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!

Student visa application for Spring 2021

 

Deferred admission to spring 2021_

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most US universities could not offer in-person classes for fall 2020 semester and almost all of them offered online classes instead. However, a majority of students did not opt for online classes due to the following reasons:

  • Even for the online medium, students will have to pay full tuition fees for the entire semester. (Some universities have reduced fees by 20 to 25 per cent)
  • The online semester will mean no financial assistance, no campus jobs/RA/TA which then makes the course unnecessarily expensive to bear.
  • The online semester does not offer the exposure and opportunities that a student otherwise gets while on campus.

Considering this, most of the students have deferred their admissions and are now gearing up to join the spring 2021 semester. However, looking at the rising numbers of coronavirus patients in the US, there is confusion about whether universities will take in-person classes for spring and whether it will be feasible for international students to join the semester.

Though a majority of universities plan on resuming in-person classes for the spring semester, they are yet to make a final decision. Some universities are still sceptical whether they would resume in-person classes for spring at all. For instance, California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White recently announced that all 23 campuses, including Chico State, will conduct winter and spring 2021 courses primarily virtual. More details will be forthcoming as Chico State receives further guidance from the government.

Universities have also observed that most international students did not opt for online classes and hence they are considering introducing hybrid courses which will enable students to get F1 visa.  However, the final decision of universities is expected to be announced by the end of November/early December depending upon the pandemic situation in America.

In this case, we would recommend students to request an I-20 for the spring semester but not rush into applying for the visa. The Consulate has also advised students to observe the situation and apply for visa three to four weeks before the date of reporting. In case you apply for a visa and obtain one, and the university cancels in-person instruction for the spring semester, you will have to revalidate the visa for fall 2021. For revalidation, you will require new I-20 for fall 2021 and it can be done through the Dropbox facility.

 

 

 

 

Application timeline for Fall 2021

 

Untitled design (7)

If you are applying for fall 2021 the clock has begun to tick. So, don’t delay. Here is a detailed Timeline to help you start and streamline your application process:

October-December 2020 

Register for the GRE and TOEFL examinations – these examinations should preferably be taken by 15th December 2020.

October 2020

  • Make a preliminary list of universities which meet your requirements considering:
  1. Broad specializations you are interested in
  2. Expected GRE score
  3. Academic record
  4. Budget
  5. Recommendations by seniors studying in American universities

November 2020

  • Documentation
    1. Start working on your Statement of Purpose (SOP). SOP is a crucial document that provides insights into your purpose of joining the course and university, your personality, experience in the field and long-term goals. It should be around 500 to 800 words long, precise, interesting, grammatically and technically sound.
    2. Arrange for 4 sets of college and university transcripts.
    3. Choose your recommenders (preferably college professors/project guides/employers) and keep recommendation letters ready.

  November-December 2020

  • Test and application process
  1. Take the GRE and TOEFL exams latest by 20th December 2020
  2. Shortlist your final 8 to 10 universities.
  3. Complete online application process latest by 30th of December and send the required documents by courier. Of course, universities accept applications even till 31st March, so you can send them by January too in case of any delay.
  4. Request the ETS to forward your GRE and TOEFL scores to the universities you are applying to. (scores take minimum 2 weeks to come)

 After sending the applications

You will most likely receive admission decisions from Feb/March. Once you receive the decisions, email your acceptance. This is very important especially when you are offered funding.

  1. When you have accepted the university’s offer of admission and the documentation formalities are complete, the university will send you the 1-20, an immigration document, which is essential for obtaining a visa. Some universities send I-20 along with the acceptance letter.
  2. Prepare the visa documentation according to the total cost of one year mentioned on the I-20
  3. Study the visa application formalities specified on the official website of the applicable US Consulate.
  4. Apply for a visa interview date – you can apply for a visa interview 120 days before the joining date mentioned on your I-20. Generally, students start applying for a visa from the third week of April. Once you get the visa date, proceed with the interview and complete the remaining formalities until your departure date.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we provide detailed guidance on these processes under our admission counselling services that include, selection of universities, drafting SOP and LOR, documentation process and visa counselling. Till date, we have sent 30,000 students to various universities in America including MIT, Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon and other top-ranked universities. To enrol, call us on 91-020-67444222, 91-8007878495.

 

 

 

 

Why Indian students planning for bachelors in the USA should take AP exams

Why take AP exams_

While the standardized tests like SAT and ACT are very popular among Indian students aspiring to pursue bachelors in America, the Advanced Placement (AP) Test is often disregarded by most due to complexity of its courses. A lot of students consider them challenging and shy away from taking this exam. In today’s blog, we aim to address these misconceptions about the AP and throw light on how Indian students can actually benefit from this exam.

What is AP? (Advanced Placement) 

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.

Are AP exams really challenging?

Yes.

AP exams are definitely challenging and demanding because they require you to dive deep in the subject, beyond the set purview.

Does that mean you should skip them?

No.

Though AP exams are rigorous, they are definitely worth taking, especially for Indian students, due to the following reasons:

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

Early graduation and reduced tuition cost:  Taking AP exam during high school 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. Some universities also allow you to skip introductory courses and jump to upper-level courses and even bag internships.

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.

What is the ideal time to give 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. You can find the details of AP exams on https://www.collegeboard.org/.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we offer guidance on these pre-requisite examinations for bachelors in America and also conduct online SAT coaching to help you ace your prep!

To know more about bachelors in America, examinations, the application process, visa and other requirements for bachelors in America, attend our free webinar on 20th September. Register for the webinar today!

 

 

 

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

Untitled design

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.