Understanding Reading Comprehension

 Aug 17 2017    |   Category: Quiz , TOEFL , IELTS , GRE , PTE
One of the most troublesome sections in English exams is reading comprehension. The challenge is that most of us are not used to reading, let alone reading with full concentration. If you are looking for a 'tip' to improve your RC performance, here it is - read more often. It does not sound much like a tip, but you will be surprised at how beneficial following the tip can be. Putting in an effort to read, for even 30 minutes each day, can dramatically improve your levels of concentration and und

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

Critical Reasoning for GRE – Sample Test 2

 Dec 15 2017    |   Category: GRE
(For those of you who are wondering: The image is courtesy Microsoft Spotlight – The location is the Katsura River in Japan – on that soothing note, may you do well in the test!)The critical reasoning questions in GRE can be quite challenging for the uninitiated. But understanding how they work is not difficult. The most important step in understanding the critical reasoning questions is to start identifying patterns. Most critical reasoning questions fall into one of six categories. This te

GRE Critical Reasoning Sample Test -PC

 Nov 17 2017    |   Category: GRE , Quiz
A quick recap before you take the test This week’s session was about the Critical Reasoning component of the GRE. The GRE Critical Reasoning questions are an extension of the Argument task in the Analytical Writing Assessment section of GRE. These questions test your ability to assess a situation that has been presented to you. Assessing a situation includes your ability to identify flaws, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Quite often, the questions contain answers options that are cor

A New Post is Arriving!

 Nov 15 2017    |   Category: GRE
Are you looking for new posts? A new post on GRE is arriving shortly. The post will be live on this site in sometime.

GRE Reading Comprehension Sample Test – 1

 Nov 09 2017    |   Category: GRE
So you have attended the reading comprehension session at First Academy, now is the time to go further. While the GRE Reading Comprehension session equips you with the skills, these skills need a lot of honing. This can be done only by practice. This exam allows you to first test yourself. Remember that this exam is not going to be easy. Before you start the test, please remember that should be able to complete the test in 15 minutes.

GRE Critical Reasoning

 Jul 11 2018    |   Category: GRE
Here is a sample test of GRE Critical Reasoning questions. Critical Reasoning questions contain a short to medium length paragraph. This paragraph is called the argument (Yes, it similar to those you see in the argument task!). The argument is followed by a question and five answer choices. Unlike the argument task in the AWA section of the GRE, which expects you to identify all the flaws presented, a Critical Reasoning question is more focused. It expects you to respond to the situation present

GRE Sample Questions – Critical Reasoning

 Jun 10 2018    |   Category: GRE , Quiz
From understanding inference, to identifying a flaw, to figuring out the intricacies of a situation, critical reasoning questions in the GRE can test you on several skills. The test here looks at a set of questions that test you on lines similar to those that you are tested on in the actual GRE test. This is an untimed test. In the actual GRE test, all the sections are timed. Many test takers completely ignore the critical reasoning section or worse still are unaware that something like this exi

GRE Reading Comprehension Test

 May 05 2018    |   Category: GRE , Quiz
The GRE Reading Comprehension Section. This section of the GRE looks at three question forms. The multiple choice question – There are five answer choices from which you have to pick one The select any question – Three answer choices are presented. You are expected to choose all the correct answers. Select a sentence – A question is presented and you are asked to choose a sentence from a selected area of the text that best satisfies the conditions in the question.These question look at tes

Word Usage Quiz

 Feb 19 2018    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE , Quiz
The picture was inspired by a quote by Jack London

Parallel Structures

 Feb 07 2018    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE , TOEFL , Quiz
If there is proof that certain aspects of English appeal to the aesthete, it is parallel structures. Parallel structures can make what you write and what you say memorable. If you closely observe most the quotable quotes, you will start noticing that most of them have parallel structure hidden in them. Take a look at this for instance:So, how are these relevant to IELTS, GRE, or PTE coaching? For language tests, they will help you get a better score in speaking and writing. And in tests like GRE

Collocations – Explanation and Quiz

 Jan 31 2018    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE
Collocation A collocation is two or more words that often go together. Strong collocations are word pairings that are expected to come together Collocation Examples Here are some examples of common collocations: feel free come prepared make progress curly hair It is important to be able to fluently use collocations in tests like IELTS and PTE. In more advanced tests like the GRE, the ability to understand and identify collocations is necessary to pick the right answer. Here i

Words, Speaking, Reading and More!

 Mar 18 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE , TOEFL , SSC CGL
1. What is the purpose of this audio file? 2. Why is there a text transcript? Instructions listen to the tape, then listen to the tape as you read the text note down the words you do not know figure out what they mean observe voice modulation record yourself reading the same thing notice the difference Yayy!

Sentence Variety – 1

 Sep 30 2018    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE
In this series, we are going to explore one of themes that has been less explored than other aspects of language – sentence variety. No matter which exam you are taking, understanding sentence variety becomes very important. If you are taking IELTS or PTE for that matter, sentence variety becomes vital in writing. They are both tests of language and hence expect you to be able to use different sentence structure while writing. On the other hand, tests like the GRE look at your ability to under

Word Usage Quiz – Advanced

 Sep 08 2018    |   Category: GRE , SSC CGL , Quiz
Want to take up the challenge that GRE offers? Want to see if you can make the cut, and get an admission into one of the top universities? You are in all probability already looking at learning a million words and then some. And, if you are among the unlucky few, you have joined a GRE coaching that does not focus on things you need, then you would also be blissfully falling asleep in the session while wondering why you did not just buy a dictionary and stay the hell home. At First Academy, we un

Reading Write!

 Sep 02 2018    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE , Quiz
Do you want to Read for your IELTS and GRE right? Sometimes, small differences in a sentence can make huge differences. Understanding this is a vital aspect of any language. If you are here, and are reading this, you are in all probability looking to take an exam that tests your proficiency in English (IELTS, GRE, etc), or are looking for material to train students for such tests.  The changes in sentence structure often change the part of speech a word belongs to. Let us look at a garden p

Writing Better Part 3

 Apr 03 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE , TOEFL , Quiz
This quiz is the third installment of our eight part series focusing on sentence variety. Hope you find it enlightening! For those of you who have missed the first two tests, the links are at the page below!InstructionsFor the questions in the set, complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence, using the word given.Here is an example:  It's true that the company might go into liquidation if it's not careful. DANGER  There is a danger of the company

Few vs. A Few

 Mar 25 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , OET , PTE , Quiz

Sentence Variety – 2

 Mar 19 2019    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE , Quiz
Be it for IELTS, GRE, OET, or any other test you wish to take, knowing words is only one very small part of the fight. If you want to be better than most, you need to be able to both understand and construct a variety of sentences. This quiz looks at your ability to use words in different contexts (GRE) and your ability to construct different sentences with the same meaning (IELTS). Take this quiz and see how you score! If you are new here, and want to look at the earlier test, you can take

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

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:

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

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.


 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


 Aug 13 2020    |   Category: SSC CGL , OET , IELTS , GRE , General Interest
The phone buzzed. It was picked up. I picked it up, and I saw a message from one of the many, ordinary, routine, right-handed dudette telling me today is the day we celebrate left-handedness. Well, I did not know if it is a tongue-in-cheek thing. But, I decided that it did not matter. Though people call me lefthanded, I do have two hands. And only one of them is my left-hand.The last time I checked (which was just now), I used both hands equally. Yes, equally. I might do more things with one tha

IELTS - Writing Task 2 - Band 9 Sample

 Aug 25 2020    |   Category: GRE , IELTS , PTE , TOEFL
Topic on Arts Some people think that art is an essential subject for children at school while other think it is a waste of time Discuss both sides and give your opinion