All you need to know about the AP exam 

Along with the standardized tests like SAT and ACT, we often suggest students aspiring to pursue a bachelor’s degree in America, to take the Advanced Placement (AP) Test. 

AP Exams are standardized college-level exams designed to measure your mastery over a specific subject and help you earn credits.  Under this, there are 38 courses from various disciplines to choose from like AP Calculus AB, AP Computer Science, AP Chemistry, AP Physics etc. You can choose the course for subjects related to your career of choice and your expertise. AP exams are scored on the scale of 1 to 5, where each score corresponds to a college course grade equivalent.

Taking AP exams has several benefits, especially for Indian students: 

Boosts chances of getting into a top-ranked university: AP scores add weightage to your college application and help you stand out among hundred others. Top-ranked universities prefer students who give AP exams because performance in AP demonstrates your thoroughness in the subject and ability to manage university-level studies.

Reduces tuition cost:  Taking AP exams helps you to earn college credits even before starting with the college. A high AP score of 4 or 5 allows you to earn enough credits so as to skip a semester or even a year. In that case, you can graduate almost 6 months to 1 year early and save on your tuition fees by thousands of dollars. 

Scholarships and funding opportunities: Most US universities offer good scholarships to high AP scores. This enables the student to further save up on the tuition cost. Some universities also offer an Advanced Placement International Diploma (APID) to Indian students who score exceptionally well in more than 5 AP exams. Hence, even if you have a humble financial background, your AP score can help you complete your bachelors in a high ranked university at a relatively low cost.

When to take the AP? 

The ideal time to give the AP is in your 11th or  12th grade, depending on the number of exams you want to take and your level of preparation. 

The exam is held only once a year, in the month of May. For 2022, the AP exam dates are May 2-6 and May 9-13. The first window for registration was between September and mid-November 2021. However, some test centers are offering a second registration window (February to mid-March) at an additional fee (Pune center last registration date is 6th March 2022) 

For more details on AP exam in India and other registration details, visit https://international.collegeboard.org/students/ap/taking-ap-india

Co-curricular activities that strengthen your application

For those of you who want to pursue higher studies abroad, it is time to focus on preparing a strong application and considering all the key aspects required to strengthen your profile, including co-curricular activities. 

Especially for those of you applying for undergraduate programs, your co-curricular and extra-curricular activities carry equal weight along with your academic and SAT scores. For the master’s program, your co-curricular activities will definitely set you apart.

Here are a few important co-curricular activities you can highlight and work on, to strengthen your profile: 

Undergraduate Applicants

  • School Headboy/girl, Class Prefect, House Captain, Model United Nations (MUN) speaker 
  • Editor or writer for college newsletters and magazines 
  •  Participation in Science clubs and projects
  •  Inter-class and inter-school competitions and state/national level competitions, elocution, etc.
  • Self-driven projects, seminars, and workshops 

Graduate Applicants

  • Technical quizzes during college fests
  • Filing for patents
  • Articles contributed for academic publication, state/national level technical competitions 
  • Seminars and projects 
  • Internship/ apprenticeship 

For detailed guidance on building your profile and going about the application process, enrol for our admission counselling services today! We provide thorough guidance on drafting of SOPs, selection of universities, application essays, and visa counselling. 

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

H1B Visa

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!

Four Best Ways to Take Quick & Effective Notes During Online Classes

How to take quick notes during online classes (1)

Most of the institutes have begun taking online classes for the completion of programs. Though online classes are extremely convenient, they also require you to adapt to certain skills that you otherwise wouldn’t have considered a challenge; one of the most important skills being ‘taking notes’.

Taking down notes is an integral part of the learning process and is often done at ease during classroom lectures or pre-recorded lectures. However, it can prove to be a real task during live lectures because they are generally faster than classroom lectures and there is no way the teacher can moderate his/her speed to suit every student’s speed. It is, therefore, necessary for the student to be quick and focused to take effective notes.

Considering this, here are a few handy ways that will help you take notes swiftly without losing your attention:

Go back to the old-school method: Our tech-savvy selves have become too used to typing with fingers which is why writing things down on a paper has almost become obsolete.

Many of us take notes on their desktops but it becomes a hassle to toggle between the screens. Worse, if you are attending the lectures through your mobile phone it becomes nearly impossible to take notes without losing attention. Therefore, take handwritten notes and avoid the stress.

Create an outline and framework: Read the topic that you will be taught in the lecture beforehand and take down some key points. This will help you keep a framework ready and you can note down more sub-points and in-depth points as the lecture progresses. This method prevents information overload and you do not end up writing everything down.

Go for flow notes and diagrams: Another interesting way to remember what’s taught is to write only the key points, sketch quick diagrams, draw connecting arrows to give the information flow and arrange it pictorially. You can also devise your shorthand symbols and abbreviations and study them later in-depth.

Try the Cornell method: The Cornell method is a very popular method of taking notes in an easy and organized manner. Divide the page beforehand into three sections: Two columns and one row at the bottom of the page. In the larger right column write down initial notes, important sentences, and phrases, general ideas of topics taught. In the smaller left column write down cues, keywords, comments, and questions that arise from the notes on the right side. In the bottom row, write down a summary. This method helps you to study a topic thoroughly and easily.

So which way are you going to try for your next online class?

Lockdown activity: Ten tips to write a compelling resume for your dream job!

Resume, as they rightly say, is your first impression to the recruiter and a testament to your personality, accomplishments, and goals. It is one of the most important steps to landing a good job and building a successful career.
Given the lockdown, we are aware of your boredom and apprehensions about college, job, career, and everything that follows. But why not keep the worries aside and utilize this time for something constructive? Why not pave the way to a great future with just one smart step: One smart resume?

Here are ten tips to shed your fears and start drafting your perfect resume for your next perfect job:

Compile everything meticulously: The first step to drafting a great resume is to carefully compile your work experience, all the jobs, accomplishments, and details of your skill sets. This becomes the main resource for creating your resume as well as preparing for your interview.

Give it a tight edit: The next step is prioritizing and editing the information, with your ideal job in mind. Your goal: To communicate that everything you’ve done in your past is naturally & powerfully leading you to this next role. Eliminate ALL the content that does not lend itself to that story. EVERY point should contribute to the story effectively.

Address all posted job requirements possible: Make sure that you are ticking off everything that the recruiter expects for the position you are applying to. That will only show you in versatile light and speak louder about your experience and expertise.

‘Keywords’ is the key: Remember that whenever there is a writeup, a scanner or a person is always looking for keywords to quickly map everything and make mental notes. Instead of making it very wordy, if you use the right keywords that the recruiter is interested in, your chances of being noticed and filtered increase.

Avoid jargon: Always remember, a simple, precise, original, and honest resume makes much more impact on the recruiter than the one dotted with jargon and unnecessary fancy words. Keep it simple, comprehensive, and realistic.

Leave no gaps in work history: Oftentimes, we forget or choose to not mention a particular work experience for one or more reasons. But evident work gaps serve as a major deterrent when it comes to recruitment and raises red flags. Make sure that you chronologically mention your entire work history and don’t give a chance to the recruiter to question your whereabouts.

Ensure your information is legally accurate and will stand-up to background checks: This is a very important point to consider. Make sure everything you write in the resume is authentic, verifiable, and legally accurate. Even minor discrepancies serve as red flags and threaten your chances of bagging a good job.

Make sure your resume does not contain ANY errors/typos: Edit your resume thoroughly to avoid any errors or typos. A resume reflects the quality of the work you promise to deliver and hence it has to be crisp, well-written, and impressive.

Make sure your resume is “easy on the eye”: Many times, people are inclined to use fancy resume templates with a variety of colors, fonts and designs because they think it keeps the reader hooked. However, it makes the opposite impact. A gaudy resume distracts the recruiter. Hence you must keep it very decent, easy to scan, and absorb. The recruiter typically spends as little as 15 seconds and no more than 2 minutes to assess if you are the right fit. So make sure you provide everything that is necessary to be noted in this brief time.

Put on the hiring manager’s hat: Before sharing the resume, step into the shoes of the hiring manager for a moment, and scan your resume from their perspective.

Has it compelled you enough? Check for all the points and then take the call.

Don’t Fall into the Fake University Trap! Lessons to Learn from the Arrest of 129 Indian Students in the US

In 2015, when some Indian students were offered a shortcut route to a Master’s degree from the US, it seemed too good to be true! University of Farmington, Michigan was allowing them a CPT (student work-permit) right from Day 1. The students could start working immediately and would not have to attend classes, earn credits or make any academic efforts towards their degree. All that was required was a one-time payment to 8 Indian ‘recruiters’, based in Detroit, Florida, and Virginia, who were recruiting students to this university. These agents themselves were in touch with the university authorities to facilitate the admissions.

“If you take shortcuts, you get cut short.”                                                                           Gary Busey

Little did they know that behind the façade of a fancy admissions website, a Facebook page with an events-calendar and the claim of being accredited was a trap set up by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arm of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). Even the authorities that the Indian ‘recruiters’ had coordinated with were actually undercover HSI agents. Last week, based on the claim that the students were voluntarily part of this “pay to stay” scheme, 129 Indian students from India were arrested and charged with civil immigration charges. If convicted, the students may face possible deportation.

In the past few years, US immigration authorities have been taking tough measures to deter fraudulent universities that enroll students only so that they can stay in the US till they get an H1B visa. Admissions are usually run by ‘recruiters’ who charge high commissions and guarantee a fake degree, without any consideration for the legality of the process or safety of students. Similar sting operations had been conducted at Tri-Valley University (2011) and Northern New Jersey University (2016) to weed out student-visa frauds – both cases saw a number of Indian students being arrested.

In light of this, aspirants to the US must keep in mind that ‘not being aware of the correct processes’ will not hold up as a justified excuse. When selecting universities, you must do a thorough background check and evaluation of the universities you are planning to apply to.

  • Talk to any seniors of yours who may be studying there.
  • A quick search about the faculty teaching your course is a good idea.
  • Some other essential checks include accreditation, testimonials and QS Rankings.
  • Even better would be to take help from a reputed professional with years of credibility.

Remember, one can never be too safe when thinking about the future.

It has become very common for phony counselors and ‘admissions agents’ to take high commissions from questionable universities in exchange for sending unsuspecting students there. It is only once the fees have been paid and the students start classes, that they realize they have been shortchanged. At this point, any further action requires more fees to be paid and a lengthy transfer process.

However, if you are a student applying through the appropriate channels and to genuine universities, do not let such incident scare you away from pursuing an MS in the US. To safeguard your dreams, it is advisable to take counseling from a reputed source. Get all your doubts regarding which university to apply to, what the visa process includes and how to orient yourself to a new country cleared at once.

Dilip Oak’s Academy has a proven reputation of sending students only to accredited and genuine universities. We take great pride in the fact that over the last 23 years, not even one of the 28,000 students we have sent to the US has ever faced such issues. Safety of our students’ future is our primary concern and that is something that should never be compromised on. We sincerely urge you all to be precautious about this aspect as well.

7 Compelling Reasons to Learn German

 question sprechen sie deutsch? do you speak german?

When we think of Germany, the first things that pop up in our mind are cars like BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen, German Bakery (although there is no connection!!) and the avid readers think of the “Diary of Anne Frank”. Ever wondered how nice it would be to read the work in original language that it was written in? Or for that matter to know how Mein Kampf sounds in the words of Hitler himself? Here are 10 compelling reasons for you to learn German

1) German as an Official Language

German is one of the official languages of the European Union and is widely understood and used in the European continent. It is the only official language of Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. It is one of the official languages of Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium. It is also recognized as a minor language in many countries.

2) Widely taught foreign language

German is one of the most taught foreign languages.  In India many educational institutions offer German as an additional language in their curriculum.For students aspiring to pursue higher studies abroad it can be an added advantage to know the language in advance.

3) World class higher education in Germany

Higher education in Germany is highly recognized internationally. Most of the Universities have no tuition fees for higher education, which makes it all the more attractive to pursue education in Germany

4) Job opportunities in Germany

After completing post graduate degree in Germany, there are many job opportunities not only in the fields of Automobile or Mechanical Engineering but also in the Computer Science, Chemical and Electrical Engineering fields.

Also, many German companies are well renowned in the global market. Pune is a popular hub for many well-known German company setups. Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz to name a few.

5) Job opportunities in India

Many German companies have their manufacturing setups in India. Knowing the German language can help leverage one’s chances of getting hired as the job profile may involve interaction with the onsite teams based in Germany or looking into some documentation written in German.

6) Opportunities in hospitality industry

Being a widely spoken and understood language it is a plus to know this language to reach the German speaking tourists if you are in the hospitality industry or if your job involves interaction with business delegation

7) Translation jobs

Translation is another blooming field owing to increased cultural exchange and globalization. Translation of technical books, brochures, literary works of eminent authors like Goethe, Schiller are required in many

German Language can be a powerful ad on to your skills kitty and help you take your career or your knowledge up by a notch.

Indian Students Are Joining American Universities in Increasing Numbers

US UnivData released by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement indicates a recent surge in the number of Indian students seeking to study in American universities. According their report, there has been a “31.9% increase in the number of Indian students studying in American universities since 2014”. This bucks a trend that goes back almost a decade:  from 2008-09 to 2013-14, the number of Indian students studying at American Universities was a fairly flat 1,00,000 annually. In 2014-15, this figure jumped by around 32% to 1,32,888.

This increase is part of a rise in the number of international students studying in the US. In 2015, that number was up by about 9%. However, a staggering 76% of these were from Asia. So, the fresh influx of students seems to be a largely Asian phenomenon fuelled perhaps, by the robustness of the pan-Asian economic scene.

In this overall picture, students from India accounted for about 13.6% (or 1,32,888) of the 9,74,926 international students who enrolled for undergraduate (Bachelor’s), graduate (Master’s) & doctoral (Ph. D.) programs in the US in 2014-15. A full 31.2% or 3,04,040 of these students were Chinese. One possible reason for this is that very large numbers of Chinese students have started enrolling for the undergraduate courses where the intake is larger while, the majority of Indian students join graduate courses which tend to offer more funding but have a smaller intake.

Another noteworthy trend is that Indian (and more broadly, Asian) students show a heavy preference for courses in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – especially, computer science. Currently, there are 10,54,045 international students on F and M visas in the US. Of these, 4,05,314 students are studying courses in STEM fields and of these in turn, 80% of them are from Asia. As many as 81% of all Indian students are studying STEM fields – this is the highest percentage for any country; and California, Texas and New York have emerged as popular destinations for students studying courses in the STEM category.

If these trends are any indicator, we should see a few more Satya Nadella’s and Sunder Pichai’s emerging in the coming years; If you are an engineer, a student from the field of computer science or one from the STEM category more broadly, this could be your opportunity to make it big in the United States. Even Donald Trump has said that, should he become President, he is willing to welcome bright young minds from India because he knows they contribute to America’s economy – and if Trump says so, the doors must definitely be open!

Dilip Oak’s Academy – Roommate Finder for the Fall 2016 Semester

So, you’ve got the admission news you were waiting for: your coveted admission for an ‘MS in US’ is confirmed. You’re scheduled to join your American university in the fall 2016 semester – and now it’s time to book airline tickets and start thinking about travel plans and accommodation.

One problem, however, is contacting senior students who are already in your desired US university, so you can arrange for a pickup and drop from the airport and some temporary accommodation. Another is finding other students who are heading to your US university, so you can choose room-mates and make joint travel plans.

So, here’s one more thing that Dilip Oak’s Academy is doing to make finding travel and room companions easier for you through Dilip Oaks Academy Online. We call it our Roommate Finder and it will help you locate and coordinate with other students joining the same university.

Here’s how it works: if you are a signed up member of Dilip Oak’s Academy Online, all it requires is that you update your application status using the University Applications Tracker. Once you’ve done that, the names of other students going to the same university as you are will automatically be updated on your Roommate Finder page. Then, just hit the contact button.

If you’re not a member then, joining up is free and easy – it just takes a minute or two – and then you will be able to find roommates as explained above.

Remember, Dilip Oaks Academy Online is free to join! So, tell all your friends who are applying for an ‘MS in US’ to join and update their admission updates. The more people join, the more everybody benefits! But, even now there are enough folks like you signed up with us to make this feature a big help to you!

P.S. we love your feedback, so let us know how we are doing at: support@dilipoakacademy.com