – independent speaking tasks (2 tasks) and integrated speaking tasks (4 tasks). Students must demonstrate that they are able to comprehend & communicate fluently as per the questioned asked.

Speaking Section

The speaking section measures your ability to speak in English about a variety of topics.

The format of the speaking section is given below.

  • Time limit : 20 min.
  • You may take notes on paper, and you may use them to answer your questions.

Know the content of your TOEFL Exam 🙂

Directions: The Speaking section in the test measures your ability to speak about a variety of topics. As per the http://www.ets.org/toefl

  • In questions 1 and 2, in an actual test, your response will be scored on your ability to speak clearly and coherently about familiar topics.
  • In questions 3 and 4, in an actual test, you will first read a short text and then listen to a talk on the same topic. You will have to combine appropriate information from the text and the talk to provide a complete answer. Your response will be scored on your ability to accurately convey information, and to speak clearly and coherently. In this sampler, you will read both the text and the talk.
  • In questions 5 and 6, in an actual test, you will listen to part of a conversation or lecture. Then, you will be asked a question about what you have heard. Your response will be scored on your ability to accurately convey information, and to speak clearly and coherently. In this sampler, you will read the conversation.

TOEFL is Awesoeme! The most easy Exam I have ever come across!! 😀

public-speaking4The First 2 TasksYou are expected to do the following things:

  • Speaking need a clear Structure of your response.
  • Try to speak the way you as an individual speaks, try not to Speak in a Accent, as I warn not to use such accent based speaking. Just focus on speak than on accent, just be as clearly as possible. Have a clear Pronunciation of what you speak.
  • The Structure MUST include an introduction Quote, a body and a conclusion.
  • A Smoother transition from one part to another is important in a very clear, logical, specific and organized manner.
  • Avoid using Pause sounds like Hmm… Aaaa…. Weelll… Umm… with long sound involved in it. Be short & clear in your approach.
  • Try not to use High Level English Vocabulary, be clear & specific in your approach, and speak as confident as you can in an expressive manner. i.e: Use Simplicity English.
  • For the Give Topic you are expected to provide a maximum of three reasons & examples with detail for your response. You are expected to not go around the bush.
  • Use Specific Adjectives to clarify your thoughts & Ideas. The Usage of Verbs is more functioning and makes your English sound more attention grabbing – Use them frequently.
  • Speak clearly, so that the listener understands what you speak. Try not sounding too ROBOTIC or taking lots of Long Pauses in a sentence. It’s always good to speak using your points which the examiner can understand your words, that to speak randomly.
  • Always concluding your topic, because it shows that you were not in a hurry, but got good time to conclude your Topic. It leaves a good impression on the listener.

Independent Task 1 TOPICS : Asks you to Describe the given topic.

Examples Topics : Describe a teacher who has influenced you and why. Be sure to include specific details and examples in your response.

You have 15 Secs to Prepare and have 45 Secs to Respond (Record) your answer.

Sample Response :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux2Q0upiD_0

Similarly , following are few Sample Question on Task 1 of Speaking Section: 

1.Who is your best friend? Describe this person and say why do you consider this person as your best friend.

2. What is your favorite place to visit ? Explain in brief why it is your favorite place to go with specific examples.

3. What is your happiest childhood memory? Describe it and give reasons to explain why it is your happiest memory.

4. Who is your most favourite charter in History? Describe the reason for him/her to your favourite.

Independent Task 2 (Preference Based) TOPICS :You are given a choice and you need to take a STAND and You cannot be Neutral on the given topic.

Examples Topics : What do you prefer to get News from, by reading a NEWSPAPER or Watching LIVE T.V. NEWS ? Please choose which one & describe it with reasons you so? Use specific details and examples in your response.

You have 15 Secs to Prepare And have 45 Secs to Respond (Record) your answer.

Similarly , following are few Sample Question on Task 2 of Speaking Section: 

1. What do you prefer to go out to dinner or stay home and cook a meal? please choose one and use reasons to support your response.

2. What do you prefer to Study alone or in a group? Please choose one and explain in details you point of view with example.

3. Some people prefer to Study abroad or Study in your home country? Please choose one and explain in details you point of view with example.

4.Some people prefer to live in a small town. Others prefer to live in a big city. Which place would you prefer to live in and why? Please choose one and explain in details you point of view with example.

Sample Response : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjS74bf2v3A

Hope you liked it, Post your comments & likes !!

Have fun !! Lets meet next time with a Reading Section of TOEFL !! 🙂

Adios Amigos 😀 !

F.A.C.T.

toefl-ets Visit: http://www.ets.org for TOEFL’s Official Website for details!

FACT SEMINAR in APRIL!

Hi Everyone!

MISSED the SEMINAR ??  NO Worries… Call on the respective Office to Meet the COUNSELLORS, One on One, for Expert Guidance ON YOUR CAREER!  OR VISIT OUR WEBSITE on F.A.C.T. !

Careers after 12th & Diploma are getting increasingly “UNCERTAIN” in India. Every year, lacs of students appear for IIT-JEE, AIEEE and the state CETs. A Seminar by well known Career Advisor Mr.Sunil Shah who guided more that 10,000 + students to study abroad ranging from HSC to Ph.D.

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We are very pleased to say that the dates for our Seminar for X , XII & Diploma students in the month of April 2014 are as follows:

PLACE – DATE    –  DAY  –   SEMINAR TIMING         – PHONE No.
Thane – 05 April’14 – SAT – 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm    – Call on  025397777
Dadar – 05 April’14 – SAT – 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm    – Call on  024170056
Borivali – 05 April’14 – SAT – 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm  – Call on  028984773
Vashi – 06 April’14 – SUN – 10:00 am to 12.00 pm – Call on 065224435

Its always better to take a Professional Guidance before starting thing on your own, it give you a clear picture of the Process!

So, complete your online Registration soon & for more details about the event and happenings at respective days, Visit us on http://www.gurukulonweb.com/hsc.html Or CALL US on the ABOVE  RESPECTIVE Nos.

 

Image See you soon then! 🙂

 

A Night on a Dhow Cruise!

Lg_Dhow_Cruise_Dubai2

People in this day and age have forgotten a really important and necessary skill, the absence of which makes life quite dull, that’s why I have always looked at doctors with pity wondering how they could devote so much of their lives to work and considerably less to play.  You may have guessed that I’m talking about having a good time, letting your hair down, or fun as it’s generally called. Now I know you’re wondering if I’ve written this just to discuss my petty views and opinions, well no. What I’m really trying to say or rather recount are the happenings of a particular night which I thought to be rather fun.

We had been through a rather grueling six days of study which was both educational, tiring and Fun filled week, for we were preparing for our SAT’s. We at F.A.C.T. conducted a 7 Day ‘SAT – WORKSHOP’, which was a combination of Fun & Tedious all together! For all 7 days we studied English & Math solving worksheets, watching movies as well, in the Breaks! Guess what by whom? – by our Teachers on a Projector! Can you believe that!

 

Workshop

I being a student at FACT, was a part of this amazing course and be a team member of this. So, it was decided that we should reward ourselves with a well-deserved evening of fun and frivolity, but here’s the thing about having an evening out and trying to write about it; time flies and everything goes by in a blur, as though the human condition has been put under some kind of spell. We decided to go on a Dhow Cruise! The day was too hot to go sailing on a boat so we went in the evening, although it was still clammy and I was exposed to the salty spray of the night sea and the constant rocking back and forth of the boat, but this soon fades away until you can barely feel it; soon, floating rounds of cold drinks are served until the air is alive with chatter and laughter and casual innuendo and pointless conversations forgotten on the spot. As the lights die down and the sea lurches away from the earth, we sat grouped up in tables each lit by a lone candle like stars on a black sky. The groups change more swiftly, swell as they form two large groups and then dissolve and form again in the same breath.

‘That Fun-filled Memorable Night!’

As the night wore on it came time to eat of which I did little, I managed to grab a quick bite but that was it. I found myself looking into a mirror at some point in the evening in some cabin beneath the boat, I could hear the dull roar of the party somewhere above me. Later a man walked up to the floor, dressed peculiarly in a frock dress and shirt with intricate markings upon it, I was shocked at first but then I soon realized it was part of the show for that evening as it had been conducted time and again on the boat. Even though I lived in the middle east for a long time this was the first time I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing such a performance, the dancer gradually built up a slow rhythm and kept it up, then the beat gained pace almost as if it had come to life, and he started to spin, the sound reaching a feverish pitch in my ear; The lights went off and he lit up, emitting a soft glow from the markings on his dress, illuminating the dark interior and we looked like a lantern drifting aimlessly at sea.  He picked up the pace and started to sway to the ever increasing rhythm almost in a trance like state and I was all in awe.

We all were having fun with FACT Teachers & our Mentor Mr. Sunil Shah, he is the one that we all look upto. He guides us all  in correct direction.He being with was never  occurred that we were with our teacher he is so friendly with us , that we are more close to him than our own Parents!!

Once his performance was over people once again called for more photo taking. What came next was quite a sight to watch, and yes there were watchers, families who had come for a quite dinner aboard a boat seated in the lower deck, where we soon found ourselves, at the height of the evening. And so they watched, watched as a crowd descended the stairs and subsequently start dancing to music which just happened to be conveniently present. The music was loud and the people wild. This seemed to go on for a while, I guess it’s just one of those things that happen, you can’t tell when they happen or why, just that they do. The boat pulled towards the harbor and it was finally time to call it a night.

We all Crazy smart people!!

The Goodbyes! – were the most sad part! It declared the end of all the 7 days studies with fun & enjoyment, getting to know each other making new friends & then parting! But we loved being at FACT and looking forward for the next Workshop !  🙂

 

 

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US EDUCATION !

US EDUCATION !

What after HIGH SCHOOL ??

   life_after_highschool           On Crossroads ??        

                                               Well… we all face a time in our lives when we ask ourselves the question: what next? One such a time and I think the very first time would be when we finish our Higher Education. As a typical child goes through school, he or she is only focused on the task at hand which is getting good grades or doing well in sports. And while primary education has its good and bad points, the worst flaw by far that I think it has is the fact that it doesn’t prepare you for what comes next. This leaves kids feeling confused and often times completely clue less about what they want to pursue in college. All they know is that it is absolutely essential that they go to college but what they’re going to do there and how they’re going to do it comes as a complete loss to them.

When I say how they’re going to do it I literally mean ‘’how are they possibly going to do it’’ because frankly speaking ‘’it ain’t easy’’ and I don’t see it becoming easy anytime soon because the school isn’t helping out, in the end the students suffer. The college application process can be long and arduous, while students can find what they want to study with a bit of soul searching, no one is going to help them get to the actual place where they can pursue their interest. If a student decides to go to college for such and such reason that may be the easiest part as the journey is harder than the decision. Once you find out what you want to do, the next big question is how you’re going to do or achieve it ? and that brings in many more problems for you to overcome, there are a few steps you could follow to make that whole process easier:

FACT  1)    Get Professional Guidance : Its your Career!

The moment you decide on studying abroad, you seek help from your friends/ seniors and Family friends. Then your family friend who’s son’s classmates uncle’s brother’s cousin went to US! Uff…! But this is not how you plan out on your CAREER! Some things need to be left to Professionals, they have experience in the field sending 1000’s of students & your friends/ seniors / family friends lack this.  It is no harm to take guidance, after all it’s the matter of your Career!  In fact you have to do it at some point so why not now ? and ask them for their guidance even if ,it comes at a cost, the money is well spent as they take help you along every step of the process and ensure you reach, your dreams career.

Think  2)    Do not be afraid : Stay clam & Think straight!

Fear and anxiety is one of the main reasons that students these days hesitate while doing something difficult, but important. They get depressed about their future and how to go about it & don’t know whom to approach. When students get anxious about themselves and their future they may feel themselves inadequate to take on the world and this may tend to lead to procrastination while doing something important. So realize that you are taking the next big step on the road down your career path and just act, do not think.

 Time  3)   Act Fast : Time is a crucial factor in Application Process.

When you apply for your higher studies especially when your destination is the U.S. the best thing to do is to apply early as this can increase your chances of getting a good amount of scholarship (sometime upto 100 % scholarship) and helps make the application process smoother and  much more easy. In addition to this, you can get done with the application process; students usually apply to Universities during their senior year of high school, so if they do not apply fast they will be wasting valuable time which could be used studying for their final exams, Universities hold the marks students get in these exams in high regard.

College-Scholarships  4)    Start early : Get Scholarships & Acceptance

‘Early bird catches the worm’– Means Success comes to those who prepare before hand & put in effort, but I say – Scholarships & Acceptance comes to students who prepare well in time and work Smart. Now, if you are one of those straight A students who ace every class and have some big names in mind like UC Berkeley, UC Davis / UC LA / Princton/ Virginia Tech or Yale while considering their higher education then it is best to start applying early preferably the 11th Grade. Even if you aren’t such a student you can spend 11th grade preparing for college admission tests like the SAT I or SAT II ( Subject SAT if required for your Course) because they count a lot when Universities look at your application file.

These are just some of the steps you can start off with when you consider higher education, there may be some others which your Career Counsellor will take care of but the point is, that you should do everything possible to make application process easier, especially when you plan to study abroad. Just keep in mind that you aren’t going to university just to get through it, you’re going there to learn and grow, be smart as an individual. So when you think of universities don’t think of it as a hurdle, soon to be over, think of it as an experience to will have, friends to be made, and knowledge to be gained.

See you soon…

FACT  😉

Surviving the 21st century, a professional’s survival guide (Part -3)

Read Part 1                    Read Part 2

“If you enjoy what you do, you won’t have to work for single day in your life”

Picking up where we left off in the last installment, we get into the nitty-gritties of a “happily ever after career”. So once you have decided your discipline of interest, it is imperative that you stick to it come what may. Unfortunately this is easier said than done, so often times – caught in the avalanche of “well meant and practical advice” from one’s well wishers, and that of “the frequent gold rushes” that grip the certain industry sectors from time to time – you are bound to be plagued by doubts – especially when you see your contemporaries pursuing domains of expertise that seems to be financially more lucrative and guaranteed to take them on a fast track to “success”. Whenever you are confronted with such advice or self doubt, remind yourself that a choice of career is a decision that is going to stay with you forever; and therefore its returns quotient should be never just be judged on a singular short term financial parameter – but on a number of other intangible parameters, like job satisfaction, your passion for the domain, and most importantly if it is something you would be able to bring yourself to do for the next 40 odd years of your life. An acid test for such a situation is “the billionaire test”. If you were a billionaire and did not have to work for a living for as long as you lived, which is the profession you would have chosen to pursue, would you rather be a “shark slayer” a “video game reviewer” or “a chef”. “Remember there is more success to be had by being the best in a mediocre field – rather than be mediocre in the best field.”

 

 

Now that you have zeroed in on your area of interest it is important to create a roadmap for achieving that goal, the crucial element of which will – of course – be the education and training you need to pursue. The term quality of education offered by an entity is often misunderstood, it is of course true that infrastructural accompaniments contribute to the quality of education, but if one were to pick a single most important factor that is critical in determining the quality of education it would be the overall academic environment that is on offer, i.e. whether  the academic institution in question encourages a culture that is steeped in a relentless pursuit of excellence and knowledge – or is it purely an entity that is solely dedicated to following a checklist of a prescribed syllabi.

 

 

To understand the implications of the above statement let us ask ourselves – why is it that – when all colleges virtually teach the same principles of engineering, some are more sought after than others? The obvious answer from a casual observer’s perspective would be “better job opportunities after completing college” but then why do industries prefer recruiting from some universities / colleges rather than others – even though they teach the same subjects and books? Again the obvious answer is; it is because they expect a higher “return on their investment” on recruits from those specific entities. In other words the industry perceives candidates from these educational entities to be genuinely passionate and involved in their chosen discipline, therefore – more attuned to prevalent industry needs, trends and norms, and consequently – more likely to come up with new ideas and concepts that will prove profitable for their organization.

 

 

Thus it follows an ideal educational institution should strive to create an overall environment that encourages or in fact demands – genuine passion, a continuous exchange of ideas, a research oriented, knowledge seeking mindset among its students, while pursuing active ties and collaboration with respective industry segments.

So for those of you who are in still in the “good job” and “good money” frame of mind – this is how the equation goes, the less importance you give to the monetary criterion while making a decision pertaining to your career, the better chances of you making more of it.

 

 

Unfortunately though the above may seem an obviously logical process – a lot of educational systems (not just institutes) get it wrong. That is why choosing the right system of education is sometimes as important as choosing the right institute and the right career.

 

 

To illustrate the above point better, let me site a somewhat extreme example, if you were an automotive design engineer would you look for a career in New Zealand? In all fairness if you were not too particular about the type of “job” you did – it may make sense, but otherwise it is commonsensical logic – that it would be futile for an automotive design engineer to seek a career in a country which has does not boast of a single car brand. Yet, in a mad zeal for a good “job”, numerous students make such illogical decisions pertaining to their career with alarming frequency- and unfortunately end up making compromises with their original career aspirations.

 

 

Concluding Part-4  coming soon

Surviving the 21st century, a professional’s survival guide (Part -2)

(Read Part-1) 

During my eventful career as a business consultant and a career consultant, I have lived through a few more recessions and global economic shakedowns than I would care for. The one fact that was reinforced with unfailing regularity during these tough times was that – the ones who survived – and in fact sometimes flourished – were those who took a real passion in their professions, in other words, loved what they did – and was not just in it for the money. Though this might sound something out of a corporate motivational lecture, it is a fundamental truth of life that generates excellent practical real-world monetary dividends.

To elaborate on the above – when money is the sole motivator for choosing a career the end result is usually mediocrity, the mass of “casualties” that are the inevitable fallout of any major global shake-downs or economic meltdown are these “professionals “ in the wrong field, i.e. who jumped in on the bandwagon in search of a quick buck, basing their choice of careers solely on market trends.

Such a class of professionals usually provides grist to the mill of mediocrity, they have their uses when the economy – or any specific industry – is on the upswing, this is when organizations tend to be flexible with KPIs like productivity and profitability because the top-line looks so good and the future looks rosy. However they are the first casualties when things take turn for the worse. They were the casualties of the “dot com bust”, “the economic meltdowns” or other gazillion other debacles that the world of business and commerce has seen.   In other words they stop being RELEVANT.

Any career or education consultant will vouch for the fact that two questions they are asked most often are – “what is the job opportunity in this field” or worse “which field has better job opportunities”. These are possibly the single biggest career-destroying questions one can ask. To start with, one needs understand the clear distinction between the concepts of a job vs. that of a career, to put it succinctly a job is a temporary state of affairs – you may be in a job for 3 months or 30 years, but a career is something that defines your overall personal brand as a professional. To illustrate the point better consider the two following statements as the opening phrase of your CV and choose which you would like to be the statement that defines you.

“An electronics engineer with 5+ years of experience……”  

“An assistant manager with ‘xyz’ organization since 2002…..”

If you chose the second option, we wish you all the best and you can stop reading here.

If you chose the first option congratulations! You are already on the path of a successful career and your “relevance quotient” just went up a notch.

Now that we have established what you want your “brand identity” to be, the subsequent steps obviously are planning towards the goal and execution.

Planning: Ideally this stage should start from high school however, it is never too late. One of the most effective methods for narrowing down ones areas of interest, is to run, what I call the “boredom” test, i.e. if you did not feel like –or were bored of – studying during a particular study session; which is the subject or the book you would reach for to make the best of a bad situation? Look back and you will have your answer about your ideal choice of career.

Continued in Part 3….

Destination USA – The Brilliant Success Story of an average Student

This is a story of a confused yet a bright engineer who took 5 years to complete his engineering studies and yet succeeded in securing admission to the masters program in one of the better ranked universities in the USA.

Kartik came to us as a confused soul who had his heart set on making a fresh start in the USA, he had already taken his GRE as well as TOEFL examinations but had messed up in both of them. We encouraged him to retake the tests, but in spite of his best efforts, he was just not able to focus on the same.

We were candid in advising him about his options, which was to apply to universities with his existing scores, but not to put a lot of hope in securing scholarships/funding. We believed in Kartik and more importantly Kartik believed in us.

We ensured that there was absolutely nothing left to chance when it came to the documentation for application, chief among them the SOP which went through umpteen revisions before it met was deemed “as good as it could get” crisp and compelling.

Then there was the additional problem of his sponsor as well, his father ran a small business and the paperwork was far from sound. We managed to get around the problem by documenting some of his other close relatives as sponsors, it was universally accepted by all involved that Kartik’s only chance of making it as a professional was a change of geography, he had far too many setbacks in India.

We finished his documentation process within the time constraints and guess what; he was offered admission by 5 different universities. He was more than happy by what he had achieved. He told our counselors that this was beyond his wildest expectations; especially with his range of scores and academic record. He thanked us profusely for whatever we did for him, but there was one more hurdle to cross: his Visa. With complicated and somewhat less than sound finances, his prospects for a VISA was a constant source of worry and lack of confidence in Kartik, but as before we believed in him – as he did in us – the team at FACT put in its all in preparing Kartik for his Visa Interview.

Kartik got his F1 Visa approved at the very first attempt, and he was off to the land of opportunities to secure a career of his dreams.

In summation, Kartik was probably one of the weakest profiles we had come across, a year drop during his bachelors, lesser than average academic scores, GRE & TOEFL Scores in the lower range, yet his career has received a fresh lease of life, he was on his way to USA securing Masters in Computer Science and his career flying high and prospects looking up.

The last we heard from Karthik – he had secured near-perfect GPA, and had also bagged an internship at one of the reputed firms in USA. Meanwhile he is also pursuing his passion as a guitarist (he had his own rock band in India)

Kartik’s success story is a typical case study that exemplifies the stories of a thousands of FACT students who walk through our doors every year, filled with self doubt and looking for a chance to realize their potential in the land of opportunities.

Check out our web page to read summaries of more such success stories.

Seminars in Mumbai on 20th September 09 on SCHOLARSHIPS IN USA …Register now !!

Foreign Academic Consultancy & Training ( FACT ) is organising Seminars in Mumbai on 20th September 2009 at Thane,Vashi,Dombivli,Andheri,Borivali and Dadar.

The seminars are for participants interested in pursuing education abroad in USA. The seminars will give info about scholarships in USA as well as opportunities for Post HSC,Post Graduation and Medical field.

FACT has placed more than 5000 students abroad in the past 8 years with most of them availing scholarships.

Seminar Schedule for 20th September 09:

Borivali : 11 am
Andheri : 2 pm
Dadar : 6 pm
Vashi : 11 am
Thane : 2 pm
Dombivli : 6 pm

Interested ones wanting to attend the seminars can register themselves on http://gurukulonweb.com/register_mumbai_seminar.html at the earliest..

Do spread the message !!!