Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Good News For MS in US Aspirants

F1 visa students may be allowed to work for 6 years in the USA.The Barack Obama administration seems to be in overdrive to give additional benefits and work permits to legal residents.F1 visa students may be allowed to work for 6 years in the USA

Close on the heels of granting work permits to certain H-4 visa holders who meet eligibility requirements, come news of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) moving forward with proposals to expand the work authorization period for international students on F1 visas once they graduate, known technically as OPT (Optional Practical Training), and make it the same as for H-1B visa workers: a total of six years.

During this period of time, students are allowed to take up any work in their field of study and be paid for it, or not be as a trainee, as the case may.

Many students, however, are forced to go back to their country of origin; cannot afford further studies at exorbitant tuition rates. Some do end up studying further, in hopes their fortunes will change in the next round of application for a work visa. But there is no guarantee plans will work out.
The DHS, it seems, now want to make it a level playing field for F1 students, and give benefits startlingly equivalent to H-1B visa holders.

According to new regulations proposed by the DHS and submitted before the Senate Judiciary Committee, students with STEM degrees can stay on in the US and work for a total of six years under OPT – three years after finishing an undergraduate program, and then if need be, another three years after a graduate program…

However, there is also little doubt that many of these students may get exploited by employers, be used as cheap labor, without getting benefits too.

Since the student would be under OPT status, the employers would have a different set of rules for them, perhaps treat these students as a trainee or part-time employee for years, not be obliged to provide health insurance, 401K or other benefits.

It’s also unfair that the Obama administration and Congress have not been able to increase work visas – they are still at 85,000, but let hundreds of thousands of graduates annually the liberty to stay on in the country, and pick up any work they receive, for period of three years. It’s bound to undercut American jobs and wages sooner than later.

It’s absurd, but the very companies who may sponsor a student for an H-1B visa and promise full wages as per law, may still continue to employ that student as an unpaid trainee if the H-1B application fails. That frankly, is ridiculous, and should not be allowed.

Also, the demand for H-1B visas will soar exponentially, to the extent that it may well go up by 100% next year if the new rules for F1 students go into effect this year, and perhaps only 1 out of every 10 candidates may get a H-1B work visa, leaving many talented workers to lose out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The DHS proposals for F1 students, if they come through, will undoubtedly also see many more students, especially from India and China, flock to the US.

It must be clarified that OPT is applied for a foreign student on an F1 visa once he or she graduates from a program from an accredited educational institution.

There is another work option for F1 visa students while still enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program: termed Curricular Practical Training (CPT). This CPT option can be used for credit(s) that can be applied to a program per semester, but has to be relevant to the program and directly relate to it; it has to be approved by the department of study too. CPT has to contribute to knowledge and experience of the student in his or her field of study.F1 visa students may be allowed to work for 6 years in the USA

F1 visa students can be paid legitimately too while under the CPT, although work hours are limited to 20 hours per week.

Sourec link:  F1 visa students may be allowed to work for 6 years in the USA, like H-1B visa holders

For more updates and GRE Preparation visit : www.wiseswan.com 

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Introduction to Quantity comparison questions:

Each Quantitative Section in GRE contains about 7 Quantitative Comparison questions. As the name suggests ,  in these questions you need to compare two quantities mathematically and mark an answer accordingly. Also this a type of question not a topic , so you can get a quantity comparison question on any of the math topics( such as geometry , statistics etc ).

Since 35 percent of quantitative section constitutes of quantity comparison questions , it is very important to learn some strategies that can help students to solve these questions in lesser time and with better accuracy.

Format :

These questions have a very specific format : ‘column A’ and ‘column B’, each column containing numbers of variables. Often, you’ll get additional information about the variables. You will then have to choose one of the following 4 answers:
1. The quantity in column A is greater
2. The quantity in column B is greater
3. The two quantities are equal
4. The relationship cannot be determined from the information given

This might sound a bit confusing, but it’s pretty straightforward- all you need to do is analyze the information in both the columns and decide whether column A or B contains a larger quantity.Sometimes you are not able to compare the columns using given information or you end up getting more than one relation between the two columns , in that case D is your answer, and sometimes both the quantities are equal, so you’ll answer C. Check the following link to understand the questions in detail


1. Know the format of questions and order of answer options

2. If you encounter a complex comparison than try and simplify that by applying the same operations to both columns. For example: you can multiply or divide both the columns by a same term or same number.

3. Focus on the information( if any) centred between the two columns.

4.  In case of variables in the questions consider what happens if you choose positive versus negative values, odd versus even values, and integer versus fractional values.

5.  ETS generally tests your knowledge of equations,  numbers  ,  geometry and arithmetic .

6.  Do plug in numbers into expressions with variables and if you get different results, than answer is D. Use FROZEN to choose numbers:

F- Fractions
R-Repeats ( Numbers present in  the questions)
E-Extreme( Maximum and Minimum value a variable can take)

7.  Do not trust the geometric figures in comparison questions as they are never drawn to scale.

8.  Calculate to compare not to solve. Don’t do needless calculations . STOP when you get the comparison.

9.  Use FROZEN to consider all the possibilities in case of unknowns or variables.

10.  Don’t confuse percent and numbers.

11.  Estimate or Ballpark: Since there is no negative marking for an incorrect answer in GRE exam , it’s always better to ballpark and mark an answer.

12.  Use hints and mark Reasonable answers.

13.  Boundary condition helps us a lot

Quantity comparison questions are tricky and in order to score a 165+ in math section you need to avoid the TRAP answers. Also 14 out 40 scored questions would be quantity comparison questions so they are as important as any other type and require as much practice as Problem solving or Data interpretation questions.

Best of luck!!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

CityXfer saves your time and let you focus on your preparations

In this post, we will be covering an exciting startup - CityXfer. Though this is not related to GRE, but we are excited about this young company for three reasons - firstly, they are solving a very pertinent problem of delivering any type of item on the same day; secondly, we've had a first hand experience of their top class product & service; and thirdly, CityXfer has been started by our friend Kumar Gaurav who, like us is a geek & problem solver to the core.

So here is what CityXfer does - at times, we have to leave our office work or family to do mundane tasks of delivering items like documents or clothes or something bigger like furniture etc. This eats up our precious 3-4 hours and we feel we could have utilized this time better like finishing that presentation or watching a movie or playing with our kids or taking a mock test, of course! CityXfer comes across as a respite in such situations. Their delivery executives will pickup & deliver the item from your doorstep to the destination on the same day. Their pricing also fits into the pocket. They are seeing amazing early traction in Bangalore and we believe they are upto something big.

If you are an individual or a small business, just head to their Website or Android App or call them to checkout their delivery services.

Team WiseSwan wishes CityXfer good luck :)

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Verbal section of GRE consist of 3 types of questions:
1. Reading comprehension
2.Text Completion
3.Sentence Equivalence

Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence questions are vocabulary driven questions , in which you need to know the meaning of the words in the options and choose an answer that fits in the context with correct meaning and logic. Since 50% of the verbal section is Text completion and Sentence Equivalence it becomes very important to know the meaning of the words and their applications.

Though there are infinite words to learn in the English language , the best part is  GRE focuses on a common set of words , which are not less in number but are manageable to learn . You should know atleast 1000 words for a good GRE score.

Also, just the meaning of the word won't solve the purpose , you need to know the usage and application of the word along with the tone( positive word or a negative word).Tone of the word helps you in process of elimination.

By using the following apps you can learn these words on the go and utilize your travelling time effectively. Also , these Technology Driven Dictionaries will provide you a great user experience and an interactive way of learning .

1. Illustrate - The Video Dictionary

Free of cost and One of the best applications to learn GRE words.This application provides videos with context and real life examples allowing the learner to grasp definitions and usage with ease.


2. GRE flashcards by magoosh:

This application helps you master around 1000 GRE words by repeated exposure of the word until you don’t get the meaning of the word. Words are distributed in different decks allowing a user to keep a track of the number of words he/she knows and every word is used in a sentence to understand the application of the word.


3. Vocabulary for GRE by Praveen Yuva:

This application will help you with 4000+ GRE words with definitions, examples, tests, flashcards, high frequency word list. The best part is you can analyze your preparation regularly by taking a test on this app, which will have complete summary of your marks and percentage.


4. GRE Vocabulary builder by Shaurya Mittal:

A new app with around 800 words but a great user friendly interface, visual vocabulary, word comparison option . Also allows users to take down their own notes about a word and has a unique feature of learning a new word when you shake your mobile.


SUGGESTION : Do not use these apps simultaneously. Download one and complete that app for all the words before using the next one. Since the words from one app would repeat in other app , it would be a good revision for you .


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

9 Things About GRE Maths That Will Help You Score 165+

Each of the two scored Quantitative sections consists of 20 questions in 35 minutes. Also, GRE is a section-level adaptive exam, meaning that your performance on your first math section will determine the difficulty of the next math section you will receive. Since there is no penalty for wrong answers in GRE, you can always try guessing in some questions, it’s always better than leaving it unanswered.

Following is the Plan of Action that a GRE aspirant should implant into his/her preparation to ace the Quant section of GRE exam:

1. RTFQ - Read The Full Question

Try to thoroughly analyze each & every information given in the question as every information is important & leads us to the answer.

2. Use the Options

Sometimes it’s much better to solve the questions from options. If it is possible, try to do the question from options than to do it the longer way. Always remember that numeric options in GRE are either in ascending or descending order.

3. Equations driven vs Formula driven problems

Formula driven problems generally don’t take much time, but be very careful with Equations driven problems, which can be tricky at times. Please divide the question into small pieces and then solve each piece to reach final answer. Allot more time on word problems.

4. POOD - Personal order of difficulty

Never attempt a question on predefined assumptions. E.g. "probability questions are not always hard".

5. Break Complex figures to smaller shapes

Look for known figures and formulae while solving complex geometry questions.

6. Analyze tables/graphs thoroughly

It is not necessary not use everything given. Read the question and decide which chunk is required to answer the question.

7. Time allotted per Question

On an average, you get around 1 minute 45 seconds to solve every question. Try to complete the easy questions as soon as possible and then solve the difficult questions in the remaining time.

8. Use of Calculator

Avoid calculator for simple calculations and try doing them in your mind. This would save time.

9. Tough areas for GRE

Areas that might require more practice are: -
  • Permutations and Combination
  • Standard Deviation
  • Probability
  • Remainders
  • Sets: Triple Venn Diagrams
  • Time and Work

Learn all the concepts in detail to score a 165+. Some students would skip some topics assuming that only 1-2 questions will come from those topics, but often it turns out that even 5-6 questions are asked and getting a 165+ becomes very difficult.

In all target around 300-400 tough questions during your Quant prep which will require around 15-25 hours of preparation.

For best practice questions and mock tests visit www.wiseswan.com

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Online GRE Mock Tests - Reality Check

There are many free and paid GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) practice tests available both online and offline. But students find it difficult to choose as they don't know whether the test will be able to give them correct idea about their status of preparation. Now why are the tests not close to the actual GRE??? After all, there are questions and answers only :)

Most tests don't have the correct scoring algorithm. GRE test algorithm is not a simple one and it requires some research to figure that out. Most tests don't provide score in current GRE scoring format and even if they do, they may be in-correct if they don't follow the correct scoring algorithm.

As GRE is a sectionally adaptive test i.e. performance in first Verbal and first Quant section determines the difficulty level of second Verbal and second Quant section respectively. This brings up a very fundamental question. How can someone decide, whether a question is of easy, medium or hard difficulty level? We don't think one person can, as it is quite subjective e.g. a person good at probability may think of a probability question as an easy question but for someone else it might be the toughest one. Without the correct classification of questions, one can't create a correct adaptive test.

Most tests don't even have the correct mix of various topics and question categories in them. This may lead to a lot of surprises for the test taker in actual GRE.

As they say, "Untrained warriors are soon killed in the battlefield." The simulated environment in which you practice should be as close as possible to the real battlefield. This requires the test makers to understand how ETS is able to solve the above problems.

There is a lot of technology involved in coming up with the GRE tests. Its accuracy is of utmost importance as it is considered by the universities as one of the most important measure of the abilities of their applicants.

Most coaching centers have good faculty and they are good at teaching the subjects. They also provide set of questions, answers and their explanations to the students. However, because all the above real tough problems can only be solved by technology and data science (as ETS does) and which is not the core competency of the faculty of coaching institutes, they end up creating wrong practice fields for the students.

We at Wiseswan are bringing together the solution to all the above problems using data science technologies. Key points to mention: -
  • Wiseswan knows all about GRE adaptivity and scoring algorithms.
  • Wiseswan can generate a full length correctly adaptive test out of any 80 question provided by anyone and host on our platform.
  • It can calibrate the scores correctly and let the test taker know where he or she stands in terms of his or her preparation of GRE. We give detailed analysis and explanation on the questions too, so to identify one's weaker areas.

Currently there are 2 Free Quarter Mock Tests and multiple practice tests available for Verbal and Quant. There are many more to come very soon including free full length adaptive mock test.

Stay tuned for more ...