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Students' Fears Allayed on New SAT

In a bid to familiarize and educate school students of Ludhiana about some 'heavy' changes in upcoming Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT-General), a workshop was held at the BRS Nagar centre of Top Careers & You (TCY). This workshop was a ’morale-boosting' exercise for many students who until now were 'quite scared' about their May exam. For the uninitiated, the SAT is a standardized test for most college admissions in the United States and several other countries. It is owned, published and developed by the College Board, a non-profit organization in the US. It tests the skills one learns in school: Reading, Writing and Maths.


How to find scholarships?


Every year as the admission season approaches, there is always a breed of scholarship hunters that begin its prowl. Yes, you are right. This breed is that of the international students. Some are well prepared to negotiate through the turbulent waters, and there are some- not so savvy- believe every litter spread over the internet and get disappointed and do not even apply. You will not get anything unless you apply.

So in this post, we will discuss some to dos that will help you find some highly sought after forms of financial aid.

Sharp drop

In the recent years with currency depreciation, the British Council calculated the average increase in cost of studying in the US, the UK and Australia. It was found that for the US, the increase was by USD 10,780, for the UK by USD 9,156, and for Australia by USD 11,629.
This is really discouraging for the Indian students.
The Good News
In response to this, did you know that the UK launched 370 scholarships in the year 2013, just to encourage Indian students?
Recently, US news reported that 345 US colleges offered financial aid to international students.


As you go through a university website, it would dawn upon you that how hard it is. Innumerable scholarships, grants and loans are available for domestic students but there is hardly anything for international students. Don’t get discouraged – you will have to do extra research but finding a scholarship is still doable. Some Universities offer only a limited amount of aid, while some offer students substantial amounts. Some offer need-based, while others offer merit-based ones. Some are offered to students coming from some regions and countries. These vary to a large extent from institution to institution. The only way to know the current updated details is through research. Scholarship criterion also varies greatly from college to college so again thorough research helps. We can’t emphasize this enough — research, research, and research away.

There will be numerous resources but you have to look for them long and hard. Approach the Universities and talk to the admissions office if possible — they will be able to provide you with updated details.

Where do you fit?

Before you start your hunt, have a look at the scholarships available. Generally, they are classified into these four types:
1. Offered by the Government
2. Offered by the Universities: For the academic year 2012-1023, these were the top ten universities in the USA that offered the most aid: Wesleyan University, Stanford University, Amherst College, Trinity College, University of Chicago, Williams College, Yale University, Skidmore College, Harvard University, and Dartmouth College.
3. Offered by philanthropists and private organizations: Leading establishments like The Reliance Foundation, Tata Group, Sun Foundation, and Aditya Birla Group are just a few of many prominent ones that offers scholarships to students.
4. Offered as research grant (for doctoral study)

Start early!

Early bird catches the worm. This adage is perfectly apt as far as scholarships are concerned. If you go looking for scholarships at the last minute, you are sure to miss the bus. You should start looking for scholarships as soon as you have finalized your specialization and your university short-listing. For the application to some scholarships, some universities may ask you to produce a certification of finances to prove that you will be able to finance your education. Some won’t even consider giving you an admit without this proof. To have all these aspects of your application covered, we advise you to get at it and start as early as you possibly can.

Social networking

Are you a social media addict? Next time you’re tweeting, we suggest you search for scholarships starting here. You’re always hooked to your smart phone so why not make the best of it? Twitter is a great place to search for things, without having to deal with distracting ads. Or just go on and post a question on facebook and make use of your huge friends list. If you have applied for a particular University, go and like their facebook page and stay in touch with all their updates — they may not update their website regularly but they will definitely update their facebook page with the latest details. These are a few simple ways to get you started.

Need blind!

There are certain need-blind Universities that offer students admissions regardless of their financial ability to pay and offer those that do not have the financial resources, scholarships and grants! Awesome isn’t it? Here’s a list of these Universities: Harvard University, MIT, Yale University, Princeton University, Amherst College, and Dartmouth College. You should check out their entry requirements to see if you are eligible for application. Why miss out if you have a chance?

Brush up on your writing

Did you know that a good scholarship essay really helps you go a long way in impressing the scholarship committee of the Universities? It should be well-structured and get straight to the point. Make sure you cover the essay topic given with supportive points. Once you’re done, have it proof read and spell check it over and over and over (it never hurts to be careful). This whole process could be a time-consuming one, so we suggest you don’t wait till the last minute to put pen to paper.

Bring out the leader in you

You’d be amazed at how many scholarship foundations just love students who can demonstrate good leadership skills. You should include any leadership experience you have had, while applying. This is because Universities understand that leadership skills are as vital as academic skills for you to be a successful professional. This holds to be true especially in the case of American Universities.

Your quick checklist

For successful application of scholarships, here are a few things that you should run a check on:
• Your eligibility
• The mentioned deadline
• Including all requested documentation
• Keeping your referees posted about all scholarships that you are applying for. Some Universities request you to have referees. In such cases, we insist on you picking after careful consideration, as they must highlight your abilities well.

Say hello!

We thought we would familiarize you with a few famous scholarships from around the world to help with your scholarship search:
• Chevening UK Government Scholarships
• Tata Scholarship (Cornell University for Indian students)
• Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships (for Indian students)
• Fullbright Fellowhips
• Erasmus Scholarships
• Royal Society Grants
• Hubert-Humphrey Scholarships
• The Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship Programme
• Commonwealth Academic Fellowships
• Commonwealth Split-site Doctoral Scholarship

These are a few points we feel would help you get a better idea of how to take the leap to become a scholarship winner! Do you have anything to add to this? Feel free to drop us a line or two — we would absolutely love your feedback!


Effective learning techniques for enhanced performance

Some students breeze through their school years, while others struggle, putting them at risk of getting lost in our educational system and not performing up to their full potential. Teachers and parents extend their full support and want the students to succeed but there is no clarity among them as to which learning techniques would be most productive for those students to reach their potential.

Fortunately psychological scientists have listed and evaluated several learning techniques, which can be very valuable and promise better academic performance among students who are lagging behind.

In a scholarly report based on a study of the learning behaviors 6,000 GRE Test Takers and 14,000 SAT Takers in the year 2013,Dunlosky (Kent State University), Rawson (Kent State University), Marsh (Duke University), Nathan (University of Wisconsin–Madison), and Willingham (University of Virginia) review the effectiveness of 10 commonly used learning techniques.

Those techniques are as follows:
1. Elaborative interrogation
They suggest that students must be encouraged to question why a stated fact or concept is true. Just to take a fact or concept at its face value does not create an indelible impression in their mind. So, keep questioning everything that is learnt or taught.

2. Self-explanation
This implies explaining how new information is related to known information, or explaining steps taken during problem solving. This helps student imbibe the whole process that goes into problem solving. Finer nuances are questioned and understood, which make the learning more concrete and lasting.

3. Summarization
Writing summaries of various lengths of the texts to be learned, improves predictive skills of the content and information to be learned. This also develops expectations from a concept and thus the student is clear as to what learning would be assimilated from a lecture or session. This makes the student more receptive.

4. Highlighting/underlining
Marking potentially important portions from the learning material automatically flags those areas in the mind and whenever the student browses through those texts, the student is able to recall them subconsciously and learning is reinforced.

5. Keyword mnemonics
When student associates keywords with mental imagery, student is able to adapt the new information with whatever the student is very familiar with. Thus such associations and correlations enhance retention as well as reproduction.

6. Imagery for text
This involves attempting to create mental images, charts or process diagrams from reading or listening. This develops logic and clarity as to the sequence of steps and the student is able to visualize thing from an application perspective.

7. Rereading
Restudying text material again after an initial reading reassures student that he has covered a portion and thus develops confidence in those areas.

8. Practice testing
Self-testing or taking practice tests before starting a concept or topic flags all those areas which need additional attention and testing after the portion is covered reinforces the learning and develops confidence. Remedial testing is of great use to bolster those concepts where the student lacks.

9. Distributed practice
Implementing a schedule of practice where the sessions are spread out over a time helps in enhancing better recall. This ensures that the learning is not superficial and that the learnt porting gets deeply embedded in the permanent memory.

10. Interleaved practice
Implementing a schedule that mixes different kinds of problems, or a study schedule that mixes various kinds of material, within a single study session, helps students switch from one concept to the other with ease. Students are training themselves by throwing curve balls and the mind is getting tuned to make strategic decisions.

Utility Assessments of these learning techniques
*Adapted from: Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology

John Dunlosky , Katherine A. Rawson , Elizabeth J. Marsh , Mitchell J. Nathan , and Daniel T. Willingham


Why Do You Need SAT Prep?

Need SAT Prep

The current SAT format is deluding.

The composition of the paper is such that it encourages a false sense of security. All the sections are so generic that you start believing “I don’t need dedicated prep for it. I have studies everything in my High School.”

Notwithstanding to this notion, SAT is capable enough to dupe you. Your sense of security can be shattered, if you take a few practice tests before taking the Official SAT.

In this post, we will discuss why your high school education is NOT ENOUGH to crack SAT.

Critical Reading 1. Reading during the SAT and reading in your English homework are totally different experiences. You’ve never had to skim a passage that fast before! In school, all that matters is that you have a good understanding of the content of the book. The speed at which you read is irrelevant. However, the SAT is a whole different story. Time is incredibly important.

2. From your English classes, you’ve learned that there is often more than one right answer to questions about the literature. You always have the opportunity to bring up unique ideas and perspectives. But in the SAT, you can’t write down what you really wish to say. All you can do is fill in a bubble. You need to practice narrowing down the most correct answer, even if you don’t believe that it is truly correct.
Writing 1. It can be hard to correct sentence structure because most students are not used to being in this position. You’re not teachers. You often write, but you infrequently edit the writing of others.

2. Writing the SAT essay is quite different from writing an essay in school. It’s strange not knowing a single thing about the prompt beforehand and having to draw examples out of nowhere. For class, you write essays about topics you’ve meticulously researched and formed ideas about during a period of a few days or more.
Math 1. This section can be awfully tricky because not all of us are in the same level of math. You could be tested on topics you have never learned or maybe you never took them seriously. Therefore, you are at a disadvantage because you now need to spend extra time learning these concepts.

Take our SAT online prep course. It is one of the most comprehensive programs you can find online. You get enough practice in each section and you have 10 Full Length Tests to bolster your SAT Preparation.

Surprisingly it is light on your pocket as well.

Checkout our convenient subscription plans.

Remember, we here at TCY are committed to your success.


SAT Sentence Completion: It’s all about triggers…Bro!!!


SAT Sentence completion can be perilously difficult because there usually are two answer choices which seem absolutely appropriate for the given text.

Caution: Do not go by the overall feel of the sentence. Focus on the triggers.

Thumb Rules: I usually suggest only two.

1. Answer is always in the text
2. Recycle

Here’s a perfect example. Remember; focus on the triggers and not on the general feel or context of the sentence.


In this sentence, you might find yourself thinking that Parkin’s characterization of the movement as neoscholastic is something negative, so further investigation is needed.

So, you may be stuck up with perfunctory (cursory or superficial) or biased.

Let us apply the thumb rules.

1. Answer is in the text
“too _________ to be accepted without further investigation”
This is to say that Parkin’s investigation lacked something, so further investigation is needed to make his claim tenable.

2. Recycle
Further investigation is required; i.e. Parkin’s characterization was incomplete.

So, this leads us to the answer; that is perfunctory. Therefore (B).

Keep visiting TCYonline.com for the best tips and strategies on SAT.

For the best online SAT prep, subscribe to any of our convenient subscription plans.

Remember, we here at TCY are committed to your success.

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