Friday, December 27, 2013

Importance of Note Taking in TOEFL Integrated Tasks

Hello Everyone and welcome back! Last time, I talked about note taking and described a system of notes I feel would be very helpful to you when you are taking the TOEFL test. This system involved arranging your notes in a pyramidal structure in which you start with the main topic on top and then work down to the details. Below is a description; TOEFL NotesNow, that's a quick description, but accurate enough. I do ask that you refer to my last entry for further reference. This system is perfect for all the integrated tasks for speaking and the integrated writing task. You could even use this for the Independent speaking task as well, but when you have a lot of information to cover, this is probably the best system for the integrated tasks. Now, I did recommend the task for specific integrated tasks in the last post, but I'm going to suggest this for all the integrated tasks. One listening/speaking task will involve a conversation in which a person will have a problem and will be given solutions. You will then be asked, what solution the person should take and why. With this task, I suggest you take notes in this form and it should look something like this; Problem and solution in TOEFL- almost always, there will be some issue which the person will be unable to follow a solution Now, it's very simple, you have the problem noted, the solutions and then any issues the person will have regarding the solution. Now, you will be asked what the problem is and what are the solutions. As you can, you have them easily in front of you. When it comes time to choose the solution you think best, you just simply circle the solution you think the person should take. Don't forget, you will need to answer why you think the person should take the solution you choose. For the integrated task of reading and listening, I suggest you take a new sheet of paper and divide the sheet in half. One side will be devoted to the reading and the other for the audio. You use the same format of note taking for both. In this manner you will have a very clear picture of the main ideas, details and examples for each of these parts. The question you get will always ask for you to have information from both and in this manner you will have a very clear picture. Okay, that's it for now. If you have any questions, comments, feedback, suggestions or even tips, please feel free to email me at Please feel free to check out everything here on for assistance in achieving your goals. is dedicated and committed to your success! Cheers!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Importance of Full-Length Timed Practice Tests (Mock Tests)

There’s something very enticing about practice tests. They appear productive. They seem like they’re giving you a competitive on “the real thing”. And there’s always that secret hope that this time you’ll knock it out of the park and you can finally stop studying. Often times, I have seen students making the fatal mistake of skipping the practice test before they start preparing. Yes, you heard it right BEFORE they start preparing. They have myriad excuses for the same. But this is one such test, which will tell you exactly where you stand and what to put in to reach your coveted school. Some even call it a Diagnostic Test. Whatever you call it, but do take the test. Take the test the way it is meant to be taken Simulate all the conditions of the actual test. There are some unforgivable do nots. Let’s have a look.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Notes! Notes! I Need My Notes For TOEFL Exam Preparation!

Hello everyone and welcome back! Now, I've talked about this before, but this time I've come up with a very good idea for taking notes for TOEFL. This idea came about while discussing strategies with one of my students, so I'd like to thank her for the inspiration. (I really love it when my students give me ideas!) Now, I've already discussed the importance of note taking for TOEFL and that you can take notes at any time during the test. Also, I recommended that you do this throughout the test. However, I only really touched on one aspect of note taking and that was to write your notes in 1 to 2 words, meaning all your points should be kept to 1-2 words only. What I realize now is that I never discussed anyway of organizing your notes. This is what I'm going to talk about now. Keeping your notes organized, having them in some type of logical order is necessary and imperative for both the speaking and writing tasks. Particularly the integrated tasks. By having your notes organized, you will have a map or guide that you can use to logically present your topics. Logical development and structure are two key considerations for scoring and so the proper organization of your notes should be taken into consideration. Now, as I have said, keep your notes to 1-2 words per point. There are several ways of organizing your notes, which I will discuss and these are in the form of charts. I'll will discuss one form now and then in the next blog entry I will discuss the other. This first form is perfect for the independent speaking tasks as well as the listening speaking task in which you must summarize a lecture. This can also be useful for the independent writing task. The form your notes should take is that of a pyramid. With the pyramid in mind, you have the topic at the top. Below that you have the major idea followed by the main ideas which come below. Under the main ideas are minor ideas as well as details used to describe the ideas. It would look something like this

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Top Ten Most-Frequent GRE Math Concepts

The quant section of the revised GRE Test is evolving. Many of the recent test-takers reported that they nearly had a nervous break-down while wading through the GRE quant sections. Many also reported that they struggled to complete the sections. Another common feedback that we are getting is that the textual length of the questions has increased significantly, so a lot of time is consumed in reading and understanding the question. Another feedback that is very interesting is that GRE is testing more integrated concepts rather than isolated concepts. All this had to happen. GRE Math had to evolve. This shift was inevitable. As more and more B-Schools are accepting GRE scores, GRE Math had to match up with GMAT Math and at the same time it should increase the rigour to match up with the B-School requirements, where there is an ever increasing need for analytical skills. Does all this mean that GRE will now test difficult concepts from Calculus, Trigonometry or Differential Equations or some other intimidating concepts? The answer is NO. GRE Still sticks to its GRE Math Review and the GRE Official Guide. If any concept does not feature here; stay rest assured that it will not feature on the GRE. To get better GRE scores and get into the best graduate schools, you’ll need a strong understanding of the underlying math concepts: arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data interpretation. Even if you’re good at Quant, a little basic review is a great refresher. Even seasoned players do need some net practice. All these concepts can be practiced on, which offers unmatched GRE prep content online.
    1. Number Properties. The properties of odds and evens, integers, fractions, positives, and negatives will all appear in various questions on your Revised GRE test. This is especially tested on Quantitative Comparisons. Variables can be negative integers, negative fractions, zero, positive fractions, or positive integers – don’t ever make assumptions!
    2. Plane Geometry Triangles are the most-tested shape on the GRE. You should know the Pythagorean Theorem, Triangle Inequality Theorem, the special right triangle ratios (45-45-90 and 30-60-90), as well as the properties of isosceles and equilateral triangles. Also review the types of angles, circles, and polygons. Make sure you know how to find the perimeter, area, and volume of these shapes.
    3. Word Problems The GRE Problem Solving questions often contain challenging word problems – you’ll need to know how to "translate” English to Math
    4. Rates & Work The most important need-to-know formulas on the GRE are D = R x T, Distance = Rate x Time, and the concept of Average Speed. Average Speed = Total Distance / Total Time.
    5. Probability The probability of an event occurring is the desired outcomes/total possible outcomes. The probability of two events occurring together is the product of the two probabilities. Memorize the combination and permutation formulas. Combination: n! /n-k! k! Permutation: n! / n-k!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review Your Previous Game Before You Play Your Next

It is quite common in professional sports that players, along with their coaches review the video tapes of their previous games, before they play their next. In business, CEO’s review their strategies, dissect them and also do some sort of “missed opportunity” or “post facto” analysis, so that any untoward things do not recur. Students review professor’s notes on papers to get advice on the common types of errors they are prone to. What is common among all the above mentioned scenarios? No matter what you do, a major component of success is getting constant feedback and taking effective corrective or remedial action as you progress. You should allow some time for the autopsy of any prep material that you have consumed. The reports from your autopsy will work best if you do the following:
  1. Chinks in your armour Create a “why I missed it” chart. Review each question and identify what went wrong. You didn’t know the correct formula or you simply misunderstood the question. Whatever be the reason, make detailed notes about the same. This will allow you to see some patterns and help you focus your studying.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Vocabulary in Context with GRE Preparation

Hello Everyone! All you GRE Aspirants – Are you in good shape? Holiday season is approaching and most of you must have finished your exams, so this is an appropriate time to hang around with friends and have a great time. Even the winter has started to show its charm. Days are becoming shorter and shorter. Sun refuses to wake up from its slumber even till 10 in the morning. So, what has all this got to do with GRE? I just want to say that this is the ideal time to develop a laid back attitude and to water down the hard work that you must have put in, in the previous months. Though holidays are around, spend some time for GRE prep. If not doing some serious study, try to read some good articles or books that may keep you vocabulary fresh in your mind. I stumbled upon an article during my regular readings and I thought that I should share the same with you. This one is from the New York Times entitled A Nose For Words. In this article, the author talks about his first exposure to vocabulary and how he develops an affinity towards it. So, if you are one of those students, who just despair at the mention of some unwieldy words like hortatory, cleave, recondite, my advice for you is to read this article.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tips on Critical Reading Section of SAT (Short and Lengthy Passages)

Many students who have taken the SAT will vouch for the fact that the critical reading section is the most difficult part of the exam. Why? It is because the lengthy passages demand you to stay focussed! In order to stay focussed of for that matter to stay awake, you need to engage with the passage Here are some pointers that will help you stay engaged with the passage:
  1. First of all write on the passage, scribble on it, underline or highlight some important areas. Underline the transitional words or signal words such as but, yet, therefore, however, nevertheless, while and above all. Circle all unfamiliar words. Put stars when the author provides some examples. These are not sacrosanct. You can have your own codes, but the moral of the story is to do something to keep you awake and engaged. Make brief notes on the author’s tone, attitude and purpose in the margins. Writing on the passage serves two major purposes:
    • It helps you remember what you have read
    • It helps you make more sense of what you are reading
  2. The second way to stay engaged with the passage is to strike a conversation with the passage in your head. Go ahead. No one else will get to know about it. Talk back to the author. Ask questions. Make accusations. Get inside his head by saying “You are trying to be sarcastic, aren’t you?” or “Oh, I see where you are going with this example.” These conversations may appear insane at first, but active readers do this all the time. They help you to think like the author, by being able to do this; you will definitely find it lot easier to score better.
  3. Although interacting with the passage is important, it is equally important not to get carried away. Don’t dwell on any one aspect of the passage. Go through the passage once, marking it and talking to it as you proceed. Answer all the questions you know and then return to the passage for only those questions for which you are not quite sure. When you return to the passage understand that the questions are organised in the same way as the information flows in the passage. The first few questions in the passage will be based on the initial paragraphs of the passage. The last few questions usually are based on the whole passage.

Positive Sides of Knowing about Negative Signs

As the old adage goes, “Looks can be deceptive,” the same at times holds good in the realm of physics. What appears to be insignificant can have astronomical bearing on the results of some problems. In this post we will be focusing on one such thing, i.e. the negative signs. Many a times, I have seen my students getting perplexed when they encounter a negative sign as a result at the end of some tedious mathematical calculations lurking in some physics problems. They get frustrated assuming that all their effort went in vain when the result is negative. I have just one word for it. Relax! There is no need to panic. There can be various implications that can be derived from a negative result bearing the negative sign. So, get ready for some GYAAN on how you can interpret results with negative signs after doing your calculation. In Physics, Mathematics often generates answers that you might not have thought of as possibilities. If you get more answers than you expect, do not automatically discard the ones that do not seem to fit. Examine them carefully for physical meaning. For example, if the time is your variable, even a negative value can mean something; negative time simply refers to time before t=0, the (arbitrary) time at which you decided to start your stopwatch. Here is another misconception; in common language, the sign of acceleration has a nonscientific meaning: positive acceleration means that the speed of an object is increasing, and the negative acceleration means that the speed is decreasing (the object is decelerating). However in many problems of Kinematics, the sign of acceleration indicates a direction, not whether an object’s speed is increasing or decreasing. For example, if a car with an initial velocity v= -25 m/s is braked to a stop in 5 s, then a(avg) = +5 m/s^2. The acceleration is positive, but the car’s speed has decreased. The reason is the difference in signs: the direction of the acceleration is opposite that of the velocity.

Arithmetic Operations and PEMDAS in Mathematics

Arithmetic operations and PEMDAS You will find several arithmetic problems on the GRE, GMAT or SAT, which involve intense calculations and if they are not done in a specific order, they can produce varying results. Because only one answer choice can be correct, you will not be rewarded for any other result except THE ONE. This requires mustering the ancient fundamentals that you might have leant at your schools level. The order of operations is a set of rules that tells us how to evaluate expressions. You might have heard or used this acronym quite often, PEMDAS. Many also use a sentence to remember it “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.” Whichever way you choose, what is quintessential is to remember the way in which arithmetic operations follow PEMDAS. The letters in PEMDAS are meant to help you remember to:
  • Simplify expressions inside Parentheses.
  • Evaluate powers, or numbers with Exponents.
  • Multiply and Divide, moving from left to right.
  • Add and Subtract, moving from left to right.
Multiplication and division have the same priority. Do multiplications or division as you meet them as you work across the line, rather than doing all the multiplication and then all the division. The same is true for addition and subtraction. Do them as you come to them. Do not give addition a higher rank than subtraction. EXAMPLE: Find the simplest value for 8 × [2 × (4 + 3)2 – 20 + 12] ÷ 4. Grouping symbols take precedence. So, working from the inside out: 8 × [2 × (4 + 3)^2 – 20 + 12] ÷ 4 Add 4 + 3. 8 × [2 × (7)^2 – 20 + 12] ÷ 4 Square 7. 8 × [2 × 49 – 20 + 12] ÷ 4 Multiply 2 × 49. 8 × [98 – 20 + 12] ÷ 4 Subtract 98 – 20. 8 × [78 + 12] ÷ 4 Add 78 + 12. 8 × [90] ÷ 4 Multiply 8 × 90. 720 ÷ 4 Divide 720 ÷ 4. 180 You get the answer: 180. Keep visiting for more tips and tricks on exam preparation Remember, we here at TCY are always committed to your success.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Some Handy Strategies for SAT Sentence Completion

The sentence completion component in SAT will offer you a sentence that has either one or two blanks and that/those have to be filled. The word(s) that best complete(s) the sentence must be correct. Some handy strategies
  1. Plug in every choice and try Plug in all the answer choices in the blank(s) and see which one sounds the best. The test makers are clever enough to accommodate some choices that are very close, but you need to have an adept ear to pick out the one answer choice that sounds the best.
  2. Read with extreme care Do not be in haste. Read the sentence with extra caution and pay special attention to every word. A prepositional phrase or a tiny fiendish word can entirely alter the meaning of the sentence. This becomes paramount in case of transitional words. Sometimes an innocuous looking word like not has the potency to twist the possible answer choice to its diametrically opposite one.
  3. Two-Blank questions Instead of being petrified by two-blank questions, you should be excited, as they give you more triggers which can be used as navigation tools to reach the correct answer choice. In some cases, the second blank helps a lot. Suppose you are not able to zero-in on any particular answer choice for the first blank, then you can use the additional triggers to finalize an answer for the second blank. Thus, by able to find the best choice for the second blank, you are able to find the correct answer for the first blank also.
  4. Focus on what you knowGRE-blog - Copy Do not panic when you encounter an unfamiliar word. The key is to use what you know. Does the word have any prefix or suffix that you know? Do you know any familiar words that have the same root word? You will be surprised what you can determine about a word when you dissect it appropriately.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

NCHMCT JEE 2014 Entrance Exam for B.Sc Hospitality & Hotel Management 2014-15

National Council of Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT) and Indira Gandhi National Open University are conducting National Level Joint Entrance Exam for various Hotel Management courses.
NCHMCT JEE 2014 scores will be accepted by 21 Central Institutes, 14 State Government Institutes and 15 private institutes of Hotel Management.
Important Dates:
Sale of Online Application Forms and Information Brochures December 5, 2013- April 7, 2014
Last date for receipt of filled in application form April 7, 2014
Availability of online Admit Cards on NCHMCT website April 19, 2014 (Saturday) 14:00 hours onwards
Date of NCHMCT JEE Examination April 26, 2014 (Saturday) From 10:00 hours to 13:00 hours
Result 2nd week of May, 2014
Counseling 1st week of June, 2014
Eligibility Criteria:
A pass in 10+2 system of Senior Secondary examination or its equivalent with English as one of the subjects. Those appearing for 10+2 or equivalent examination are also eligible to apply for JEE on provisional basis. The admission will be cancelled if the proof of having passed the 10+2 examination or equivalent is not presented at the time of counseling or admission.
Program Duration (Years)
B.Sc in Hospitality and Hotel Administration 3
Diploma in Food Production 1.5
Diploma in Food and Beverage Service 1.5
Diploma in Front Office 1.5
Diploma in House Keeping 1.5
Diploma in Bakery and Confectionery 1.5
Application Fee:
Category Amount
General Rs 800
SC/ST/PH Rs 400
Exam Pattern:
Sections No. of Questions
Numerical Ability & Scientific Aptitude 30
Reasoning & Logical Deduction 30
General Knowledge & Current Affairs 30
English Language 60
Aptitude for Service Sector 50
Total 200
Selection Process:
Selection of candidate will be completely based on rank and merit basis. There will be no GD or PI process.
How to Apply:
Visit the website @ and choose any of following method to start registration:
  • By paying application fee through demand draft in favour of 'NCHMCT' payable at Noida/Delhi.
  • By paying application fee through Debit/Credit card.
Exam Preparation:
To attempt sectional and mock tests for entrance exams, click @ Hotel Management Exam Preparation from TCY

Friday, December 6, 2013

GRE Reading Comprehension Strategies for Exam Preparation

Whenever you watch a movie or read a book, what is the first thing that you do subconsciously or to a very limited extent, deliberately? You try to classify the movie or the book into its genre. You call it a comedy, thriller, action, horror and so on. Then what if your friend asks you what the movie or the book was about, then do you narrate the whole plot with every detail or do you just put the whole thing in one or two sentences? In the case of ordinary mortals, which most of us are (though some of you may take exceptions to this) try to summarize the whole thing in one or two sentences, which try to capture the whole essence of the plot. This is also exactly the case with reading comprehension questions that you encounter in your test. strategies-used-for-reading-comprehension First of all you read the passage and then classify it as science, business, social, political, socio-economic and so on. Then the next thing is that you hunt for the main idea, i.e. you try to capture the whole essence of the passage in one or two sentences. The sad part is, in your test, the grilling doesn’t stop just here. You are put through a whole plethora of tortuous questions, which attempt to put your entire reading prowess to test. Here are the 4 main reading skills tested in reading comprehension questions on GRE:
  1. Main Idea: This involves the following:
    • Selection of the main thought in the passage
    • Ability to decipher the general significance of the passage
    • Ability to select the best title for a passage
    Learn to distinguish between a main idea and supporting ideas Ideas in GRE comprehension
  2. Specific Details: This involves the following:
    • Ability to understand the author’s explicit statements
    • To get the literal meaning of what is written
    • To identify details

Tips to Improve Vocabulary in TOEFL Exam

TOEFLHello everyone! And welcome back! So, after my soapbox from last post (and I do hope you looked that word up), this puts me in mind of one problem TOEFL students have and that is the every disturbing and troubling area of....VOCABULARY. Yes, you heard me, I said vocabulary. This is one problem every TOEFL student faces. Now, I've touched on some issues which are associated with having difficulty in vocabulary. These include not being able to clearly and accurately express your thoughts or meanings you wish to convey because you do not know the words to use or how to use them. Or you could have difficulty describing people, places or objects again, because you do not know the words to use. I think it all boils down to the fact that most TOEFL students do not know enough words in their vocabulary to express themselves fully. I often hear from a number of my students say "sir, I just don't know how to say it (express it properly, put it into words, etc and ad nauseum)." So, what is lacking is vocabulary and this post is what you can do about it. So, let's begin. Vocabulary, how do you build your vocabulary into a muscle-laden force which you can express yourself clearly, succinctly and elegantly using a wide range of words and phrases to convey your ideas, opinions and descriptions? It's not a hard thing to do. It just takes a lot of exercise and that means practice and this practice involves many different methods.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

IBPS CWE PO/MT III Written Examination Result 2013

Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) has declared the result of Common Written Exam conducted for the post of PO and MT in various banks in the month of November 2013.

IBPS has been working more closely with public sector banks to help them move forward in matters of recruitment by handling turn-key projects. Candidates can check their IBPS PO/ MT III result at IBPS’s official website by clicking here.

IBPS PO Written Exam

Candidate will have to fill their Registration No, Roll No, Passsword and Date of Birth.
Moving ahead with tremendous response, IBPS is conducting Common Written Exam for Clerical Cadre as well which is going on and also the application are invited for Specialist officers in various departments as well.
Attempt Mock tests for IBPS Clerical Exam by Clicking here
Attempt Mock tests for IBPS Specialist Officer by Clicking here