Jumpstart your GRE Prep with Oak’s exclusive Study Plans

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One of the most important steps in preparing for the GRE is planning your study schedule.  Many a time, despite being fast learners, students fail to score high in the GRE only because of haphazard study methods. A structured prep plan helps you to systematically cover all the topics, manage time, and stay focused and motivated until your test day. At Dilip Oak’s Academy, along with GRE Coaching, we guide our enrolled students to study in a methodical manner through our exclusive GRE Study Plans.

Depending upon your GRE date (ETS registered/tentative), we provide you with a customized study plan for either 1 month, 1.5 months, 2 months, 2.5 months, 3 months, 3.5 months or 4 months.

Each study plan includes a step-by-step preparatory guide with day wise and week wise guidelines for Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Sections of the GRE.

While each study plan varies according to the duration, it broadly includes:

  • Vocabulary Learning and Practice
  • Verbal Reasoning strategies and practice
  • Quantitative Reasoning strategies and practice
  • AWM essays brainstorming
  • ETS Material Practice

All the study plans comprise rigorous learning and practice modules for each of the above sections. To help you keep a track of your preparation, we also send you daily and weekly goal-setting reminders.

Along with these, the study plans also include access to our exclusive online learning tools: Focused Practice, Test Prep and CBTs that help you study in a more organized manner and allow you to track your progress.

Focused Practice

  1. Reinforcement of the classroom coaching by helping you keep in sync with the concepts, tricks, and tips taught in the class
  2. 400+ questions for Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning
  3. Topic-wise questions for Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning

Test Prep

  1. Personalized Dashboard to track your progress
  2. Customized according to the question types and difficulty level
  3. Convenient timed and untimed modes for practice
  4. Instant Review and question summary
  5. In-depth explanatory answers to gauge where you stand

CBTs

  1. Actual GRE® test experience with full-length timed tests according to the ETS® pattern
  2. AW essay scores and personalized feedback by our experienced evaluators
  3. Detailed Analysis of your performance to help you gauge your strengths and weaknesses
  4. Explanatory Review to help  you understand what went wrong and how to get it right the next time

Who can avail the study plans?

Only those students who have enrolled for GRE Coaching at Dilip Oak’s Academy can avail these study plans. To jumpstart your GRE prep and unlock our comprehensive study plans, register for our Online GRE Coaching.

You can then request for the suitable study plan by submitting us the details of your enrolled batch, Roll Number and GRE Test date on gre@dilipoakacademy.com.

The plan will be sent directly to your inbox on your registered email ID.

What are you waiting for? Register for our October 1 GRE batch here: https://www.dilipoakacademy.com/gre-online.html and along with study plans, avail 30% discount on the coaching fees!

 

 

Step-by-step guide to obtain a Canadian Study Permit (Student visa)

QUICK GUIDE ON GETTING YOUR CANADIAN STUDY PERMIT (1)

In continuation with our blog published on 17/07/2020 where we briefly discussed the admission and visa requirements for Canada, we will now take you through the step-by-step process for obtaining the Canadian study permit for MS, the application timeline, and the required documents.

Before we proceed, let us first understand the difference between permit and visa. Often, students get confused between the two.

Study Permit Vs Visa

A Study Permit allows you to stay in the country until completion of your course at any of the Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) in Canada.

A Visa allows you to enter the country. You must therefore remember that the study permit is not a visa and it doesn’t let you enter Canada. For entry, you need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) which is issued by the Canadian government once your application for the study permit is approved.

Timeline and documents required for Canadian Study Permit

Your application process should begin as soon as you receive acceptance letter from your desired university. The fee for a study permit is CAD 150, which is around Rs 8400.

If you are planning to go for fall intake (September), you should begin the process around June. The documents required include:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Acceptance letter from the university
  3. Proof of funds (CAD 10,000 per year without tuition for those outside Quebec. For those in Quebec, CAD 11,000 per year)
  4. Passport size photographs
  5. Immigration Medical Examination (ideally to take a week before starting the visa process)
  6. TOEFL/IELTS scores
  7. Statement of Purpose
  8. Credit card

Step-by-step application process for a study permit:

Your application process might take three to four weeks to complete hence you should start the process with some margin in your hand. Once you decide, you can either apply online or apply in-person.

To apply online, you require scanned documents and a valid credit card for payment. Before you start the application, read the instruction guide HERE. Fill out the application and pay the biometrics fee. Once you submit the application, you will receive a letter specifying the time and place to give your biometrics. From receiving the letter, you have up to 30 days to give your biometrics.

To apply in person, you can download the application kit and the instruction guide from the official website of the government of Canada,  fill the VFS consent form and attach it to the application, pay the processing fee (in addition to VFS Global services charges), and submit the documents at the nearest VFS office.

While you can go with either of the ways, we recommend students to apply online as the process is faster and easier.

Once your application is approved, you will receive a letter of introduction. This letter is not your study permit. You need to show it to an officer when you arrive in Canada. Along with the letter, you will also be issued an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa (temporary resident visa) to enter Canada.

On arriving in Canada, you are required to present all these documents to the border services officer, who after validation, will issue you with the study permit.

MS in Canada: Work Permit process and PR opportunities (Part 3)

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In the last blog dated 17/08/2020, we learnt about the admission requirements and visa process for masters in Canada. In this final part, we will cover vital information on how to obtain a work permit and apply for a Permanent Residency in Canada.

Work Permit

A Work Permit, or a Work Visa, is issued to eligible international individuals to work in that country for a specific time period (3 years). Unlike the US, you don’t need a job offer in order to apply for a work permit. You can apply for it within 180 days of receiving the post graduate degree. In order to be eligible for a work permit, you need to meet the following criteria:

1) You must complete MS from a Designated Learning Institution (A designated learning institution is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students.)

2) Your course should be at least 8 months long

3) Your study permit should be valid at some point within the 180 days of receiving your MS mark sheet. If you stay in Canada with an expired study permit, you must apply to restore your status as a student before applying for a work permit.

4) You must maintain full-time status as a student. Part-time status does not qualify you for a work permit.

Permanent Residency (PR)

International students can apply for PR while studying in Canada or after completing their MS. Most students apply for the PR while studying. This is popularly called ‘dual intent’ application and is readily accepted by the Canadian immigration law. For PR, each applicant is scored out of 100 on the basis of his/her age, qualifications, English language proficiency and experience.  Generally, applicants who score above 67 get their PR faster than others. Broadly, there are three types of PR programs you can apply for as a student:

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

To qualify for this, students must have at least 12 months of work experience in Canada. While the requisite work experience gained by applying for a work permit is considered, any part-time work experience earned during the program like internships and co-ops does not count as valid work experience for a PR.

Quebec Experience Class (QEC)

Students who have completed their program in Quebec and who have passed intermediate level of proficiency in French can apply for this. This type does not require prior work experience in Canada.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

To be eligible for this, a student must meet the minimum requirements of that province he/she intends to settle in, must have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary education program, and must have a relevant work experience. (This requirement varies for different provinces)

After receiving the PR, you should complete at least 4 years of stay in Canada before applying for the citizenship.

MS in Canada: Admission and student visa requirements (part 2)

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In the last blog dated 10/08/2020, we discussed the benefits of pursuing masters in Canada and saw how fast the country is becoming one of the most sought after destinations for higher education. In this blog, we will focus on the admission and visa requirements for MS in Canada and breeze through the top Ten Canadian Universities for STEM courses.

Admission requirements 

Academic credentials

Majority Canadian universities require you to have completed 16 years of education (12+4), i.e. – a four- year Bachelor’s degree before going for MS. This is applicable to all the technical background students like Engineering, Pharmacy, and Architecture etc. For non-technical fields like Arts and Management, a student is required to complete 17 years of education. (12+3+2)

Canadian universities have a very high cutoff percentage. Hence, you need to have a minimum of 65% to 70% in your degree course and an equivalent CGPA of a minimum of 7.0 to 7.5. Top universities especially give a lot of emphasis on the performance of the last two years of your degree course. (3rd & 4th year)

If you are planning to pursue MS in Business Management, Finance, and Business Analytics; you are required to have relevant work experience of minimum 1 to 3 years.

Qualifying examinations

TOEFL/IELTS: English Language Proficiency Test scores are a mandatory requirement of Canadian universities. A minimum of 6.5 to 7 band score in IELTS or 90+ score in TOEFL is required to get into the best Canadian universities. At Dilip Oaks Academy, we offer online TOEFL and online IELTS coaching along with rigorous practice sessions and mock tests.

GRE: Though a majority of universities in Canada do not require GRE scores, some of the top universities do ask for it. We recommend you to give the GRE and keep your scores ready if you aim to get into one of the top universities. Our Online GRE Coaching will enable you to prepare for the GRE in a hassle-free manner.

Crucial student visa requirements:

Once you receive admit from a Canadian university, you need to apply for a study permit that requires you to fulfil four crucial criteria:

1)      Admit should be from a recognized university

2)      Proof of funds to support yourself. At present this is equal to the tuition fee for one year and CA$10,000 as living expenses.

3)      Proof of no criminal record

4)      Fitness certificate from the doctor as recommended by the Canadian High Commission

Lastly, a quick glance at the Top 10 Canadian Universities:

  • University of Toronto
  • University of British Columbia
  • McGill University
  • McMaster University
  • University of Montreal
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Waterloo
  • Western University

Kick-start your prep for MS in Canada NOW!

Enrol for our admission counselling services and start planning your Canadian endeavour the right way!

Top 6 benefits of pursuing masters in Canada (Part 1)

TOP 6 BENEFITS OF PURSUING MASTERS IN CANADA

With its international student population touching 6.4 lakhs this year, Canada has become the 3rd leading destination of foreign students, especially Indians, who constitute 34% of this number. Since 2014, the Indian student population in Canada has grown by a whopping 350%.  Premier affordable education, internationally recognized degrees, and opportunities for Permanent Residency have led to a large number of students to apply for Masters in Canada. Additionally, a small population of 37 million, and steady growth of the economy have opened multiple job avenues over the last decade, especially in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec, and have made them the most sought after areas for settlement.

Given these facts, let us explore in detail what makes Canada one of the ideal destinations for higher education:

Quality education and internationally recognized degrees: To date, Canada houses around 30 high-ranked universities offering degrees that are recognized internationally as being equivalent to US degrees. These universities have highly qualified professors, mostly Doctorates with enormous experience in their fields. Secondly, the teacher-student ratio is as low as 1:20. This allows personal attention and interaction. As per the current rankings, the top three universities in Canada are the University of Toronto, McGill University, and University of British Columbia.

Affordable tuition fees and living costs: Compared to American universities, Canadian universities have a very affordable fee structure; in fact, the lowest among other English-speaking countries. This is because the Canadian dollar (1 Canadian dollar (CAD) = 56 INR) is much cheaper than the American dollar (1 USD= 74 INR) and the Euro (1 Euro= 88 INR). As for the living costs—the total housing, food, and other expenses usually do not exceed 1,000 CAD per month. Additionally, students can take on-campus jobs for 20 hours/week and make u to 800 to 900 CAD per month. They can also apply for full-time jobs during summer and winter breaks and earn a substantial sum to cover their tuition costs.

Easy immigration and PR laws: Unlike the US, there is no annual quota for immigrants in Canada. In fact, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently published their Canada Immigration Levels Plan for 2020-2022 according to which, they plan to admit around 1,053,000 new permanent residents till 2022. Also, under the new system, international graduates from Canadian study programs can obtain up to 30 additional CRS points. Thus, pursuing MS in Canada increases the chances of securing Permanent Residency.

Job opportunities: Canadian curriculum is designed to meet the changing industry demands. By the time students finish their masters; they are well-versed with the latest trends and manage to land a good job within 6 months of course completion.

Research-based education:  Canada ranks 4th in the world for its quality scientific research. Canadian universities actively encourage students to conduct research. University of Toronto and University of British Columbia have been recognized as the best Canadian universities due to their high research impact. A student applying for Masters can choose either a professional master’s program (MEngg) or opt for a research-based master’s program (MaSc) emphasizing on original scientific research. The industries and government institutions in Canada also extend support by organizing learning programs and workshops.

Cultural diversity:  Canada has a rich cultural diversity of people from various ethnicities. Universities also conduct a lot of cultural programs that help students to develop a broader and global perspective.

In the next part, we will talk about admission requirements for MS in Canada.

Five proven ways to get into top-ranked US universities even with a low GRE score

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Generally, a high GRE score (330+) is considered to be one of the most important requirements to get into topmost US universities. But what if you receive less than 330? Does that mean you have to give up on your dream university?

NO.

Your GRE score is not the only parameter that decides your chances of landing a seat in a high-ranked university. US universities have a very holistic approach to a student’s profile. Apart from your score, your academic credentials, intent, commitment, and relevant work experience are some of the factors taken into consideration.

Here’s how you can highlight your strengths and dwarf the low GRE score:

Good academic credentials: A consistently good percentage (above 70) or a GPA above 8.5 in your bachelor’s degree can overshadow your low GRE score and boost your chances of getting into top universities.

Appealing Statement of Purpose: A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is your key tool to enhance your application. It is your only chance to communicate your goals to the admissions committee. Therefore, make sure that you draft an honest, precise, and appealing SOP that compels the committee to look at you as a “value addition” to their organization. Under our admission counselling serviceswe provide personal sessions with our SOP counsellors and help you draft a winning SOP.

Letters of Recommendation: Though this appears to be a very routine requirement, it is but a crucial document of validation. Make sure that you get recommendation letters from professors or project guides under whom you have studied at least for a semester or worked on a project. You can also take a LOR from the employer under whom you have interned or worked for at least a year.

Work Experience: More than on-paper scores, American universities are interested in knowing your practical knowledge of subjects and application skills. A relevant work experience, either an internship or a job, will demonstrate your skills, agility, and ability to work in a dynamic environment. Work on enhancing your practical experience and explore ways to build a great career profile.

Check out our sample resume and start preparing right away.

Co-curricular activities: Projects and paper presentations add a lot of value to your application. Make sure that you’ve worked on strong projects, and presented papers in nationally and internationally recognized seminars and reputed publications.

The SMART way to boost your GRE Prep (part 2)

In our earlier blog, dated 20/07/2020, we laid the groundwork for the preparation of the Quantitative Reasoning Section. Today, we will study the SMART way to fine-tune your GRE preparation and achieve the desired score.

Solve

  • Use your scrap paper effectively. Develop a habit of solving the questions stepwise and systematically as it will help you on your actual test day.
  • Stick to one source of material throughout the course of study.

Manage 

You are expected to complete 20 Questions in 35 minutes for the Quant section that averages nearly less than 90 seconds per question.

Ensure that you understand all the concepts irrespective of the time taken. Starting your preparation well on time would ensure that you have enough time to master all your concepts.

  • Once the concepts are clear, aim to solve questions in a stipulated time frame.
  • A well-devised study plan will set you right on track. In short ‘Plan Your Work And Work Your Plan’

Adapt 

Understand the different question types and their nuances so that you can use suitable techniques for solving them.

  • The GRE questions are relatively easy to solve but sometimes difficult to comprehend because of their verbosity (complex and confusing construction). So read the questions carefully to reveal the hidden concept/s, which, most of the time, may be very familiar.
  • Sometimes, questions that seem relatively easy have some trap set for you, and most of the students fall for it. The answer choices are also designed in such a way that they lead you to a trap.

Review 

  • Note down important formulae, theorems, properties, etc.
  • Maintain a log of topics you have covered and classify them based on their difficulty level so that you can focus accordingly.

Train 

We need to understand some factors which may affect our performance on the actual Test Day.

Get rid of your mental blocks like examination phobia and loss of confidence. Discussing with the faculty members or counselors could help.

Train yourself to remain undaunted even if you come across difficult questions in the beginning because the difficulty level of the questions keeps changing and you may get a simpler question subsequently. We strongly suggest you take our 5 practice tests (CBTs) to boost your confidence. Our CBTs are designed as per the ETS pattern and the score you obtain could give you an idea of your actual GRE score.  

Remember, consistency and hard work are the two main elements required for success in any field. Using the SMART approach discussed above will set you on track for your preparations for the GRE.

Warmup for GRE Quant (Part 1)

Following are some ways to ensure that you build a strong foundation to achieve your targeted Quant score.

Understand your syllabus: Download the ETS Math Review pdf file available for free download on the ETS website, which will give you an overview of the syllabus and solve these questions to familiarize yourself with the format of the GRE Math section and its question types.

Brush up your basics: GRE Math has four main sections: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Data Analysis, which you have already studied at your school and junior college level. However, a recap of these topics will definitely help you start flexing your Math muscles.

Multiply your speed: Get familiar with numbers by learning your multiplication tables, squares and cubes. This will not only reduce your dependency on the on-screen calculator but also save a lot of your solving time.

Factor out your math phobia: The GRE Math focuses on the application of basic Math concepts, which can be mastered with a little bit of practice. Remember: no trigonometry! no calculus!

Following these guidelines will definitely build a strong foundation for your Quant preparation. In our next article, we’ll help you gear up your preparation by discussing some key strategies.

Time to rejoice: Trump administration revokes the rule regarding online classes for fall semester

A huge relief for International students

Indian students can now heave a sigh of relief as the Trump administration has finally revoked the new visa rule that required International students taking fully online classes in the US for the fall semester, to return to their home countries.

In our last blog dated 08/07/2020, we wrote in detail about the new rule and its possible repercussions on existing and new students aspiring to go to the US.

Soon after the announcement of this rule on July 6, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and many other institutes as well top American IT companies had filed lawsuits against the administration, seeking reversal of the rule. In response to these lawsuits, the Boston Federal Court revoked this rule on Tuesday, and asked the immigration authorities to pull the directive and return to the “status quo.”

Another factor that contributed to the reversal of the rule is the fact that a whooping number of international students join US universities every year and provide the required tuition revenue. International students contribute billions of dollars to the US economy every year. Sustenance of the new rule would have plummeted the enrollment and subsequently led to a deep financial crisis for the universities as well the country.

Now that rule has been revoked, international students, including Indian students, will be able to stay in the US even if they are pursuing online classes for the fall 2020 semester. New students who are in the process of joining the US universities for spring 2021 sessions will also be able to smoothly continue their visa process and education in the US.

Most Frequently Asked Questions About Deferrals And Student Visas

FAQs about deferrals and Student Visa

With the current pandemic situation and uncertainties about deferrals and Visa regulations, most of you who are in the process of joining US universities for MS or who are planning to join next year, have a lot of queries and doubts. To guide you better and help you make a decision, here are the answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1) I am currently taking GRE classes, and I plan to apply next year. Is it safe to go next year?

Answer: Yes. You can safely apply for Fall 2021 since the situation will normalize by then. Things will begin to get under control right after the November presidential elections.

Q2) Should I defer my Fall 20 admission to Spring 21 or Fall 21?

Answer: At the moment, you can defer your admission to Spring 21 since it is likely that the situation will be under control by then and in-person classes will resume. Otherwise, you will have to extend the deferral to Fall 21.

Q3) I have received admits from eight universities. Will all of them accept deferral for Fall 21?

Answer: No. All the universities may not accept deferral for Fall 21. Some of them are asking students to reapply next year for the fall session.  In that case, your application will be evaluated along with the new applicants. Fortunately, the number of students applying next year will be comparatively less. Therefore, your chances of acceptance will not be hampered.

Q4) When should I book my visa dates if I want to go in Spring 21?

Answers: Visa booking dates for October are now available. Visit the official website of US Consulate for booking your date.

Q5) I am planning to defer to Spring 21, and hence I have booked my visa date for October 20. If I again extend my deferral to Fall 21, do I have to book the visa date and pay the visa fee again?

Answer: In case you book the date for October but instead of joining in Spring 21, you decide to defer to Fall 21, you have to cancel the booked date and reschedule another date, anytime within a year. You need not pay the Visa fee again.

Q6) Will the current situation in the US affect my internship?

Answer: According to the SEVP Advisory, all Indian students pursuing/looking to pursue practical training opportunities, including Curricular Practical Training (CPT), pre-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), post-completion OPT, and/or the STEM Extension OPT are advised to remain in contact with their Designated School Official (DSO) regarding their situation.

Q7) Will the pandemic affect research and other funding opportunities offered by universities?

Answer: Since majority students are not joining universities for Fall 20, it is affecting their financial condition. On this backdrop, it is most likely that the funding opportunities will be difficult for at least the first two semesters.

Q8) Will the current situation and new rules affect the STEM category?

Answer: As of now, there is no official declaration about it, so it should not be a matter of concern.

Q9) Many universities are exempting GRE, SAT, and English Language Test scores for admissions for spring 21 and in some cases, even for fall 21. Should we not give these exams?

Answer: Very few students are applying right now hence the universities are offering exemptions. We still recommend you to appear for these exams because when the number of applicants increases next year, GRE and SAT scores will give an upper hand to your application.

For any other query about GRE, US admissions and jobs, visit our FAQ Section.

Click HERE to enroll for our online GRE batches.