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Category Archives: Education

Applying to Graduate School

Determining if Graduate School is the Right Choice for You

Graduate school is perfect for people who enjoy research and learning. It is not ideal for people who merely want to take more courses, or for those who are in a rush to get a job.
Undergraduate study differs from graduate education in that it requires more of your time, motivation, and effort. It also entails forming professional and personal relationships with professors and other students. Generally, it challenges you in what you want to achieve in your life.

The Right Time for Graduate School

The right time to pursue an advanced degree is situational. You can embark on graduate school right after you receive your bachelor’s degree, a year after graduation, or even several years later. If you are approaching graduation, and you have decided that graduate school is the next step for you, it may be helpful if you ask yourself the following questions:

1) Are you ready for another three to eight years of studying?
2) Should you take time off before moving on to graduate school?
3) If you want to take time off, why?

If the main reason for taking time off is fatigue, then ask yourself if the two or three months of vacation before graduate school can help you revitalize yourself. If you are convinced that graduate school is the next step for you, then there is no reason why you should delay your application.

Right after Graduation

If the knowledge you acquired in your undergraduate education is specifically relevant to your graduate program, then this option may be the right one for you. Other reasons for going straight to graduate school include your excellence as a student; your current status of having few (or no) obligations, both personally and financially; and your interest in pursuing an area of expertise that requires a graduate degree.

Take time to ensure that graduate school is right for you. Advanced study requires a considerable amount of motivation and the ability to work independently. Sometimes, a vacation from studying may help intensify your motivation and enhance your skills. As such, you may want to consider the following option.

After a Sufficient Rest Period

Many graduates take a year off before they start their graduate program. You can use this time to work, both to help you fund your studies and to gain experience. Perhaps, you simply want to travel. If you are traveling, remember to apply for courses at the right time, keeping in mind that you might be asked to attend an interview or an admission test. You will need to plan well ahead, sometimes as long as 18 months prior to application. In the case of some overseas programs, it is common for students to put together a timeline before they begin focusing on their time off.

It is important to understand that pursuing a graduate degree a number of years after undergraduate study is not uncommon. Some time off can be valuable if it improves your qualifications and primes you for the pressures and rigors of graduate school.

After Working Full-time

The reasons for acquiring work experience before graduate school include acquiring a better understanding of your professional objectives, obtaining relevant work experience, and developing a more responsible attitude toward studying. If you know in advance that you intend to pursue a graduate education after several years of work, look for an employer with a tuition reimbursement program. Often, employers are willing to finance part, or all, of the expenses entailed in graduate study.

While Working

The biggest percentage of the graduate school student population consists of part-time students. The idea of supplemental education is a growing trend because rapid industry changes affect almost all fields of expertise. Continuing to work, whether on a part time or a full time basis, can also be a means of paying for expenses incurred during the course of your graduate study.

Master’s vs. Doctoral Degrees

It is a common misconception that a prospective PhD student must possess a Master’s degree to enter a doctoral program. Although majority of graduate programs do require this, it is not always the case. It is better to conduct your own research and investigate the degree requirements for a program as opposed to making an assumption. In this booklet, we provide some of the more significant differences between being a Masteral and a Doctoral candidate.

The Masteral Candidate

You will spend, on the average, about two years in graduate school. The purpose of this program is to provide you with solid education in a specialized academic discipline

Your First Year The enrollment process is similar to that for undergraduate study. You are required to fulfill the coursework requirements of your degree. However, the work will be heavier, the course topics will be more specialized, and much more will be expected from you than when you were an undergraduate. With your adviser’s help (chosen by you or assigned by the program), you will start to solidify your academic focus.

Your Second Year You may take more advanced classes to complete your course requirements. Having determined your research direction, you will gradually spend more effort toward the completion of your thesis. Depending on your pace, you may need one semester or an entire academic year for you to finish your masteral thesis, the objective of which is to show your mastery in your area of study.

The Doctoral Candidate

You will spend, on the average, five to six years in graduate school. The purpose of the program is to provide you with comprehensive knowledge of your field, prepare you to conduct original and significant research, and make you ready to become a member of a teaching faculty.

Your First Three Years You will enroll in classes to fulfill your degree requirements and obtain comprehensive knowledge of your field of study. You will gradually establish your research direction, often consulting with an adviser (usually) appointed at the start of your graduate study. By the end of your second or third year, you would have completed a thesis or taken comprehensive exams, or both. The thesis and/or exams will allow your professors to evaluate your capabilities to continue with doctoral studies.

Your Last Three Years Coursework becomes a minor component of your academic workload, and may even disappear as you conceptualize your dissertation, a novel and significant contribution to the available knowledge in your specialization. You will teach more and more classes and gradually collaborate more with senior faculty members. You will form a close professional relationship with a faculty member who shares the same research interests as you do, and he/she will become your dissertation adviser. Your program will end with the completion of your dissertation, which may entail an oral defense of your research before a panel of faculty members and/or experts in the field you are in.

Test Strategies for Students

First, consider your own attitude regarding the test:

Do you, as a parent or teacher, treat the test as the be-all and end-all? Do you send the unspoken message that a child is “good” or “bad” depending on his or her performance? If you are honest with yourself, you can work to temper some of your own anxieties and instead promote a positive message – the test, while an important measure of achievement, is just one facet of the total child. Focus on helping children prepare the best they can. Convey the idea that their effort and hard work will pay off.

Understand the consequences of stress:

Needless worry can prove not only to be wasted energy, but also could have an adverse effect on overall performance. Some studies have shown that undue amounts of stress can lead to negative side effects, including sleep disturbances, lack of appetite, and even temporary memory loss!

Acknowledge your child’s feelings:

Just knowing that you care and understand can lessen anxious feelings. On the other hand, if you dismiss or minimize your child’s concerns, he or she may feel ignored or abnormal for experiencing these emotions.

Talk your child through the fear:

Sometimes, discussing the worst-case scenario can actually help allay a child’s worries. If, for instance, your child fears that doing poorly on the test will lead to retention, you can easily put your child at ease with the message that this will not happen. Sometimes a child fears the unknown, but once he or she understands what really will or will not happen, the worries disappear!

Help your child feel prepared:

Do whatever you can to give your child a sense of efficacy. This can take many forms: assist your son or daughter with test-taking strategies, work through practice problems, help the child understand the directions (especially the vocabulary), and focus on your child’s academic strengths. If you feel that this falls outside your comfort zone, consider practice books and/or tutoring to build your child’s skill set. With increased confidence, your son or daughter will feel ready and able to tackle the test!

As a teacher, look for ways to prepare students properly without becoming test-obsessed:

If you have focused on content standards throughout the year, you can rest assured that you have already been preparing your students. In the months prior to the test, help build independence in children by giving them directions similar to the test, familiarize them with the vocabulary and format of the assessment, and give them opportunities to practice problems in a timed format. All of these measures will ease a child’s fear of the unknown and build test-taking confidence.

Tricks Get Better Grades in High School

Be organized

You should organize yourself for better management of time. In high school you have to do multi tasking. You should maintain personal planner for keep tracking on your class assignment and exams due dates. Create dedicated area in your home for study so you can easily concentrate in your study.

Set goal and try to achieve it

Set realistic goal and do proper planning for achieve it. Goal may be anything like doing assignment work, reading class note. Set day to day goal and try to achieve it.

Use Time sensibly

Use your time wisely for handling multi tasking. Time is most crucial factor for high school students. You should maintain discipline in your work. Do smart work rather then only hard work. If you have large work then you have to develop ability to break it into small manageable parts so you can easily execute your work.

Take regular break between your works. Consider break as reword. Do some other activity in break time and refresh yourself for next task.

Use text books

You should read text books for every subject. Text book will cover all topics for particular course. When you read any course material use outline system for comprehend that material. Make separate note for reading material this will help you lot in exam time.

Improve your writing skill

Good writing skill adds extra advantage in your academics. During the whole term you have to write many assignments, term papers and case studies as per course requirements. If you have good writing skill then it helps in your study.

Tips Study For Test

1. Start getting ready in the beginning of the term
In the beginning of each term, you should not miss classes. This is the time when you meet your new teachers, get course books and course syllabuses and other elementary stuff. In addition, in the first weeks of each semester the instructors are busy introducing the new modules or topics. You have to be present to get first hand information. Take notes meticulously and ask the teacher a question if necessary.

2. While at home or dormitory, create a study schedule for the entire week
Plan your time as reasonably as possible when drafting your schedule. During your reading sessions every night, go through the notes you wrote during various lessons. Have a separate notebook to write notes as you study. At the end of the day, you will sleep knowing what was difficult to understand in each subject.

3. Work on your difficult areas as early as possible
Each day you will find out what was too difficult to comprehend on various subjects. You have to avoid procrastinating by solving these problem areas as soon as they are due. There are many ways of doing this. First, you can use your text books and the ones available at your school library. Read through the topic again carefully and thoughtfully. Download internet notes and read them too while making short notes. After gathering and analyzing extra information, create questions to ask a fellow student, members of your study group or teachers.

4. Find and try practical questions and exercises each day
You are certainly not the first student to learn the course you are doing. Thus, you can take advantage of the fact that there have been prior students who took a similar course in your school. Gather their past examination papers for revision. If your friend is taking a similar course at a different university, collage or high school, borrow his or her prior revision papers too. Look for past tests on your problem areas and use them for practice. Create questions personally and try to answer them without using your books or notes.

Graduation Announcements Say

1. Start the Speech with the Word “Congratulations” – One of the basic and most important aspects of the graduation speech is how you start it. Always remember to use the word “congratulations” as the starting phrase. Things have changed vastly in the past few years. Conventional announcements were used to mark graduation day which were too monotonous and formal. But time has changed and you must change along with it. Include jokes, quotations, funny incidents and so on to make the announcement an interesting one. See that the announcement highlights your graduate on the special day in a special way.

2. What to Tell – While drafting graduation announcement decide what you wish to add to it. Divide the whole announcement into various segments which include your child’s achievements, interests, your feelings for your child, special honours and recognition and etc. Speak out your emotions in a refined manner using sophisticated words. This might serve as a motivating factor for many. If you plan to host a party to celebrate the graduation day mention it in the graduation announcement clearly. Do not forget to mention the venue and time.

3. What to Avoid – There are a few pieces that should be avoided in graduation announcements. Always remember to use the full name of your graduate even if your family members know him by his nickname. Highlight the name in bold letters so that it is visible clearly to everyone. Try using font variations to make the announcement further attractive.

4. Showcase Special Awards and Recognitions – Do not forget to highlight special accreditations, awards or accolades earned by your ward in the announcement. As a parent you must feel proud to announce the great deeds of your child. Also make sure you write the correct date and time of the graduation in the announcement.

5. Apply Creativity – If you wish to further highlight your announcement and make it a unique one, include a couple of photographs and pictures of the graduate. You can use any of the software to intensify your emotions using illustrations.

6. Avoid Graphic Stuffing – Having said that pictures add grace and intensity to the announcement, do not try to overload it with graphics and colours. Also never and never use any of the embarrassing figures or pictures in the announcement such as animals or funny pictures that could relate to your ward.

Step by step Prepare for Exams

Plan the study schedule
Preparing for exams require time and thus you should give yourself adequate time to prepare them. A lot of students leave everything for the last-minute, which is a wrong practise. You should set out a timetable for your study and organize it. Some subjects or topics might need more attention than the rest and you should plan accordingly.

Organize the place of study
The room where you are studying must be comfortable, well-lit as well as free from any kind of disturbance. You should also organize your stationery and reference notes so that you don’t have to spend time in searching for them while studying.

Refer old question papers
Another useful study tip is that you must refer the previous exam papers so as to know more about the layout. This will also help you to know about the important topics of a subject which requires more attention.

Take a Break
Avoid studying continuously for hours. It is recommended that you take a fifteen minute break after each hour of study. Develop a routine which suits you the best. Taking break will help to refresh your body as well as mind.

Adequate food and sleep
During the exam time, a large section of students tend to ignore food and sleep, which is not recommended. To score well in the exams, you need to keep your body as well as mind fresh and active. A proper diet along with correct sleeping pattern will make you healthy and alert.

Be Positive
Even if you are an average student or have not done well in the previous exams, there is no need to panic. You should keep yourself motivated and should keep the end result in mind. Avoid any sort of negative thoughts that may adversely impact your performance.

All about Assessment Tests

According to a number of studies undertaken in the field of education, assessment tests are considered as one of the best ways by which you can support your child’s developmental needs. So if you wish to impart the right skills that are needed to meet your child’s potential, then these tests are one good way. They are a reliable tool for guided instructions.

Moreover, they are also one of the effective ways by which your child can be assessed in various niches. So if your child is having a hard time at school with regard to studies and you do not know where to start, then the best solution for you comes in the form of assessment tests. This is because they have the ability to identify what needs to be rectified or changed so as to lead the children to their full potential. As we all know, the importance of being watchful and making the correct assessments goes a long way in the education of a child.

Assessment tests are basically those procedures through which information is collected about a student with respect to his education. It can be with regard to a particular subject or an entire field of study.

Out of the numerous procedures in this, one of the main assessment procedures is tests. In this, the student is being given a number of questions based on what they have learnt and understood. Based on the answers the student has provided, a score is being calculated. After calculating what the student has scored, their results are then compared with certain guidelines. This, in turn, will help to provide insights and information about the student’s ability with regard to the tested subject. As a result of all these, it becomes possible to identify those areas where the kids need to work more. Rather than consider it as an assessment or test of your child or child’s intelligence, it should be considered and recommended as a learning process. It is a process of learning in which the student along with the parents and teachers are able to understand what all we need to do more with regard to those areas where the child is weak and how they can be overcome through combined efforts. It should be something that extends beyond what is being learnt in the classrooms.

Assessment tests help us to pinpoint those areas where the kid is strong and where they need to get more attention so as to steer them to their potential. Assessment outcomes are found to have the ability to direct and alter kids learning process. So what happens essentially, is that once assessments tests are taken and stress is given in the weaker areas, it may help your child get the much needed confidence that they should always have. Alongwise, it will give you as a parent more reason to cheer up with regard to their performances. It will give the students a clear understanding of their weakness and how they can steer clear of them by undertaking measures to correct them. Moreover, a number of new skills are always emerging and expected of kids. A quick and reliable method regarding the specific steps you need to take up so as to fill those gaps can be done through these assessment tests. It should be able to give a roadmap regarding your child’s education.

So, if you are all ready to let your kids take assessment tests, then make sure that the assessment tests are in accordance with these points so that they bring the maximum benefits for your kids. Keeping these in mind can go a long way in choosing the correct ones.

A good assessment test should have the following features according to the study done by Irvin Katz (1997) and Jerome Kagan (1998). They are the pioneer figures in this field of area and have authored a number of books in the same genre.

– The tests should bring benefits for the children directly or indirectly. It should enhance or boost the learning process and assist the kids with the curriculum.

– They should be for a tailored purpose and should be reliable and fair with regard to that purpose.

– The assessment test procedure should be able to monitor the trends or progression of the child with respect to the subject of the tests. It should also help the kids to assess themselves.

– It should be age appropriate with respect to the content and collection of data. Assessment of younger children is much more difficult and therefore more care should be taken while assessing them.

Suitable Study Space

Colour

Walls in rented houses will probably be painted magnolia or cream but you can brighten up the room with colourful bedlinen, cushions, a bean bag and perhaps some pictures. Soft greens or blues are a good colour that will inspire calm and concentration. An occasional bright orange cushion will really brighten up a blue room and will co-ordinate perfectly whereas hot pink will really jazz up a pale green bedroom.

Furniture

A good desk is necessary with ample space for a laptop or pc with enough space for a couple of books and stationary. A comfortable chair is also an essential item. Brighten up the desk with some colourful stationary items and folders – it will inspire them to keep it looking nice too.

A bean bag is a good idea for the floor particularly if there isn’t room for an armchair. It can be nice to look over notes or read a book while lounging on a beanbag – if they lie down on the bed to do so, the temptation is there to fall asleep instead!

A bookcase or plenty of shelves is important too – to contain their study books but also some nice items.

A screen can be a handy item – it will hide ‘their work’ when they are enjoying some relaxation time when watching TV or chatting with friends and similarly, it can mask any distractions when they are sitting at the desk.

Lighting

Good lighting is imperative and it is best to place the desk beside the largest source of natural light, the largest window. Good task lighting is essential – place an angled lamp like an anglepoise on the desk.

Study For Next Test

Study Group
Study Groups are a great way to motivate yourself to study for a test if you know you have procrastination tendencies. (And who doesn’t?) Start a study group to review information before your test. Dole out the information you need to know in chances to each person. Now that person is responsible for learning that chance of information inside and out. The next time the study group meets, each person has to teach their information to the group and answer any questions. If you know you have to teach this material, then there is high motivation to really master the material yourself. The internal pressure of belonging to a study group the whole year will keep you on track in a way that you might not be able to if left to your own devices.

Know Your Limits
You have been there, cramming material the night before, not sure if anything is really getting inside your mind. Everything gets blurry and you realize that you have been on an imaginary tropical island the past 40 minutes. Time to get up! The brain can only focus on information for so long, about 45 minutes of concentration at a time. After 45 minutes you need to get some fresh oxygen to the brain. Take a short walk, do some sit ups, stretch your arms or some other kind of physical activity that will pump your blood around faster than sitting still in a chair. Sometimes you get the best ideas and insights while you focus your mind on something else.

Use What You Already Know
The brain learns new information best by attaching the new material to already mastered information. For example, before you mastered the menu at Starbucks you had to learn what basic coffee tasted like. Once you knew that, then you could add cream, milk, soy milk and discovered what you liked best. Then you learned what sweetener you wanted to add, but you had to learn about raw sugar, honey, artificial sweeteners, not to mention the whole world of flavored syrups. So, your brain mastered all of that information by adding bits at a time, adding the unfamiliar to the familiar.

Any other information is added in the same process. Think about what you already know about a topic, start will that and then add the new information to already mastered knowledge. If you were learning information about World War II, then think about what you already know about conflicts or artillery or leadership. Use what you already know and your mind will absorb the information faster and in a more effective way.

Ask For Help When You Need It
Okay, I know this is obvious, but there are so many stubborn people out there who don’t ask for help when they need it, so I had to add this tip. Listen, you need to ask for help when you need it! Use email or you could take the old school approach and meet face to face. People are more apt to help someone they can see, so make yourself visible. Every professor or teacher has office hours. Look them up. Make an appointment and show up.

Ensure Academic Success

Create Study Central

All kids need a place to call their own for studying. But not all kids need the traditional desk in room – in fact you may prefer to have them do homework and study in a central location so you can monitor them – and keep up with the subject yourself. But any study area should have good lighting, electrical outlets, a hard flat surface to spread out books and papers, an absence of distractions and a place to house supplies. Some kids will love the stationary desk and you can stock up on supplies. Other kids will move around, and to minimize the time spent searching for a pen, paper, etc, consider creating a mobile supply unit – a file box with separate folders for each item.

Invest in a filing milk crate and set up a hanging folder for each teacher/class. Use it to file papers – consider one file for “done” work and one for work in progress. Work with you child to ensure that papers filed in school folders or scrunched in the bottom of a backpack move into the filing system – set a two-week schedule for this and you’ll find that the task is manageable.

If you use a binder – one for all classes or one for each class, set up a system and schedule to move papers into the binder and out into the file box so that the binder doesn’t become mammoth and unwieldy.

Locker Organization

If your child is in middle-school, he or she might have a locker for the first time. The locker is an important storage space for kids and a great way to teach them organization skills. In most cases, the locker should be their space and off-limits to you. You can provide them with a locker shelf to help them stack books and binders, magnets, sticky note pads, and a magnetic pen box. A dry-erase board might also be helpful to jot down notes.

Since lockers can easily become a dumping ground, consider giving your child this list of Do’s and Don’ts

– Do Replace materials to their original location

– Don’t just throw things in

– Use magnets to hold up important papers

– Don’t just drop papers into your locker

– Don’t expect anyone else to organize your locker for you