Talent Myth

9 Jul

“Talent Myth assumes that people make organizations smart. More often than not, it’s the other way around.”
IELTS and PTE talent myth

How to improve your vocabulary

10 Jun

How to improve your vocabulary

Many students claim that their vocabulary is too weak and this results from not using enough English at their place of work and school. This is a rather simple yet complex problem. Simple because our educational system has equipped us to mug any number of words which are complex because it has rarely taught us how to infuse these words into our conversations. These words must be used appropriately and the IELTS exam simply seeks to test your ability to hold a decent conversation in English. Thus in order to increase your band and help with more flowing conversations we suggest a few a ways to help increase your vocabulary.

  • Read the Hindu with a childish curiosity: the Hindu because it is a well-written and a well-worded newspaper, with a childish curiosity because it helps develop a thirst for new words and phrases so it can be used in the future. Even if you make mistakes it is alright. Learning is not supposed to be easy.
  • Use new words in your conversation without fear: We at Hurray know that many of our students work in industries where their technical skills are more important than their oratory skills and would help them inculcate new vocabulary into their exam preparation.
  • Reading books: as cliché as it may sound, this is a sure-shot way of helping you get better at using new words. Read aloud and check pronunciation with Google or your trainer.

We hope that these tips have been useful to you. All the best!

 

How to handle the stress on the day of the speaking exam

10 Jun

How to handle the stress on the day of the speaking exam

Everybody knows that giving exams no matter how simple or prepared you are, is tough. It also does not help that we live in a nation where exam performance is given a mystical amount of importance nor does it help that one is spending close to ₹12,000 on this exam. There is the additional factor that there is a speaking test involved and many of us suffer from public speaking. None of these factors help better the performance of a student. Thus we decided to help you out with some pre-exam tips to help avoid an all-out anxiety attack.

These are some of the things you can do to avoid a disaster on the day of the exam:

  • Prepare as many topics as you can for the cue card: more preparation = more confidence.
  • Remember that the examiner is just another human, treat him as such.
  • Take deep breaths before entering the exam room.
  • Take a second and register the question before answering, task response is an important part of your evaluation. Thus answering at your own pace (don’t waste time) is very important.

All the best for your exam preparation!

IELTS Letter Writing Tips

5 Jun

Structure Your Letter

Paragraph 1: Directly state the purpose of your letter in formal and semi-formal letters. Here are some useful sentences you can use in your writing.

Formal and semi-formal letters:

I am writing this letter with regard to…

I am writing to express my…

I am writing to inform you…

Personal letters usually include a greeting first and then state the purpose:

How are you doing?

I hope you are doing well.

How have you been?

Main body: In the main body, you can use three paragraphs to cover the bullet points one by one. Also, think of some relevant details to enrich the content of your letter.

Conclusion paragraph: Usually, you can use the last paragraph to call to action, express thanks or ask for a response. Here are some examples.

Formal/Semi-formal letters:

If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Personal letters:

I can’t wait to hear from you.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

IELTS

30 May

IELTS

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is used as the language of communication. IELTS is required for entry to university in the UK and other countries.

Who is it for?

IELTS is recognized by universities and employers in many countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. It is also recognized by professional More than 1.4 million people a year take the test.

What is the IELTS test like?

You can choose between the Academic or General Training versions of the test. All candidates do the same Listening and Speaking sections.
The test has four sections:

  1. Listening – 4 sections, 40 questions, 30 minutes
  2. Speaking– interview, 15 minutes
  3. Reading– different for Academic or General Training – 3 sections, 40 questions, 60 minutes
  4. Writing – different for Academic or General Training – 2 pieces of writing, 60 minutes

This site also contains vocabulary tests, including practice tests for the academic wordlist, as well as grammar tests that are relevant to IELTS.

Level and scores

Multi-level. You get a score between 1 and 9. Half scores such as 6.5 are possible. Universities often demand an IELTS score of 6 or 7. They may also demand a minimum score in each of the 4 sections.

 

Please click here to see an explanation of IELTS Band Scores. You can use the IELTS Band Score Calculator on this site to convert your reading and listening raw scores.

Click here to see our IELTS Exam Tips and IELTS articles.

Where do I take the test?

IELTS tests are administered at accredited Test Centre’s throughout the world – there are currently more than 500 Centre’s, in over 120 countries. Click here to find a test centre.

When can I take the test?

Arrange with your closest test Centre. There are frequent dates, usually on Thursdays or Saturdays.

How much does it cost to take IELTS?

Fees are set by test Centre’s and vary from country to country.

IMPROVE YOUR READING – IELTS

7 Jan

 

IMPROVE YOUR READING – IELTS

 

This is a training idea to help you improve your reading skills for IELTS. It is something everyone should consider doing but it’s particularly aimed at people who have developed “IELTS reading phobia”. That is a very sad and common complaint. The idea is based on these principles

  • people who read most tend to read best
  • it helps to focus your reading 
  • it also helps to read in different ways

 

What is the idea? You read more. You read in a focused way. You vary what you do as you read. Overall – you can improve your IELTS reading skills by working on general reading skills.

 

Why read “hard texts”

1. Beat the fear – jump in the deep end – get used to it and build your confidence

IELTS reading is hard because the level of the texts is at least band score 8.0. If you’re much below that level you can have serious problems and even develop IELTS reading phobia. That can create bad habits. The idea is that if you get used to reading texts that are harder you beat the fear and when you get to the test you’ll be quite used to looking at things that are hard and you’ll be more confident.

2. Treat reading as an understanding exercise not a vocabulary exercise

One problem with IELTS reading is that sometimes people treat it as a vocabulary test – they concentrate too much on the meaning of individual words and unknown words in particular. Actually IELTS reading is a test of understanding not a test of vocabulary. Even though you understand most or all the words you still may not understand.

Look at this example:

Dr Carole Easton, the chief executive of Young Women’s Trust, which supports and represents women aged 16 to 30 struggling to live on low or no pay in England and Wales, said it was distressing that so many young people were struggling at a time of life traditionally characterized by youthful confidence.

 

You probably know all the words but it is hard to understand because it is one very long sentence with complex structures – and in this way is very similar to IELTS reading texts. You need to find a way to understand this type of language efficiently. Reading lots of it is a good start.

Don’t concentrate on words, concentrate on meaning and build your self-confidence in reading hard texts

What to read – focus on topics

IELTS readings can be about almost any general interest topic – although politics and anything controversial is excluded. But you can help yourself by focusing on certain topics. One sensible way to do this is too look at the type of topics you get in the writing paper. Why? You’ll also get ideas and language to help your writing. Try these:

science

the environment

education

the family

technology

crime

popular culture

traditional culture

transport

government and local affairs

economics

employment

 

A good idea is to vary the topics you read about and use the ideas you read about help you with your essay writing

Choose topics that interest you – you’ll understand more that way and just read better

Choose texts of different lengths – sometimes a paragraph can be enough

Choose native speaker texts – those are the ones you’ll be tested on

Where to find things to read

There are lots of possibilities. Here are a few to try.

Magazines

One idea is to look at magazines that contain the articles that are on the right topics.

Different ways to practice your general reading

This is a list to give you ideas. The main point behind it is that you can/should read in different ways. It helps to keep you interested and you practice slightly different skills. Some of these exercises are of course very similar, but each one works slightly differently as training

  1. Just read

Don’t ignore this. Just reading is good for you. Choose something interesting for you and read it. If at the end you can say “Yes, I generally understood it” then score yourself 100%. It isn’t written for you, it was written for a native speaker. You’re one step closer to IELTS.

  1. Black out the words you don’t know

This is great – especially if you have reading phobia. You go through the text and black out completely all the words that you don’t know. Then you go through the text and try and see if you can see what it’s about. But you will still generally understand it – it’s an exercise. This is great for IELTS as it shows you that you can still work with hard texts even if you don’t know all the words.

 

 

  1. Highlight the words you know

This is equally great. It’s the same exercise in reverse. This time you are concentrating on the positive. You should see that in fact you know most of the words in the text. That’s a good feeling and a way to beat reading phobia.

  1.  Read then summarize

This is more of a “learning activity”. You read something and then at the end you try and summarize what you have read. Doing something active after you read is always a good idea. I’d suggest keeping your summary quick and general here – don’t get lost in the detail.

This will help with paragraph matching type questions in IELTS and it is also good practice for your summary skills.

  1. Read then summarize using 5 words/phrases from the text

This is of course similar. Here though this time you’re thinking about learning words. The idea is that you choose words that you think are important for the meaning of the text. I suggest you choose

Words that are repeated – they’re normally the important ones

Words that you half-recognize – if the word is completely unknown then it may not be that important/useful

Not just words but collocations/phrases – this is much more useful for vocabulary learning – to understand why read this lesson on vocabulary learning

 

  1. Summarize paragraph by paragraph

This will involve more close reading of the text and make you think about how paragraphs fit together and how they are about one main idea.

  1. Choose 5 or so key points or ideas

This may be very similar to the paragraph exercise above. This time though you are concentrating on ideas – perhaps ideas you can borrow for your writing.

  1. Look at the headings and predict the content or write headings for the sections

What it can do is help your ability to section the text into different parts – something that is really important in IELTS. One thing that helps is to be able to identify what each part of the text is about. Do this and you can decide much more quickly where to find the answers.

  1. Don’t read the whole text just read a paragraph

Why not? If you just read one paragraph you are able to focus on “detailed meaning” and “close reading skills”. This is how you get most of the answers in IELTS. This is a quality not quantity exercise. A good proposition.

  1. Decide if you agree with it or compare it with your culture or ask if it was interesting

This is a thinking exercise – it helps you engage more with what you are reading. If you compare it with what you know then you are more likely to focus on the meaning of the text. Making learning personal is always a good idea.

  1. Find another article on the same topic and compare them

This is excellent practice. Just the process of looking for another article is good for reading/research skills – Google News works very well here. It’s interesting to compare similar articles – your brain gets engaged. It can also help by seeing which words/phrases are used in both articles – they’re likely to be the important ones.

  1. Look for names and dates and numbers and see what they’re about

This is a scanning type activity -something that can help with IELTS. Don’t just find the names and numbers etc, you decide if they’re important to the text or not. Here you’re practicing two skills – scanning and close reading. Something that is very close to IELTS

  1. Use a dictionary – but only for a few words

Don’t overdo this one. The more you use a dictionary the slower you read and the less you read. Only allow 5 words per text. If you only give yourself 5 words this forces you to “guess” the meaning of other words – excellent for IELTS. The dictionary recommend is Macmillan.

 

 

  1. Read and listen and watch

This idea is slightly different. Reading can be tiring and sometimes you want a bit of a break.

How does this work? Well, you keep reading as the speaker talks – you go forwards at a natural pace. It’s one way to forget about getting stuck on difficult words. We suggest you just choose a talk that looks really interesting to you and just watch and listen and read. What’s likely to happen is that you forget about the difficulty of the reading part and concentrate more on meaning. One benefit of video is that it makes it slightly easier – you get visual clues too. visit www.hurrayedutech.com

 

 

STUDY ABROAD

21 Dec

Many students, these days are found flocking towards foreign universities and the numbers are increasing at an alarming rate as compared to bygone times. While there are a few drawbacks to this trend, I feel there are equally compelling advantages which prod our youngsters to look out for higher education in other countries. The following paragraphs give more insight into this subject.

The paramount reason for which students prefer foreign universities is the higher standards of facilities and infrastructure as compared to Indian universities. Moreover, there are more number of avenues for knowledge gain and information collection. Another benefit is the personal growth through interaction with people from different cultural backgrounds. Many countries promote part time jobs, and hence our youngsters are opened up to such opportunities which will financially aid them.

On the contrary, there are a few negatives that need to be scrutinized. Firstly, the revenue that would have been available for our education sector is simply diverted to that of another country, resulting in a revenue drain. Secondly, the students who fly abroad for education tend to take up jobs and settle down there, never to return. This is a serious concern, popularly called the ‘brain-drain’ resulting in a dip in available talents for our country. Thirdly, young students simply try to follow the trend, which may not be affordable to many families.

In conclusion, there are a few negatives for the trend of students migrating abroad for education, but there are an equal number of positives as well. Whether foreign education is necessary is a subjective matter and individuals must consider personal and national interests before opting for it.

FOR more details visit www.hurrayedutech.com