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 ways to build a great career profile during lockdown

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We know how this lockdown has affected your future plans, delayed your dream of flying to the US to start your master’s, and has left you wondering what to do! Well, our suggestion: Do not let the pandemic dampen your spirits. While at home, seize the opportunity, enhance your skillset and start building a strong career profile. Value-addition is the need of the hour and with ample hours at your disposal, you better spend them productively.

Here are four great ways to build a solid profile and skyrocket your career:

  1. Add to your certifications: There is nothing more comfortable than sitting on the couch, snacking and taking an online lesson without the hassle of travelling, or sitting in a class of 100 people! Lookup for online courses, certifications, short term diplomas and get started. There are various websites that offer tons of free courses that are certified and recognized by recruiters.
  2. Internship/Job: If you aren’t already working and you have made up your mind to defer your MS admission to spring 2021 or fall 2021, you have enough time to take a high leap and start working. Look actively for a job that matches your skillset or you can also try something that is not directly in the spectrum of your profile but you are enthusiastic about. Not only will this help you utilize your time prudently, but will also make you independent.
  3. Freelancing: If you do not want to go for a full-time job because you are still dicey about your deferral decision, take up freelance projects. It is flexible, keeps you occupied, gives you hands-on experience, and pays you well! It is a win-win situation.
  4. Learn something new: Co-curricular activities and unique skills are always appreciated by US universities and recruiters. Challenge yourself and pick up a new skill. If not great at it, you will have learnt something 20 other students of your batch or 50 other candidates for the position you apply for, do not know!

So gear up and get going!

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 Upgrade: Dilip Oak’s Academy’s Online GRE Coaching!

Dear students and readers,
To make sure that the lockdown does not hamper with our students’ prep, Dilip Oak’s Academy started online coaching to cater to our existing students. We are happy to announce that, with the combined efforts of our staff, technical team, and faculty members, the initiative was a resounding success with over 850 students attending ongoing classes, conducted 150+ course hours, for GRE, IELTS, and German language.

By modernizing our 30+ years of coaching experience, our online sessions built on our strengths. The effort was well appreciated and based on the positive feedback we received, we have now launched completely new online batches with live lectures and doubt-solving sessions. These are a few things we promise to deliver with our forthcoming online sessions as well:

Dilip Oak’s Academy’s Online Coaching Highlights:

  • Interactive live lessons with dynamic faculty-driven discussions

  • Easy to understand topic-wise presentations and notes

  • Well-structured and well-paced sessions

  • Real-time exercise and practice with plenty of questions to solve

  • Extensive use of whiteboard for providing explanations and solving exercises

  • One-on-one as well as group-based doubt-solving sessions

  • Implementation of stringent security protocols (including closed classes and constant monitoring)

Our current students are our best supporters, who lauded our initiative with glowing reviews that speak for themselves:

“The session was perfect, as smooth as classroom lectures, with no technical glitches that are common in online classes. Every doubt was cleared and every question answered, just like their classroom sessions.”- Akshay

“The teaching was splendid! I was comfortable answering and raising doubts in the interactive chat, which was immediately acknowledged by the faculty. Praachi Kale ma’am and Vikram Thatte sir’s lectures were very interactive and they solved every small doubt. It was a great experience.”- Siddhee

“A big thank you to Vikram Thatte sir for conducting VT 7-12 lectures online. The lectures were very well presented with solutions and diagrams provided for each question. I loved how the 90 minutes were utilized, including the Q&A session at the end. Kudos.”- Revati

“The lectures are interactive and the faculty makes sure that every aspect is clear and comprehensible. The communication style of Prof Vivek Gupta is admirable.”- Sarang

“Teachers do not hesitate to repeat anything no matter how many ever times a student asks a particular question.”- Sangawar

“The punctuality, the thorough nature of the lectures, and the meticulous treatment given to the questions, answers, and explanations were the things that stood out for me.”- Ojus

“I loved how all the lectures were moderated by a co-host, who helped to maintain discipline and avoid pranks leading to smooth and uninterrupted sessions.” – Gandhi

Heartened by our success so far, we are launching new batches of online classes in the month of June for GRE aspirants, who want to continue studying from the comfort of their homes. For more information, drop us an email now at support@dilipoakacademy.com

Lockdown Dilemma : Go For Online Semester or Request a Deferral?

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak and lockdown, most of the US universities are currently offering two options to fall 2020 students:

1) Online semester for fall 2020 and regular on-campus coaching from spring 2021

2) Deferral to spring 2021/fall 2021

Now as you are aware, the situation is indeed gruesome in the United States where the number of corona patients is increasing every day and there is no clarity on when the pandemic will be arrested and things will normalize.  Under such circumstances, it is obvious for the universities to offer deferrals or move to online teaching as a precautionary measure.

However, as Indian students, here are a few things you must take into consideration before making any decision:

Feasibility of online semester

  • Even for the online medium, students will have to pay full tuition fees for the full semester. (Some universities may reduce fees by 20 to 25 percent)
  • Online semester will mean no financial assistance, no campus jobs/RA/TA which then makes the course unnecessarily expensive to bear.
  • Online semester does not offer the exposure and opportunities that a student otherwise gets while on campus.
  • There are certain limitations to online coaching since the interaction is usually limited as compared to classroom coaching.
  • In any case, students will have to apply for the F1 visa for spring 2021 and in the worst circumstances, if the visa gets rejected; the entire amount spent on the online fall semester goes waste.

Current visa scenario

  • The US consulate has been non-operational since March 16 and there is no clarity when it will resume operations. Once it resumes, there will be a tremendous rush for visas and the situation will become chaotic. (Though it is quite possible that the consulate will give priority to student visas.)

Taking all these factors into account, we recommend that you get in touch with the concerned university official and request time till the end of May to make the final decision of deferral.

Coronavirus Lockdown: SAT Updates and Quick Home Prep Guide

As per the recent update, the College Board has canceled both the May 2 and June 6, 2020, SAT and SAT Subject Tests and the new weekend administrations will now begin from August. This includes a new administration in September and the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5.

Students will be able to register for these new administrations starting in May. Those students who had already registered for May/June can get early access to register for August, September, and October.

On the backdrop of cancellation of the test and suspension of classes due to lockdown, it is imperative that students do not lose their grip on studies and continue their preparation at home. Considering this, we have come up with this quick home prep guide that will enable students to continue studying methodically and make the most of this lockdown time:

Reading Section

  • Read a lot! The reading section of SAT has five long passages, most of which are non-fiction and can fully make you anxious if you haven’t practiced reading. Make it a point that you dedicate at least one hour every day to reading.
  • Skim through non-fiction articles and literature articles and try to get acquainted with their style and content. If you are Dilip Oak’s Academy student, you can practice reading passages from McGraw Hill. Others can practice from any of the following books: McGraw-Hill, Barrens, Black Book or Kallis.
  • Apart from the books, here are a few sources you can refer to, to practice reading:
  1. The New York Times: www.nytimes.com
  2. The Economist: www.economist.com
  3. The Scientific American: www.scientificamerican.com
  4. Smithsonian Magazine: www.Smithsonian.mag
  5. National Geographic: www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine
  6. Arts & Letters Daily: www.aldaily.com
  7. Time: www.time.com
  8. Newsweek: www.newsweek.com
  9. Historical Documents: www.uhistory.org/documents/

Writing section

  • Sharpen your grammar skills. Make sure that you keep practicing basic grammar and vocabulary. Create your own flashcards and practice vocabulary, at least ten new words every day.
  • Focus more on punctuation, tenses and subject verb agreement as these are the topics that need maximum practice.
  • Again, refer to any of the books mentioned in the above point and keep solving.
  • For essays, try to write one essay topic every week so you get used to the expected writing format. Once you are through with the writing style, practice timed writing.
  • Read editorial pieces and try to grasp ways in which the writer constructs arguments and try to write likewise.

 Maths section

  • Consistent practice is the best way to ace the SAT Maths section. Practice as much as you can from multiple books. Dedicate at least two hours every day to solving Maths.
  • Focus equally on both with and without calculator sections.
  • Stress more on equations and quadratics as these topics are tougher.
  • Make it a point that you solve graphically than with a pen and paper so that you waste less time and finish solving all the questions in the given time.

For all the sections, make sure you take as many free College Board tests as possible to master them thoroughly. Take at least two full-length tests to know where you stand and improvise accordingly.