Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Book Launch

Study in America : The Definitive Guide for Aspiring Students was launched on the 16th of July at The Auditorium, WWF-India. Union Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor and former Infosys co-chairman and Unique Identification Authority of India chief Nandan Nilekani released the book. Here are some pictures from the event. You can read more about the book launch here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pearson Test of English Academic

Pearson will be adding an Academic English test called Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) to its portfolio of English language tests soon.

PTE Academic is a new international computer-based academic English language test, delivering real-life measures of test takers' language ability to universities, higher education institutions, government departments and other organizations requiring academic-level English. The new test will accurately measure the Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking ability of test takers who are non-native speakers of English and who want to study at institutions where English is the principal language of instruction.

PTE Academic is endorsed by Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®) and it will be launched from October 2009.

For more information please visit If you have any questions please leave a comment here with your name and email address and we will get back to you.

More about the book

It's important to understand that admission to American educational institutions is not difficult - it's different. The time lines are different, the required tests are different, the deadlines are much earlier than in other countries. This book explains the differences. Appreciating the differences helps students maximize their chances of admission.

I have spent a lot of time researching and compiling statistics on financial aid awarded to international undergraduate students and it is, in my opinion, one of the most valuable sections of the book. This does not mean that the same amount of aid is going to continue, but it's a good place to start if you require financial assistance.

A common mistake is to assume that high scores on standardized tests such as the SATs, GRE, GMAT assure students of admission. In fact, top universities regularly deny admission to students with perfect scores on their tests. International students should understand and appreciate the fact that Admissions Committees in the US try to get a multi dimensional picture of prospective students. A student from an unknown engineering school in Karnataka, with zero research experience and average grades, but a 1600 on the GRE is going to be passed up in favor of a student from an IIT or NIT, with consistently superior academic record, glowing recommendations and research experience, even if he only has a 1300 or 1400 on the GRE. As one of my friends, a professor at Purdue said, poor scores doom your application, but great scores dont translate into automatic admission.