STUDY ABROAD

Every year, thousands of students appear for the SAT, GRE, GMAT,TOEFL and IELTS tests in Mumbai. Only a small proportion of these students a...

Every year, thousands of students appear for the SAT, GRE, GMAT,TOEFL and IELTS tests in Mumbai. Only a small proportion of these students actually take classes and tutorials for these exams. Most of the students study on their own and yet, manage to do well in these exams.“I did not take any class for my GRE exam and just studied from the ETS books and the Internet. I scored a 1450 and I am very happy with my scores,” says Bhupen Shah.
Student who are disciplined and firm on their concepts can manage a self-study programme. Students who are not selfdisciplined should consider taking extra help. Many students find structured coaching programmes helpful and learn better in a class interacting with other students.
The following is a sample study format you can adopt if you plan to do a self-study program:

GRE

Week 1
Go through the ETS Big Book and make a list of new words. Look up a dictionary and start making your own word list.
Week 2
The Big Book has over 26 tests and you need to try and remember as many words as possible. Don’t just memorise the words- create sentences which will help you remember them.
Week 3
Use “the review of the quantitative section”in the Practicing to Take the General Test by ETS, to brush up your math concepts.
Week 4
Start practicing math problems topic by topic and identify the areas where you need more practice.
Week 5
Now that your vocabulary has improved, start the analogies section of the verbal portion of the test.
Week 6
Progress to the sentence completions and antonyms questions. Again, use the questions from the Big Book.
Week 7
Dedicate this entire week to the reading comprehension and essay writing component of the test. You can use the essay topics from Practicing to Take the General Test.
Week 8
Practice mixed math problems from all topics. Use Big Book and Practicing to Take the General Test for this.
Week 9
Now you are ready to practice an entire GRE test at one stretch. Make sure that there are no distractions and time yourself.Try and finish one test per day.You can use the paper tests from the ETS book, but avoid repeating the tests.
Week 10
You can practice the Computer Adaptive Tests CDs - Powerprep and other online software. You will now have the confidence to take the GRE exam at the testing center.

GMAT

Week 1
Go through the ETS Official Guide for GMAT, for a description of the GMAT.Take a mock test to see where you stand.
Week 2
Find school grammar books and brush up your grammar.The GMAT English focuses on grammar and not vocabulary.
Week 3
Use the ‘Math Review’section in the Official Guide for GMAT to brush up your math concepts.
Week 4
Start practicing math problems topic by topic and identify your problem areas. Use the Official Guide for GMAT for help.
Week 5
Start with the ‘Sentence Correction’ section of the verbal portion of the test. Practice from the guide.
Week 6
Progress to the ‘Critical Reasoning’ section from the guide.
Week 7
Dedicate this entire week to the reading comprehension and the essay writing component of the test. You can use the essay topics from the official guide.
Week 8
Practice mixed math problems from all topics. If you need more help, consider getting school text books and practice from there as well.
Week 9
Now you are ready to practice an entire GMAT test at one stretch. Make sure that there are no distractions around you and time yourself.Try and finish one test per day.You can use the paper tests from the ETS official guide, but avoid repeating the tests.
Week 10
You can practice the Computer Adaptive Tests CDs – Powerprep and online software.You will now have the confidence to take the GMAT exam at the testing center.

SAT

Week 1
Go through Gruber’s Vocabulary and start increasing your vocabulary. Don’t just memorise words; make associations with words,to help you remember them.
Week 2
Revise your math concepts. Dig out your class 10 and 11 books to brush up your basics.
Week 3
Start practicing math problems topic by topic and identify the areas where you need more practice.You can consider using a book such as Barron’s SAT.
Week 4
Start with the ‘Sentence Completion’ section of the verbal portion.Practice from the Official Guide to SAT.
Week 5
Progress to the ‘Reading Comprehension’ section. Again, you can practice from the Official Guide to SAT.
Week 6
Work on grammar concepts and writing essays.Grammar clarity is important in the SAT, and you can use Barron’s SAT and the Official Guide to SAT for this week.
Week 7
Practice mixed math problems from all topics. Identify your weak areas and focus more on these areas.
Week 8
You are ready to practice an entire SAT test at one stretch. Make sure that there are no distractions and time yourself.Try and finish one test per day.You can use the tests from the Official Guide to SAT.
Week 9
Dedicate this week to taking full-length SAT tests.
Week 10
Even though the SAT is a paper-based exam, you can practice the exam online on various websites such as
www.takesat.com

IELTS

Week 1
Go through the IELTS tests provided by the British Council and ascertain the format of the exam.
Week 2
Most students who have studied at an English medium school or college will not have problems with the IELTS. But if you want to prepare, go through the Macmillan IELTS Testbuilder.
Week 3
For the ‘Listening’section, prepare with CDs from the Macmillan Testbuilder.
Week 4
Practice the reading and comprehension section this week.
Week 5
For the essay and an analysis of a chart/ graph preparation, look at sample essay topics from the Macmillan Testbuilder.
Week 6
Dedicate this entire week to writing essays.
Week 7
The IELTS has a special speaking module for 11 to 14 minutes consisting of a personal interview and a two-way discussion on a general topic. Check out the samples in the Macmillan Testbuilder.
Week 8
Now you can practice full-length tests this week and you are ready to take the exam.

TOEFL

Week 1
Use the TOEFL Cliffs/ TOEFL sampler (ETS) to prepare for the ‘Listening’section.
Week 2
Practice from the Cliffs for the ‘Structure’ section involving basic grammar.
Week 3
Practice ‘Reading Comprehension’from Barron’s TOEFL and the TOEFL sampler CD.
Week 4
For essay writing, look at sample essay topics in the Cliffs.
Week 5
Write essays and practice ‘Speaking’.
Week 6
Finish questions from the TOEFL sampler CD or any other TOEFL testing software.
Week 7
Take a full length computer TOEFL test. Powerprep software has two such tests.
Week 8
Take the second Powerprep test to complete your preparation.

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