This week we bring you Suhas Bhadgaonkar, a software professional, and one of our alumni. He’s here with his experiences in getting admission to UC Irivine.
Name: Sagar Suhas Bhadgaonkar
Degree: BE (Computer Engineering), Univ. of Pune
Work Experience: 2.5+ years in Accenture Technology Solutions, as a Software Engineer
GRE Score: 1400 (Old Scale)/ 322 (New Scale)
– Verbal: 640 (Old Scale)/162 (New Scale)
– Quant: 760 (Old Scale)/160 (New Scale)
My journey to a US university started when an acquaintance came to visit my home in Pune after spending a few years working for Oracle in San Jose. It was mid-May, and some of my other friends from Accenture had got admits from American universities and were planning to get visas and complete other application formalities. There was a ‘buzz’ in the air about going to America. My friend’s visit was like a little piece of sodium dropped into a bowl of water. The thought of the opportunities that lay in wait for me in the US began to bubble up in my mind. When the ‘reaction’ had subsided, higher studies and subsequent professional opportunities in America were the clear focus.
Like a lot of us who are now going to US, I was born and brought up in a middle class family with no immediate relatives in US). So, though the thought of studying further, or doing ‘something’, had been present in my mind for quite a while, I had never planned on going to US for higher education. The examples of my friends started me thinking about pursuing an MS in the USA.
For takers of the TOEFL examination, the www.toeflgoanywhere.org website offers a host of preparation materials and tips for cracking the exam. One easy-to-use resource is the Online Study Group that presents a creative and interactive way for students to pick up helpful hints.
The Study Group covers all the four sections – Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing – in four separate videos, each showing a conversation among four friends. The casual style of the videos makes it much easier for students to grasp the strategies than reading study material about the exam.
The videos mainly focus on important support skills such as paraphrasing and summarizing, which come in handy for the Writing, Reading and Speaking sections. The suggestions for the Listening section include simple things that one can do as part of one’s daily routine – watching American sit-coms and listening to English songs to improve vocabulary, for example. Or, reading aloud articles from magazines to improve fluency in speech for students who find it difficult to come up with quick answers in the Speaking section.
The Study Group videos are an interesting and quick way to learn some basic strategies for the TOEFL exam, and are especially useful for students who are just starting out on their TOEFL preparation. So, if you haven’t yet begun on your TOEFL preparation, take fifteen minutes out of your study schedule to visit this link:
Raj, Val, Min and Celia will share important tips with you based on their TOEFL experience!
Here’s the next part of Debanjana’s tips – this time with lots of specifics for each section of the test!
Before starting with this set of tips specifically for the Quantitative, Verbal and AW sections, I must mention that I took classes from Dilip Oak’s Academy and I will be talking a lot about the Academy’s classes and materials because I found them extremely useful in preparing for these sections. In giving these tips, I am also assuming that you too are a student of Dilip Oak’s Academy. Of course, you will have your own experience and perspective, but here’s what I would suggest.
This week’s blog is by another of our high scorers, Debanjana Nayak who got a a really great score of 330/340. What makes this score a special one is that Debanjana is working.
So, this post is especially for all the working folks: if you are in a job and feel it might be difficult for you to prepare, here’s some inspiration! (By the way this post is just the first part. More to follow!)
Before, I start with my tips, here is a bit on my background. I graduated with an Electronics and Communication Engineering degree from WBUT in 2010 and soon after joined Tech Mahindra as a Technical Associate. I have been working there for almost 2 years now.
After having worked in the company for about 1 year, I decided to pursue higher studies in the US (targeting fall 2013). Since I intended to keep my job and prepare for the exams (GRE & TOEFL) side-by-side, I started preparation early, around October, 2011, almost 7 months in advance. I finally gave my GRE on 25th April, 2012. My scores are as follows:
- Quantitative – 166/170
- Verbal – 164/170
- AWM – 4/6