## 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

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.

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.

## How will the new F1 Visa regulation affect existing and new students?

This blog is regarding the recent announcement by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about the continuation of F1 visas for students studying in the US and taking fully online classes for the fall 2020 semester due to the pandemic.

As per the regulation, students are not allowed to take fully online courses in the fall semester while in the US and they have to return to their home country before the semester begins. After returning, they can continue to pursue their semester online from their home country but they cannot return to the US until the university resumes in-person instruction. This does not mean that their F1 visa has been cancelled. It means that the embassy will not renew the F1 visa until the university resumes in-person instruction.

Students will not lose any credits earned in the fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters. They will be required to take a break for only one semester, and again resume their studies in spring 2021. Also, this will not affect CPT or OPT in any manner.

The regulation also states that as an alternative, the student can either transfer to another school with in-person instruction or adopt a hybrid model with a maximum of one class or three credit hours online. This decision will not hamper the current visa process for students aspiring to join next year or those who have deferred their fall 2020 admissions to spring 2021.

New students, who have deferred their admission to spring 2021, can continue with their visa process since it is likely that in-person instruction will resume by January 2021. However, if the spring semester is also changed to online instruction, you will not be able to go to the US. In that case, you will have to defer your admission to fall 2021 and accordingly get your visas reissued for fall 2021.

## How to get into the best US universities for MS

Getting into the best US universities is a dream of every student who aspires to pursue a master’s in America. However, these top universities have higher academic and co-curricular requirements that one needs to keep in mind before starting the preparation and application process.

Following are the key requirements to make it to the top 25 US universities:

GRE score above 320: Topmost US universities require a high GRE score, usually more than 320, and a Quant score of 165+. At Dilip Oak’s Academy, our experienced faculty offer thorough guidance to make sure you score well. Two of our students scored 340/340, and two others scored 339/340, along with many others who scored more than 330.  Our GRE Online Coaching is as interactive as classroom coaching, and we already have more than 1000 students enrolled with us.

Good academic performance: A consistently good percentage (70% and above) or a GPA above 8.5 in your bachelor’s program is ideal for securing the best admits. If you are still in your third year and your GPA is not up to the mark, you have a good chance to amp it up.

Projects/internships: Projects and relevant internships contribute a lot to the selection process. Make sure that you have worked on good academic projects that demonstrate your technical skills. Internships show your practical experience and knowledge of the subject.

Paper presentations: Some of the best US universities often require students to publish research papers in nationally and internationally recognized seminars and reputed international publications. If you have enough time and you have not presented any paper yet, go for it. It is a great way to upscale your academic credentials and also stand out among the many applicants.

Work experience: Work experience is often an add-on to your other achievements. If you are not in a hurry to pursue MS right after graduation, we recommend you to work in your relevant field for at least one or two years and then apply for MS. This will give an edge to your application and also help you get a good job after your MS.

Strong SOP and LORs: A Statement of Purpose is a crucial document in the application process because it explains why you wish to join the university and the program. Your intent must come across strongly for the university to find you suitable for admission. At the academy, our SOP faculty helps you to draft appealing SOPs and LORs as per the university requirements.

## Amidst the pandemic, when do I take the GRE and start my application process?

The coronavirus pandemic has severely affected education systems worldwide, and most US universities have moved to online coaching for the fall 2020 session. If you are planning to join an American university in the spring 2021 semester, be aware that this has a few downsides. So it would be a good idea to postpone your plans to the fall 2021.

Firstly, it will not be possible to give the GRE in July due to the ongoing lockdown, and the chances of giving it in August are also bleak. Therefore, it will be difficult to complete the application process before 31st August which is generally the deadline for spring 2021. Secondly, there is no guarantee that your visa will be processed in time or that you will be able to join for the spring semester.

A ‘GRE at Home’ option has been made available but it is not feasible: for one, the stringent equipment prerequisites are difficult to meet and further, questions are being raised about the fairness of online tests.

Considering this, it is safer and wiser to prepare for fall 2021, for which, you must take the GRE before mid-Jan 2021. Most universities also accept scores until March end so; you can plan to take the test accordingly. To help you kick start your preparation, we offer online coaching for GRE which is at par with classroom coaching. Our online classes are interactive, and over 1000 students have already enrolled with us. Check out our GRE online batches here: https://www.dilipoakacademy.com/gre-online.html

Meanwhile, you can proceed with your application process. Aim to finish it by March 2021, before the university deadlines. At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we also provide admission counselling and guide you through the entire application process. For details, visit: https://www.dilipoakacademy.com/study-in-usa.html

## GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode 12

One of the easiest ways to learn new words is through association. Instead of trying to learn by remembering the equivalent of a word in your mother tongue or its usage in English, you can learn by thinking of words in groups. These groupings can be grammatical: all action verbs or nouns related to knowledge (ending with -logy), for instance; or logical: as found in our VocabApp.

Today, all our links and questions are about pictures and photographs, which can be helpful in recollecting a bunch of words. Here are some of those words, see how many you can guess correctly.

Question 1

For a ______ like myself, there was no wrong age to take up photography: I just had to get a smartphone!

A] tyro

B] sage

C] transgressor

Question 2

The light cast by the setting sun is the most _____________ and hence, it is known as the Golden Hour in Hollywood.

A] voluble

B] voluminous

C] luminous

Question 3

Whenever I look at these pictures of people from my past, I am filled with _________.

A] nostalgia

B] animosity

C] catharsis

Question 4

4] The only surviving picture of my great-grandmother is a small painted __________.

A] frieze

B] vignette

C] coda

Question 5

Editors often __________ black-and-white photos with colour images to choose the best ones.

A] riddle

B] amalgamate

C] juxtapose

Tell us your guesses in the comments section and look for the answers in our next edition!

Here are some articles you might interesting:

Hi-Res in Space!

Everyday Exemplars…

1] “We found the glass splashed on little pieces of bone that were by the hearth, so we know that the molten glass had landed in this village while people were living there,” said coauthor Allen West, a member of the Comet Research Group, a nonprofit organization aimed at studying this particular cosmic impact and its consequences.

2] B] No magnetic marks, characteristic of lightning strikes, were found.

3] A] Climatic changes

4] B] exceptional D] atypical

5] A] imitate D] prevalent

## Trump’s new executive order of H1B Visa suspension will not affect Indian students

President Donald Trump, on Monday, June 22, issued an executive order temporarily suspending stamping for new H-1B and few other work visas till December 31, 2020.

While the news may come as a setback for IT professionals aspiring to go to the US this year, students completing graduation in the USA, need not panic.

Who will be affected by this executive order?

IT companies

This move will affect the IT companies in India that work for US clients and send their employees on H1B visas or L Visas to work at client sites. The suspension will prohibit the entry of IT professionals in the USA on work-related projects till December 2020. The freeze will apply to the following visas:

1. H1-B Visas: Used by Tech workers
2. H4 Visa: Dependents of H1B visa holders
3. L visas – Transfer within the same company
4. J Visa – Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa
5. H2-B – Visas for low-skill jobs

H1B aspirants of 2020-21 fiscal

The H1B lottery process for 2020-21 fiscal has completed. The sponsoring companies of those picked in the lottery had hoped to complete the application process by June end and have the employees onboard this year itself. However, with the new ban, the employees will not be able to join this October and will have to wait till December.

No effect on F1 visa and OPT

Students pursuing their education in the US are on an F1 student visa. You can still find an internship or co-op on CPT while studying. Also, on completion of your graduation, you can start working in the US on OPT. Students who are already on OPT and whose H1B visas have been picked in the lottery, will not be affected by the order. However, it is highly recommended that they do not travel outside the US under these circumstances.

Better chance for employment to students with strong academics and US degrees

Following this order, Trump has also directed his administration to reform the H-1B visa system and move in the direction of merit-based immigration. Additionally, the lottery system which picks up applications randomly will now be replaced by a merit-based system that will prioritize the highest salaries to “get the best and the brightest”.

Therefore, students who have demonstrated excellent academics and have advanced degrees in the US universities will increase their chances of securing a high paying job and benefit them greatly.

## 6 Easy Hacks to Get You Back in the Online Learning Game!

As convenient as they might seem, online classes do demand extra efforts when it comes to concentrating. It is quite easy to focus during classroom lectures as there is two-way communication and the right kind of environment with no reasons to get distracted. However, in online classes, it is a task to focus and soak everything in as it is comfortable and there is no fear of being noticed or called out by the teacher! This lack of concentration might leave you with no substantial learning at the end of the day.

To enable you to stay focused during your online lectures, and make the most out of them, here is our quick video blog of 6 easy hacks to get you back in the learning game!

## GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode 11

As promised, from this week onwards, we will present some old and some new articles along with questions on Reading Comprehension, Sentence Equivalence, and Text Completion from the Verbal Reasoning section.

Tell us your guesses in the comments section and look for the answers in our next edition!

Dinosaurs weren’t the only ones!

Question 1

Select a sentence in the article that provides evidence that the comet struck while the village was under human habitation.

Question 2

Why did the scientists rule out earthly causes such as volcanic activity or thunderstorms for the fires? Select all that apply.

A] They found evidence that natural sources of fire can also reach such high temperatures.

B] No magnetic marks, characteristic of lightning strikes, were found.

Question 3

None of the following were reasons for the Abu Hureyra culture becoming agrarian EXCEPT

A] Climatic changes

B] Technological modifications

C] Survival of a few people

D] Animal husbandry

E] Ground-breaking invention of systematic agriculture

Alterations to Art

Question 1

The presence of halos as identifying appurtenances of holy figures in early Netherlandish paintings is as ________ an occurrence as it is commonplace in Italian paintings of the same period.

Select the two answer choices that, when used to complete the sentence, fit the meaning of the sentence as a whole, and produce completed sentences that are alike in meaning.

A] trite

B] exceptional

C] recognizable

D] atypical

E] perceptible

F] sacral

The representation of mortals as saints, reflecting a desire to (i) ________ the lives of the saints and to follow their sacrifices and devotion to Christ, becomes increasingly (ii) _______ in the early sixteenth century. The practice reflects an extension of the beliefs of and widespread adherence to the Modern Devotion, a popular reform movement begun by Geert Grote in the late fourteenth century and initially practiced by the Brothers of the Common Life.

Question 2

For each blank select one entry from the corresponding column of choices. Fill all blanks in the way that best completes the text.

 Blank (i) Blank (ii) A] imitate D] prevalent B] animate E] predictable C] stipple F] pretentious