TOEFL – READING COMPREHENSION TIPS!

RC TOEFL – READING COMPREHENSION TIPS!

The first Section that you will have in TOEFL iBT exam is the Reading Section. The Reading Section of TOEL iBT measures your ability to read and apprehend academic based passages in English. You have to have a strong and effective Reading Skills that will help you achieve high Score in the Reading Sectopn. As we discussed in our previous TOEFL iBT Format Blog; with its 4 Sectional division of Reading, Listening, Speaking & Writing, in my TODAYS BLOG, we will be learning about the 1st Section of READING SKILLS & its STRATEGIES.

There are 3 main purposes for Academic Reading in TOEFL iBT:

1. Reading to find related information

2.Understanding the Basic comprehension

3. Reading to learn

The Reading Section in TOEFL iBT consists of 3-5 Passages; each Passage is about 500-700 words long. Each Reading passage is followed by 12 – 14 questions related to the passage. The complete time frame for the reading Section is 60 – 80 Minutes, depending on the number of passages appear.

The total time dedicated to all the passage is for 60 -80 minutes for reading and answering the questions, this time as mention varies depending on the number of Passages that appear going up to maximum of 80 Minutes. The system will automatically stop you after the time ends, so you must be very attentive on the time. Thus, you must be not only good at reading and grasping the details of the passage but also pretty quickly in it.

 bookkeeping-tips10 Strategies for Reading Comprehension:

1) When you have at least 3 month in hand: I suggest you Read, Read & Read a lot. Keep a regular habit of reading English Newspaper that will particularly enhance your reading skills. Emphasis on academic based reading particularly, from university textbooks or other materials. Don’t just read on topics that interest you. Your Reading Comprehension passage comes from wide range of Topics, Therefore, expand your reading topics, whether is suits your interests of NOT, whether its boring or interesting, make it a point that you read from different subjects & topics like History, Arts, Sociology, science, Finance, Social science, Business journals, Archeology, Geography, Economics, and any others. Academic texts, apart from textbooks, these could be found in variety of articles in various Publications like Nat Geo Magazines etc. and academic publications Or on the Internet or your university libraries.

2) Strengthen your vocabulary: When reading any topic on different subjects you should make your own set of vocabulary. Improve your vocabulary by starting with Root Prefixes & Suffixes first, have a grip over your Root Words, the origin of these words, this you will find in my previous Blog on VOCABULARY. Then make separate list, organize your list in topics for better results may be alphabetically. Study through Flash cards, there are lots of flashcards available by various publications like Barron’s, Kaplan & Princton, study them when you are travelling in Train, Bus, Or Car make best use of your travel time. Or you can make your own flashcards to help you learn those set of Vocabulary. Use the words learned in your writings and speaking section of your TOEFL / SAT / GRE OR GMAT.

3) Take rough notes: You are provided with a rough sheet to take notes on them, make full use of it – take notes on that paper. It is an absolute essential element, as it’s difficult to remember all facts and details from a reading text in order to answer the questions. You don’t want to waste your time in searching details over & over again in the passage. So, the best thing to do is to keep taking note with line numbers for reference. While skimming and reading the texts you should jot down all key facts and details so find them when, you need them.

4) Skim the Passage: Skimming is reading the passage in about 30 seconds, just an over all look on the passage. Skimming means having a quickly glance of the Passage to obtain very first idea / imprint on what the passage is about, or get a rough idea of what is its main idea of it. Train yourself to skim quickly through the passage, without wasting much of your time and by identifying the main point & key words in the passage. Taking notes will help you sail through this.

5)  Read Passage after skimming : Once your skimming is done, read the Passage carefully looking for details & facts. Look for key words & Phrases mentioned in the passage. Particularly the 3 Major types of transition Words: Connection, Progression & Contradiction, along with them look for Phrases, idioms and Adjective words. It will enlighten you with author’s opinion and point of view. As only skimming is not enough. Reading it more carefully, but don’t forget you do not have much time. Keep taking notes; make it a habit whenever you solve any practice test. You need to understand the ClassificationOR Types of Passages like – classification, Rhetorical Type, Cause & effect, Persuasive, Factual Type, Detailed type, compare or contrast, Narrative, Problem OR solution, Sarcastic Type, etc.

6) Make an intelligent guess the word meaning: Use your knowledge of Prefixes, Root & Suffixes in order to identify the meaning of the word from the passages; refer to its context to get the over all meaning of it. Guessing the words from the context is very easy, as it must not be a dictionary meaning. You save on time and it its very quick.

7)  Practice, Practice & Practice a lot: Practicing in a proper exam environment will help you deal with exam pressure better. Try to take a minimum of 5 Full-length Test before your main TOEFL Exam. You need to always remember that TOEFL is a standardized test. This means it always follows the same format. Keep practicing tests to familiarize yourself with the format and testing conditions and keeping track of your time.

There are lots of Free Online Testing site to help you attain good score in respective sections like:

1) http://www.testden.com/challenge/free-toefl.asp

2) http://www.4tests.com/toefl

8)  Remember: That all the answer are present in the Passage, you are not expected to answer from your opinion. Through the Reading Comprehension it tests your ability to understand and comprehend ideas related to the passage. Hence focus on reading & cognizing the over all idea of the passage.

9) As discussed earlier understand and keep taking note with line numbers so you can quickly reach that part, Note down the Main Topic or its Main idea and the Key words / points or Phrases when reading the passages, and use your notes for answering the questions.

10) Read the questions careful, remember if you interpret the meaning of the question wrong, you will choose a wrong answer, so be careful! However, remember that the answer to all the questions are in the information provided in the passages itself. Try to answer these questions using what you have understood from the read passages.

If you want to get a superb score in the TOEFL Reading Section my advice – Keep Practicing!

toefl-etsALL THE BEST for your TOEFL EXAM !!

See you in my next Blog on the Different TYPES of QUESTION & and its approach, under the TOEFL READING SECTION, which will help you score high in READING PASSAGES.

Till then Adios mi amigos !! 😀

Shraddha

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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! 🙂

 

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

GOING FOR FOREIGN EDUCATION

There recently has been a virtual stampede of foreign Universities offering various courses, which country or course would be advisable? Any specific courses which do or may command a great demand?

The answer is very simple, though slightly clichéd. It is always suggested that students utilize their years of education in India, not just to earn a degree but also to identify the field his/her interest lies in. It is far better to develop a clear focus about career goals (be it speech therapy or film technology) and work towards it, instead of trying to follow the market trend, because market trends never last forever. And there is nothing worse than being stuck with a non- lucrative career he or she has no aptitude or interest in.

As far as the selection of the country is concerned, any prospective student usually aims at working as a professional, even if for a limited period, in the country he/she plans to study in. One has to understand that each country has its own distinct advantage and disadvantage, so just as in life – the selection of the destination should be based upon the fact whether ones goals and expectations from a career perspective are in line with what the country has to offer.

For example an automobile engineer just looking an affluent lifestyle, without being too particular about his/her job profile may find Australia or New Zealand, with the promise of Permanent resident status an attractive destination. But not so for a career focused professional who is not willing to compromise on his/her job profile, and such a person may end up frustrated, because the primary requirements of these countries happen to be automobile mechanics and not automobile Engineers.

Thus proper enquiries should be made pertaining to work permit/visa/ immigration rules. Relevant exception clauses and possible scenarios must be analyzed to avoid future disappointments. A specifically important factor that should be taken into consideration is the consistency of the country pertaining to immigration and VISA rules (that is how often have they been changed/modified in the past few years) and whether it promises a long-term ability to absorb the number of international professionals landing on its shores.

A simple but effective way of choosing a destination and university is asking oneself as to how much weightage the university places on you as a student, that is whether the key factor in admission process happens to be the strength of your financial documents or your credentials as a student.

DECISION IS PERFECT WHEN IT IS TAKEN AT A PERFECT TIME !

Success of the life depends on the Decisions that you take at each and every stage of your life. And the decision can be perfect when it is taken at the perfect time.
Most of us have the fear of taking decision because we are afraid of its results and though we take a decision we are careless about the Time that we are taking to implement it. Everything you do is an investment of time.

Here are some specific suggestions for those who aim to pursue MS Degree from the reputed US University, and if you have

Appeared for GRE and searching for Universities:
The perfect time to start FALL applications is in the month of September/October but still it is possible to apply for FALL 2010.But do not delay the things as you delayed and did not start applications in September. Understand the importance of time and have professional guidance as soon as possible.

Just decided to pursue MS Degree from US University:
Remember one thing that this process takes minimum 6 months to maximum 2 years from GRE preparations till you get Visa. If you don’t want to miss golden opportunities, it is mandatory to have a proper schedule. The problem is, your life is already full, and you end up busy with all the day-to-day things, unable to find time for what you really want to do. And how often have you reached the end of the day, and had no energy? How often has something unexpected cropped up that steals away the time you were going to spend working towards your goal?

Here are some ways to make the time that you need:

1.Take the first hour of your day and use it for what really matters to you. Everything else can wait for just one hour.
2.List your activities according to the importance level and follow the hierarchy.
3.Instead of wasting time to just chat with friends on unnecessary matters You could ask a friend to keep you accountable by checking up on your progress, whether that’s through a weekly phone call or a quick daily check-in on Twitter. Sometimes, it’s easier to stay motivated when you know that someone else is cheering you on. So friends can also be a great source of encouragement.

There are Chances that you will be tired, and want to do something else like answer your emails, or watch television, or sleep in. You will be able to enjoy all these things also if you arrange your activities from initial stage rather than doing the last minute show.

In many ways time is more valuable than money. You’ll always have the opportunity to make more money, but once time has been spent it’s gone forever. When you think of time as a commodity, and all of your actions as investments, it changes the way you approach every day decisions.

Ultimately “DECISION IS PERFECT WHEN IT IS TAKEN AT PERFECT TIME”

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.

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 !!!