Question of the Week

GRE aspirants, it’s time to rack your brain and crack this question of the week! Our expert GRE faculty will drop in interesting questions for you every week to help you think logically and get closer to acing the GRE! Solve and post your answers in the comments section!

We will publish the correct answers and explanations in the comments section every Friday! STAY TUNED!

Struggling with GRE Vocabulary? Here are 5 tips from our expert faculty

If you are a GRE aspirant and you have just begun your prep, the GRE Vocabulary section might seem to be an impossible task, mainly because you are expected to master words which you barely use in your everyday conversations. It is certainly a daunting challenge. But if you start systematically, you can learn over a 1000 GRE words comfortably! How? By keeping in mind the following five tips:

1) Start from Day 1 of your prep
If you are planning to take the GRE after three months, start your prep today! Keeping the vocabulary section for the last few days before the exam is a grave mistake that many students make. It becomes cumbersome to learn and retain so many words in a short span and you end up making silly mistakes. So start learning at least 5 new words right from day one of your prep so that you get ample time to practice and master them. 

2) Don’t learn too many words at once 
Start slow, be steady. Instead of learning 20 words in a day, learn only five words and gradually increase the count once you gain confidence and are able to retain the words. 

3) Learn through discussions and associations 
Instead of just mugging up, try to associate the words with images, references and situations, create stories around words, and discuss them with your peers or friends. Practicing this way makes it easier to remember words without getting stressed or confused.

4) Finish learning all the words at least 15 days before the exam 
Make sure that you do not keep anything till the last minute and you finish learning words at least fifteen days before the exam and only keep practicing words after that. 

5) Revise regularly 
Make sure to revise words regularly. Consistency and practice play a huge role in mastering GRE vocabulary. Every week, revise all the words you learnt and keep practicing diligently! 

To know more interesting tricks and tips on learning vocabulary, attend our free webinar “Vocab Sunday” on 6th March, 09:30 am and interact directly with our faculty! Register herehttps://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_i-L1JaW8QPSSFKSphog02g

US Student Visa: Basics and application process

The US government issues different types of non-immigrant visas.  For example, tourists and business-men are issued B-1/ B-2 visas and those authorized to work in the US are given an H-1B visa. Students going for vocational courses for shorter duration such as, in flying schools,  English language courses etc. get an M-1 visa.

However, most students going to an accredited university for a full-time academic program, require an F-1 visa stamp.

Students are allowed to apply for the F-1 visa 120 days before the date of reporting mentioned on their I-20 form. The I-20 form is an official document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The following important details are mentioned in the document:

  • the name and passport number of the student
  • the name of the university which the student is joining
  • the program to which the student has been admitted
  • the date of commencement of the program
  • the date by which the program has to be completed
  • the total cost of education for one year.

The fall 2022 semester will begin sometime in the third week of August. So, if you plan to join an American university this fall, you can start applying for your visa from the third week of April.

How to Apply for an F1 Visa?

  • Get your I-20 from the SEVP institution
  • Apply online by filling the DS-160 form
  • Pay the general visa application fee ($160)
  • Pay the SEVIS  fee ($350)
  • Schedule your OFC appointment and F1 visa interview
  • Attend the F1 visa interview on the scheduled date

Keep in mind that you should have adequate liquid funds to cover the total cost of one year of education – this is mentioned in the I-20 form. Many students are under the wrong impression that their sponsor needs to deposit this entire amount in the bank and that otherwise their visa can be rejected. This is not true. Funds can be shown in the form of bank deposits as well as other liquid assets including education loans. Of course, having adequate funds alone does not guarantee a visa approval. The consulate officer also considers the following points:

  • whether you have admission to an accredited and reputed university
  • whether your academic background is good
  • whether your GRE score is satisfactory
  • whether your sponsor’s income is adequate

You should also have good communication skills and should be able to give convincing and honest answers to the consulate officer’s questions.

Start preparing your financial documents now and apply for an F-1 visa as soon as you get your I-20 form from the university you desire to attend. 

For detailed guidance, avail of our visa counselling services by attending our visa workshop webinar on 20th February or 27th February at 9:00 am. 

If you are not already an Admission Counselling student at the academy, register here: https://rzp.io/l/YoS0BjR3

Once you pay and enroll, you will receive the zoom registration link shortly.

Now get GRE Ready at your own pace with Oak’s GRE Self-Prep

Now gear up to prepare for the GRE at your own pace, from anywhere, anytime with Oak’s newly launched GRE Self-Prep: a 100% online self-paced learning module designed especially for Indian students.

After the resounding success of our online batches with live lectures, we have developed the GRE Self-Prep with the idea of providing a complete coaching experience to students sitting anywhere across the world at their convenience.

The GRE Self-Prep comprises:

Video Lessons

  • 22+ hours of video lessons for Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing
  • Key concepts
  • Topic-specific drills
  • Exclusive Analytical essay writing drills
  • Basic Math practice drills
  • Math formulae
  • Video modules with interactive transcripts for better understanding
  • Progress Tracking for self-assessment
    • Viewed status
    • Mark as Finished
    • My Notes

Focused Practice

  • Reinforce your understanding by solving the focused practice sets which include:
    • Topic-wise questions for the Quantitative Aptitude Section.
    • Specific question types for the Verbal Reasoning Section.
  • 600+ questions on the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude sections combined.
  • Bookmark questions and take notes to help you focus on your problem areas.

Mixed Practice

  • 1700+ questions with explanatory answers
  • Focus on your target areas with our customized practice by choosing from our practice sessions. Choose from question types and topics, timed/untimed sessions, difficulty levels.
  • Customize your practice sessions by choosing from a variety of options like question types, topics, difficulty level, etc.

Timed and Untimed Practice Modes

  • Untimed mode to give you a good grasp of the techniques.
  • Timed quiz mode to train you to complete the questions in time.

In-depth Explanatory Answers

  • Detailed explanations, covering all crucial points for every question.

Personalized Dashboard

  • Track your Progress, access all features and get an instant analysis of your performance
  • Bookmark questions and take notes to help you focus on your problem areas.

Full-Length Tests

Timed full-length tests according to the ETS pattern.

AWM Essays: Personalized feedback and scoring as per the ETS 6-point scale.

Explanatory Review: Detailed explanations for every single question.

Detailed Analysis: Question-wise analysis to gauge strengths and weaknesses.

Vocabulary Module

In-built vocabulary module in Focused and Mixed Practice that allows you to

  • View the meaning and sample sentence for the difficult words used in each question or passage
  • Mark the words based on the difficulty level and status
  • Track difficult words at any time

So without further ado, check out our GRE Self-Prep packages HERE, and avail of all the learning features at the best price! 

As India’s leading Study Abroad Consultant, Dilip Oak’s Academy offers a comprehensive suite of admission counseling services that can guide you through the entire process from Shortlisting Universities to Visa Counseling. With our expertise, we have successfully sent 32,000 students to various prestigious American universities like MIT, Stanford, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon. We also offer classroom and online coaching for GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS, as well as GRE Self Prep. To explore our services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-20-67444222.

How to secure funding and scholarships from American universities

Every year, thousands of international students apply for a master’s degree in the US, majorly because the US education system offers well-structured programs, research opportunities, exposure, and most importantly, funding opportunities. US universities are very generous and provide a lot of financial assistance in the form of full funding, scholarships, or RA/TA/GA.

In this blog, we will discuss the 7 important criteria that you need to consider in order to avail scholarships and funding. If you are currently in the application process for fall 2022 and you meet most of the criteria, you can still apply for scholarships. If you are aiming for fall 2023, this is the right time to start ticking each of these criteria and make your profile ready for securing funding. 

A high GPA: Students should have a consistently high academic record throughout the bachelor’s program (75% and above/GPA of 9.0 and above).

Paper presentations: Students who have a strong research aptitude and have published papers in nationally and internationally recognized journals and conferences, have high chances of securing full funding. At Dilip Oak’s Academy, one of our students, who presented three papers in international forums including Italy and the USA, received full funding for PhD in Computer Architecture from Georgia Tech, Ohio State, and Yale University.

Location: This is a very important factor that students often miss out on, while applying to universities. The majority of students apply to universities in the states of California, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Texas, Illinois, etc. Due to a very large application pool, getting financial aid from universities in these states is difficult. But if they were to apply to universities in the states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Idaho etc. their chances of getting aid would be higher because the number of applicants is relatively low. The quality of education in these universities is equally good.

Professors: Students need to thoroughly research all the professors of the universities they plan to apply to. One can directly find them on university websites or (add name) study their work, their experience and interest, get in touch with them, and see if they are ready to offer any assistantship. Of course, applicants need to have a very strong academic background to receive a positive response from the professors.

GRE score: Along with other factors, the GRE score is also important. A GRE score above 320 (preferably above 330) maximizes your chances of securing funding.

SOPs and LORs: The Statement of Purpose plays a crucial role in securing financial assistance. Students need to ensure that their SOP brings out their intent, their story, their passion and why they deserve to receive funding. Similarly, strong recommendations from professors, project guides, or team lead (for working professionals) makes a strong impact on the application.

Relevant work experience: A relevant work experience of at least two years acts as a testament to one’s skills and commitment to the field and convinces the admissions committee that the applicant is a deserving candidate for a scholarship/funding.

For detailed assistance on the application process, university selection, drafting SOPs and LORs and planning your MS in the US, join our admission counseling today!

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. 

4 ways to deal with low GPA and still get into a good American university

A consistently high GPA in your Bachelor’s degree is one of the important requirements to get into good American universities. But what happens if your GPA is low? Do you still have a chance to get into a good university?

Of course, yes.

American universities have a very holistic approach to a student’s profile and apart from your academic credentials, they consider several other factors including your GRE score before confirming your admission.

So if you have a low GPA, here are the things you need to work upon and highlight in order to make your application impressive:

A good GRE score: Though a lot of universities are waiving off the GRE, we recommend you to take the GRE and aim for a high score (above 320) because a good GRE score definitely adds value to your application and testifies of your strong reasoning and analytical skills that are required for getting RA, GA and TA. To improve your GRE score or prepare for the GRE, avail of our GRE coaching services and enroll for our next GRE batch here.

Strong SoP & LORs: 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 your 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.

Also 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 as well as employer you have worked for, for at least a year. This helps to build credibility and impress the admissions committee.

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.

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.

Top 5 Reasons to Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in the USA

The last few years have seen an increasing number of Indian students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in America. This trend has been strengthened by the increasing economic power of families who now want their children to benefit from the high-quality education that is available in America. For this reason, many professionals and those in business or top corporate positions are now sending their children to join American bachelor’s programs.

This trend has been further boosted by the fact that even parents who are not financially very strong can still afford an American education because their children can get tuition waivers and scholarships if they have exceptional academic credentials and high scores in the SAT, ACT or AP exams.

But what else makes getting a bachelor’s degree in America a good choice?

Tough Competition in India

Getting admission to top-ranked Indian institutions like the IITs, BITS, and NITs is now even more difficult than it used to be. Around 10 lakh students appear for the entrance examinations for these institutions but, only 11,300 secure admissions to the IITs, 19,000 to the NITs and 380 to BITS. This amounts to a total of 30,000 students, which comes to hardly 3% of the total number of applicants. As a result, other intelligent and above-average students who often miss getting admission by very narrow margins have to take admission into local colleges which do not provide the same level of facilities as the elite institutions. Nevertheless, it is still possible for such students to get admission to even some of the best US universities which offer high educational standards and world-class facilities.

American Education can be Affordable

As mentioned above, students who get high SAT scores (more than 1400 out of 1600) and have good academic records in standards 9, 10, 11 and 12 (if available), can get tuition waivers and scholarships from good American universities. In addition, campus jobs as tour guides, library assistants, food court and front desk staff and other such positions pay enough to take care of living expenses. This makes education in America can be affordable.

Academic Flexibility

In India, you are required to select your desired branch of study (e.g. Mechanical, Electrical or, Computer Science) right at the beginning of your bachelor’s degree and then, you cannot change your field of study.  However, in the US, you are allowed to take general courses and study different subjects of your choice in the first one or two years. Then, in the second or third year, you can select your specialization from a broad range of programs. The initial exposure you gain in the first two years of your course allows you to make an informed decision regarding which specializations to take up. You can also take a dual degree, e.g. as an engineering student, you can also take economics as your minor and graduate with both the degrees, an advantage that you do not have in India.

Updated Courses and the State-of-the-art Labs

With curricula updated according to the latest trends in education and industry, US universities offer students excellent exposure. The courses focus on practical skills and in-depth application, and research labs are well-equipped. This means that graduates from American universities are always among the best-trained in the market which increases their chances of securing good jobs anywhere in the world.

To help you get started with your preparation, we offer SAT Coaching  and also Admission Counseling through which we provide guidance on selection of universities, application essays and visa counselling.

Our next SAT batch starts 8th January 2022. Enroll Now and get started with your prep!

Top 10 Trending MS Specializations in the USA

Are you planning to pursue a Master’s Degree in the USA? Are you confused between the many specializations available? Do you need guidance on which specialization would best suit your interest and align with the most flourishing fields in the USA?

Then this blog is for you. Read on to get a quick insight into the top 10 trending specializations across the most popular fields in the USA and improve your chances of landing the best job upon completing your Masters.

Top Ten Trending MS Specialisations in the USA

Computer Science

1) Artificial Intelligence

2) Machine Learning

3) Robotics

Mechanical Engineering

4) Mechatronics

5) Robotics

Electrical Engineering

6) Artificial Intelligence

7) Embedded Systems

8) Machine Learning

9) Robotics

10) VLSI

For detailed guidance on choosing the right major and the right university, enroll for our Admission Counselling services today! We provide thorough guidance on drafting of SOPs, selection of universities, application essays, and visa counselling. 

 To help you get started with your preparation, we also offer GRE CoachingTOEFL Coaching, and IELTS Coaching.

Advantages of Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Germany

Here are top five reasons to pursue a Masters in Germany:

1. No tuition fees: The greatest advantage of pursuing your Masters in Germany is that international students do not have to pay tuition fees since higher education in Germany is mostly funded by the state government. However, some universities charge a nominal semester fee and a small number private universities charge a tuition fee which is nevertheless very low compared to those charged by other countries.  

2. Industry-based specializations: Germany offers degree programs in very specialized fields such as Mechatronics, Commercial Vehicle Technology and, Advanced Signal Processing that are designed in keeping with industry trends. This increases your chances of getting high-paid jobs across diverse sectors. 

3. Quality education and internationally recognized degrees: German universities are known for their world-class education in terms of the advanced infrastructure, updated curricula and quality scientific research that they offer. A majority of these universities have affiliations with industry which helps students get internships and job opportunities after completing their courses in Germany as well as other countries in the European Union.  

4. Low living costs: Compared to other European countries, living costs in Germany are very low. Students also get concessions for housing and public transport.

5. Job opportunities: Germany offers a large number of jobs in technical fields and in Information Technology. After completing their Master’s degree, students can extend their visa for up to 18 months to find a job. They can also take up paid internships while studying. Indian students can also take up the on- and off-campus jobs for 150 full days or 240 half days. As mentioned above, students can also get good jobs in the European Union.

To help you get started with your preparation, we offer GRE Coaching, TOEFL Coaching, IELTS Coaching, and also Admission Counseling through which we provide guidance on the selection of universities, application essays, and visa counseling. 

Eligibility Requirements for Master’s Programs in Germany

1. Academic credentials

A majority of German universities require you to have completed 16 years of formal education (i.e. 12+4), i.e. a four-year Bachelor’s degree before going for MS. This is applicable to all students with a technical background in Engineering, Pharmacy, Architecture, and so on. For other fields like Arts, Management, and Computer Science, students are required to complete 17 years of education (i.e. 12+3+2).

German universities have a very high cut-off percentage. Hence, you need to have a minimum of 70% to 75% in your degree course or an equivalent CGPA of 7.5 to 8.5.

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

2. Qualifying examinations

TOEFL or IELTS: English Language Proficiency Test scores are mandatory for programs taught in English. A minimum band score of 6.5 to 7 in IELTS or a score of 85+ in TOEFL is required by a majority of German universities. At Dilip Oaks Academy, we offer TOEFL and  IELTS coaching along with rigorous practice sessions and mock tests. (hyperlink underlined words)

GRE: a majority of German universities do not require GRE scores. However, some of the top universities, known as TU-9 universities, do require a GRE score. We recommend that you take the GRE if you aim to get into one of the TU-9 universities. Our  GRE Coaching will enable you to thoroughly prepare for the GRE. (hyperlink underlined words)

German Language: Some programs taught in English may require German Language proficiency certified up to the A1 or A2 level. Some universities may even require proficiency certified up to the B1 level.

We also offer Admission Counseling through which we provide guidance on the selection of universities, application essays, and visa counseling. 

Advantages of Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Canada

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

Here are the top six reasons why you should pursue a Masters in Canada:

1. Quality education and internationally recognized degrees: Canada is home to around 30 high-ranked universities offering degrees that are internationally recognized as equivalent to corresponding degrees earned in the US. These universities have highly qualified professors, mostly doctorates, with enormous experience in their fields.

2. Affordable tuition fees and living costs: compared to American universities, Canadian universities have a very affordable fee structure; in fact, their fees are the lowest of all English-speaking countries. This is because the Canadian dollar is much cheaper than the US dollar and the Euro. Further, living costs – the total housing, food, and other expenses – usually do not exceed 1,000 CAD per month which can be covered by on-campus jobs. Students can also apply for full-time jobs during summer and winter breaks and earn enough to cover their tuition costs.

3. Easy immigration and PR laws: unlike the US, there is no annual quota for work permits in Canada.  Also, under the new system, international graduates from Canadian programs of study can obtain up to 30 additional CRS points which count towards getting a Permanent Residency.

4. Job opportunities: the Canadian university curriculum is designed to meet the changing demands of the industry. So by the time students finish their master’s studies, they are well-placed to land good jobs and generally manage to do so within 6 months of completing their course.

5. Research-based education:  Canada ranks 4th in the world for the quality of its scientific research and Canadian universities actively encourage students to carry out research. Companies and government institutions in Canada also extend their support to Canadian universities by organizing learning programs and workshops for their students. The University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia have been recognized as the best Canadian universities due to the high impact of their research.

6. Cultural diversity:  Canada has rich ethnic and cultural diversity. Universities also conduct a number of cultural programs that help students to develop a broader global perspective.

To help you get started with your preparation, we offer GRE Coaching, TOEFL Coaching, IELTS Coaching, and also Admission Counseling through which we provide guidance on the selection of universities, application essays, and visa counseling.