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GRE, GMAT, SAT, IELTS and TOEFL :PREPARE FOR TESTS


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GRE, GMAT, SAT, IELTS and TOEFL :PREPARE FOR TESTS


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Prepare for tests
Need help with your exam prep? This article explains the various entrance exams that you need to clear in order to study in a top-notch university abroad.

By now, you should be clear about the course you want to take and the University you want to study in. Having figured out your study destination is a big step forward. You are probably wondering about the tests you’ll need to take and the score requirements you'll need to meet in order to reach your foreign study destination.
To help you prepare for any test you need to take, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of tips and suggestions. Our articles cover every key aspect of the various standardised tests — GRE, GMAT, SAT, IELTS and TOEFL — that foreign Universities use to measure their applicants’ worth.
Our advisors are also there to provide you personalised guidance on the tests you need to take.
A lot of foreign Universities measure your English skills by looking at your IELTS or TOEFL test scores. A few Universities allow you the option to skip these tests and take their own in-house English language test. Use our various resources and test tools like the English Language Test app to prepare for your exams. Look into our mock test papers to get a fair idea of the test format.

If you want to study at the graduate level in the US, you will have to prepare for the GRE test. By going through our suggestions and recommendations, you’ll get a clear idea on the demands of the test.
Like the GRE, the SAT test is a must for students looking to get into American Universities at the UG level. Clearing the SAT test is all about being well prepared. We’ll tell you how to go about it.

If you are keen on doing an MBA abroad, then you will have to take the GMAT. If you follow our list of suggestions and prepare well for the exam, then there’s no reason why you can’t ace it.

PREPARE FOR GMAT How to prepare for the GMAT

What is the GMAT exam all about? If you want to know how to start preparing for the GMAT test, then closely examine the tips mentioned in this article. GMAT: An Introduction

GMAT stands for ‘Graduate Management Admission Test.' The GMAT is designed specifically for students wanting to study an MBA or a masters in accounting and finance. The GMAT is an inclusive test, which examines the student’s skills in writing, reading, reasoning and quantitative aptitude. The GMAT tests the students' ability to read a passage and answer questions, identify grammatical errors, check number skills and reasoning skills to solve numerical and word-based problems. In a new section of the test, students will also have to solve problems interpreting data from graphs and charts.

Computer Adaptive Test
CAT or Computer Adaptive Test is a new intelligent system of testing in the GMAT. Not sure what that means? In other words, if you answer your questions right, you end up with harder ones but these will be worthy of more points. Answer a few questions wrong, then you will end up with easier questions but these won’t be worthy of many points and your scores could take a hit.

Scoring Pattern
The ‘Writing’ section which has the descriptive essay is graded on a score-range of 0 to 6. The ‘Quantitative Reasoning’ section is graded on a score-range of 0 to 8.
The following table will help you understand the scoring pattern clearly:

Test Module Scoring Scale
Verbal Scaled 0 to 60
Quantitative 0 to 60
Analytical Writing 0 to 6
Integrated Reasoning 1 to 8
Total Scaled Score 200 to 800

The scores achieved in the writing and quantitative sections are independent of the overall test score scale of 200 to 800. In the quantitative and verbal sections, students may get anywhere between 0 and 60 marks. Scores of above 50 in either section are extremely rare.
Temporary scores are generated at the end of the test. The final scores are made available online after 20 days once the essay is manually read and graded. Each test allows five free score transmissions to institutions and scores are valid for five years. Subsequent test-score transmissions to institutions are charged at 28 dollars per request. A score of 700 and above on the GMAT is considered to be a good score. The current cost of taking the GMAT in India is $250. Rescheduling the test will cost you $50.

Preparing for the GMAT
Experts advise that a minimum of six months of dedicated preparation for the GMAT would help students secure a good score in the test. If you are a working professional aiming for an MBA abroad and are preparing for the GMAT in your spare time and on holidays; then give yourself one-year of preparation time. If your English language skills are way better than your mathematics and quantitative aptitude skills; then focus on solving quantitative problems. If it is the other way around and your English language skills are weak, then read more, do more grammar exercises, and improve your vocabulary.
The New York Times, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal — this is the Holy Trinity for improving one’s language skills. Read the editorial pieces, get a feel of the language used and try to rewrite the lengthier articles in your own words. The writing exercise will definitely help you when you face the essay component in the GMAT.
There are a number of online forums and websites; both free and paid that offer a variety of simulated GMAT mock-tests. These mock-tests replicate the actual GMAT test structure and help you improve your answering speed and make you ready for the actual test. The paid websites also analyze your test performance and give you individualized reports with tips on how to improve your weak-subject areas!

Conclusion
In addition to being a popular qualifying test that’s accepted by international business schools, the GMAT is now accepted for admissions to more than 200 programs offered at over 90 business schools in India.
An average score of above 650 is considered to be good and any score above 700 is a sure-shot way to ensure admission in top-ranking business schools. The GMAT continues to remain the most popular and respected test for those aspiring to study a postgraduate management course. Preparing with care and writing ample practice tests can help students ace the GMAT.
So all the very best with your GMAT preparation, and do comment below to share your GMAT-preparation experience and writing the GMAT.

IELTS How to prepare for the IELTS
Are you preparing for IELTS exam? To help you with your preparation for IELTS, Hotcourses India provides you tools, mock test papers and other online resources.
What is accepted world-wide by more than 9,000 organisations as a means of measuring language proficiency — any guesses? Yes, we are talking about the world’s proven English language test — the IELTS! IELTS is jointly owned by IELTS Australia, British Council, and Cambridge English Language Assessment Test. It has over 900 test centres in over 130 countries. The registration fee for the test is INR 9,900 currently. Just last year, we heard that 2 million students flocked from all around the globe to take this test! It makes you stop and wonder what all the big fuss is about, doesn’t it? Keep reading and we’ll tell you.

Why the IELTS?
Universities and also employers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and the USA take the IELTS into consideration. If you want to be flying to any of these destinations for your higher studies anytime soon, it’s time to take the IELTS seriously. Taking the IELTS could really open doors for you all over the world!
Interested to know how to get started with your IELTS prep? Here are a few pointers for you… Know. It. All.
As the very first step of your IELTS prep, we suggest you learn all about the test itself. Go online and visit their official website and read up. The test is divided into four modules that will test your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. Each module will fetch you a certain band score as per your performance. One interesting must know fact for you — when it comes to the IELTS, there is no pass or fail! Your results will be reported on a 9-band scale and will be valid for a period of two years… How cool is that?
Now, a little bit about the modules you will be taking:
• Listening: This 30 minute-module has four sections and will basically have you listening to an audio recording and have you answer questions from a booklet.
Reading: This 60 minute-module comprises 40 questions that will test you on a wide range of reading skills include reading for main ideas, skimming, reading for detail, and understanding logical argument. It is divided into two versions: the academic and general training versions.
Writing: This 60 minute-module has two versions: academic and general training. The academic comprises two tasks, in short — one: describing a chart or a diagram; two: writing an essay in response to a problem or argument. The general training also comprises two tasks - 1) writing a letter in response to a situation; 2) writing an essay in response to a problem or argument (this one may be a bit more personal than the first one). • Speaking: This module may last from anywhere between 11-14 minutes and assesses your spoken English skills. This will be nothing but a conversation with a certified IETLS examiner.
• The Listening, Reading and Writing modules will come one after the other on your test day. Your Speaking module, however, may be on a different day — mostly either seven days before or after your actual test date.

Time to Go Shopping!
Research online and make sure you buy yourself some top study guides fresh from the market. You will not regret investing your money in these, we promise.

Paint Yourself A Clear Picture!
We recommend you to get your prep on at least three to six months ahead of time, if not earlier. We know that you want to obtain a certain IELTS Band Score that you have in mind, which is great, as long it is an achievable and realistic goal. Bear in mind that this test is an overall test of your proficiency in the language so it requires you to be more than just a book worm (you heard right!). Stay 100% dedicated to your prep and sharpen your language skills in all methods possible.

Practice Away!
As you start with the prep, how many hours per day do you plan to spare for all four subtests?
Regular practice is key, but do give yourself a breather; a day off of your hectic prep in a week won’t do you any harm. They don’t say that slow and steady wins the race for no reason! Long intervals are not a good idea though!
As you take practice tests, you will notice your areas of weakness that you may need to put some extra time into. Don’t get carried away and put too much time into your weak areas alone though. Make sure you cover and work on all areas.

How Fast Are You?
Many a times, we hear that candidates are unable to perform as well as they had hoped to, because time ran out fast in the reading test or their tape was so fast in their listening test. If you are unable to finish your test, it is not the end of the world, as you will only be measured on a scale from 0 to 9, where 0 is for those who did not attempt it. Focus on getting yourself to your best pace in the test — be fast, attentive and sharp. This way you will minimize your chances of running out of time.

All Ears!
When you are taking the listening test, keep in mind that the tape is played only once — so it pays to remember what you hear. Pay close attention! Talk, Walk & Breathe in English!
For acing a test like the IELTS, we strongly recommend you to use English as much as you can in your everyday life. Here are a few simple things you could do that could make a difference:
• Read up journals, articles, and newspapers and be informed of current events and issues, which may very well turn out to be a topic for the speaking or writing module!
• Switch on your TV and tune in to CNN and BBC; British movies — that will help!
• Get yourself used to the various English accents from around the world — the Australian, American, British, New Zealand, and even Canadian. • Practice thinking and also speaking in English as much as you can with your buddies and your family.
• Write emails and letters to practice your written skills and — who knows — you may make a pen pal or two in the process!

Fake Accent!
What’s important is your pronunciation, not the accent. If your pronunciation is wrong even with a stylish accent, it will still cost you marks here. Stay away from mispronouncing and that’s all you need.

Who Says? Heard that the IELTS would be a more difficult exam in comparison with any other? Don’t believe everything you hear — there are quite a lot of myths about the test! The test does not pose any more difficulty than any other exam you would have to take for higher studies abroad. The IELTS has questions that are straightforward to assess your English language skills — so don’t get all worked up. Losing your cool isn’t going to do you any good here — trust us and focus on your prep!

Rest before D Day!
The three tests: Listening, Reading, and Writing Tests are usually held on one morning and with no break — so in other words, you really have to be at your best for quite a considerable amount of time here. This is why we strongly advise you to eat well and get some good sleep before your big day — your mind should be fresh and ready.

Results!
You will receive your test results 13 days post your test date. Your test centre will post your Test Report Form to you and some test centres may offer you text alerts and an online results service as well.

Retake?
Are you disappointed with your results? Well, you can retake the IELTS test if you are looking to do better. There are no limitations on how many times you can retake the test but you must apply within six weeks of the test date. There are no limitations as to how many times a person can retake the IELTS.

Free training sessions
To help you further with your test preparation, Hotcourses India provides free IELTS training classes in its offices in Delhi and Chennai. In-class training sessions, as well as online classes, are available for students. The classes, which are held six days a week, are conducted by experienced tutors.

Conclusion
You will be required to get a minimum IELTS band score of 6 or higher, to be able to get into well-renowned Unis. These are a few important things we urge you to keep in mind for promising results.
Have we given you the confidence to crack the IELTS now? If you have anything to add to this, feel free to drop us a comment! In case of any other assistance with your study abroad quest, get in touch with us. We’d be happy to hear from you!
PREPARE FOR TOEFL How to prepare for the TOEFL
What is the TOEFL exam all about? This article provides students with TOEFL preparation tips and a clear understanding of the various demands of the test.
All non-native speakers of English have to demonstrate their English language proficiency when applying to study for a course abroad. The popular English language tests that Universities consider for measuring an applicant’s English skills are:
• TOEFL
• IELTS
• Pearson’s Test of English

What is the TOEFL?
TOEFL stands for ‘Test of English as a Foreign Language’. Traditionally the TOEFL is offered in two modes — paper-based (where internet connectivity is very poor) and internet-based or iBT. In India, the internet-based test is in vogue, with the test being conducted in major cities on pre-scheduled dates.

Registering for the TOEFL
The easiest and most convenient method to register for the TOEFL is by visiting the official website. Step-by-step instructions are provided on how to create a profile and register for the test.
Students can register for a test on a date of their choice from the list of available dates listed on the official website.
The fee for the test varies from country to country and is regularly updated. Students are advised to visit the official website for the latest fee information. Currently the TOEFL fee varies from S160 to $250.

Structure of the TOEFL
The TOEFL combines the following skills — listening, reading, speaking and writing. The test is for a duration of around 4 to 4.5 hours with a 10-minute break in between. The order of the test modules is as follows:

• Reading: 36 to 56 questions — read 3 or 4 passages and answer questions based on the passages.
• Listening: 34 to 51 questions — listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, and then answer questions.
• Speaking: Speak on a prescribed topic.
• Writing: Write essays on the prescribed topic; the topic is generally linked to the content used in the reading and listening modules. Scoring Pattern
Each module of the test is for a maximum of 30 marks; so students may secure a total score of anywhere from 0 to 120. In addition to a numerical score value; performance feedback on the modules is also provided. TOEFL scores are valid for two years after the test date and there is no limit to the number of times you can take the test.
Official score reports will be sent to designated recipients as indicated by students approximately 13 days after they take the test. Average Scores for Admission
The exact TOEFL scores prescribed vary from institution to institution and from course to course. The average prescribed scores are as follows:
• For undergraduate courses: Varies from 68 to 80 on the iBT.
• For postgraduate courses: Varies from 79 to 95 on the iBT.

Crack the TOEFL
If you have a clear idea of when you are taking your TOEFL; give yourself a minimum of six months to prepare for the test. There are a number of online resources available, which allow you to take up mock TOEFL tests. These let you get a feel of the real thing and help you analyze and find your strong and weak points. The ‘listening module’ of the test can be a bit tricky; listen to news broadcasts on international channels like the BBC and CNN; watch English TV serials and movies and try to grasp the finer aspects of British and American pronunciation of English words. This will definitely be very helpful!
Read international newspapers and journals; the quality of writing in publications like: ‘The Economist’, ‘The New York Times’ and ‘The Guardian’ will help you improve your vocabulary. Write a lot of practice essays on multiple topics. This will help you clear the essay module with ease. On Test Day
Reach the test-venue at least 30 minutes before the test; be calm and confident and answer the questions with care. If you are not sure about a question; skip it and go to the next question. Use your 10-minute break properly and take special care when working on the essay/writing module of the test. Do not be disappointed if you do not get a good TOEFL score; learn from your mistakes and prepare with more passion and dedication for your next test attempt.
For the sake of preparation and improved performance; a three-month gap is advised for students who want to retake the TOEFL. As per rules, a fortnight is all that is needed in case you want to retake the test.

TOEFL vs IELTS:
Both tests are accepted across most leading institutions across the world; it is imperative for the student to verify, which test score is required by the institution, where the student aspires to study. The chief difference between the two tests is the speaking component. For IELTS, students are required to take this with an IELTS examiner face-to-face. For TOEFL, the speaking test consists of speaking on prescribed topics. The audio is recorded and sent to an examiner for evaluation.
The Pearson Test of English is another test, which is gaining prominence. The TOEFL and IELTS continue to remain the most popular English language tests and a good score in either of the tests should suffice; unless specifically required, a student does not have to take both the IELTS and the TOEFL.

TOEFL training classes
Are you thinking about signing up for a TOEFL coaching class? We can help you save some money. Hotcourses India conducts free TOEFL training classes. We provide in-class training sessions for students based in Chennai and Delhi, and online training sessions for students based in other cities. These classes, which are held six days a week, are conducted by experienced tutors.

Conclusion
The TOEFL score is accepted by more than 9,000 institutions in over 130 countries worldwide. As an applicant to a course requiring a specific minimum TOEFL score; you should aim to score a bit higher than the prescribed TOEFL score mandated by the institution where you aspire to study.
The TOEFL is a long test that runs for more than four hours and first-time test takers seem a bit overwhelmed by the test. If you prepare well enough and take a good number of mock-tests; you should be able to clear the TOEFL with a good score.
Have you written the TOEFL? You can share your experience of preparing for the TOEFL and writing the test in the comments section.
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IndiaEduTech: Overseas Education Division will provide pre departure briefing which will include detail information about the University accommodation and hostel facilities, University fee payment, orientation details, insurance required, clothing required with respect to the place and information about part time jobs.

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