Lockdown Upgrade: Dilip Oak’s Academy’s Online GRE Coaching!

Dear students and readers,
To make sure that the lockdown does not hamper with our students’ prep, Dilip Oak’s Academy started online coaching to cater to our existing students. We are happy to announce that, with the combined efforts of our staff, technical team, and faculty members, the initiative was a resounding success with over 850 students attending ongoing classes, conducted 150+ course hours, for GRE, IELTS, and German language.

By modernizing our 30+ years of coaching experience, our online sessions built on our strengths. The effort was well appreciated and based on the positive feedback we received, we have now launched completely new online batches with live lectures and doubt-solving sessions. These are a few things we promise to deliver with our forthcoming online sessions as well:

Dilip Oak’s Academy’s Online Coaching Highlights:

  • Interactive live lessons with dynamic faculty-driven discussions

  • Easy to understand topic-wise presentations and notes

  • Well-structured and well-paced sessions

  • Real-time exercise and practice with plenty of questions to solve

  • Extensive use of whiteboard for providing explanations and solving exercises

  • One-on-one as well as group-based doubt-solving sessions

  • Implementation of stringent security protocols (including closed classes and constant monitoring)

Our current students are our best supporters, who lauded our initiative with glowing reviews that speak for themselves:

“The session was perfect, as smooth as classroom lectures, with no technical glitches that are common in online classes. Every doubt was cleared and every question answered, just like their classroom sessions.”- Akshay

“The teaching was splendid! I was comfortable answering and raising doubts in the interactive chat, which was immediately acknowledged by the faculty. Praachi Kale ma’am and Vikram Thatte sir’s lectures were very interactive and they solved every small doubt. It was a great experience.”- Siddhee

“A big thank you to Vikram Thatte sir for conducting VT 7-12 lectures online. The lectures were very well presented with solutions and diagrams provided for each question. I loved how the 90 minutes were utilized, including the Q&A session at the end. Kudos.”- Revati

“The lectures are interactive and the faculty makes sure that every aspect is clear and comprehensible. The communication style of Prof Vivek Gupta is admirable.”- Sarang

“Teachers do not hesitate to repeat anything no matter how many ever times a student asks a particular question.”- Sangawar

“The punctuality, the thorough nature of the lectures, and the meticulous treatment given to the questions, answers, and explanations were the things that stood out for me.”- Ojus

“I loved how all the lectures were moderated by a co-host, who helped to maintain discipline and avoid pranks leading to smooth and uninterrupted sessions.” – Gandhi

Heartened by our success so far, we are launching new batches of online classes in the month of June for GRE aspirants, who want to continue studying from the comfort of their homes. For more information, drop us an email now at support@dilipoakacademy.com

GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode 4

Take a break from the binge-watching and binge read this week’s eclectic selection which features everything from guns to gurus. Our two listicles talk about human evolution and innovation to focus on the indomitable spirit of our species. The three articles present a triptych on our current situation: an example from antiquity, a glimpse into future consequences, and of course, overcoming harsh conditions and soldiering on in the face of adversity!

Time to begin your binge…

  1. From social networking to undertaking global journeys, our ancestors did it all!
  2. What do AK-47s, office cubicles, and Comic Sans have in common?
  3. All play and no work make Jack duller, dumber, and poorer…
  4. A medieval superhighway to death…
  5. How to paint the town red from your home…

Look out for a new Reading List every week on Thursday!

Will President Trump’s New Executive Order of Temporary Immigration Suspension Affect Indian Students?

To begin with, students planning to study in the USA need not worry about this order.

President Donald Trump, on Wednesday, April 22, signed an executive order temporarily suspending immigration (new green cards). He said that he took this action to protect American jobs amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, there has been a lot of panic and confusion among Indian students about the implications of the order on student visas and work permits.

But as a matter of fact, the order applies only to those seeking permanent residence (green card) in the United States. It has been issued only for 60 days, at which point it will be re-evaluated and potentially extended.

To further clear the confusion, here are a few specifics of the order:

The order will apply to foreign nationals seeking a Green Card and who are outside the US at the time of the order. (With certain exceptions)

The order does not apply to non-immigrant visa applicants such as F1, H1B, and L1. So students who have completed their graduation and are on OPT can apply for their H1B visa (work permit) without any hassle.

Similarly, the order also has no effect on F1 visas, and students seeking to go to the US for further studies can do so without any hindrance from US consulates in India.

The order does not affect the processing of immigrant petitions (Green Card) and adjustment of status applications for those who are applying for their green cards from within the US.

GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode 3

Welcome to the latest installment of the GREat Five-Minute Reads. As the dystopic future becomes the current reality, thanks to the worldwide lockdown brought about by a microscopic virus, we present a few distractions that can also serve as drills for your GRE Reading Comprehension and Sentence Completion tasks. Who said learning had to be boring?

  1. iGlasses, anyone? Augmented Reality: possibility or certainty?
  2. Lessons from History to Help you Prepare for the Worst
  3. Plata o plomo? O cobre? Learn how the Spanish conquered the Americas
  4. Did you know you can use oil and eggs to make paintings?
  5. Send out the Bat Signal: these flying oddities are everywhere!

Look out for a new Reading List every week on Thursday!

Lockdown Dilemma : Go For Online Semester or Request a Deferral?

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak and lockdown, most of the US universities are currently offering two options to fall 2020 students:

1) Online semester for fall 2020 and regular on-campus coaching from spring 2021

2) Deferral to spring 2021/fall 2021

Now as you are aware, the situation is indeed gruesome in the United States where the number of corona patients is increasing every day and there is no clarity on when the pandemic will be arrested and things will normalize.  Under such circumstances, it is obvious for the universities to offer deferrals or move to online teaching as a precautionary measure.

However, as Indian students, here are a few things you must take into consideration before making any decision:

Feasibility of online semester

  • Even for the online medium, students will have to pay full tuition fees for the full semester. (Some universities may reduce fees by 20 to 25 percent)
  • Online semester will mean no financial assistance, no campus jobs/RA/TA which then makes the course unnecessarily expensive to bear.
  • Online semester does not offer the exposure and opportunities that a student otherwise gets while on campus.
  • There are certain limitations to online coaching since the interaction is usually limited as compared to classroom coaching.
  • In any case, students will have to apply for the F1 visa for spring 2021 and in the worst circumstances, if the visa gets rejected; the entire amount spent on the online fall semester goes waste.

Current visa scenario

  • The US consulate has been non-operational since March 16 and there is no clarity when it will resume operations. Once it resumes, there will be a tremendous rush for visas and the situation will become chaotic. (Though it is quite possible that the consulate will give priority to student visas.)

Taking all these factors into account, we recommend that you get in touch with the concerned university official and request time till the end of May to make the final decision of deferral.

Coronavirus Lockdown: SAT Updates and Quick Home Prep Guide

As per the recent update, the College Board has canceled both the May 2 and June 6, 2020, SAT and SAT Subject Tests and the new weekend administrations will now begin from August. This includes a new administration in September and the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5.

Students will be able to register for these new administrations starting in May. Those students who had already registered for May/June can get early access to register for August, September, and October.

On the backdrop of cancellation of the test and suspension of classes due to lockdown, it is imperative that students do not lose their grip on studies and continue their preparation at home. Considering this, we have come up with this quick home prep guide that will enable students to continue studying methodically and make the most of this lockdown time:

Reading Section

  • Read a lot! The reading section of SAT has five long passages, most of which are non-fiction and can fully make you anxious if you haven’t practiced reading. Make it a point that you dedicate at least one hour every day to reading.
  • Skim through non-fiction articles and literature articles and try to get acquainted with their style and content. If you are Dilip Oak’s Academy student, you can practice reading passages from McGraw Hill. Others can practice from any of the following books: McGraw-Hill, Barrens, Black Book or Kallis.
  • Apart from the books, here are a few sources you can refer to, to practice reading:
  1. The New York Times: www.nytimes.com
  2. The Economist: www.economist.com
  3. The Scientific American: www.scientificamerican.com
  4. Smithsonian Magazine: www.Smithsonian.mag
  5. National Geographic: www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine
  6. Arts & Letters Daily: www.aldaily.com
  7. Time: www.time.com
  8. Newsweek: www.newsweek.com
  9. Historical Documents: www.uhistory.org/documents/

Writing section

  • Sharpen your grammar skills. Make sure that you keep practicing basic grammar and vocabulary. Create your own flashcards and practice vocabulary, at least ten new words every day.
  • Focus more on punctuation, tenses and subject verb agreement as these are the topics that need maximum practice.
  • Again, refer to any of the books mentioned in the above point and keep solving.
  • For essays, try to write one essay topic every week so you get used to the expected writing format. Once you are through with the writing style, practice timed writing.
  • Read editorial pieces and try to grasp ways in which the writer constructs arguments and try to write likewise.

 Maths section

  • Consistent practice is the best way to ace the SAT Maths section. Practice as much as you can from multiple books. Dedicate at least two hours every day to solving Maths.
  • Focus equally on both with and without calculator sections.
  • Stress more on equations and quadratics as these topics are tougher.
  • Make it a point that you solve graphically than with a pen and paper so that you waste less time and finish solving all the questions in the given time.

For all the sections, make sure you take as many free College Board tests as possible to master them thoroughly. Take at least two full-length tests to know where you stand and improvise accordingly.

GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode 2

In this second edition of GREat Five-Minute Reads, we present to you an eclectic mix of topics to whet your appetite for reading! From historic Moors to futuristic genetic studies, from hot-blooded activists to the cool-headed polar residents, munch on these thought-provoking titbits to make the most of your weekend.

  1. “A woman should have the right to be in the home as a wife and mother”
  2. Fittest or Fattest? It is all the same for these polar bears!
  3. The Moors: Islamic art in ancient Spain.
  4. One Man’s Rebel is Another Man’s Hero!
  5. If you think you may go mad when you are old, think again…or read this:

Look out for a new Reading List every week on Thursday!

Coronavirus Lockdown: Tips for easy IELTS and TOEFL Prep at Home

As you are aware, most classes have been temporarily suspended and tests like GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS have been postponed due to Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown. Also, there is no clarity on when the classes will resume and situations will normalize.

To help you make optimum use of this lockdown time, we discussed in our last blog, a few tips that can help you to prepare for the GRE while at home. When it comes to TOEFL and IELTS, most of you are used to classroom practice and find it difficult to manage it at home. In this blog, we shall discuss a few easy strategies that will help you to overcome this hurdle and boost your prep even when at home:

TOEFL

  • Read news articles, story archives or any other interesting article for about 30 minutes every day and reflect on your understanding of it. While doing this, underline new words, write them down in a book, memorize them and try to use them while speaking. Some of the recommended reading sources are New Yorker, NY Times, Huffington Post, and TOI.
  • Listen more to native English speakers for getting a grip on pronunciations and speed. You can listen to FluentU videos, TED Talks, YouTube videos and podcasts, BBC Radio and NPR. Pause the audio clip after every few seconds and try to see if you are able to understand well and where you are falling short. For good lectures and conversations, go to Gothica on Youtube and practice.
  • For the writing section, pick the topics of your choice and practice timed writing for the essays. For Dilip Oak’s students, you can practice topics on Page 38 of the TOEFL book thoroughly.
  • For the speaking section, speak on any topic of your choice (timed for 45 seconds as per TOEFL requirement) and record it on your phone. For Oak’s Academy students, practice topics from Page 123 of the book, others can browse any topics online. Go back to the recording and check for fluency, grammar, pronunciations, clarity etc. Ask your friends or family to listen to your recording and get feedback. This will help you to improve more.
  • You can take a free practice test on the ETS official website.

 

IELTS

  • Read news articles, story archives or any other interesting article for about 30 minutes every day and reflect on your understanding of it. Read the National Geographic more since many IELTS passages are Science passages. For Oak’s Academy students, you can practice from IELTS Book 2.
  • For listening practice, go for TED Talks, FluentU videos etc. You can also access a lot of listening practice material on https://allieltsmaterial.blogspot.com/
  • For speaking practice, record a timed response (11-14 minutes) on your phone on any topic of your choice, go back and listen to it to know your mistakes and assess your performance. For Oak’s students, you can practice topics from Book 1.
  • or writing essays, Academy students can refer to Book 1 which has a pool of topics for task 1 and task 2. You can also write on any other relevant topic. For the initial one or two attempts, you may write an untimed essay. Once you get a hang of writing strategies, go for timed practice only.

GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode One

Tired of studying all the time? Instead of binge-watching the latest sitcom online, why not try some reading for fun?

Starting this week, we present to you GREat Five-Minute Reads, curated and compiled by faculty members to ensure that you augment your critical reasoning skills by understanding complex sentence structures and recognizing tricky context clues.

Need more incentive? Well, these articles will also boost your comprehension of tough vocabulary: since the ETS opts for words that can be broadly used in many contexts across many academic disciplines, these words are almost non-existent in everyday conversations or TV scripts. This makes grasping the vocabulary in Reading Comprehension passages or Sentence Completion texts like tackling a behemoth. A simple solution? Read a lot to find out how these words behave in their “natural habitat”, so you can tame the leviathans easily!

This Week’s Reading List:

1] Dinosaurs weren’t the only ones!

2] Alterations to Art

3] Oh Mummy! Old Egyptians, New Curses!

4] From Socialite to Novelist: Edith Wharton’s journey

5] We are all Carbon Copies

Look out for a new Reading List every week on Thursday!

Coronavirus Lockdown: How To Use The Lockdown Time For Smart GRE Prep

The looming uncertainties about visa processes and admissions to US universities due to ongoing lockdown have put the long term plans on hold for many students who have already secured university admits. Meanwhile, many of you, who are currently preparing for the GRE and have joined GRE coaching, are also finding it difficult to plan and manage their studies due to suspension of classes and postponement of tests.

As of now, there is no clarity by when these situations will improve and classes will resume. Therefore, to help you make the best use of this lockdown time without being affected by the mounting pressure, we have come up with a few tips that will help you continue your studies at home, in a smart way! 

Verbal Reasoning Section

  • Keep reading. Not losing touch with the syllabus is most crucial at this point. Revise and practice whatever has been covered in your class till now.
  • Solve at least five to six passages for Reading Comprehension and 10-15 questions for Sentence Equivalence, Text Completion and Sentence Completion every day. Understand where you are going wrong and improvise accordingly.
  • Learn and memorize at least 20 to 25 GRE words every day. Mark the ones you find difficult and practice them more.
  • Brainstorm two to three Issue and Argument topics each, every alternate day to cover different topics.
  • Practice writing at least two Issue and Argument essays each in 30 minutes, every week, to become comfortable with timed writing.

 Quantitative Reasoning Section

  • Make sure to revise and be thorough with basic concepts and formulae.
  • Focus more on quantitative comparison questions since they are trickier than other question types and constitute around 40 percent of the total 20 questions.
  • Solve one set (minimum of 20 questions) every day.
  • The Data Interpretation section is relatively easy to study and score, so make sure you practice that section well. 
  • Most engineering students are good with basic concepts but make silly mistakes during calculations and lose marks. To avoid this, practice manually, using a pen and paper so you become more attentive.
  • For those who are students of Dilip Oak’s Academy, solve Book 4 thoroughly. It will help you to understand the exact requirement of every problem and use the concepts correctly. If you do this, you can manage to score 160+ easily. 

GRE Material and Prep Tools for Quick Study

If you are a Dilip Oak’s Academy student, you have a suite of online features that you can make maximum use of to practice:

Focused Practice – Reinforce your understanding by testing yourself on:

  • Topic-wise questions for the Quantitative Reasoning section
  • Specific question types for the Verbal Reasoning section
  • 400+ on Verbal and Quantitative sections combined

Test Prep

  • Customized Practice Sessions: choose question types and difficulty levels and practice using timed and untimed modes
  • In-depth Explanatory Answers: view detailed explanations for every question
  • Instant Review: view your results immediately after each practice session

Full-length Tests

  • AWM Essays: graded on ETS’s 6-point scale with feedback from the experts
  • Explanatory Review: details explanatory answers for every single question
  • Detailed Analysis: question-wise analysis of your performance to enable you to gauge your strengths and weaknesses

Vocabulary App – Covers 1500 high-frequency words

  • Images illustrating word meaning
  • Sample sentences and roots
  • Test mode to help you master the word list.

Note: All the above-mentioned facilities can be availed fully only if you have enrolled for GRE coaching at Dilip Oak’s Academy. If you are not an academy student, you can still purchase our online practice packages. View our Plans & Pricing HERE