Home

GRE preparation and timing

As you prepare to show off your reading, math, and writing skills on the GRE, it is important to know that this decision depends on a few things, like your school background, what you want to do in your career, and how ready you feel for the test. This blog will guide you through everything you need about the GRE preparation timeline.

Understanding the GRE:

The GRE General Test checks your skills in three main areas: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. These skills indicate your ability to do well in college and at work. Let’s break down what each of these skills means:

Verbal Reasoning:

This part of the GRE looks at how well you know high-level English vocabulary, analyze written information and understand relationships among ideas. For example, you might be asked to read a passage and answer questions about its main idea or the author’s point of view.

Quantitative Reasoning:

This part of the test checks how good you are at math. It looks at elementary concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. It also looks at your ability to interpret quantitative information and solve complex problems using mathematical models. For instance, you might have to solve equations or analyze graphs to answer questions in the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section.

Why GRE Preparation is Important:

The GRE test can still be tough even if you are good at English, math, and writing because there is limited time to solve each question, and the level of language and vocabulary is high. That’s why studying and preparing for the test is important.

How long should you study for the GRE?

When it comes to the GRE, preparation is key to achieving success on the exam. So, it is best to give yourself about four months to prepare for the GRE. Let’s break this down further:

Practice Makes Perfect:

While individual study habits and schedules may vary from person to person, you will become more familiar with the test format and improve your performance by dedicating time to study and practice.

Identify Weaknesses:

Practice tests can help you identify areas where you need improvement, allowing you to focus your studying where it is needed most.

Boost Confidence:

The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel on test day, which can positively impact your performance.

Avoid Cramming:

Don’t try to cram all your studying into just two weeks, as that can lead to burnout, and you might not remember everything well. Instead, spread your study sessions over a longer time to help you remember things better.

Also read our blog on Financing your master’s program in the USA.

When should you take the GRE?

Choosing your GRE preparation timeline depends on your goals and deadlines. If you plan to go to grad school right after graduation in India, taking the GRE in the pre-final year of your graduation is a good idea. This gives you time to prepare without worrying about your final-year projects or internships. Plus, your GRE score is good for five years, so you can use it even if you wait a bit before applying to school.

However, that may not always be possible. So, let’s break down some scenarios:

Pre-Final Year Student:

If you are currently a pre-final year student thinking about studying in the USA in August (Fall) 2025, it is best to take your GRE test before the end of September 2024. This gives you about 8-10 weeks to write a Statement of Purpose, get recommendation letters, and take the TOEFL or IELTS exam. This will also give you time to retake the GRE if you want to improve your GRE score. Please note that you can take the GRE only once every 21 days and up to five times a year. Your official GRE score will come about 8 to 10 days after the test.

Final-Year Student:

For final-year students graduating around June 2024 and planning to start their master’s program in the USA in August (Fall) 2025, you should start preparing for the GRE in May/June 2024. Depending on when you feel ready, you can take the test anytime between September and November 2024. This will help you to still meet the deadlines by December 31, 2024.

Working Professionals:

If you are a working professional or want to work for a few years after graduation before studying abroad, it is best to start preparing 8 to 10 months before the deadline. This gives you enough time to balance work and study commitments. Joining a weekend class at Dilip Oak’s Academy one of the best GRE preparation classes in Pune and practicing during the week would be a good way to get GRE-ready.

Ultimately, deciding when to take the GRE depends on your circumstances and goals. By breaking down the preparation process and using examples, this guide aims to make it easier for you to plan and prepare effectively for the exam. Good luck!

As India’s leading Study Abroad Consultant, Dilip Oak’s Academy offers a comprehensive suite of admission counseling services that can guide you through the entire process from Shortlisting Universities to Visa Counseling. With our expertise, we have successfully sent 32,000 students to various prestigious American universities like MIT, Stanford, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon. We also offer classroom and online coaching for GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS, as well as GRE Self Prep. To explore our services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-20-67444222.

TOEFL in 2 Months

Are you ready to master the TOEFL in 2 months and unlock opportunities for studying abroad? With dedication and strategic planning, achieving success in the TOEFL exam in 2 months is entirely possible. Whether aiming for TOEFL classes in Pune or seeking TOEFL online classes, this guide will provide valuable insights and actionable tips to maximize your preparation and ace the test.

Take a Diagnostic Test

Before diving into your TOEFL preparation, consider taking a diagnostic mock test to assess your current level. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and customize your study plan. By simulating test conditions and timing, you’ll get a realistic preview of the TOEFL exam experience and pinpoint areas that require more focus. Additionally, taking a mock test early on can serve as a motivational tool, providing you with a benchmark to track your progress throughout your preparation journey. Whether you opt for TOEFL classes in Pune or self-study, starting with a mock test can set you up for success by providing valuable insights and a clear starting point for your preparation.

Set Clear Goals

The next step is to take some time to define your goals. Determine your target score and the specific areas to focus on to achieve it. For example, if your dream university requires a TOEFL score of 100, make that your target and break it down into smaller, manageable goals for each test section.

Develop a Study Plan

Now that you know your starting point and your target, the next step is to develop a study plan. Remember that it’s essential to create a structured study plan that covers all sections of the TOEFL test: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. The diagnostic mock test will reveal your strengths and weaknesses, enabling you to allocate daily study and practice time accordingly. For example, if you struggle with the speaking section, schedule more practice sessions and speaking exercises in your study plan.

Did you know that you can report your test score free of cost to four universities? Click here to know more.

Utilize Quality Resources

Invest in high-quality TOEFL study materials and resources that align with the format and content of the exam. Look for reputable TOEFL online classes or coaching centers in your city that offer comprehensive study materials, practice tests, and expert guidance from experienced instructors. For example, enroll in a TOEFL coaching program that provides access to practice tests, study guides, and interactive lessons tailored to your learning style.

Practice Regularly

Consistent practice is key to mastering the TOEFL in 2 months. Set aside time each day to engage in active learning activities such as reading academic articles, listening to podcasts or lectures, practicing speaking exercises, and writing essays. Aim to simulate test conditions as closely as possible during your practice sessions. For example, use a timer to mimic the time constraints of the actual exam and practice under similar conditions to build your test-taking stamina.

Focus on Test Strategies

Familiarize yourself with effective test-taking strategies for each section of the TOEFL exam. Learn how to manage your time efficiently, skim and scan passages for key information, take effective notes during listening exercises, and structure your responses during the speaking and writing sections. For example, practice skimming and scanning techniques while reading passages to quickly identify main ideas and key details, which can help you answer questions more efficiently in the reading section.

Seek Feedback and Guidance

Take advantage of TOEFL online classes to receive personalized feedback and guidance from experienced instructors across India. Participate in mock tests and practice sessions to identify areas for improvement and refine your test-taking skills. For example, join a study group or attend TOEFL workshops to receive feedback from peers and instructors on your speaking and writing tasks. This will allow you to identify strengths and weaknesses and make targeted improvements.

Stay Motivated and Consistent

Maintaining motivation and consistency throughout your TOEFL preparation journey is crucial for success. Celebrate small victories along the way, stay positive, and remind yourself of your ultimate goal of studying abroad. Surround yourself with a supportive study group or community to stay motivated and accountable. For example, set up weekly study sessions with friends or classmates to review material, share tips, and keep each other motivated and on track.

In conclusion, cracking the TOEFL in 2 months requires dedication, strategic planning, and effective study techniques. By setting clear goals, developing a structured study plan, utilizing quality resources, practicing regularly, focusing on test strategies, seeking feedback and guidance, and staying motivated and consistent, you can maximize your chances of achieving your desired score and fulfilling your academic dreams of studying in the US. With TOEFL Classroom Coaching, you will have the support and resources you need to succeed. Start your TOEFL preparation journey today and take the first step towards a bright future abroad!

As India’s leading Study Abroad Consultant, Dilip Oak’s Academy offers a comprehensive suite of services, including GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, as well as GRE Self Prep. Furthermore, our admission counseling services can guide you through the entire process from Shortlisting Universities to Visa Counseling. With our expertise, we have successfully sent 32,000 students to various prestigious American universities like MIT, Stanford, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon. To enroll in our comprehensive overseas education consultancy services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-20-67444222.

GRE high-frequency words - Ethan's garden

Immerse yourself in a narrative rich with GRE high-frequency words, designed to enhance your GRE vocabulary skills while enjoying a captivating story of resilience and community spirit as Ethan navigates challenges, perseveres, and cultivates hope in a small town.

A Rural Haven

In the bucolic (rural) countryside of a small town, there lived a diligent (hard-working) and estimable (admirable) young man named Ethan. Ethan was known for his scrupulous (meticulous) attention to detail and his fervent (passionate) desire to ameliorate (improve) the lives of those around him. Despite the morose (gloomy) atmosphere that often hung over the town due to its precarious (unstable) economic situation, Ethan remained ebullient (cheerful) and hopeful, always harboring (maintaining) a fervor (enthusiasm) for positive change.

A Seed of Inspiration

One day, while perusing (reading) the local newspaper, Ethan stumbled upon an advertisement that caught his attention. It touted (promoted) a new initiative aimed at bolstering (strengthening) the town’s economy through the creation of a community garden. The idea was met with vociferous (loud) support from some residents but was met with disdain (contempt) from others who found it frivolous (unimportant) and spendthrift (wasteful), given the town’s current predicament (situation).

Ethan’s Determination

Undeterred (not discouraged) by the vociferous dissent (disagreement), Ethan decided to take matters into his own hands. He embarked (started) on a sedulous (careful) campaign to mollify (calm) the skeptics and galvanize (motivate) support for the project. With meticulous (careful) planning and an effervescent (enthusiastic) demeanor (behavior), he managed to win over even the most sanctimonious (self-righteous) critics.

Overcoming Opposition

Despite his initial success, Ethan faced myriad (numerous) obstacles along the way. Some accused him of being a spendthrift, others derided (mocked) his efforts as impractical and ostentatious (showy). Nevertheless, Ethan remained impervious (unaffected) to their criticism, determined to see his vision through to fruition (completion).

The Blossoming of Hope

As the days passed, Ethan’s efforts began to burgeon (expand rapidly). The community garden, once an arcane (mysterious) idea, now stood as a symbol of hope and resilience (strength) in the town. Ethan’s perseverance (persistence) and pragmatism (practicality) had paid off, and the garden became a bustling (busy) hub of activity, a testament (proof) to the efficacy (effectiveness) of his leadership.

Lessons Learned

In the end, Ethan’s endeavor (project) was not merely about cultivating crops but about fostering (encouraging) a sense of community and camaraderie (friendship) in a town plagued by divisiveness (division) and apathy (lack of interest). His story became an allegory (symbolic representation) for the power of perseverance in the face of adversity, a lesson that resonated (had an impact) far beyond the confines (limits) of the small town.

Ethan’s Garden has introduced you to over 50 GRE high-frequency words, enhancing your GRE vocabulary while captivating you with a tale of resilience. Remember, learning is ongoing. Keep exploring new words, deepening your understanding, and letting stories like Ethan’s inspire you. With each word learned, you’re not only expanding your GRE vocabulary but also your communication skills. So, let Ethan’s story be just the start of your journey into the world of words. Keep learning, keep growing, and watch your GRE vocabulary flourish like Ethan’s garden.

As India’s leading Study Abroad Consultant, Dilip Oak’s Academy offers a comprehensive suite of services, including GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, as well as GRE Self Prep. Furthermore, our admission counseling services can guide you through the entire process from Shortlisting Universities to Visa Counseling. With our expertise, we have successfully sent 32,000 students to various prestigious American universities like MIT, Stanford, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon. To enroll in our comprehensive overseas education consultancy services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-20-67444222.

Getting an Internship during your USA Master's Program

Are you a student pursuing a Master’s degree in the USA? Are you eager to gain practical experience and boost your career prospects with an internship? Look no further! Here’s everything you need to know about securing an internship during your USA Master’s program!

Understanding CPT (Curriculum Practical Training)

If you’re enrolled in a Master’s program, you’re eligible for CPT, which allows you to work in a position related to your field of study. To qualify, you need to have a valid F-1 immigration status for at least two full-time semesters (equivalent to one academic year). CPT lets you work in a job related to your field of study for up to 364 days.

Why Go for Internships?

Internships aren’t just about making coffee runs, and they offer much more than just workplace experience – they provide invaluable insights into American work culture and help you build a strong foundation for your future career. Typically lasting 10 to 12 weeks during summer breaks (generally from 15th May to 15th August), internships offer opportunities to apply classroom learning to real-world scenarios. Some universities even allow extensions for up to 20 weeks (i.e., for the entire third semester), providing extended hands-on experience. In very rare cases, students can do an Internships during the USA Master’s Program for the full term of 364 days.

The Legal Stuff

Before you jump into an internship, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements. To be eligible for an internship, you must obtain CPT work authorization, which allows off-campus employment for international students (F-1 visa holders) pursuing study programs in the USA and wanting to gain experience in their fields of study. Keep in mind that CPT is not available once you’ve completed your degree program.

Still studying for your GRE? Explore our numerous blogs on GRE Quantitative Reasoning and GRE Verbal Reasoning.

How to Secure an Internship during your USA Master’s Program?

Here are some simple yet effective tips to help you land your dream internship:

Polish Your Resume:

  • Outline your major responsibilities within your previous professional work experience. Include action words (such as facilitated, led, managed, maintained, operated, recommended, etc.) that highlight your skills.
  • List relevant courses or projects you have worked on.
  • List your extracurricular activities or volunteer experience.
  • Keep the formatting simple and clean.

Tap into Your University’s Resources:

Every university has a career center or an internship coordinator for co-op and internship programs. Approach them to apply to the positions that interest you. Generally, every university also has a career center website showing internship opportunities in various corporations. Students are advised to visit this website regularly for updated listings and resources.

Explore Online Platforms:

Use job boards like LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed, and Glassdoor to search for internships in your field of interest. Create profiles and set up job alerts to stay informed about new opportunities. You can also use online forums like Glassdoor to look at the interview questions asked in companies that interest you.

Network, Network, Network:

  • Request Referrals within Your Network: Connect with individuals in your network within the US and inquire if they are acquainted with employees at companies you are interested in. Internal referrals from existing employees can significantly increase the likelihood of your resume being considered for an interview.
  • Career Fairs: Universities typically host career fairs each semester, providing an excellent opportunity to engage with potential employers and alumni. These events offer insights into industry hiring trends, facilitate networking, and present internship prospects.
  • Information Sessions and Tech Talks: Universities often arrange information sessions and tech talks featuring various companies, especially during career fairs. These sessions allow current employees, often university alumni, to share insights about their companies and potential opportunities. Prepare a targeted resume to distribute and ask insightful questions beyond what’s available on the company’s website.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you – take action now! Update your resume, reach out to your network, and start exploring internship options today. Whether you are aiming for a summer internship during your USA Master’s Program or seeking opportunities during the academic year, now is the time to kickstart your career journey.

As India’s leading Study Abroad Consultant, Dilip Oak’s Academy offers a comprehensive suite of admission counseling services that can guide you through the entire process from Shortlisting Universities to Visa Counseling. With our expertise, we have successfully sent 32,000 students to various prestigious American universities like MIT, Stanford, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon. We also offer classroom and online coaching for GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS, as well as GRE Self Prep. To explore our services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-20-67444222.

When you’re accepted into a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school in the United States as an international student on an F-1 or M-1 visa, you’ll receive a Form I-20 from your designated school official (DSO). This I-20 Form, issued by the Department of Homeland Security, is crucial as it certifies your eligibility to travel to the US as a student, distinguishing you from an immigrant.
Remember that your I-20 is essential for visa application and entry to the US but is NOT a visa. Visas are issued by US consulates, while the I-20 is produced by your school.

Key Points to Verify on Your I-20 Form

Your I-20 is a 3-page document containing essential details, with the most crucial information on the first page. Before accepting your I-20, it’s important to check the following:

Personal Information

Verify that the following details match those on your passport:

  • Surname/Primary name
  • Given name
  • Country of birth
  • Country of citizenship
  • City of birth
  • Date of birth

School Information

Confirm that the following details are correct:

  • School name (name of the university)
  • Education level (degree applied for)
  • Major (field of study)
  • Start of classes (start date of the course)
  • Program start and end date

In case there’s a mistake in the above information, you can request the university to send a revised and corrected I-20.

Note: While the typical duration between the start and end dates is around 21 months, on certain I-20 forms, it may extend to 28 or even 36 months. However, this does not imply that your course will be longer. The university provides a grace period for completing your studies. Most programs are completed within 3 to 4 semesters, totaling 16 to 21 months.

Financials

Review the estimated costs and funding sources on the form, including scholarships, personal funds, and other financial assistance.
Most universities provide the estimated average cost for 9 months, while some cover expenses for 12 months, which includes living costs for the Summer semester.
The estimated average cost specifies each of the following items separately:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Living expenses
  • Expenses of dependents
  • Other miscellaneous costs, such as health insurance

This section also mentions Funding sources, which may include

  • Funds from the school (scholarships/financial assistance)
  • Personal funds, funds from another source (Family funds)
  • Funds from other sources

During the visa interview, students must present financial documents demonstrating access to liquid funds equivalent to the total cost specified on the I-20.
Note: Liquid funds include funds in bank, education loan, employee provident fund, investment in shares and mutual funds.

School and Student Attestation

Confirm that the appropriate university official has signed the I-20. It is also important for you to sign it before your visa interview.

Understanding the Second and Third Pages of the Form I-20

The university utilizes the second page of the I-20 for employment authorization during Curriculum Practical Training (CPT), which allows the student to work in the United States. It also serves as a travel endorsement for a student’s re-entry to the same school after a temporary absence from the United States. Each endorsement remains valid for one year. The third page provides essential instructions for students.

Electronic I-20 Copy for Visa Application

An electronic copy of your signed I-20 is acceptable for visa appointments and entry to the US. Print the signed copy for your visa interview and travel.

Visa Application and SEVIS Fee

After receiving your I-20, you can apply for your visa by scheduling your interview within 360 days before the program start date. Before the interview, ensure you pay the $350 SEVIS fee online. To pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee, go to FMJfee and fill out the SEVIS Form I-901.

Dependent I-20s

Your family members (spouse or unmarried children under 21) must have their own separate I-20s. They will need these I-20s to apply for and enter the US with F-2 visas.

Traveling with your I-20 Form

While studying as an F-1 student, having your I-20 with you is important whenever you travel. You’ll need to carry it along with your passport and F-1 visa when traveling internationally and returning to the US. Make sure to get your I-20 signed by an advisor from the International Center at least once a year if you plan to travel outside the US.

Other Uses of the Form I-20 Form

Your Form I-20 serves as proof of your legal enrollment in a study program within the United States, which is essential when seeking benefits accessible to F and M students. Whether applying for a driver’s license, a Social Security Number, or commencing employment on or off campus, remember to carry your Form I-20 with you.

In Conclusion

Understanding your I-20 is crucial for a smooth transition to studying in the US. By carefully reviewing its contents and following the necessary steps, you can ensure compliance with immigration regulations and enjoy a successful academic journey in the United States.

As India’s leading Study Abroad Consultant, Dilip Oak’s Academy offers a comprehensive suite of admission counseling services that can guide you through the entire process from Shortlisting Universities to Visa Counseling. With our expertise, we have successfully sent 32,000 students to various prestigious American universities like MIT, Stanford, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon. We also offer classroom and online coaching for GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS, as well as GRE Self Prep. To explore our services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-20-67444222.