GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode One

Tired of studying all the time? Instead of binge-watching the latest sitcom online, why not try some reading for fun?

Starting this week, we present to you GREat Five-Minute Reads, curated and compiled by faculty members to ensure that you augment your critical reasoning skills by understanding complex sentence structures and recognizing tricky context clues.

Need more incentive? Well, these articles will also boost your comprehension of tough vocabulary: since the ETS opts for words that can be broadly used in many contexts across many academic disciplines, these words are almost non-existent in everyday conversations or TV scripts. This makes grasping the vocabulary in Reading Comprehension passages or Sentence Completion texts like tackling a behemoth. A simple solution? Read a lot to find out how these words behave in their “natural habitat”, so you can tame the leviathans easily!

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Coronavirus Lockdown: How To Use The Lockdown Time For Smart GRE Prep

The looming uncertainties about visa processes and admissions to US universities due to ongoing lockdown have put the long term plans on hold for many students who have already secured university admits. Meanwhile, many of you, who are currently preparing for the GRE and have joined GRE coaching, are also finding it difficult to plan and manage their studies due to suspension of classes and postponement of tests.

As of now, there is no clarity by when these situations will improve and classes will resume. Therefore, to help you make the best use of this lockdown time without being affected by the mounting pressure, we have come up with a few tips that will help you continue your studies at home, in a smart way! 

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Coronavirus Lockdown: You Can Take the GRE Test Sitting at Home

Taking the GRE® General Test at Home: Equipment and Environment Checks

With the current lockdown, the ETS has made it possible from April 2, 2020, in India for students to take the GRE General Test online at home! This opportunity is will not be available for long and the number of test-at-home sessions is limited. To register for the test, visit ets.org/gre/at-home today!

There are a few criteria that you must keep in mind while applying to take the test at home. Firstly, your computer must meet the equipment requirements for the test. This will mean you have to install the ETS Test Browser and the ProctorU Systems Check on your machine (desktop/laptop). During the test, a human proctor, via video camera, will monitor you and your computer screen to ensure you follow procedures: the entire test will be recorded and your photo will be taken, which will be made available as part of your score record to the institutions you designated. Additionally, there are certain environmental parameters you must follow.

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The Difference Between Co- and Extra-curricular Activities and Why They are Important!

For those of you who want to pursue higher studies abroad, it is time to start brainstorming about your admission essays. And, though they may seem insignificant, important aspects that need to be covered in both these documents are your co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

Especially for those of you applying for undergraduate programs, i.e. your bachelor’s, the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities carry equal weight along with your academic and SAT score. For the master’s program, your co-curricular activities will set you apart.
While “co-curricular activities” refer to those activities that go together with your academics in school or college, an extra-curricular activity is any activity you take part in that does not involve your academics.

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Oak’s Online GRE® Prep Tools

As the GRE® test is computer-delivered; the test-taker has to be comfortable with solving questions on the screen. After years of appearing for paper-based tests, this may be a little daunting for the average college student in India. One of the best ways to boost your confidence on the test day is to get used to the computer-based delivery of the GRE® test.

Dilip Oak’s Academy offers an online suite of practice modules and tests. This online suite will help you prepare on the go! The suite includes Focused Practice, Test Prep, Mock Tests, and Vocabulary App and has hundreds of GRE-like questions for both the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections. A single sign-in will be your key to unlocking all the online features.

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Cracking the GRE: Are You Ready for the Analytical Writing Challenge?

Are you ready for AW?

AW Challenging… Really?

If you ask students to name the most difficult section in the GRE, most engineers would say: “Verbal Reasoning” and most non-engineers would say “Quant”. Hardly anyone would suggest that Analytical Writing plays much of a role either in cracking the GRE or getting an admit for an MS in US. For most students taking the GRE exam, therefore, the Analytical Writing section (also called AW) is a surprisingly challenging part. There are several reasons for this.

The Problems of the Engineer

  • First, if you are like most students who come to Dilip Oak’s Academy, you have lost touch with essay writing long ago – your last encounter with this lost ‘art form’ was probably 3-5 years ago in the 10th standard, and whatever you did learn about it has long been buried under the load of highly technical data that you had to stuff your head with during your bachelor’s course.
  • Second, as an engineer (or even a non-engineer) you don’t even understand why AW should be included in the GRE at all (check out this article if you are still not clear).
  • And third, you probably think that since you did essay writing in school, you should be able to manage this section without too much trouble.

However, the AW section is important and it demands that you meet a very specialized (and exhausting) set of requirements.

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Cracking the GRE: Getting Hit by the Analytical Writing Bomb – Why You Must Prepare for Analytical Writing

The AW BombFirst Things First

Here’s a fundamental reason why you should prepare for this section: it is the first section that you will face in the GRE exam – this is always the case. The Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections come in random order, and they only come in afterwards. Only Analytical Writing (AW) has a fixed place in the order of sections in the exam, and that place is right at the beginning of this arduous test. It’s a fact you can’t change, it’s a fact you can’t avoid; and it’s a fact that is fundamental to cracking the GRE.

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Free GMAT Score Reports

You may select up to five business school programs to which your Official GMAT Score Report will be sent free of cost. You have to make your choice of programs to which your free GMAT score reports will be sent at the test center on the day you take the GMAT® exam. This has to be done before you begin the test and once you have made your selections, you will not be able to change or delete them. (Click this link: GMAT program database to see a list of programs to which your GMAT scores can be sent.)

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Free Score Reports for the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS Tests

Each of the major tests that students generally take to get higher education in the United States – i.e. the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL tests – allows you to send you scores to a certain number of universities or colleges free of charge.

  • GRE – 4 free score reports
    • names of universities to be specified on the day of the test, immediately after your exam
    • current fee per score report thereafter $ 18
    GMAT – 5 free score reports
    • names of universities to be specified on the day of the test, immediately after your exam
    • current fee per score report thereafter $ 28.00

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Analytical Writing in the Revised General GRE

Here are some important facts about the Analytical Writing (AW) section of the Revised General GRE that test-takers should know. AW is always the first section in the exam and consists of the same two essay tasks

  • the issue essay task
  • the argument essay task

Both essays have to be typed out in a simple word-processor that has cut, copy and paste functions. So, you need to have a typing speed of at least 40 words per minute. If you haven’t, start learning/ practicing now.

As indicated in our earlier blog on AW (Why 6 and 8 are Important Numbers for the New GRE Analytical Writing Section) some things make this section, just a little bit demanding – read it and find out. The overview below will tell you what this section is like as a whole.

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