IELTS or TOEFL – Which Exam Should I Take?

Purpose and Importance of the Tests

If you want to study abroad in countries like the US, UK, Australia and Canada, and if your first language is NOT English, you will have to take a test to prove that you can speak, read, write in English and understand spoken English. Two major standardized assessment tests allow you to do this: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

These tests allow foreign universities to see whether students have at least the basic language skills required to complete their courses. That is why it is mandatory to take one of these tests if you are applying to graduate or undergraduate study programs abroad. In fact the TOEFL and IELTS have become the gold standard of English proficiency for educational purposes and also for immigration and work. But which of these exams should you take?

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Higher Education in the US: How to Make it Happen!

US is the #1 choice for Indians going abroad for higher education

Today, the dream of getting a US degree is no longer something that only the “rich” can dream of. Now many students from middle class backgrounds can also get higher education in the US, without putting a huge financial burden on their parents. This is evident from the recent trends:

  • Overall, the number of Indian students going abroad for education increased 256% in 2000-2009
  • An estimated 21 million students will be admitted into American universities in Fall 2013

The facts also show that America is the most popular educational destination especially for engineering and business:

  • The top three destinations for Indian students going abroad are: #1 America, #2 Europe, #3 Australia
  • America dominates, with a lion’s share of over 50% of the students
  • The top two streams at American grad schools are Engineering & Business

There is great demand for higher education in the US.

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An Easy Way to Learn GRE Test Words – Learn Them through Roots

Word RootsStarting this week, we are introducing a new feature that will help all you students who are struggling to prepare for the GRE test – posts that will help you learn the GRE test words using roots. Though the technical meaning of ‘roots’ is a little different, here it is useful to think of them as the original Latin and Greek words that the English words came from.

Learning words through their roots is useful in two ways – firstly, knowing the root and meaning of a word can help you understand why the word means what it means. Secondly, since there are often many words which come from the same Greek or Latin root, this helps you to learn several words at one time. It becomes easier because, as you will seen in today’s post, words from the same root look similar and also share a common set of meanings. The two lists below, which cover 32 words totally, will illustrate how this is so.

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Applications: What Graduate Admissions’ Officers Have to Say

Speaking Head 2Admissions Office FAQs

Here’s what some grad school admission officers have to say about these common questions relating to applications.


Q: What do you feel about receiving emails from “prospects”?

Ans: I’d rather only hear from you if you have something to tell me that will increase your file quality.

Q: Do you look at applicant’s Facebook / MySpace accounts?

Ans: No, I don’t care

Q: What do you look for in an applicant?

Ans: The main things in order of priority are:

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Our Three Top Tips for a Great Application

Application TipsSo, you’re in the thick of things. You have written out your SOP, you have got the transcripts and letters of recommendation, and you have filled up the University application. But, you still have a question: “Is this enough? Or, is there something else I can do to make my application really stand out from the rest?”

Before you submit your application, consider this: what makes a “good” application a “great” one is the extra effort you put in. So, here are our three top tips for fine-tuning your application and making it one that is really great:

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Web Development Skills: Engineers Read This!

In March 2012, we had put up a post advising ECE students, about job opportunities in the US. Today, let’s talk about something related but slightly different: while you are waiting for an admit or preparing for an MS, you can use the time to build useful skill sets. If you are an engineer who would like to explore options in software development, you could think about the area of web-development and related technologies.

Web development specialization: Making an educated choice in operating system technologies and related skills

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How to Apply for an ‘MS in US': Find the Key Steps Here

Application Process ImageOnce your final list of universities is ready, you can start applying to universities for your much dreamed of ‘MS in US’. Here are the key steps:

  • Complete the online application forms
  • Request ETS to send your GRE and TOEFL scores to the university/department
  • Prepare document packets, consisting of:
  • It is really important that you carefully follow all instructions regarding the sending of documents. Please also adhere to prescribed deadlines since the application can be rejected if you are late.

    Remember you can always call up the Academy if you feel you can’t carry out this demanding process all alone. We have services that are designed to take care of every difficulty you face – we are always there to help.

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An Easy Way to Learn GRE Words (Through Roots) Part 2

Word RootsIf you found the last post on roots helpful, here are 2 more roots which cover 25 GRE words. For those of you who have come directly to this post, here’s a link that will help you understand why we are talking about roots so much: go to first roots post. (But basically, it helps to make learning the GRE words much easier).

genus generis (14 words)

The Latin word genus (cognate with Greek ‘genos’ and the Sanskrit root ‘jan’) has produced a number of English words. Genus has two basic forms: ‘genus’ and ‘generis’ (the second of which is more important because most derived words in English and other modern European languages have come from it whereas ‘genus’ exists as a single English word).

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GMAT Prep – Preliminary Reading and RC Practice

Image for RC

Preliminary Reading and RC

One of the most important aspects of preparing for reading comprehension in the GMAT is preliminary reading – that is, reading to be done before you start tackling GMAT RC passages in order to prepare you for the challenges that those passages will throw up.

One challenge that you will face on Reading Comprehension passages is that they tend to be about unfamiliar topics and concepts; and talk about unfamiliar terms and fields. They use difficult phrasing and vocabulary, and complicated sentence structure. The only way to get used to the level of complexity you will find in GMAT passages is to read widely.

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