Friday, September 30, 2016

Back to Basics

The exams are over or nearly over. I can hear an audible sigh of relief –“finally!” Some of you have done well, some are not very happy with their performances and a few have made a mess of their papers. That’s fine! It happens with all of us, even with the best of us. Life has a habit of tripping us up at some point, no matter how hard we try to avoid it, irrespective of how careful or cautious we always try to be.

So what do you do now? Here I make a few suggestions. Hope they are of some help to you. For any clarifications, you just need to drop a line. 

1. Your answer sheet is a start
What do you see there? Focus on your mistakes. Take out your question paper if you cannot recall the question and analyze the question and your response. Maybe you haven’t answered to the point; worse, maybe you have read the question wrong. Maybe you have made a lot of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Maybe you ran out of time and couldn’t complete the paper. Whatever, this is must be your first step. This is the most important reason why answer sheets are shown to you. When you get them - if you get them - scrutinize carefully. It is a good practice and you must make full use of it. 

2. What are the lessons learned?
A scrutiny of your response sheet now reveals the chinks in your armour, your vulnerabilities, mistakes that you make repeatedly. These errors have cost you valuable marks. You must eliminate them through renewed efforts and sustained practice.

3. So what do we do now?
a.      Make a list of your mistakes in a book that you always carry with you. As you eliminate each mistake, tick them off in the list. The list will help you to keep your focus as well as ensure that by the time the next exam comes around you will have overcome your weaknesses and be in a far better position.
b.      Simulate the exam environment as much as possible. Time your sample papers. Ask yourself whether you are putting your best foot forward – whether you are starting with the best-prepared section.
c.       Many of you have extra notes and points. They should come towards the end of the answer. The main answer must always refer to the text. Be textual, it is seen as an indication of someone who has read the text well.
d.      Start your preparations early. A little everyday will achieve much more than cramming a lot in a few days just prior to the exam.

Remember, excellence is born out of a desire for perfection. Desire to be perfect. And  you will achieve excellence. It is a long and lonely journey down a path which you have to tread alone for most of the time while the world “seems to be enjoying and having a good time”.  But rest assured that your day too will come. You shall have the last laugh after all!                                   

Post credits: Samit Sengupta
Founder, English Academy

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Choosing the perfect IELTS Trainer

There has been a rush to migrate to foreign shores. This was a trickle a few years before but now it has turned into a veritable flood. And people have many good reasons for seeking the coveted Permanent Residency status, or PR as it is better know.  Then there are the students who wish to travel abroad for higher studies which, they hope, will translate into lucrative and meaningful careers.

Whatever the goal, there is often an IELTS test to be cleared – General or Academic. The exam tests you on 4 fronts – Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. It tests your oral and written proficiency in the use of the English language to qualify for PR in a particular English-speaking foreign nation. Without it you cannot proceed further. It is that simple. 

It is not a very difficult exam. It surely is not in the same league as CAT, GMAT and GRE. But yes, there is a need for methodical and sustained study over a certain period. I have been asked if it is possible to prepare oneself through self-study. My answer has always been the same – absolutely. But – and this is important – do you have time enough...

1. to do all that is required? 
2. Do you have time to collect the necessary material – lots of it - from a number of sources? 
3. Do you have the discipline to prepare a schedule and stick to it for a month at least come what may? 
4. Are you willing to discover the tricks through patient study and analysis? 
5. Or do you want to be told about them at the very beginning of your preparation?

If your answer is a resounding "yes" to most of the above-mentioned questions, then you can surely study on your own and clear the test. 

Your IELTS trainer only guides you. He clears the way as you proceed. He monitors your progress and analyses your performance so that you are able to realize your weaknesses and work on them. He urges you to do your homework and instills in you a sense of discipline during your training period. You follow a particular timeline drawn by him. He maintains your scores over the entire duration of your training and regularly conducts performance audits jointly with you so that you know where you stand and how much farther you have to go to reach your goal. Your IELTS trainer needs to: 

1. Be aware of  the latest trends
2. Know the standard tricks by which you can crack all but the most difficult questions
3. Have a very good grasp over English in every way – grammar, vocabulary, correct usage
4. Be methodical and have a well thought-out training plan
5. Have an analytical mind so that he can dissect your performance and bring out your mistakes

Your IELTS trainer will be your mentor for at least a month. So choose him with care.  
Everyone says that he is the best trainer/mentor/guide available. Go for him who has your interest at heart, not someone who is merely after your money.  Check him out with a demo. If he is really good but comes at a premium, so be it. After all, your future is at stake here. Quality doesn't come cheap. It never has.

So, first find out if you need to take the test in the first place. The second step is to decide if you wish to undergo self-study or a structured coaching. Lastly settle on your IELTS trainer – someone who has your interest at heart. 

All the best!
Post Credits : - Samit Sengupta
  Founder English Academy

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Written business communication classes in Dwarka, highlight the value of conveying message through writing

Developing writing and reading skills is important, but improving the grammar use for academic success helps pursuing further academic studies in foreign countries. Referring to communications skills, the foremost is to concentrate on fluency. Verbal communication or written communication, in both the main purpose is to convey the message. This reveals that a good communication skill means the message should be clear and precise, leaving no room to be unambiguous.
Dwarka, in Delhi, now is giving more importance to English communication. Speaking or communicating in writing without grammar makes no sense. Realizing the importance of grammar, now there are English grammar classes in Dwarka.  These classes are helpful in adding impact to communication. However, modulating voice is helpful. With verbal communication, the low and high pitch should be maintained and there must be required delays between words. There is no need to whisper or shout, but being audible is essential. Your face gestures and expressions must be in accordance to your verbal communication.
Improving communication skills includes having sound language knowledge and grammatical knowledge. Both are important. Especially written business communication classes in Dwarka, are of more significance as they teach you to right properly. In fact, grammatical errors with verbal communication may be tolerated at times as your gestures or voice modulation informs that you wish to convey, but grammatical errors in the written communication may convey wrong.
Knowing grammar well implies you can automatically communicate with fluency. Hesitation is one reason that hinders fluency. So, without any hesitation you may communicate. In case, you make mistakes, analyze or ask a good friend to help you. Remove the faults and soon you will notice you are speaking fluently. English grammar classes in Dwarka teach good communication skills and it means they help you in delivering grammatically right sentences through modulated voice.
The written business communication classes in Dwarka also have a great significance and this is because nowadays most of the communication is electronically delivered or types, yet you must take precise care of the font size, font face and its presentable feature so that it is readable. Focus on the font style and color as they are expressing your communication.

Written communication demands a lot of effort. It requires a long practice and patience. Written communication refers to a creative activity requiring effort and imagination, it is based on conscious effort. There should be a logical order in presenting any business communication. Planning the message is essential so that it is put into reaction, but bear in mind, that written business communication is time consuming and learning it is beneficial.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tackling the Monster Called Exams

It is that time of the year again! The Summative Assessment and the Term exams are round the corner, giving many students sleepless nights. How to tackle the papers without messing them up? How to maximize the score in a competitive environment where every half-point matters? Is there any sure-shot way to ensure that you stand a very good chance to score well?
Yes. It is not only simple but it has been practiced regularly in the old days too. Here they are as under. Hope you take back something from them. All the best in your exams!

1. Have you divided your 3 hours properly?
 a. 10 minutes for your revision
 b. 5 minutes “buffer time” – changing pen, tying sheets or (god forbid) rewriting a chunk that you have scratched out unthinkingly
 c.  You have 165 minutes for the paper (not 180). This time is to be divided among the various sections of the paper

2. Put your best foot forward – always begin with the section that you are most thoroughly prepared with. And within each section, the order in which the questions are to be answered must again pass the test of “best foot forward”. Use the 15-minute reading time to determine how you wish to attack the present paper.
It doesn’t matter which section you start with. But you must start with that which you know the best. You HAVE to make the most favourable impression the first time. Often it can make or mar a paper. Teachers, after all, are human beings. And therefore a good initial impression quite often makes them overlook or be lenient towards your few errors at a later stage.

3. Be realistic - no one is interested in your answer as much as you are. Your paper will not receive more than 10-minutes’ attention from the examiner.  Your response needs to be razor-sharp and focused. The answer to the question should be clearly mentioned in the first line or so of your response. The example/s from the text should follow immediately to support your statement/reasoning. Any extra point that you may wish to add in order to differentiate your answer from your peers must be at the very end.

4. Write to the point – be relevant at all times. Read the questions carefully and answer only what is asked. Write only as much as the marks allotted for the question justify. The same question may carry either 1 mark or 5 marks. The length of your answers will vary. You will elaborate more in the 5-mark question. The 1-mark question does not justify an elaborate explanation  

5. The Ideal Writing Style
 a. Simple yet graceful
 b. Flowing without being showy and drawing attention to itself
 c. Good, appropriate English
 d. Short, simple sentences without too many connectors
 e. Avoidance of repetitions – of words, phrases, ideas or even of sounds.