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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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! 🙂

 

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US EDUCATION !

US EDUCATION !

Surviving the 21st century, a professional’s survival guide (Part -1)

“The more things change… the more they remain the same”

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

The essence of success or even survival as a specie or as an individual has been –and will be – staying relevant in the bigger scheme of things – the human race being no exception, our tools and methods of ensuring survival may have become more sophisticated over the years but their primary objective remain the same. Of course our stated objectives are oft coated with a veneer of civility like say “making a difference” or “creating value” for the society, but stripped of all its niceties all these terms are euphemism for the basic survivalist instinct of staying relevant. It is for this reason capitalism has – and probably will – remain the essentially organic all encompassing philosophy that transcends all geo-political and socio economic barriers.

In all possibility even Bertrand Russell had no idea how right he was when he said “knowledge is power”. If there is a single golden rule for staying relevant in today’s world it is to stay with if not ahead of the knowledge curve – a task that is becoming increasingly challenging given the exponential rate of change the world has seen almost on all fronts. By obvious extrapolation it follows that the quality of education one obtains is becoming an issue of ever increasing importance.

In a world of changing success paradigms, the definition of a “quality education” has also metamorphosed into something with more “survivalist” connotations. Academics, researchers and professionals can no longer be insulated in their glass houses from the hitherto murky world of real world business diktats; neither can degrees continue to be a piece of paper that gives them a starting advantage over their contemporaries. Fresh graduates no longer have the luxury of a “honeymoon” period. In this day and age the business world demands market ready professionals who can hit the ground running and start delivering from day one. Among the lucky who survive the challenge of course is to stay relevant.

Positions, jobs or even departments are constantly being rendered redundant and to paraphrase Charles Dickens “these may be the best of times, but not certainly the worst of times”. The obvious solution is to stay mobile. Mobility has become the buzzword crucial to the survival as a professional in today’s world, mobility that is not just guaranteed by ones nationality – but by ones competencies and perceived contributions to the global business model as a professional.

Depending on one’s perspective (east or west) one of the biggest flip sides to the story of globalization – albeit unintended – has been the free flow of high end trained labor across markets, whereas this has brought many of the former economic powerhouses to their knees – as their pampered denizens fight for their “overpriced and underworked” way of life – it is no secret that it has opened up a whole new vista of opportunities for a select sector of trained manpower within the “third world countries” – with somewhat mercenary ethics.

But as with everything there is a dark lining to this silver cloud, as complacency sets in, the “nouveau rich” breed of third world professionals run the risk of falling into the same trap of easy money as their western counterparts and -keeping with the laws of business – run the risk of being made redundant once they outlive their utility cycle. For as with technology – skills and knowledge come with a lifespan as well.

So stay relevant by staying ahead of the knowledge curve. How? Read the follow up article…

Read Part -2

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.

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 !!!

Scholarships of more than Rs. 5 Crores

F.A.C.T. students rock Foreign Universities !!!

The academic year has ended for most courses and students are busy planning their next career moves. Intense competition, limited opportunities and rising cost of education is making even the most competent students worry about their future. Most of these students do not realize that in the era of globalization, they need to sit with the map of the world to explore options and suddenly the doors to careers of there choice open.
 
A Unique Career Opportunity after HSC
Planning careers after HSC has become a nightmare in the recent years. The intense competition for entrance tests and the necessity of taking different tests for different careers has left the students parents in immense concern regarding careers after 12th standard. One good and workable option for such students is to study abroad. The competition is far too less and the Indian students perform much better on international campuses making them eligible for high scholarships. So, low cost of education and easy admissions process has attracted increasing number of students to plan their careers abroad. However, most students and parents are unaware about the process and procedure for planning a successful career abroad. 

Engineering Careers

Engineers traditionally have been the largest community of students going abroad. However, the overexposure to the system results in mechanical approach to planning careers and as a result, though most engineering students get admissions, very few get scholarships and research opportunities in their area of interest.You need to have a clear strategy, an ability not just to collect information but “Analyze” the information to your advantage and work in a disciplined manner right from the third year of engineering. Moreover, at every stage of preparation, the students should know its likely impact on the admissions and scholarships decision. This will result in reducing the cost of education to a substantial 75%.

Guidance is given by FACT (centers in Borivali,Nashik,Pune,Thane,Dombivali,Vashi,Andheri,Dadar) on how to plan a career path right from third year of engineering, the technique of selecting right universities and right program and most importantly, how to manage finances.

Education Abroad… the Doctor Factor

Planning for career opportunities abroad for the Medical and Para Medical graduates is a complicated process. Most countries like to have stringent and complex rules structure for the ever sensitive health care sector. However, it is also true that many medical and para medical graduates want to fly abroad partly because of lucrative opportunities and partly because of intense competition and rising cost of post graduate education in India. These graduates often make a quick and ill informed decision and then regret for the lost time and money.

In order to assist young graduates from medical and para medical branches, FACT provides career guidance for education abroad.

In order to help the engineering students plan a successful career abroad with scholarships,  Foreign Academic Consultancy and Training (F.A.C.T.), a professional career guidance organization, is actively conducting research for availability of various career opportunities and scholarships abroad. The organization has 9 offices spread all over Maharashtra . In the last 8 years, FACT has guided more than 5000 students  for higher education abroad with maximum students getting scholarships.

Why study in the U.S.?

Globalization and Internet revolution has shrunk the world into a global village. Boundaries of the nations are only politically important now. For the trade, commerce and industry, the world has become one market place. In such times, we need to have global compatibility to survive and grow. We need to have exposure to the various cultures and business practices of various countries.

Advantages of studying in USA ::

Quality:

U.S. colleges are known worldwide for the quality of their facilities, resources, and faculty. Accreditation systems ensure that institutions continue to maintain these standards.

 Choice:

The U.S education system features many types of institutions, academic and social environments, entry requirements, degree programs, and subjects in which you can specialize.

Value:

A U.S. degree offers excellent value for the money. A wide range of tuition fees and living costs, plus some financial help from colleges, make study in the United States affordable for hundreds of thousands of international students each year.

 Flexibility:

U.S. universities and colleges offer flexibility in choice of courses, but more importantly there is also the option for students to move from institution to another. Completing the first two years of a degree at one institution, usually a community college, and then moving to another, is very common.

visit FACT to know more….