Navigating Financial Aid: A Guide for Indian Students Pursuing Higher Education in the US

The dream of pursuing higher education in the esteemed universities of the United States often seems financially daunting. However, there’s a silver lining: a multitude of financial aid options are available to deserving students. For many Indian students, the costs have been significantly mitigated through the generous financial assistance programs offered by US universities.

Assistantships: A Pathway to Affordability

One of the primary avenues for financial assistance is through assistantship programs. Several universities award assistantships in the form of teaching and research assistantships to master’s and doctoral program students. These require awardees to perform certain services for a specified number of hours per week. The awards are usually for the current semester and may be extendable depending on the awarding requirements of the department and the funds available. Continuation also depends on the student’s maintaining a good academic record.

These include:

  • Teaching Assistantships (TA): Involving aiding faculty members in teaching (mostly elementary lab courses), conducting tutorial/problem-solving sessions or grading answer scripts. Depending on their competence and interest in the subject, teaching assistantships may also provide students opportunities to work outside their department in areas like Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. Many universities assess these through a test.
  • Research Assistantships (RA): Providing opportunities to work on university research projects under the guidance of faculty. The selection may involve an interview/written exam to test your aptitude, knowledge and skills.

Both teaching and research assistantships require students to work up to 20 hours a week and carry a stipend and tuition waiver depending on the extent of the award (the full 20 hours or less). Generally, even a 10-hour job substantially reduces tuition and compensates for living expenses. The student’s performance in the duties assigned is closely monitored. The student is also required to maintain his academic performance in the graduate program and show good progress in his research work.

Tuition Waivers: Easing Financial Load Based on Performance

Universities often offer tuition waivers based on academic performance. These waivers can be full or partial, covering semester fees or specific credit charges. Some universities even extend in-state tuition benefits to international students, substantially reducing overall costs.

Graduate School Fellowships: Recognizing Excellence

These are offered only to outstanding students. The student is nominated by their graduate program. Generally, the awards are given to students admitted to Ph.D. programs in the department and, as a rule, exempt students from any specific duties. The students are expected to perform full-time research and may occasionally be required to perform teaching duties for a semester as a part of their program.

On-Campus Employment: Balancing Work and Studies

International students on F-1 visas can engage in on-campus employment. These part-time roles, such as positions in cafeterias, libraries, or administrative offices, typically pay between $10 to $14 per hour, allowing a maximum of 20 hours per week.

Internships: Blending Academia with Practical Experience

After completing two semesters of full-time education, students can pursue internships related to their field of study, aligning with their academic training. These internships fall under Curricular Practical Training during the program, governed by US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) regulations.

Indian Government and Private Trust Scholarships: Seeking External Support

Researching and finding information about scholarships offered by the Indian Government and other trusts can be useful. The Government of India (GOI) offers scholarships for advanced education to SC and ST students, and the Social Welfare Departments of respective state governments administer these. GOI also has a scheme of supporting higher education in areas where India lacks facilities for such education.

Several private trusts, like Inlaks, Sakal India Foundation, J N Tata Trust, and K.C.Mahindra Scholarships, offer substantial amounts to students going to top-ranking universities. (There are also the Cambridge Trusts if you want to apply to Cambridge). However, the trust may have certain specific criteria that the applicant must meet. The announcements for these scholarships appear in leading newspapers.

Education Loans: Banking on Future Success

Banks in India provide education loans with competitive interest rates, offering financial assistance for the total cost of education aiding students in fulfilling their academic aspirations. The rate of interest varies between 9% to 13%. For more information, please read our dedicated blog post on education loans.

Conclusion: A Feasible Path Ahead

While the costs of education in American universities may seem prohibitive at first glance, a myriad of financial aid options exist for Indian students. From assistantships to scholarships and on-campus employment, these avenues help alleviate the financial burden, making the dream of studying in the US a tangible and achievable reality for many.

Remember, these opportunities are competitive and often require outstanding academic records or meeting specific criteria. Researching and understanding the various forms of financial aid can significantly bolster your chances of securing assistance for your academic journey in the United States.

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 91-020-67444222.

Illuminating the Essence of Diwali: A Linguistic Celebration

As we delve into the intricate details of Diwali’s festivities and its underlying spiritual connotations, we’ll illuminate this enchanting celebration with an array of 100+ GRE words that aptly encapsulate its essence.

***(Anticipate the contextual meaning as you read through the blog. Later, revise the words using the meanings provided here.)

Diwali, the festival of lights, is a resplendent celebration that transcends boundaries and embraces the rich tapestry of Indian culture. With a history steeped in tradition and mythology, Diwali is a quintessential festival celebrated by millions across the globe. The word “Diwali” itself holds profound significance, derived from the Sanskrit words “deepa” (lamp) and “avali” (row), symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness.

Euphoric Preparations

The Diwali season commences weeks in advance as households embark on a flurry of preparations. Streets and marketplaces burgeon with an assortment of decorations, a melange of colors, and an array of aromatic delicacies. Families engage in meticulous cleaning and decorating, a ritual, known as “shringar,” to embellish their homes with vibrant rangoli patterns, marigold garlands, and shimmering lanterns.

The Significance of Each of the Five Days:

The five-day revelry commences with Dhanteras, marking the inauguration of the festivities. On this day, devout reverence is extended to Lord Dhanvantari, the revered deity associated with medicine and Ayurveda. It is also regarded as propitious to invest in gold and silver during Dhanteras, believed to usher in auspiciousness and affluence.

Diwali’s significance is grounded in a plethora of mythological narratives and enigmatic legends. The most renowned legend is the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya following his victory over the demon king Ravana. This story highlights themes of valorrighteousness, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Naraka Chaturdashi, the second day, is a commemoration of Lord Krishna’s subdual of the formidable demon Narakasura. People rise at dawn to perform ablutions, signifying personal purification. Subsequently, they illuminate their residences and workplaces with the radiance of oil lamps and candles.

The third day, the central Diwali day or Lakshmi Puja, is dedicated to venerating Goddess Lakshmi, the divine patroness of wealth and prosperity. Families unite in special prayers and pujas, imploring blessings for an opulent forthcoming year. Abodes are bejeweled with oil lamps, resplendent rangoli motifs, and fragrant blossoms. As evening descends, a symphony of firecrackers reverberates, rejoicing in the supremacy of righteousness over malevolence.

The fourth day, known as Govardhan Puja or Padwa, is a day of reverence for Lord Krishna, who upraised the Govardhan Hill to shield the villagers from the wrath of Lord Indra. People also engage in the exchange of gifts and sweets, visiting their kith and kin to cement bonds of camaraderie.

The concluding day of Diwali, Bhai Dooj or Yama Dwitiya, celebrates the fraternal and sororal connection. Sisters craft delectable delicacies for their brothers, embellishing their foreheads with a tilak (vermilion mark). Brothers reciprocate with gifts to honor this cherished relationship.

During the five days, you will observe: 

Radiant Decorations

An array of decorations, each reflecting a sense of opulence and festivity, festoon homes and public spaces. The artistic embellishments, from torans (door hangings) to intricate paper lanterns, add to the overall splendor of the festival.

Luminous Illumination

At the heart of Diwali lies the symbolic lighting of lamps, diyas, and candles. Kindling these luminous lights not only brightens the physical realm but also represents the inner illumination, with knowledge dispelling ignorance. The interplay of light and shadow casts an ethereal glow on the surroundings, signifying the victory of truth over falsehood.

Mellifluous Melodies

Diwali’s spiritual and cultural significance finds resonance in the mellifluous strains of devotional music and classical ragas. The enchanting melodies of bhajans (hymns) and classical compositions often captivate the hearts of devotees. The tabla, sitar, and harmonium lend a harmonious quality to the atmosphere, invoking a sense of transcendence.

Sumptuous Feasting

The Diwali feast is a cornucopia of flavors and aromas, offering a gastronomic experience that tantalizes the senses. Savory delights such as samosas, pakoras, and chaats are accompanied by an array of sweets, including the delectable gulab jamun, jalebi, and rasgulla. The extravagant spread mirrors the festival’s festive and indulgent nature.

Communal Merriment

Diwali is a time for communal bonding, transcending barriers of age, caste, and creed. Families and friends come together to exchange gifts and sweets, igniting a sense of camaraderie and warmth. The sense of togetherness exemplifies the festival’s universal appeal.

Transcendent Spirituality

For many, Diwali is not merely a festival but a deeply spiritual journey. The Sanskrit concept of “Atman” (the individual soul) and “Brahman” (the universal soul) comes into focus, inspiring introspection and the search for the divine within. It prompts contemplation of the transient nature of life and the pursuit of eternal knowledge. Praying and seeking blessings from deities invokes a sense of humility, demonstrating that even the most erudite minds have much to learn.

Exuberant Fireworks

The night of Diwali is marked by the resounding burst of fireworks that light up the sky. The sky becomes an effulgent canvas adorned with a plethora of pyrotechnic displays. The jubilant explosions metaphorically represent the celebration’s exuberance as people welcome the festival with a bang.

Charitable Giving

Diwali also underscores the significance of charitable acts and compassion. Many people dedicate a portion of their earnings to charitable endeavors, following the principle of “dharma” (duty) and “seva” (service). This philanthropic element underscores the festival’s theme of giving and sharing.

Auspicious Attire

As Diwali approaches, people adorn themselves in resplendent garments that symbolize purity and renewal. Women don colorful sarees or lehengas, often embellished with intricate embroidery and ornate jewelry. Men opt for traditional kurta-pajamas or sherwanis; children are dressed in vibrant, eye-catching attire.

Artistic Articulation

Diwali provides a platform for artistic expression as people create rangoli patterns, intricate kolam designs, and ornate mehndi (henna) artwork on their hands. These artistic endeavors, characterized by their intricate beauty, evoke a sense of splendor and admiration.

Cultural Pageantry

Diwali’s diverse regional customs and traditions add to its cultural richness. For instance, in West Bengal, the festival of Kali Puja coincides with Diwali, honoring the fierce goddess Kali. The deity is carried on ornate chariots, accompanied by music and dance. These processions are a spectacle of grandeur, exemplifying the fervor and devotion of the participants. In southern India, Diwali is celebrated with the lighting of oil lamps and the exchange of gifts. These regional variations showcase the festival’s adaptability and multifaceted nature.

Diwali, with its effulgent rituals and profound symbolism, serves as a beacon of light and unity for millions worldwide. The festivities, steeped in tradition and rich cultural heritage, resonate with the essence of human life – the pursuit of knowledge, the victory of good over evil, and the celebration of togetherness. As the festival transcends linguistic and geographical barriers, it invites people to embrace the light within and radiate positivity to the world, transcending the bounds of language, culture, and ethnicity. So, let us all partake in the magnificence of Diwali, igniting our inner diyas and celebrating the enduring spirit of humanity.

Dilip Oak’s Academy wishes you all a happy, sparkling and a safe Diwali! Hope this brings you academic success and fulfillment of your dreams.

We offer comprehensive GRE coaching in Pune, both online and classroom, to support you in this crucial aspect of your academic journey. Further, 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 services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-020-67444222.

We offer GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, GRE Self Prep and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and Canada.  

Illuminating the Essence of Diwali: A Linguistic Celebration – Vocabulary

Words, Meanings, Sentences:

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  1. Ablution – (noun) the act of washing oneself, often as a religious ritual. E.g., On Naraka Chaturdashi, people rise at dawn to perform ablutions, signifying personal purification.
  2. Abode – (noun) places where people live; homes. E.g., Abodes are bejeweled with oil lamps, resplendent rangoli motifs, and fragrant blossoms during Diwali.
  3. Adaptability – (noun) the quality of being able to adjust to different conditions or circumstances. E.g., Diwali’s diverse regional customs and traditions add to its cultural richness, showcasing the festival’s adaptability and multifaceted nature.
  4. Adorn – (verb) to decorate or add beauty to something. E.g., Families engage in meticulous cleaning and decorating to adorn their homes with vibrant rangoli patterns.
  5. Affluence – (noun) great wealth or abundance of resources. E.g., It is regarded as propitious to invest in gold and silver during Dhanteras, believed to usher in auspiciousness and affluence.
  6. Array – (noun) a large or impressive display or collection of things. E.g., Streets and marketplaces burgeon with an assortment of decorations, a melange of colors, and an array of aromatic delicacies during Diwali.
  7. Articulation – (noun) the act of expressing or conveying something clearly. E.g., Diwali provides a platform for artistic expression, as people create rangoli patterns and intricate mehndi artwork on their hands, showcasing their artistic articulation.
  8. Artwork – (noun) creative or artistic pieces, often visual. E.g., Diwali provides a platform for artistic expression, as people engage in creative endeavors like rangoli patterns and mehndi artwork.
  9. Assortment – (noun) a variety or collection of different types of things. E.g., Streets are filled with an assortment of decorations, a melange of colors, and an array of aromatic delicacies during the Diwali season.
  10. Auspicious – (adjective) considered to be a sign of good fortune or success. E.g., Dhanteras is regarded as an auspicious day for investing in gold and silver.
  11. Beacon – (noun) a source of light or inspiration. E.g., Diwali serves as a beacon of light and unity for millions worldwide.
  12. Bejeweled – (adjective) adorned with jewelry or decorative elements. E.g., Abodes are bejeweled with oil lamps, rangoli motifs, and fragrant blossoms during Diwali.
  13. Burgeon – (verb) to grow or develop rapidly; to flourish. E.g., Streets and marketplaces burgeon with decorations and aromatic delicacies as the Diwali season approaches.
  14. Camaraderie – (noun) a spirit of friendship and mutual trust among a group of people. E.g., Families and friends come together to exchange gifts and sweets, igniting a sense of camaraderie and warmth during Diwali.
  15. Captivate – (verb) to attract and hold the attention or interest of someone. E.g., The mellifluous strains of devotional music and classical ragas often captivate the hearts of devotees during Diwali.
  16. Charitable – (adjective) relating to the practice of giving aid to those in need, often through donations or acts of kindness. E.g., Diwali also underscores the significance of charitable acts and compassion, as many people dedicate a portion of their earnings to charitable endeavors.
  17. Cherish – (adjective) deeply loved and valued. E.g., The concluding day of Diwali, Bhai Dooj, celebrates the cherished fraternal and sororal connection.
  18. Commemoration – (noun) the act of observing or remembering a significant event or person. E.g., Naraka Chaturdashi is a commemoration of Lord Krishna vanquishing the formidable demon Narakasura.
  19. Communal – (adjective) relating to or involving a community or group of people. E.g., Diwali is a time for communal bonding, transcending barriers of age, caste, and creed.
  20. Compassion – (noun) a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for the suffering of others, often accompanied by a desire to help. E.g., Diwali also underscores the significance of charitable acts and compassion, as many people dedicate a portion of their earnings to charitable endeavors.
  21. Connotation – (noun) the suggested or implied meaning of a word or expression; the feelings or ideas associated with a word. E.g., As we delve into the intricate details of Diwali’s festivities and its underlying spiritual connotations, we’ll illuminate this enchanting celebration with an array of GRE words.
  22. Contemplation – (noun) the act of deep thinking or reflection. E.g., Diwali prompts contemplation of the transient nature of life and the pursuit of eternal knowledge.
  23. Cornucopia – (noun) an abundant supply of something; an overflowing collection or assortment. E.g., The Diwali feast is a cornucopia of flavors and aromas, offering a gastronomic experience that tantalizes the senses.
  24. Delectable – (adjective) delicious; highly pleasing to the taste or senses. E.g., The Diwali feast is a cornucopia of delectable flavors, including samosas, pakoras, and an array of sweets.
  25. Delve – (verb) to investigate or research deeply and thoroughly. E.g., As we delve into the intricate details of Diwali’s festivities and its underlying spiritual connotations, we’ll illuminate this enchanting celebration with an array of GRE words.
  26. Devout – (adjective) deeply religious or devoted to a particular faith or practice. E.g., On this day, devout reverence is extended to Lord Dhanvantari.
  27. Dispel – (verb) to make something disappear or drive it away. E.g., The act of kindling lamps and candles during Diwali dispels darkness and ignorance, symbolizing the victory of truth over falsehood.
  28. Don – (verb) to put on or dress in (a particular item of clothing). E.g., As Diwali approaches, people don resplendent garments to symbolize purity and renewal.
  29. Effulgent – (adjective) shining brightly; radiant. E.g., The night of Diwali is marked by the effulgent burst of fireworks that light up the sky.
  30. Embellish – (verb) to decorate or enhance with additional details or features. E.g., Families engage in meticulous cleaning and decorating, a ritual known as “shringar,” to embellish their homes with vibrant rangoli patterns.
  31. Encapsulate – (verb) to express the essential features or ideas of something in a concise or condensed form. E.g., Diwali, with its effulgent rituals and profound symbolism, serves as a beacon of light and unity, encapsulating the enduring spirit of humanity.
  32. Enchanting – (adjective) captivating and delightful, often with a magical quality. E.g., The enchanting melodies of bhajans and classical compositions during Diwali often captivate the hearts of devotees.
  33. Endeavor – (noun) concerted efforts or attempts to achieve a goal. E.g., Diwali provides a platform for artistic expression, as people engage in creative endeavors like rangoli patterns and mehndi artwork.
  34. Enduring – (adjective) lasting or continuing for a long time; persistent. E.g., The concluding day of Diwali, Bhai Dooj, celebrates the cherished fraternal and sororal connection, emphasizing the enduring bonds between siblings.
  35. Enigmatic – (adjective) mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand. E.g., Diwali’s significance is grounded in a plethora of mythological narratives and enigmatic legends, adding depth to its spiritual connotations.
  36. Erudite – (adjective) having or showing great knowledge or learning. E.g., The Sanskrit concept of “Atman” (the individual soul) and “Brahman” (the universal soul) comes into focus, inspiring introspection and the search for the divine within, even for the most erudite minds.
  37. Eternal – (adjective) lasting forever; without an end. E.g., Diwali prompts contemplation of the transient nature of life and the pursuit of eternal knowledge.
  38. Ethereal – (adjective) extremely delicate and light; seemingly not of this world. E.g., The interplay of light and shadow during Diwali casts an ethereal glow on the surroundings, signifying the victory of truth over falsehood.
  39. Euphoric – (adjective) characterized by an intense feeling of happiness, excitement, or delight. E.g., The Diwali season commences weeks in advance, and people engage in euphoric preparations, adorning their homes with vibrant decorations.
  40. Exemplify – (verb) to be a typical example of something. E.g., The sense of togetherness during Diwali exemplifies the festival’s universal appeal, transcending barriers of age, caste, and creed.
  41. Extravagant – (adjective) excessive, elaborate, or beyond what is reasonable or necessary. E.g., The Diwali feast is an extravagant spread, mirroring the festival’s festive and indulgent nature.
  42. Exuberance – (noun) the quality of being full of energy, excitement, and enthusiasm. E.g., The night of Diwali is marked by the resounding burst of fireworks that light up the sky, representing the celebration’s exuberance.
  43. Fervor – (noun) intense and passionate enthusiasm or eagerness. E.g., The diverse regional customs and traditions during Diwali add to its cultural richness, showcasing the fervor and devotion of the participants.
  44. Festoon – (verb) to decorate or adorn with ribbons, garlands, or other ornaments. E.g., An array of decorations, from torans to intricate paper lanterns, festoon homes and public spaces during Diwali.
  45. Flurry – (noun) a sudden and brief burst or commotion of activity or emotion. E.g., The Diwali season commences weeks in advance as households embark on a flurry of preparations.
  46. Formidable – (adjective) inspiring fear or respect through being large, powerful, intense, or capable. E.g., Naraka Chaturdashi is a commemoration of Lord Krishna vanquishing the formidable demon Narakasura.
  47. Fraternal – (adjective) relating to or involving brothers; brotherly. E.g., The concluding day of Diwali, Bhai Dooj, celebrates the fraternal and sororal connection, emphasizing the enduring bonds between siblings.
  48. Gastronomic – (adjective) relating to the art and science of good eating; culinary. E.g., The Diwali feast is a gastronomic delight, offering a wide variety of delectable dishes to tantalize the senses.
  49. Grandeur – (noun) splendor and impressiveness, especially of appearance or style. E.g., In West Bengal, the Kali Puja processions are a spectacle of grandeur, exemplifying the fervor and devotion of the participants.
  50. Humility – (noun) a modest or low view of one’s importance; a lack of arrogance. E.g., Praying and seeking blessings from deities during Diwali invokes a sense of humility, demonstrating that even the most erudite minds have much to learn.
  51. Illuminate – (verb) to light up; to make something brighter. E.g., Kindling lamps and candles during Diwali illuminates the surroundings and represents the inner illumination with knowledge dispelling ignorance.
  52. Imploring – (verb) to beg or earnestly request something. E.g., Families unite in special prayers and pujas, imploring blessings for an opulent forthcoming year during Lakshmi Puja.
  53. Indulgent – (adjective) characterized by an excessive or overly permissive attitude. E.g., The Diwali feast is an extravagant and indulgent spread, offering a wide range of delectable dishes.
  54. Interplay – (noun) the way in which two or more things have an effect on each other. E.g., The interplay of light and shadow during Diwali represents the victory of truth over falsehood.
  55. Intricate – (adjective) very detailed and complicated; complex. E.g., The artistic embellishments, from torans to intricate paper lanterns, add to the overall splendor of Diwali.
  56. Introspection – (noun) the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes. E.g., Diwali prompts introspection about the transient nature of life and the pursuit of eternal knowledge.
  57. Invoke – (verb) to call upon a deity or spirit in prayer or as a witness. E.g., Families come together to invoke blessings and seek divine guidance during Diwali.
  58. Jubilant – (adjective) showing great joy, satisfaction, or triumph; exultant. E.g., The night of Diwali is marked by the jubilant burst of fireworks that light up the sky.
  59. Kindling – (noun) the act of igniting or lighting something, especially a fire. E.g., The act of kindling lamps and candles during Diwali symbolizes the victory of truth over falsehood.
  60. Kith and Kin – (noun) friends and family; one’s acquaintances and relatives. E.g., People visit their kith and kin during Govardhan Puja to cement bonds of camaraderie.
  61. Legend – (noun) traditional stories or narratives, often about historical events or heroic figures. E.g., Diwali’s significance is grounded in a plethora of mythological narratives and enigmatic legends, adding depth to its spiritual connotations.
  62. Linguistic – (adjective) relating to language or the study of languages. E.g., As we delve into the intricate details of Diwali’s festivities and its underlying spiritual connotations, we’ll illuminate this enchanting celebration with an array of GRE words that aptly encapsulate its essence in a linguistic celebration.
  63. Luminous – (adjective) emitting or reflecting steady, glowing light; radiant. E.g., The symbolic lighting of lamps, diyas, and candles during Diwali is a luminous celebration of knowledge dispelling ignorance.
  64. Malevolence – (noun) the quality of having a wish to do evil to others. E.g., The triumph of good over malevolence is a recurring theme in Diwali’s mythological narratives.
  65. Melange – (noun) a mixture or medley of different things. E.g., Streets and marketplaces are filled with a melange of colors and an array of aromatic delicacies during Diwali.
  66. Mellifluous – (adjective) (of a voice or words) sweet or musical; pleasant to hear. E.g., Diwali’s spiritual and cultural significance finds resonance in the mellifluous strains of devotional music and classical ragas.
  67. Metaphorically – (adverb) in a way that uses metaphor, or figure of speech, to make a comparison. E.g., The jubilant explosions of fireworks during Diwali metaphorically represent the celebration’s exuberance.
  68. Meticulous – (adjective) showing great attention to detail; very careful and precise. E.g., Families engage in meticulous cleaning and decorating to embellish their homes with vibrant rangoli patterns during Diwali.
  69. Motif – (noun) recurring themes, ideas, or patterns in a creative work, such as art, music, or literature. E.g., Abodes are adorned with oil lamps, resplendent rangoli motifs, and fragrant blossoms during Diwali.
  70. Multifaceted – (adjective) having many different aspects or features. E.g., Diwali’s diverse regional customs and traditions add to its cultural richness, showcasing the festival’s multifaceted nature.
  71. Opulence – (noun) great wealth or luxury. E.g., Abodes are bejeweled with oil lamps, resplendent rangoli motifs, and fragrant blossoms, adding an air of opulence during Diwali.
  72. Pageantry – (noun) a grand display or ceremony, often with elaborate and colorful elements. E.g., Diwali’s diverse regional customs and traditions, including processions and rituals, contribute to the pageantry and grandeur of the celebration.
  73. Partake – (verb) to take part or participate in something. E.g., So, let us all partake in the magnificence of Diwali, igniting our inner diyas and celebrating the enduring spirit of humanity.
  74. Philanthropic – (adjective) related to acts of charity and goodwill toward others. E.g., Diwali also underscores the significance of charitable acts and compassion, as many people dedicate a portion of their earnings to philanthropic endeavors.
  75. Plethora – (noun) an excessive or overabundant quantity of something. E.g., The Diwali feast offers a plethora of flavors and aromas, tempting the senses with a wide range of dishes.
  76. Propitious – (adjective) indicating a good chance of success; favorable. E.g., Dhanteras is regarded as a propitious day for investing in gold and silver, believed to bring good fortune.
  77. Pyrotechnic – (adjective) related to fireworks or the creation and display of fireworks. E.g., The night of Diwali is marked by the resounding burst of pyrotechnic displays that light up the sky.
  78. Quintessential – (adjective) representing the most typical or perfect example of a quality or class. E.g., Diwali, the festival of lights, is a quintessential celebration that transcends boundaries and embraces the rich tapestry of Indian culture.
  79. Radiant – (adjective) emitting or reflecting steady, glowing light; shining brightly. E.g., An array of radiant decorations, from colorful torans to shimmering lanterns, festoons homes and public spaces during Diwali.
  80. Radiate – (verb) to emit or give off rays of light or energy; to display a particular quality or feeling. E.g., Diwali invites people to embrace the light within and radiate positivity to the world, transcending the bounds of language, culture, and ethnicity.
  81. Realm – (noun) a particular field or area of activity, interest, or experience. E.g., Diwali encapsulates the essence of human life, celebrating togetherness and the pursuit of knowledge in the spiritual and cultural realm.
  82. Reciprocate – (verb) to respond to an action or gesture by making a corresponding one. E.g., Brothers reciprocate with endowments to honor the cherished relationship on Bhai Dooj.
  83. Renowned – (adjective) well-known and respected, often because of one’s achievements or reputation. E.g., Diwali, with its rich tapestry of tradition and mythology, is a renowned festival celebrated by millions worldwide.
  84. Resonance – (noun) the ability to evoke a sympathetic response or reaction. E.g., Diwali’s spiritual and cultural significance finds resonance in the mellifluous strains of devotional music and classical compositions.
  85. Resounding – (adjective) producing a loud, deep, or echoing sound. E.g., The night of Diwali is marked by the resounding burst of fireworks that light up the sky.
  86. Resplendent – (adjective) shining brightly; radiant or splendid in appearance. E.g., Abodes are bejeweled with oil lamps, resplendent rangoli motifs, and fragrant blossoms during Diwali.
  87. Revelry – (noun) lively and noisy festivities, especially involving drinking and dancing. E.g., The symphony of firecrackers during Diwali resonates with the revelry that marks the supremacy of righteousness over malevolence.
  88. Reverberate – (verb) to be repeated as an echo or vibration. E.g., As evening descends, a symphony of firecrackers reverberates, rejoicing in the supremacy of righteousness over malevolence.
  89. Revered – (adjective) deeply respected and admired. E.g., Dhanteras is a day devoted to the revered Lord Dhanvantari, associated with medicine and Ayurveda.
  90. Rich tapestry – (phrase) a complex and diverse combination of elements, often referring to culture or history. E.g., Diwali, the festival of lights, embraces the rich tapestry of Indian culture, with its history steeped in tradition and mythology.
  91. Righteousness – (noun) the quality of being morally right or justifiable. E.g., The story of Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana highlights themes of valor and righteousness.
  92. Savory – (adjective) pleasing in taste or smell, especially in a salty or spicy way. E.g., The Diwali feast is a cornucopia of flavors, including savory delights like samosas and pakoras.
  93. Shimmering – (adjective) shining with a flickering or wavering light. E.g., Families engage in meticulous cleaning and decorating, embellishing their homes with vibrant rangoli patterns, marigold garlands, and shimmering lanterns.
  94. Sororal – (adjective) related to sisters or sisterhood. E.g., Bhai Dooj is a day of celebration for the sororal connection, as sisters craft delectable delicacies for their brothers.
  95. Splendor – (noun) great beauty or magnificence; grandeur. E.g., The artistic embellishments, from torans to intricate paper lanterns, add to the overall splendor of Diwali.
  96. Steeped in – (phrase) deeply immersed or saturated with a particular quality or influence. E.g., Diwali, the festival of lights, embraces the rich tapestry of Indian culture, with its history steeped in tradition and mythology.
  97. Sumptuous – (adjective) splendid and expensive-looking; rich, grand, and luxurious. E.g., The Diwali feast is a sumptuous spread, offering a gastronomic experience that tantalizes the senses.
  98. Symbolism – (noun) the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. E.g., Kindling lamps and candles during Diwali carries deep symbolism, representing the victory of truth over falsehood.
  99. Tantalize – (verb) to tease or excite the senses, often with something desirable that is just out of reach. E.g., The Diwali feast is a tantalizing array of flavors and aromas, offering a gastronomic experience that tempts the senses with its mouthwatering dishes.
  100. Transcendence – (noun) the state of being beyond ordinary or common limits; surpassing the usual. E.g., The Sanskrit concept of “Atman” and “Brahman” comes into focus during Diwali, inspiring introspection and the search for transcendence.
  101. Transient – (adjective) lasting only for a short time; impermanent. E.g., Diwali prompts contemplation of the transient nature of life and the pursuit of eternal knowledge.
  102. Triumph – (noun) a great victory or achievement. E.g., The most renowned legend of Diwali is the triumph of good over evil, as symbolized by Lord Rama’s victory over the demon king Ravana.
  103. Underscore – (verb) to emphasize the importance of something. E.g., Diwali underscores the significance of charitable acts, compassion, and the pursuit of knowledge.
  104. Upraised – (adjective) lifted up or elevated. E.g., The fourth day of Diwali, known as Govardhan Puja, is a day of reverence for Lord Krishna, who upraised the Govardhan Hill to protect the villagers.
  105. Valor – (noun) great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle. E.g., The story of Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana during Diwali highlights themes of valor and righteousness.
  106. Vanquishing – (verb) to defeat completely in a contest or battle. E.g., The second day of Diwali, Naraka Chaturdashi, commemorates Lord Krishna vanquishing the formidable demon Narakasura.
  107. Venerating – (verb) to regard with great respect or reverence. E.g., The third day of Diwali, Lakshmi Puja, is dedicated to venerating Goddess Lakshmi, the patroness of wealth and prosperity.
  108. Vermilion – (noun) a bright red pigment, often used for ceremonial markings. E.g., Brothers reciprocate with endowments and vermilion marks on Bhai Dooj to honor their sisters.
  109. Vibrant – (adjective) full of energy and enthusiasm; vivid and colorful. E.g., As Diwali approaches, people adorn themselves in vibrant garments, symbolizing purity and renewal.
  110. Wrath – (noun) extreme anger or fury. E.g., Lord Krishna upraised the Govardhan Hill to shield the villagers from the wrath of Lord Indra during Govardhan Puja.

Dilip Oak’s Academy wishes you all a happy, sparkling and a safe Diwali! Hope this brings you academic success and fulfillment of your dreams.

We offer comprehensive GRE coaching in Pune, both online and classroom, to support you in this crucial aspect of your academic journey. Further, 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 services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-020-67444222.

We offer GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, GRE Self Prep and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and Canada.  

What Happens if I Get a Low Score in the TOEFL or IELTS?

What is the Minimum Score Required?

Most American Universities regard a score of 80 (out of 120) in TOEFL, as an acceptable minimum score for admission. However, students applying to high-ranking colleges generally need a minimum score of 100 on TOEFL or, a score of band 7 (out of 9) on the IELTS. What happens if you get a lower score than you require? Does that mean that admission is not possible?

What if I have Less than the Minimum Score Required?

Low Scores in TOEFL/IELTS

For students, a low score does not necessarily mean an application reject. University admissions committees assess English proficiency based on other application criteria, apart from test scores. In case your score is less than the minimum required you may need to take an English Language course in the University, followed by a test. This course will have to be taken along with the regular curriculum and you will be required to pay an additional fee for it. The best thing to do is to retake the TOEFL and improve your score before joining the University. That way you can get an exemption from the remedial English course.

Good News for Indian Students

However, there is good news for Indian students. In 2011, the country average for India was 92 in TOEFL, much higher than the global average (which was about 68) and also the minimum requirement of 80 for American colleges. Institutions requiring an IELTS assessment, generally accept a minimum score of 6, which is also the present global average. Again, students from India fared marginally better than this figure with a mean score of 6.1. Hence, if you’re the “average Indian student”, you will probably do well on whichever English assessment test you take.

How Can I Improve My IELTS/TOEFL Score?

But, what if you have already done the test and have a low score? How do you prepare? (Find out about coaching for TOEFL and IELTS.)

Preparing for TOEFL

After you have done this preliminary work, take a diagnostic test to find out where you stand. If you still feel uncertain about whether you can get the required score, join our 3-week intensive online/classroom course that will equip you with all the strategies and tips required to achieve your target score. Further, the detailed feedback on your essays and one-on-one appointments with the faculty will help you overcome your weaker areas. Click to find out more about TOEFL coaching.

Preparing for IELTS

Read the following recommended books

  • Intermediate English Grammar by Raymond Murphy (Cambridge University Press)
  • Advanced English Grammar by Martin Hewings (Cambridge University Press)

After you have done this preliminary work, take a diagnostic test to find out where you stand. If you still feel uncertain about whether you can get the required score, join our one-month intensive online/classroom course that will equip you with all the strategies and tips required to achieve your target score. Further, the detailed feedback on your essays and one-on-one appointments with the faculty will help you overcome your weaker areas. Click to find out more about IELTS coaching.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we understand the significance of this journey. Thus, we offer comprehensive GRE coaching in Pune, both online and classroom, to support you in this crucial aspect of your academic journey. Further, 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 services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-020-67444222.

We offer GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, GRE Self Prep and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and Canada.  

The Art of Writing Recommendation Letters: Your Ticket to Graduate Admissions in the US

Graduate admissions in the United States are highly competitive, with top universities receiving thousands of applications each year. A well-crafted recommendation letter can be your secret weapon to stand out in this fierce competition. In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of recommendation letters and provide tips on securing strong ones for your graduate admissions journey.

What is a recommendation letter?

In the context of higher education in the United States, recommendation letters are critical documents that vouch for your qualities, background, and achievements as a candidate for doctoral or master’s programs. Virtually every university requires applicants to submit a minimum of three recommendation letters along with their application. The purpose of these letters is to provide a comprehensive view of the applicant and assess their suitability for the academic program.

Who Should Write Your Recommendation Letters?

  • If you are a student, your recommendation letters should ideally come from teachers who have substantially interacted with you. This could include those who have taught you important subjects or supervised research projects, seminars, or papers. The best choices are professors who can speak highly of your academic work and compare you favorably with your peers.
  • If you are a working professional and your work experience is relevant to your intended field of study, a letter from your immediate supervisor is valuable. In cases where you have significant work experience from different organizations, obtaining letters from multiple relevant supervisors is acceptable.

Qualities of Effective Recommenders

Your recommenders should possess the following qualities:

  • They should know you well and be able to provide specific insights into your academic abilities and personal qualities.
  • They should be able to write persuasively and effectively.
  • It’s also beneficial if your recommenders have good credentials and a clear understanding of your educational goals.

What Recommendation Letters Should Include

An effective recommendation letter should encompass the following points:

  • The recommender’s relationship with you specifying how long they’ve known you and in what capacity.
  • An assessment of your academic performance, including your relative ranking and intellectual capabilities.
  • Special achievements, especially in projects or research papers.
  • An evaluation of your communication skills, particularly how well you can present seminars or projects.
  • Insights into your social skills, such as your ability to work well with others and your leadership qualities.
  • Some background information about the recommender, particularly if their work is not widely recognized outside India.

What Elevates a Recommendation Letter

A truly excellent recommendation letter goes beyond summarizing your performance and qualities. It substantiates its claims with real-life examples of your initiative, creativity, perseverance, intelligence, leadership, or other admirable qualities in various contexts, such as project work or seminars. These specific incidents add credibility to the recommender’s assertions. A letter that conveys genuine enthusiasm and endorsement can leave a lasting impression on graduate admissions committees. More importantly, recommendation letters should be well-structured, error-free, and easy to read.

Practical Considerations

  • It’s crucial to maintain a positive and respectful relationship with your recommenders, as writing recommendation letters is a time-consuming task.
  • If you’re submitting the letter in a physical format, the recommender must seal and sign it. Many universities now prefer online submission.

In essence, a well-crafted recommendation letter is an essential component of your application to American universities. It offers a holistic view of your qualifications and character and can significantly influence your admission prospects. Therefore, it is crucial to choose the right recommenders and assist them in providing a persuasive, detailed, and unique letter. Remember, a well-written recommendation letter is not just a piece of paper; it’s your advocate in the admissions process.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we understand the significance of this journey. Thus, we offer comprehensive GRE coaching in Pune, both online and classroom, to support you in this crucial aspect of your academic journey. Further, 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 services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-020-67444222.

We offer GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, GRE Self Prep and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and Canada.  

Prerequisites for Pursuing an MS in the USA

Pursuing a Master’s degree in the United States is a dream for many international students. However, before embarking on this educational journey, there are several academic and English language requirements you must meet. Here is a comprehensive guide to help you prepare for your MS in the USA:

1. Academic Requirements:

  • For Technical Fields (e.g., Engineering, Pharmacy, Architecture): Most American universities require applicants to have completed a four-year Bachelor’s degree, which amounts to 16 years of education.
  • For Non-Technical Fields (e.g., Arts, Management): If you’re aiming for such fields, you will generally need 17 years of education (12+3+2), which often includes a Master’s degree after completing a traditional bachelor’s degree.

2. GRE Score:

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized aptitude test used by American universities to assess a student’s verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills.

  • As of September 2023, the test duration has been reduced to 2 hours. A strong GRE score is essential for admission.
  • While some universities have waived the GRE requirement due to the pandemic, many reputable institutions still consider it important. Thus, having a competitive GRE score can still greatly benefit your chances of acceptance.
  • A score of 320+ is competitive for top 40 universities, with a minimum of 300 usually required for most institutions.

3. TOEFL or IELTS Score:\

Since English may not be your native language, demonstrating proficiency is crucial. Universities often require one of the following English language tests:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Most American universities require a score of 80 or higher out of 120.
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System): This test is scored on a scale of 9, with many universities requiring a band score of at least 6.5.

4. Good Academic Performance:

Your undergraduate academic record plays a significant role in your application’s success. Maintaining a strong GPA is essential.

  • Ideally, aim for a GPA of 9.0 or higher for admission to top-tier American universities.
  • A GPA of over 7.0 is often sufficient for admission to good universities.
  • Avoid backlogs and year-downs

5. Curricular and Co-Curricular Accomplishments:

American universities value not only your academic achievements but also your practical experiences and involvement in extracurricular activities:

  • Engage in projects and seminars relevant to your field.
  • Consider publishing papers in nationally and internationally recognized journals.
  • Participate in conferences and gain practical experience through internships, whether paid or unpaid.

6. Relevant Work Experience:

Having relevant work experience can increase your chances of admission to prestigious universities and improve your job prospects after completing your MS.

7. Documentation:

Applicants for the GRE examination must provide a valid passport as the only authentic ID proof.

Embarking on an MS journey in the USA is an exciting opportunity, and meeting these prerequisites will set you on the path to success.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we understand the significance of this journey. Thus, we offer comprehensive GRE coaching in Pune, both online and classroom, to support you in this crucial aspect of your academic journey. Further, 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 services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-020-67444222.

We offer GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, GRE Self Prep and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and Canada.  

Understanding the GRE Math

When preparing for an exam, it is important for us to understand the format, structure and syllabus of that exam. So, in this blog, we will try to understand every aspect of the GRE Math Section, which will help us develop a very focused approach to ace this section. It will also answer the frequently asked questions (FAQs) that students ask while preparing for this section. So, let’s begin!

What does the Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE evaluate?

The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE mainly evaluates:

  • Your basic understanding of the mathematical concepts
  • Your ability to interpret and analyze quantitative information
  • Your application skills in solving the questions within the given time limit

What is the scope of the syllabus for the Quantitative Reasoning Section?

  • The GRE broadly tests you on four main topics: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Data Analysis. The Math Review (PDF) file provides detailed information about the scope of the syllabus.
  • To summarize, it tests you on all your high school math concepts.
  • Good news: No trigonometry, no calculus!

What is the format of the Quantitative Reasoning Section?

  • The Test comprises two Quantitative Reasoning sections with 27 questions to be completed in 47 minutes.
  • The section-wise break-up is as follows:
    • Section I: 12 questions to be completed in 21 minutes
    • Section II: 15 questions to be completed in 26 minutes
  • The following question types are asked:
    • Multiple Choice (Single Correct):
    • Multiple Choice (One or more correct)
    • Numeric Entry Questions
    • Quantitative Comparison Questions
  • An on-screen calculator is available for the Quantitative Reasoning Section. (It is not a scientific calculator.)

What are the sources for preparation?

The following ETS GRE Resources would be the most authentic prep material as they include practice questions straight from the source.

A myriad of publications is available in the market, and a vast resource of material is on the net. But while choosing material, it would be wise to choose GRE-oriented material as it would cater to the format of the exam. At Dilip Oak’s Academy, our books and online practice material have been designed keeping the Test in mind, thus ensuring your focused preparation.

What is the best way to get a good score in the Quantitative Reasoning Section?

To get a good score in the Quantitative section of the GRE, ensure that your preparation involves the following steps:

Concept building:

  • Get a good grasp of the fundamental concepts
  • Memorize your formulae and computational tables to quickly and accurately solve questions.
  • Get familiar with the Question Types.

Practice, practice, practice:

  • Strengthen your concepts by solving a large number of practice questions specifically designed for the GRE.
  • Practice using tricks, shortcuts and time-saving strategies
  • Focus on increasing your accuracy and time management.

Testing:

  • Testing yourself at regular intervals will familiarize you with the format of the exam.
  • Review/feedback will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, which can be worked upon.
  • Taking at least two tests under simulated testing conditions would be a good approach as it would make you comfortable with the testing environment with time restrictions.

What if I have ‘Math Phobia’?

Many students are always scared of math and thus experience ‘math phobia’, which probably has no cure. Maybe you are not good at math naturally, but don’t give up. Remember, the GRE covers only the basic mathematical concepts studied at your school level, so your math skills are not being tested in this exam. Your application skills are put to the test, along with your logical and analytical thinking. Focus on your strong areas, not the troubled areas that haunt you. Lingering on these may only increase your anxiety and thus affect your preparation and, consequently, your performance.

What should be my approach if I have a strong Math background?

If that is the case, you may find the questions on this exam very simple. But beware! You may be caught off guard! Instead of becoming complacent, a good strategy would be to brush up on your concepts and use the simplicity of this exam to your advantage. Overdependence on your mathematical abilities may affect your score adversely, narrowing your chances of securing admission to a good university. 

What Next?

  • Now that you have understood the focus of the exam and its format, start preparing according to the three steps mentioned above.
  • Ensure that you have a very good understanding of the fundamental concepts.
  • Completing 12 and 15 questions in 21 and 26 minutes respectively is one of the main challenges you will face while answering the Math section. Remember, your speed and accuracy should go hand in hand. You cannot afford to compromise one at the cost of the other.

To summarize, a dedicated and focused approach will surely enhance your test-taking skills, which will guarantee a good score. It’s not necessary to study hard; study smart. Wishing you all the BEST!!!

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we understand the significance of this journey. Thus, we offer comprehensive GRE coaching in Pune, both online and classroom, to support you in this crucial aspect of your academic journey. Further, 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 services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-020-67444222.

We offer GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, GRE Self Prep and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and Canada.  

Expert Tips for Mastering GRE Verbal Reasoning: Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence

The GRE Verbal Reasoning section is often perceived as a challenging hurdle for many test-takers. Within this section, Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence questions can be particularly challenging but fear not- we’re here to guide you. Our expert faculty members have curated valuable tips and strategies to help test-takers like you conquer these question types. By honing your skills in Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence, you can confidently tackle the GRE Verbal Reasoning section and achieve your desired scores.

Understanding Text Completion:

Text Completion questions present a passage with one to three blank spaces, and candidates must select the correct words or phrases to fill these gaps. The challenge lies in choosing the most appropriate words that maintain the coherence and meaning of the passage. To tackle Text Completion effectively, follow these tips:

  • Focus on Context: Grasp the passage’s context and main idea to predict the type of words needed
    to fill the blanks.
  • Look for Clues: Analyze surrounding words and sentences for hints about the missing words’
    meanings, including transitional phrases and tone.
  • Eliminate Irrelevant Options: Rule out answer choices that do not fit the passage’s context or alter the intended meaning.
  • Consider Logical Flow: Ensure the selected words maintain a coherent and logical flow within the passage.

Mastering Sentence Equivalence:

Sentence Equivalence questions present a single sentence with one blank space. Candidates are tasked with selecting two words from the six given options that create sentences with similar meanings. While the core strategies remain the same for both questions types, here’s how to tackle Sentence Equivalence questions effectively:

  • Identify Keyword Clues: Pay attention to crucial keywords in the sentence, as they often provide clues about the missing word’s meaning.
  • Antonyms and Synonyms: Consider words with opposite or synonymous meanings that fit the sentence’s context.
  • Avoid Extreme Choices: Eliminate answer choices with extreme meanings that do not align with the sentence’s tone or context.
  • Utilize the Process of Elimination: Narrow down choices by eliminating unlikely options, increasing the chances of selecting the correct word pair.

Build a Strong Vocabulary

A robust vocabulary is vital for excelling in GRE Verbal Reasoning. Regularly practice learning new words, understanding their meanings, and exploring their usage in context. Dilip Oak Academy offers comprehensive GRE preparation resources, including word lists and mnemonic techniques to aid memorization. Read this blog for more tips to master your vocabulary:  5 Tips from Our Expert Faculty 

Read Diverse Texts

Expand your vocabulary and comprehension skills by engaging with a wide range of topics, including literature, academic articles, and news pieces. Read extensively to bolster your language proficiency. Here are some blogs to get you started: GREat Five Minute Reads 

Familiarize with GRE Question Styles

Practice with official GRE Verbal Reasoning questions to become familiar with the question styles, formats, and difficulty levels. Analyzing answer explanations for incorrect choices helps you understand common pitfalls and improves your critical thinking skills.

Time Management

Efficient time management is crucial during GRE Verbal Reasoning. Allocate appropriate time to each question, and if you encounter a challenging question, flag it and move on. Later, during the review phase, allocate time to revisit flagged questions. The well-designed study plan and guidance from the expert faculty during the classes will boost your GRE preparation and give you the confidence to ace the test.

Take Full-Length Practice Tests

Simulate the real GRE experience by taking full-length practice tests under timed  conditions. Full-length practice tests help build endurance, identify weak areas, and fine-tune your test-taking strategies. This will help you get accustomed to the pressure and time constraints.

By mastering Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence, you can confidently approach the GRE and achieve your dream of pursuing further studies, like MS in the USA.

As a premier study abroad institute in Pune, Dilip Oak Academy is committed to helping students excel in the GRE exam. Our comprehensive GRE preparation resources include coaching- classroom & online with our experienced faculty members, online prep resources with access to over 2000 questions and a self-prep module which includes video lessons. With a focus on excellence, Dilip Oak Academy is your partner in achieving GRE success.

We also offer TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and UK.  To enroll, call us on 91-020-67444222, 91-8007878495

Applying for MS in Computer Science Without GRE: Considerations and Advantages

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, GRE test centers across the globe faced closures, leading to a significant disruption in test-taking opportunities for aspiring students seeking to study in the US. To counter this, ETS introduced the option to take the GRE from home, but many students didn’t opt for this alternative. Consequently, numerous American universities granted GRE waivers for admissions during Fall 2020 and Fall 2021. However, the landscape has since shifted, with an increasing number of universities now requiring GRE scores for applications, especially in the highly sought-after Computer Science department. As we approach Fall 2024, the trend toward recommending the GRE is expected to continue, necessitating thoughtful consideration from prospective applicants regarding their application strategy.

The Shift in GRE Requirements:

Based on our data for Fall 2023, it’s evident that nearly 55% of universities offering MS programs in Computer Science in the US mandated the submission of GRE scores. This percentage is projected to rise even further in the upcoming application cycles. Notably reputable universities, especially those situated in states like California and Texas, have leaned towards making GRE scores an important component of their application evaluation process. Given this scenario, it is strongly advisable to take the GRE as it significantly broadens your application prospects.

Insights from Recent Surveys:

A survey conducted among 306 students at our academy between May 2023 and July 2023 provided valuable insights into score distribution:

ScoreNumber of Students
330 and above9
320 – 32941
310 – 31987
300 – 30974
Below 30095

Note: Many universities require a GRE score of 300+, and most students who got a score below 300 in their first attempt are retaking the GRE and are confident that they will be able to achieve scores above this threshold in their second attempt. Of course, a few universities do accept GRE score of 292+ if the academic records are strong.

Ease of GRE Preparation and Upcoming Changes:

Contrary to misconceptions, the GRE is not an insurmountable challenge. With roughly three months of focused preparation, achieving your target score is attainable. The forthcoming new GRE format, scheduled to launch on September 22, 2023, aims to streamline the test. The duration will be reduced to two hours from the previous four hours. Changes include reduced number of questions in each section and the removal of one essay section, resulting in a more efficient and less tiring test experience. These modifications make a strong case for considering the GRE. Read what ETS, the people who create the GRE, have to say about the new test format.

Advantages of Submitting a GRE Score:

Enhancing GPA: A robust GRE quant score can offset a lower undergraduate GPA, bolstering your prospects of admission to esteemed universities.

Scholarships and Financial Aid: Many institutions tie GRE scores to scholarship eligibility. A quant score exceeding 165 and a Verbal score surpassing 160 may qualify you for tuition waivers or financial assistance.

Deciding whether to take the GRE:

Explicit Requirement: If a university explicitly states that GRE scores are mandatory, taking the GRE is imperative to achieve your dream of pursuing an MS program in the US.

Recommended: Universities suggesting GRE submission on their websites imply its importance in the application process.

Avoiding Last-Minute Regrets:

Over the past two years, many students have initially opted against taking the GRE, only to find that their desired universities require it. This realization often occurs during the shortlisting process, leaving inadequate time for preparation. To circumvent such scenarios, careful planning and early GRE preparation are highly advisable. Click to know more about the upcoming GRE batches.

Navigating the choice of applying for an MS in Computer Science without a GRE score warrants thoughtful consideration. Evolving trends underscore a growing preference for GRE scores among universities. As demand for Computer Science education remains robust, planning ahead, recognizing the GRE’s significance, and seizing the opportunities it presents are prudent steps.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we understand the significance of this journey. Thus, we offer comprehensive GRE coaching in Pune, both online and classroom, to support you in this crucial aspect of your academic journey. Further, 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 services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-020-67444222.

We offer GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, GRE Self Prep and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and Canada.  

Looking to Pursue Higher Education in the USA? Follow this Comprehensive Application Timeline!

If you are applying for Fall (August) 2024, the clock has begun to tick. So, don’t delay. To help you streamline your application process effectively, we have prepared a detailed timeline. Take a look at the steps you need to take:

Begin Your Preparation: October-December 2023

Register for GRE and TOEFL/IELTS: Take the first step by registering for the GRE and TOEFL/IELTS exams. We recommend completing these exams by 15th December 2023. Dilip Oak Academy can assist you with your preparation for these exams. We are also now an ETS Authorized Test Center for GRE and TOEFL exams.

Research and Shortlist Universities: September-October 2023

Explore university websites and make a preliminary list of universities which meet your requirements considering:

Broad specializations you are interested in: while shortlisting, ensure that the programs offered by your selected universities align with your interests.

Expected GRE score: depending on your GRE score you can choose rank of the universities where you want to apply.

Academic record: your academics play an important role in the entire application process and a good academic record can compensate for a low GRE score.

Budget: select universities keeping your finance in mind; however, there are many universities and financial institutions that offer financial assistance to deserving students.

Recommendations by seniors studying in American universities: first-hand reviews from your seniors who are currently studying can prove useful in shortlisting rather than depending on the information given on the university website.

Gather Necessary Documents: August-November 2023

Craft a Stellar Statement of Purpose (SOP): SOP is a crucial document that provides insights into your purpose of joining the course and university, your personality, experience in the field and long-term goals. It should be around 500 to 800 words long, precise, interesting, grammatically and technically sound.

Arrange Transcripts: Prepare four sets of college and university transcripts.

Request Recommendation Letters: Choose your recommenders, preferably college professors, project guides, or employers, and request recommendation letters. Most universities require three recommendation letters.

Finalize University Choices and Apply: October-December 2023

Shortlist 8 to 10 Universities: After thorough research, finalize your preferred universities.

Complete Online Applications: Ensure that you complete the online application process by 31st December 2023. While many universities accept online applications, some may require physical documents via courier, so be mindful of deadlines.

Apply Early: While many universities accept applications even till 31st March 2024, we recommend that you apply before 31st December.

Forward Test Scores: Request ETS to send your GRE and TOEFL scores to the selected universities (scores take a minimum of 2 weeks to arrive).

After Sending Applications: Await Decisions and Prepare for Visa

Admission Decisions: You can expect to receive admission decisions around February/March 2024. Once you receive an offer, promptly email your acceptance, especially if funding is involved.

Obtain I-20: Upon acceptance, complete the documentation formalities, and the university will send you the essential I-20, an immigration document required for obtaining a visa.

Prepare for Visa: Review the total cost of one year mentioned on the I-20 and prepare the necessary visa documentation.

Visa Application Process: Apply for a visa interview date after receiving your I-20. Generally, students start applying for a visa from the third week of April. Once you get the visa date, proceed with the interview and complete the remaining formalities until your departure date.

Time waits for no one, so start your preparation now and unlock a world of opportunities for your academic journey in the USA!

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we understand the significance of this journey, and our admission counseling services can guide you through the entire process. 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 services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-020-67444222.

We offer GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, GRE Self Prep and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and Canada.  

Explaining the New Shorter GRE and Its Implications for Test-Takers

For many years, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) has served as a crucial first step for students planning to pursue graduate study in the United States. This year, the GRE will be shorter thanks to a series of reforms. The test will have shorter versions of each section, but will still accurately assess test takers’ verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills. If you plan to take the GRE General Test after September 2023, you should familiarize yourself with these changes and prepare accordingly. The following is a comprehensive summary of all the key modifications to the new, shorter GRE:

Change 1: Reduced Number of Questions and Shorter Testing Period

The length of the GRE General Test has been reduced from 4 hours to 1 hour and 58 minutes. This is a significant change aimed at improving test-takers’ concentration and decreasing test fatigue. The reduced time has been achieved by implementing the following changes in the test.

Reduced number of questions: The number of questions in the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning tests will be reduced. The number of questions in each section will drop from 40 to 27. These 27 questions will be broken up into 12 and 15 for for Section 1 and 2 respectively. This change applies to both quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning. Despite the reduction in total number of questions, the average time allotted for each question has remained unchanged.

Removal of ‘argument’ section: “Analyze an argument” task has been removed from the analytical writing section. Moving forward, the AWM section will only have the “analyze an issue” task. As a result, you’ll only have to write only one essay.

Removal of the Unscored section: The GRE currently has an unscored section that is used for evaluation of questions by ETS. This section will be removed from the new, shorter GRE, as it does not affect the test taker’s final score.

No Scheduled Breaks: The current 10-minute break after the two hours of the test will be eliminated because the new test time will be less than 2 hours.  Those taking the GRE at a testing center can still take unscheduled breaks; however, the clock will not stop. Exemptions to this policy will be made for test takers with disabilities or health-related needs.Online examinees are not permitted to take unscheduled breaks during the exam.

Change 2: faster Reporting of Test Results

Official GRE scores will be reported to test takers within 8-10 days after the exam. This is a significant improvement over the previous time frame of ten and fifteen calendar days. In the long run, this will save time for those filling out applications.

What won’t change as the GRE moves from its current format to a shorter one?

Despite the fact that the GRE General Test will be shorter, many features will remain unchanged. Given below are the important aspects of the test that won’t be changing:

  • The basic structure of the GRE, including the presence of Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning sections, will remain unchanged.
  • Scoring: All three sections will use the same scoring procedure, and the shorter test will use the same performance scales as the current test.
  • The shorter GRE will still be section adaptive I. e., the difficulty level of the second section will be based on your performance in the first section.
  • Although the GRE has been shortened, testing fees have not changed.
  • Graduate and professional schools will use scores from the GRE General Test similarly, regardless of the length.
  • As before, you can retake the GRE General Test up to five times in any rolling 12-month period (365 days), with a maximum of one attempt every 21 days.
  • Your GRE scores will be considered valid for five years after your test date.

Why the ETS is changing the test format

These changes are based on feedback from previous test takers and are the result of expert analysis about how a better experience could be introduced for test takers while retaining the strong validity and reliability that universities expect.

Applying to graduate and professional programs is time-consuming. While you want to show your potential in a comprehensive way, you also want to get through your application checklist ASAP. Shortening the test will help students to stay focused and reduce fatigue. The shorter test will also allow ETS to deliver GRE scores faster. Students can complete their applications sooner as well.

What is yet to be announced?

Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning have had their total number of questions cut down to 27, but how those questions will be distributed among the subsections such as sentence equivalence, text completion and  reading comprehension in verbal section, remains to be seen.

We also don’t yet have details on how the scoring algorithm might adapt to the reduced number of questions.

Which version of the test should you take- Shorter GRE vs. Current GRE

You should weigh your application deadlines against your personal preferences when deciding between the shorter GRE and the current GRE. The current GRE will be phased out on September 22, 2023, in favor of the shorter GRE. If your application deadline is early October or earlier, you should probably take the current GRE. However, if you have more time and your application deadlines are not pressing, you may want to take the shorter GRE because of its streamlined format.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, We also provide detailed guidance on these processes under our Admission Counseling Services, including a selection of universities, documentation process and visa counseling, and mock visa interviews. In addition, as India’s leading Study Abroad Consultants, we have helped more than 33,000 students to secure their dream admits for various universities in America including MIT, Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon and other top-ranked universities.

We also offer GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, GRE Self Prep and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and UK.  To enroll, call us on 91-020-67444222, 91-8007878495

Fall 2023 Pre-departure Orientation

A glimpse of the Fall 2019 Pre-departure Orientation

Dilip Oak’s Academy’s annual Pre-Departure Orientation is back for all students joining American and Canadian universities in the fall of 2023. This is your best opportunity to get all of your questions answered, learn about student life in the US, and connect with other students enrolling in the same university.

18th June 2023

Siddhi Banquet Hall

DP Road, Near Mhatre Bridge, Erandwane, Pune 411004

This session is open to all students joining US and Canadian universities for Fall 2023

Parents are strongly advised to attend

Conducted by Mr. Dilip Oak himself, this session will clear all your doubts regarding:

  • Pre-Departure: Forex Regulations, Medical Checks and Immunization, Insurance and Port of Entry Procedure
  • Life in the US: Campus Tips, Accommodation and Jobs after MS

Additionally, you’ll be able to arrange shared housing and coordinate travel with other students who are enrolling at the same university!

Also receive a free copy of “Get Set Go”, a guide on studying in the USA by Mr. Dilip Oak! 

Event Chief Guests

Jennifer Gruber (Associate Vice-president)
California State University, Chico

Dr. Seema Sehrawat (Chief of Staff)
California State University, Chico

Session Timings

As the capacity of the venue is only 1,400 pax, we have split the program into two groups based on alphabetical order. Find details of which session to attend below:

Group 1 (Timing: 8:30 am to 10:30 am)

Students joining universities with names ranging from A to S  (e.g. Arizona State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, San Diego State University)

Group 2 (Timing: 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm)

Students joining universities with names ranging from T to Z (e.g. Texas Tech University)

Entry-Passes for the Event

Students are expected to collect entry passes for themselves and their parents from the Academy. 

Collect passes for event at the Academy between 9:00 am to 6:00 pm 

If you are unable to collect the entry pass before 18th  June, click HERE to fill up the required form and carry the same along with you on the day of the orientation at least 45 minutes before the program. 

 Prerequisites to Obtain the Entry Pass

  • Admission Centre and Visa Counseling Students
    Produce your Academy I-card (compulsory) and a photocopy of the I-20 form.
  • All Other Fall 2023 Students
    Produce a photocopy of the I-20 form, or
    stamped F1 visa, or
    the admission letter from the university (in case you have not received the I-20 form/visa).

FREE seminars on bachelor’s and master’s in America!

Along with the Pre-departure Orientation, we have also organized FREE seminars on bachelor’s and master’s in America! Those aspiring to study in the USA, this seminar is the right place for you to get complete information about studying abroad. 

18th June 2023 at Siddhi Banquet Hall DP Road, Near Mhatre Bridge, Erandwane, Pune 411004

11:30 AM( English and Marathi)

6:30 PM (English)

This seminar will cover

  1. Present status of the American economy and job opportunities
  2. Funding your education
  3. Prerequisite examinations
  4. Application timeline

Book your seat Here

Please share this information with all your friends.

Prior registration is mandatory.

See you there!