Lockdown Trains and Furniture

 May 11 2020    |   Category: General Interest
Another day under lockdown, and some more news of more people being affected by the virus, and some hand-wringing by people in power, and then some more empty-talk of living with the virus. We have heard it all, we have seen it all, and we are now on the verge of frustration that is leading us to want to give it all up.Hold on. There is definitely going to be life after this, and if the way humanity has been going on all these years is any proof, life after this is going to be just the same as t

Coronavirus Vaccine

 May 06 2020    |   Category: General Interest
The moment the world has been waiting for seems to be arriving, and soon. The vaccine for the dreaded CoViD-19 looks like it is on its merry way to us. Researchers from many countries are simulaneously working on finding a cure. Each is taking a different approach, and if reports are to be believed, several approaches seem to be yielding results.The first one was the much publicised research which has reached the human trials stage at the University of Oxford. Now, it is the turn of Germany and

IELTS Band 9 sample 8 - Task 2

 Apr 05 2020    |   Category: IELTS
Question #8 More and more children are becoming involved in crime today. Society must be concerned with this. What do you think are the reasons behind the increase in crime and what could be done about this? You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence. Write at least 250 words Here is an analysis of the question There are two sub parts within the question! One is asking for reasons behind this. The o

IELTS Band 9 Sample 7 - Task 1 - Graph

 Apr 02 2020    |   Category: IELTS
Question #6 The bar graph below gives information on the number of children and older people as a percentage of the population in two different years, 1971 and 2002. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant. Write at least 150 words

IELTS Band 9 Sample 6 - Task 1 - Graph

 Apr 01 2020    |   Category: IELTS
Question #6 The graphs below show the number of people migrating to and from Ireland and New Zealand over a certain period. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant. Write at least 150 words

IELTS Band 9 sample 5 - Task 2

 Mar 29 2020   
Question #5 Today, many families find it necessary for both parents to go out to work. While some say the children in these families benefit from the additional income, others feel they lack support because of their parents' absence. What do you think? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples form your knowledge or experience. Write at least 250 words Here is an analysis of the question There are two points of view presented! You need to talk

IELTS Band 9 sample 4 - Task 2

 Mar 28 2020   
Question #4 School children are becoming far too dependent on computers. This is having an alarming effect on reading and writing skills. Teachers need to avoid using computers in the classroom at all costs and go back to teaching basic study skills. Do you agree or disagree? Write at least 250 words Here is an analysis of the question These types of questions can be confusing! The question is not about computers but about teaching methods. The answer should be abou

IELTS Band 9 sample 3 - Task 2

 Mar 12 2020    |   Category: IELTS , PTE , TOEFL
Question #3 Climate change is a phenomenon that affects countries all over the world. Many people strongly believe that it is the responsibility of individuals, rather than corporations and governments, to deal with this problem. To what extent do you agree? Write at least 250 words Here is an analysis of the question The questions asks about the extent of your agreement. It could be partly, fully, not at all, or anything else that falls between those. Remember The ques

IELTS Band 9 sample 2 - Task 2

 Mar 10 2020    |   Category: TOEFL , PTE , IELTS
Question 2 More and more qualified people are moving from poor to rich countries to fill vacancies in specialist areas like engineering, computing and medicine. Some people believe that by encouraging the movement of such people, rich countries are stealing from poor countries. Others feel that this is only part of the natural movement of workers around the world. Which viewpoint do you agree with? Why? Write at least 250 words Here is an analysis of the question The

IELTS Band 9 sample 1 - Task 2

 Mar 10 2020    |   Category: TOEFL , PTE , IELTS
Question 1 Many newspapers and magazines feature stories about the private lives of famous people. We know what they eat, where they buy their clothes and who they love. We also often see pictures of them in private situations. Is it appropriate for a magazine or newspaper to give this kind of private information about people?Give reasons for your answer. Write at least 250 words. The purpose of newspapers, as their name suggests, is to present news. The issue however, is how th

Translation and Meaning of Sittarala Sirapadu

 Mar 02 2020    |   Category: General Interest
Regional and folk songs seem to be all the rage these days. From the super popular daari choodu dummu choodu, to the incredibly popular Penimiti to the ya.. ya.. song, the secret to block-busting the box office seems to be the inclusion of a folk song retuned to the tastes of the milennial audiences. On the lines of these songs comes the staggeringly well-sung and well picturised Sittaraala Sirapadu from Ala...Vaikunthapuramulo... Here are the lyrics and the translation of the song:Sitt

6 Tips for a Killer SOP

 Feb 24 2020    |   Category: General Interest , GRE
What to write in an SOP and what not write in an SOP are questions that seem to constantly confuse candidates seeking admissions. The more the candidate, the more there are posts about how an SOP should be. The bottom line is that, just as every person has had different experiences, every university, and every program, and every chair has different expectations from the SOP.However, the general rule is that an SOP should be about you as a potential student at the university, and not about what m

OET Exam Awareness

 Feb 15 2020    |   Category: Quiz , OET
Hope you have all had a great Valentine's day! 💕Especially the cardiologists among you! 😉We get a lot of queries about coaching for OET, and unsurprisingly, many who wish to take coaching only want to do so because they are not always aware of the nuances of the test. They have command over language in general, and they have been dealing with patients and already know what it is to be a medical professional. However, the fact that they would be soon taking a test, no matter how simple, som

There or Their?

 Feb 04 2020    |   Category: IELTS , OET , PTE , TOEFL , Quiz
We at First Academy have the fortune of learning on the job. As teachers of English, we are naturally among the first to encounter the most common mistakes people make and encounter them on a regular basis. The one mistake that usually takes the cake is the difficulty most people face in understanding the difference between there, they’re (they are) and their.Here is a short primer on what these words mean and how to use them correctly. Be it IELTS or PTE or CELPIP or any other English test wh

IELTS Pattern Changes – January 2020

 Jan 29 2020    |   Category: IELTS
There seems to be only one news that seems to be more popular now than the changes in the IELTS test – and that is news about Coronavirus. Since we are more in tune with the first and not with the latter, we will now talk about the changes in IELTS.TL;DR (Too Long, Didn’t Read) Version: The Changes Do Not Matter!If you still want to know what those changes are, continue reading. 🦻Only in Listening! There are changes only in the listening section of the test. All other sections r

Samajavaragamana - Lyrics, Translation, Meaning, Background

 Jan 20 2020    |   Category: General Interest
This song has become something of a hot property. Everyone knows how to look for the meaning of the word, and by now everyone knows the meaning of samajavaragamana. However, we could not find any proper translations that explained the context. This is where the post comes in. 🐘 Some Back Story This word originally (samajavaragamana) became popular because of a thyagaraja keertana of the same name. This is a song about Lord Krishna. It describes how he moves - like an elephant - wit

IELTS Myths

 Jan 19 2020    |   Category: IELTS , Quiz
IELTS is easily the most popular English proficiency test. It’s robust structure, and integrity is making it a valuable language assessment tool. Familiarity breeds contempt, and prevalence breeds misconception. Here are a few common misconceptions about IELTS.IELTS is difficultIELTS is neither tricky nor difficult. It starts off easy, and as you progress, so does the level of complexity. This is designed to gently take the test taker into higher levels of language without the test taker feeli

Three tips for 8 band in Speaking

 Oct 17 2019    |   Category: IELTS , PTE
Getting a 7 band in speaking is very easy. Start with these 3 easy tips and ace the test. These are tips that will work for everyone, and work quickly. If you are looking for a great score in IELTS, you will need to first understand how IELTS is evaluated. IELTS makes this really easy. There is something called the speaking band descriptor that provides a detailed report of all the parameters that IELTS looks at while evaluating a candidate’s proficiency in English. In this article we will

Meet the Dean: Fairleigh Dickinson University USA

 Sep 26 2019    |   Category: IELTS
Situated in the east-coast, Fairleigh Dickinson University has become a popular destination for Indian students. Among the many benefits FDU provides, here are a few: A) Scholarships in the USA FDU offers up to 9000USD scholarship for all deserving international students. This scholarship is the reflection of student’s GPA and GRE scores. B) Location FDU is located in New Jersey. Its a centrally located city in the east coast amidst many technology companies. It is also a ston

The Best Preparation For IELTS

 Sep 08 2019    |   Category: IELTS
The Most Awesome IELTS Preparation Begins here One of the most important aspects of IELTS preparation is thoroughly understanding the pattern of the test. Knowing that there are 4 sections is easy. This is, by now, common knowledge. However, knowing how the test is exactly will go a long way in helping your IELTS practice time become more fruitful. One of the ways to do this is to take an IELTS online test. The online exam will not only allow you to understand that pattern of the test but als

5 Universities and Colleges that offer full scholarships in the US

 Aug 14 2019    |   Category: General Interest
For many getting into a university in the US takes a second spot because of the sometimes expensive tuition fee. But that need not always be the case. This article lists 5 of the many colleges and universities that offer generous scholarships to international students. Getting into the US is no longer a distant dream. It can be a reality. Check out the following colleges and universities and read up to know more about the scholarships they provide.  1. Eastern Tennessee State University

Clauses 2

 Jul 01 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE
Continuing from Part 1 of the article on clauses: Let us now look at complex sentences. A complex sentence is one that has a Main (or independent) clause (an independent clause is something that can form sentences on their own and are finite) along with subordinate (or dependent) clauses (These cannot form sentences on their own.) Look at some examples below. The parts in bold are the main clauses (can work as independent sentences while the parts in italics are dependent clauses (do not wo

Importance of variety

 Jun 26 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , OET , PTE , TOEFL , Quiz
Understanding how sentences work is very important. For you to be able to do that, you will have to know how to construct them. This short quiz will present you with 8 different sentences. Try and reconstruct those sentences using the word in bold. You might have to use phrases and idiomatic expressions where necessary.

Clauses

 Jun 25 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , OET , PTE , TOEFL
If you want to read better, you will absolutely need to understand how a sentence works. This will allow us to break a sentence down into easily understandable pieces. Each of these bite-sized pieces is called a clause. A clause is the basic unit of grammar. Usually, a main clause is made up of a subject (s) (a noun phrase) and a verb phrase (v). [Subject]Ram [Verb]called.  This is an example of a simple sentence. However, when one is reading, we do not just encounter simple sentences. Most

Their | There | They’re

 Jun 20 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE , TOEFL
We at First Academy have the fortune of learning on the job. As teachers of English, we are naturally among the first to encounter the most common mistakes people make and encounter them on a regular basis. The one mistake that usually takes the cake is the difficulty most people face in understanding the difference between there, they’re (they are) and there. Here is a short primer on what these words mean and how to use them correctly. Be it IELTS or PTE or CELPIP or any other English test

Using Idioms – Quiz

 Jun 19 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE , TOEFL , Quiz
The only problem with my sister is that she is always splitting hairs. Does it mean that she’s a hair dresser? Or does her hair have split ends, and that she needs to visit a salon or a hairdresser? Not really. Expressions of this kind have become part of everyday English, and have naturally filtered into language that is used in tests. If you are not aware of what these expressions mean, there is a danger of you misunderstanding what has been presented. The 12 idioms listed here all fall

10 Commonly Used Idioms – June 2019

 Jun 17 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE
This is going to be an article that we are going to come back to once every two months are so. In this series, we will be looking at idioms that have appeared in newspapers and articles. This means two things – these idioms are commonly used and indicate a fluency in language, the second, if you are taking an advanced test like the GRE or the GMAT, these are things that they expect you to know. Here are the idioms you will look at today: Leap of faith Falling on deaf ears Full steam

20 Academic Expressions – Vocabulary Resource

 Jun 13 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE , TOEFL
Here are 20 Expressions and words that you need to know to ace you exam.There are a few words and phrases that occur fairly commonly no matter what exam you take. Understanding these phrases will make it easy for your to crack the reading comprehension section or might just be able to help you understand the question better. In many cases the fifteen expressions that follow are used in contexts where many questions appear. Be familiar with these and you will ace the competitive tests. GRE? Sure.

Vocabulary Building Passage – 5

 Jun 12 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE
Read this article about Vancouver. A city in Canada. “Vancouver is a wonder city,” Canadian author Stephen Leacock once wrote. “It has the combined excellence of nature’s gift and man’s handiwork.” Today this statement rings truer than ever. The glittering glass metropolis – set against temperate rainforest, ocean inlets, and the Coast Mountains of British Columbia – keeps finding new ways to shine. Over the past five years, the city has taken important steps toward reconciliat

10 IELTS Myths – Part 2

 Jun 07 2019   
6. I practiced 50 full tests, I will get an 8While practicing sample questions is a good way to familiarise yourself with the structure and fine tune your timing, it does not equate with a good score. Remember, IELTS questions and passages are NOT repeated. You will get a new passage each time. So understanding the test and what the questions need from you will help you more than bull-headed practice. Take a look at a super straightforward listening test and see how you fare! You might be

10 IELTS Myths – Part 1

 Jun 04 2019    |   Category: IELTS
Stay Tuned for the next part! IELTS is easily the most popular English proficiency test. It’s robust structure, and integrity is making it a valuable language assessment tool. Familiarity breeds contempt, and prevalence breeds misconception. Here are a few common misconceptions about IELTS. 1. IELTS is difficult IELTS is neither tricky nor difficult. It starts off easy, and as you progress, so does the level of complexity. This is designed to gently take the test taker into higher levels

The Understanding Series – Part 2 – Another vs. Other

 May 10 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , OET , PTE , Quiz
In the second part of the series, we will look at use of Another and Other, and along the way also take a look at use of Articles. Most of us already know that A and An are articles to indicate non specific nouns, while the is used for specific nouns. Extending from this, Another simply is the combination of the two words an and other. So, when we are using Another or other, it means we are looking at nonspecific noun.  Ex: This pen is not writing well. Give me another. (Any other pen) Howe

The Understanding Series – Part1

 May 08 2019   
You are here ins all probability because of two reasons. You are taking an English test, or you are looking to improve your English. If you are taking an English test, you will invariably have to deal with sentences. In this installment of the Understanding Series – we will look at how to figure a sentence out. There are four fundamental elements that you would need to know about before you start figuring out sentences. These are listed in the table below:Now, into some greater detail: Sub

Understanding Stuff Better – Interpreting Language

 May 02 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , OET , PTE
There are several seemingly simple words and expressions that test takers regularly encounter. Seemingly because these words have different meanings in different contexts. Understanding what these mean and when can mean the difference between selecting a right answer and being saddled with a lower than expected score. Take for instance the following expressions: Here are a few common words that are used in questions and reading comprehension passages. Take a look:

OET Writing – 6 Tips to Get an A

 May 02 2019    |   Category: IELTS , OET , PTE , TOEFL
This article is details 6 pointers which will help you score high on the OET writing subtest. 1. Who are you writing to? ❔ The answer to this question has the potential to completely change the geography of the letter you are going to write. Are you writing to a doctor or a caretaker or a nurse? If you are writing to a doctor, are you writing to a general physician, or a gynaecologist, or a neurologist? Understanding this will give you an understanding of what to look for in the case notes.

Understanding Reading Texts

 Apr 26 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , OET , PTE , TOEFL , Quiz
Reading in the IELTS, GRE, PTE, OET, TOEFL tests is not about reading aloud but being able to understand the texts. Sometimes understanding texts can be difficult due to unfamiliar words or challenging sentence structure.There are various reasons why words might be  unfamiliar to a reader. One of them could be culture. An American, for instance, might not immediately figure out what lorry is, since Americans use the word truck. The same goes with biscuits and cookies. This could be a hurd