How To Improve Reading Comprehension

“Reading” may not be one of your hobbies, but it is an important skill to grow. Therefore, even if you get scared or bored by looking at the long black text, somehow you have to develop a knack for effective reading. 

 The more you read and practise, the easier it will be for you to comprehend what you are reading. Here are the seven straightforward techniques to improve your comprehension abilities:

1. Increase vocabulary power

When you understand the meaning of the words you read, it can be easier for you to grasp the author’s perspective. You can improve your vocabulary by developing a habit of active reading. You can mark the difficult words and phrases that you come across while reading and search for their meaning in the dictionary. Once you understand the meaning of words, use it in your own language and try to use it in different contexts. This will aid in your long-term retention of those words.

2. Ask questions regarding the text you are reading

As you become more immersed in the text, asking questions about what you are reading can help you become a better reader. In order to gain a deeper understanding of what you are reading, consider themes, motifs, and other aspects of the text that you may have overlooked.

You can ask yourself the following questions as you read:

  • Why did the author choose to start the book that way?
  • What sort of bond do these two characters have?
  • What do we now know about the protagonist of the story?
  • Are there any recurring themes throughout the book? If so, what do they mean?

3. Make use of situational cues

Even if you are unfamiliar with all the words being used, using context clues can really help you grasp what you are reading. The words and sentences that precede and follow the unfamiliar word can provide context cues. By concentrating on the major words or concepts in a sentence, you can use context clues to infer the sentence or paragraph’s core theme. Additionally, you can search for neighboring terms that are either synonyms or antonyms of the unknown word.

4. Identify the core idea

You can evaluate the relevance of an article by finding the main idea in a paragraph. Understanding the significance of what you’re reading may help you better understand the author’s perspective. After reading every paragraph, stop reading and try to figure out what the major point is. Then, for even better understanding, try to rephrase the primary idea in your own words.

5. Summarize the information you read

Writing a summary is a foolproof method to learn more about what you have read. In order to summarize, you must first determine what is crucial in the text and then express it in your own terms. Summarizing enables you to assess your comprehension of the text and improves your long-term retention of what you have read.

Free Score Reports for the GRE, TOEFL and IELTS Tests

Each of the major tests that students generally take to get higher education in the United States – i.e. the GRE, IETLS, TOEFL tests – allows you to send you scores to a certain number of universities or colleges free of charge.

  • GRE – 4 free score reports
    • names of universities to be specified on the day of the test, immediately after your exam
    • current fee per score report thereafter $ 27
  • TOEFL – 4 free score reports
    • names of universities to be specified one day before the test
    • current fee per score report thereafter $ 20
  • IELTS – 5 free score reports (to universities accepting an IELTS score) + 1 given to the candidate
    • names of universities to be specified one day before the test
    • current fee per score report: Online Rs 250, and physical copy Rs 1500

Eligibility for Master’s Degrees in the UK

 Types of Master’s degrees:

Postgraduate Taught Degree (M.Sc.): This one-year degree program requires students to attend regular classes, write exams and complete a project at the end of the course.

Postgraduate Research: Students work on a research project and at the end of the program submit a Dissertation.

Minimum required qualification

Most universities in the UK accept a three-year Bachelor’s degree (12+3) but there are a few universities that require a four-year Bachelor’s degree (12+4) for admission to a Master’s program. Therefore, students who have completed their Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.), Bachelor’s in Computer Science (BCS), Bachelor’s in Computer Application (BCA) and other similar three-year degrees are also eligible to apply for a Master’s degree.

Educational Grade

The most important requirement for admission to a Master’s program in the UK is the academic grade obtained in the Bachelor’s degree. A minimum grade of 2:1 at the bachelor’s level or in some cases a grade of 2:2 is also accepted with relevant work experience. You can convert your marks into the grading system followed by universities in the UK by referring to the table below:

First-Class Honours (1)marks of 70% or above
Upper Second-Class (2:1)marks between 60-69%
Lower Second-Class (2:2)marks between 50-59%
Third-Class Honours (3)marks between 40-49%

English Language Proficiency Test

Universities require evidence that you are proficient in the English language. This can be proved by taking the IELTS or the TOEFL (accepted by a few universities). The minimum score required on the IELTS is 6.5 out of 9, with a minimum score of 6.0 in each section and the minimum score on the TOEFL is 80 out of 120.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

The GRE score is required by only a few top universities and programs. Therefore, if you wish to apply to some of the top ranked universities, then it is recommended that you take the GRE.

Relevant work experience (recommended)

Work experience is not mandatory for all programs but is considered especially if the student has a weak academic background (low GPA). In case of programs that accept students from different academic disciplines, relevant work experience is a mandatory requirement. Minimum duration should be at least one year.

For more details and inquiries about pursuing higher education in the UK, reach us at 020-67444222 between 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm (Monday to Friday) and enroll for admission counselling for UK right away!

Time Management Tips for GRE Quant

Wondering how to manage time efficiently on the Quant section of your GRE? Don’t worry! Here are our important techniques that will help you to master time management in the Quant section. So, let’s get started!!

As you are aware, each section on GRE Quant has 20 questions, and the time allotted is 35 minutes. So, unless an effective time management plan is in place, getting a good score is slightly difficult. The following proven techniques will certainly help you in the same regard:

Don’t solve the questions sequentially

Remember, it is not necessary to solve the questions in the same sequence as they appear in the section. If you want to save time, it is always better to solve the easy questions – the ones which you are confident about; in the beginning and attempt the difficult questions afterwards. This will allow you to save a few seconds on every question solved, which could be utilized for attempting difficult questions.

Attempt lengthy questions at the end

Questions based on some topics, such as Data Interpretation (DI), are usually lengthy. Instead of solving such questions when they appear, it is a good technique to try them at the end. This will allow you to utilize the extra time saved on the previous questions.  

Use a calculator only when it is absolutely necessary

Sounds strange, right? Some of you might be wondering if the calculator is provided on GRE; why not use it every time? But here is the catch- using the on-screen calculator every time will eat up a lot of your time and would affect time management severely. Thus, as long as possible, do the calculations manually and use the calculator only when it is utmost necessary.  

Seek the balance between speed and accuracy

This perhaps is the most important point of all! Solving the questions quickly is very different from solving them hurriedly! If you rush to answer the questions without paying attention to the accuracy, it is of no use. Thus, maintain the balance between speed and accuracy so as to get a good score on the section.     

Wish you all the very best for your preparation!!

Advantages of Pursuing a Master’s Degree in UK

The UK is recognized as the second best international study destination after the USA. It offers students world class career prospects, state-of-the-art facilities and a multicultural environment. Some of the most reputed universities in the world are located in the UK. In fact, four of the world’s top ten universities are located in the UK.

 Some of the advantages of Studying in the UK are:

 1.   A wide variety of courses to choose from

Universities in UK offer a wide choice of subject to choose from, therefore if you are looking at studying a specialized subject then you can apply to universities that offer a Masters in that specific field (e.g. Artificial Intelligence or Machine learning) or if you are undecided about your specialization you may choose to study a general subject (e.g. Computer science)

2.    Shorter duration courses

The duration for a Masters Taught program is one year. Some universities also offer a two-year program which includes one placement year.

3.    Benefits of world leading resources and facilities

Most campuses provide students with an excellent learning environment which is complemented by well-equipped labs with latest technology and modern facilities. 

4.   Top quality Faculty with industry exposure

Most professors who teach at the university hold a Ph.D. There has been a constant transfer of knowledge between universities and the Industries through research projects. This enables students and companies to collaborate with each other.

5.   Scholarships and Jobs while studying

Some universities offer scholarships to international students. The amount offered may not cover the entire tuition cost but it will surely reduce the fees to some extent.

Students can also apply for the GREAT Scholarship offered by The British Council

6.   Excellent job opportunities

Computer Science or IT jobs have been classified among the “Shortage Occupations” List by the UK Government.

For more details and inquiries about pursuing higher education in the UK, reach us at 020-67444222 between 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm (Monday to Friday) and enroll for admission counselling for UK right away!

How To Improve Your Scores In IELTS Speaking

Everyone knows about the basic criteria that help IELTS candidates to get better scores in Writing and Speaking. There are, however, other factors that may indirectly aid test takers during their speaking tests. So, let’s explore the ways that will help you boost your IELTS Speaking score.

5 Easy Ways to Ace your IELTS Speaking

Keep your Body Language Calm

In the Speaking test, the examiner asks you several questions and you have to answer them. It is understandable that when you have so much in your mind it is difficult to relax. But if you think of it as a light conversation with a friend, the whole process will become easier for you. Remember that the examiner is not there to find faults in your language, instead he is there to observe your strengths as a communicator. Therefore, you can talk in a cool and calm manner rather than becoming a bundle of nerves. 

Speak in an Engaging Manner

No one likes to get bored to death, hence, deal with the questions as if you are excited about them. Examiners take several speaking tests in a day and the last thing they want is a dull conversation. Therefore, once you tempt an examiner into listening to what you say, he will be more interested in finding your positives than negatives, which will ultimately help you improve your score. 

Use Intonations to Break the Monotony 

Adhering to the four basic criteria of speaking is crucial, but presentation is equally important. It is essential to reiterate here that the IELTS Speaking test is more of a conversation than Q & A. Therefore, natural rise and fall in your tone is expected. Voice modulation aids in understanding of the listener and keeps the conversation spry, which helps you grab the examiner’s attention. 

Sound Genuine while Speaking 

Little bit of theatrics may come handy here! How? Well, it may happen that for some questions you have to borrow experiences from others or make up a story; however, while doing so it is important to sound convincing; the way actors do. This confidence will keep you composed and eventually help you establish control over the conversation. 

Avoid Using Fillers

Fillers like umm.., uhh…, so…, actually…breaks the flow of the conversation and makes it difficult to understand the content. Therefore, it is utmost important to eliminate fillers from your speech. Interestingly, you can change this weakness into strength by embracing the pauses and using them to collect your thoughts before we speak.

5 Steps to Improve Your Scores in IELTS Essay Writing

IELTS candidates face a lot of problems while writing essays. Despite the ample amount of material available online, they find it difficult to score a good band in writing task 2. All the hacks and notes they have referred to fail when they confront the blank answer sheet. Has that ever happened to you? 

If yes, then you have come to the right place, as this blog will help you write essays by following 5 simple yet effective steps:

Step 1: Understand the Question

The answer lies in the question itself. This holds true for IELTS essays also. Read the task or question carefully, identify the keywords, and pay heed to all the points mentioned in the question. This will help you understand what is expected of you in the essay.

Step 2: Form an Opinion  

Your opinion matters! Once the task is crystal clear, the next step is to analyze the points mentioned in the prompt. To come up with more ideas, ask yourself several questions like who/when/what/why. This will help you generate more ideas for writing a power-packed essay. 

Step 3: Structure your Essay

Structure makes your essays easily readable. Using correct syntax and writing coherently improves clarity and comprehensibility. Therefore, ensure that you use correct grammar and arrange your points in a logical order. 

Step 4: Conclude Briefly

A well-rounded conclusion works like a charm. Reinforcing your points in a succinct manner gives a clear-cut idea to the reader by summing up everything you have elaborated in your essay. 

Step 5: Proofread Keenly

Proof reading can take you one band ahead. It is observed that students who score more than 7 bands on the IELTS essay proofread their essay and make changes where necessary. This is the master stroke that will separate you from the rest.

Ace the SAT Reading with these websites

Most SAT passages are manageable; the language is modern and direct. However, we also have to tackle passages with pretty complex – at times downright convoluted – framing. In addition to this, most international students don’t have the same exposure to American history and literature that students from the USA have. Now, if you’re ambitious and determined, you may do the most logical thing: start reading content that will help you with such reading passages. But where should you begin? When you search for SAT reading sources, you get super long lists, which, frankly speaking, are overwhelming as well as unrealistic. You don’t have the time to read everything. In fact, many students simply give up on such passages due to frustration. But despair not, for there is another way. We’ve curated a list of the top five sources (topic-specific) for improving your reading for the SAT.

Science

Let’s start with the easiest. SAT passages based on science are the simplest to process. So, if you’re just starting out on your reading journey, begin here.

Easy-to-understand science articles

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine

https://www.scientificamerican.com/

Humanities

Passages based on psychology, economics, socio-cultural phenomena, etc., are simple enough to read but sometimes the ideas may be unfamiliar or complex. You can gain confidence regarding these themes by reading from the following sources.

https://www.aldaily.com/ This website gives you free access to thousands of articles. It’s a great resource to practice reading advanced language.

https://www.nytimes.com/ This is a great source for modern opinion pieces on a wide range of topics.

History

History passages are usually the most challenging as the context is unfamiliar and usually the language is difficult as some passages are extracts from texts written around 200 years ago. The easiest solution to this problem is to watch the Crash Course series on YouTube. Not only will this give you a great overview of history but it will also help you improve your language in general.

History explained in an engaging way with SAT vocabulary  

Crash Course US History

Crash Course World History

Watch this space for more tips!

Coming up…

Which historical incidents are a must-know for SAT?

Sources you should read for SAT Literature passages.

Last-minute tips to master the Quant section on the GRE

Preparing for a competitive exam like GRE is always a daunting task. Nonetheless, summing up the preparation is also equally important to perform better on the exam. In this blog, we will share some of the tips with you on how to brush up on the Math section in the last week before your GRE. So, let’s get started!

Revise all the theory concepts well

Don’t forget that the GRE is more about conceptual clarity than heavy calculation. So, make sure that you have understood all the concepts well. In case you come across a point where some clarity is required, refer to your lecture notes and practice it again but don’t panic.

Check your error log

In the last week of preparation, instead of revising all the problems that you have solved, it is advisable to concentrate only on those questions that you have got incorrect while practicing. So, refer to your error log and revise only the difficult questions.

Solve only a limited number of questions

Don’t get exhausted by solving too many of the questions in the last week. Instead, select only a limited number of questions for practice.

Revise formulae sheet

Please remember that the required formulae should be on the tip of your tongue! Thus, revise all the formulae at least once daily without fail.

Revise tables daily

This is yet another important technique to give a boost to your Quant score on the GRE. In spite of the fact that the use of a calculator is permitted on GRE, it is better to do the calculations manually as much as possible. Thus, revise the tables at least twice a day.

If you ensure that these aspects are taken care of, you will feel more confident as you attempt the exam.

Wish you all the very best in your preparation!!

Application timeline for Spring 2023

Are you planning to go for MS in Spring 2023? 

The right time to apply for the spring semester is around June or mostly July, which means if you haven’t already started working on your applications, you need to start right now! 

We strongly recommend that you write the GRE and TOEFL before the 15th of July so you can submit all your online applications and courier the necessary documents before the 25th of July.

Of course, many universities accept applications even till the second week of August, but if you want admission to a good university, it is better to apply before July 2022. Submitting your application early will also help you to get your I-20 early and thus you will be able to apply for a visa by October or November, or at least in early December.

Therefore start preparing for GRE and TOEFL now and book your test date at the earliest.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we have begun enrollments for admission counseling for Spring 2023. Click here to enroll and get complete assistance in drafting your Statement of Purpose (SOP), transcripts, and recommendation letters, sending applications, university selection, visa documentation, and mock visa interview! 

For further details, contact us on 020-67444222 or email us at support@dilipoakacademy.com.