With the International Baccalaureate Exams round the corner, Dr. Karan Gupta gives you Preparation Tips

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Anyone who’s in an international baccalaureate (IB) diploma programme will strive for a perfect IB 45, yet most will be unable to attain it. In fact, less than one percent of people who complete an IB programme will achieve an IB 45. With such terrible odds, many people may think that you have to be some kind of genius in order to get such an incredibly high score, but they’d be wrong. As anyone who has successfully earned an IB 45 will tell you, all it takes is hard work and dedication, and anyone can do it. By following these simple tips, taken directly from those who have aced their way through their IB programmes, you too can graduate with that perfect score.

Organization is Key

One of the most important steps to achieving an IB 45 is to stay organized. It’s vital that you develop a study strategy and timetable that you can stick to. You can use Excel or a similar spreadsheet style program to do so, but it is best that you build a solid study schedule early on. You’ll need to devote a fair amount of time to each subject every day, but remember not every subject will require the same amount of time. Devote more study time to the subjects that you tend to struggle with, and less time on the ones that come more naturally to you. This is different for everyone, so it’s best to figure out what will work best for you. Ideally, you should be dedicating around three to four hours of study time per day, and this is on top of your other coursework, so developing a schedule that can effectively accommodate this heavy workload is incredibly important. Just remember that your timetable is not rigid, as things change and certain subjects end up taking precedence over others. The timetable is meant to help guide you in effectively allocating your time, but it shouldn’t restrict you as your needs evolve throughout the course of the program. And remember, if you plan on studying abroad, you will need to be sure to stick to a timeline.

Don’t Fall Behind

One tip that many high scoring IB graduates recommend is that you stay ahead in your coursework. If you’re going to ace your exams, you can’t be the person who’s playing catch-up on the last couple weeks of study material right before an exam. Preferably you should be ahead of the course material, so that you can take advantage of class time for clarification and guidance in the things that you didn’t quite understand. This is no easy task. It’s going to require that you spend weekends and holidays hitting the books in order to stay ahead, but it will all be worthwhile when you see that perfect score!

The Importance of Repetition

When studying, remember to cover the materials that you struggle the most with multiple times. In order to commit something to your long term memory, it’s important to not only study until you know something, but to cover the material several more times on top of that as well. You don’t just want to memorise the material; you want to understand it as well. Therefore, devoting enough time on those especially difficult subjects to really have an in-depth knowledge of them is especially important.

Cut Yourself Off From Distractions

Nowadays the average student is completely surrounded by distractions. Video games, smart phones, and television programmes are all designed to rob you of your time with frivolous activities. If you really want to nail that perfect score, you need to dump them all. It’s been shown that these things can be very addictive, so keeping your distance from them can oftentimes be easier said than done. A great way to do so is to shut off your Wi-Fi, or to just have a trusted friend of family member stash your phone away during study time. As tempting as taking social media breaks may be, it’s important to remember that no one ever earned an IB 45 while scrolling through their Facebook feed!

Don’t Be Shy

Even the brightest students will need some help every now and then, and that’s exactly what teachers are there for. Remember to take advantage of the wonderful resources that your peers and teachers are. Ask a lot of questions, and who cares what others may think. Be proactive about your education, and remember, the only stupid question is the one that is never asked.

Achieving a perfect IB 45 can be one of the crowning achievements in a young student’s life. It will help prepare you for higher education, as well as a successful career. It’s bragging rights and something to be proud of, but it doesn’t come easy. Even though it’s a difficult goal to attain, it is not impossible, as has been proven by many students before you. By staying organized and focused, as well as by dedicating the time necessary, just about anyone can have an IB 45, so why not you?

The author is a leading study abroad education consultant and an alumnus of Harvard Business School

Advantages of Getting Your Undergraduate Degree in the USA

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Education and Career Counsellor, Dr. Karan Gupta, talks about the Advantages of Getting Your Undergraduate Degree in the USA

Deciding the country in which it would be best for you to study abroad can be one of the most important decisions of your life. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to look at all the possible options, and compare their positive and negative attributes. While each student will have different needs and preferences when it comes to the ideal study abroad location, there are some countries that are more advantageous to pursue an education in than others. This is why many Indian students decide to study within the United States of America. The USA has a range of benefits for a study abroad student that many other countries just don’t offer. Regardless of your field of study, choosing the USA to pursue your undergraduate degree is an excellent choice for a variety of reasons.

Great Employment Opportunities

Having a degree from a prestigious American university will increase your job prospects just about anywhere in the world. This is especially true if your goal is to work in either the UK or the USA. Many people would be surprised to hear that an American degree will increase your chances of landing a job in the United Kingdom, but research shows that many employers in the UK prefer graduates from American universities. There are several reasons for this, but the primary ones are that many American universities have amazing reputations internationally, and being familiar with American culture and its educational system can be incredibly useful in this international marketplace. A degree from the USA also increases the likelihood of being recruited by a large American corporation. Oftentimes, American corporations recruit employees directly from universities, sometimes aggressively competing with rival businesses for students that demonstrate the most talent. This can lead to better wages and benefits for those being recruited. If working abroad isn’t what you intend to do, and you desire to return to India after your studies, a degree from a top American university will make you a far more attractive prospect to potential employers at home as well.

Perfect Your English Speaking Skills

Nowadays, whether you like it or not, English is the global language of business. Chances are, if you’re looking to study in the USA, then your English skills are fairly advanced. Even with a really high proficiency in English, there’s no more effective method to perfecting your speaking abilities than living and studying in an English speaking country like the United States. Through reading textbooks in English, attending English language lectures, and engaging with native English speakers daily, you’ll polish your language skills to perfect fluency. You’ll gain the ability to speak, read and understand the language at the same level as native speakers. This is a skill that is sure to impress future employers, and allow you to better compete in a marketplace where English is king.

Receive a More Rounded Education

As an undergraduate in an American university you’ll spend the first two years of your education studying a wide variety of subjects such as mathematics, history, arts, literature, public speaking, and science. This is known as your general education, or common core curriculum. Following your general education you will narrow the focus of your studies and specialize in your chosen major. While this may seem a little tedious at first, as you may tire of taking courses which do not apply to your chosen major, it will help to make you a more well-rounded student, and you will gain experience in a variety of different fields of study. Another benefit to this system is that it will give you an opportunity to learn the basics of many different subjects prior to selecting a major that you’ll have to stick to. Through this experience you may find that you’re more interested in a field which you had never before considered, giving you the chance to switch to a major that may better align with your interests.

Choose from Some of the Top Universities in the World

The top four universities in the world all reside within the United States. With 3.281 universities across the country, the USA has more schools per capita than any other nation on the planet, and is also home to many of the world’s most prestigious universities. For this reason, an American diploma is highly sought after by people all across the planet. A degree from one of America’s top schools, such as Harvard University or MIT will give a student unprecedented choice when it comes to career options, not to mention a much higher paygrade than those who attended lesser schools.

In conclusion, there are numerous reasons why the United States is one of the most desirable study locations in the world. The many amazing universities here offer an undergraduate student a host of benefits that just aren’t available in other locations. From better employment opportunities to access to many of the worlds top universities, for many, the USA is the ideal place to pursue an education.

The Best Countries to Earn an MBA for Indian Students

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Education and Career Counsellor, Dr. Karan Gupta discusses the best MBA options abroad

When it comes to pursuing an MBA abroad, it’s important to remember that all countries are not created equal. While you can receive an education and a degree in just about any nation across the planet, some countries are much more suited for the pursuit of an MBA than others. There are many important criteria that need to be considered when deciding which location is the most ideal for you. These include, but aren’t limited to, the reputation of a country’s universities, potential job opportunities that will be available upon graduation, total costs of living and tuition, ease of public transportation, the local populace, as well as the ability to work while studying abroad. With so many available options, and the impact that this decision can have on your life, it’s important that a student is well informed before they finally make the plunge and enrol in a university. Throughout this article we’ll cover which countries are most likely to fulfil the needs of an MBA student abroad, so that when it comes time for you to decide, you’ll have all the necessary information in order to make the best possible decision.

The United States of America

The USA is the home of the MBA, so it should come as no surprise that it’s also one of the top countries in which an individual can pursue one. For Indian students, as well as those of all other nationalities, the United States is often the first choice when it comes to finishing their education, and this is for good reason. With an excellent infrastructure, top of the line equipment and technology, easy to access public transportation, prestigious universities, and excellent job options, the USA seems to have it all. That is unless cost is a huge factor for you. With one of the highest tuition costs in the world for an MBA, for many students a degree in the United States is prohibitively expensive. The good news is that if you are concerned about the high price tag you do have some options. There are a variety of loans and scholarships available for international students who wish to attain their degree in America, so if the price is your major concern, it’s worth investigating the available methods of alleviating some of those costs.

Singapore

With over one million international students currently enrolled in university programmes throughout it, Singapore is quickly becoming one of the top destinations for students to earn their MBA. This is especially true for Indian students, given its relatively close proximity to India in comparison to other countries on this list. Singapore also has some of the world’s top business schools, while offering some of the most competitive tuition prices available. Students here are given the option to work up to 16 hours per week while enrolled in university as well, allowing one to further lessen the heavy costs associated with pursuing an international degree.

The United Kingdom

The UK is another incredibly popular study abroad destination for Indian students for a variety of reasons. Due to this popularity, the UK has a large Indian population, meaning that many Indian restaurants and markets will be available so you won’t have to sacrifice when it comes to enjoying the products and flavours of home. It is also an excellent country for those students that are in a hurry to complete their MBA, as the UK has a generally much shorter MBA programme completion time than most other countries. At one year, a student can complete their education in about half the time that it would take in many other locations. Another perk of the United Kingdom is the availability of some of the planet’s best and most prestigious universities. Business schools such as the London Business School or the Cambridge Judge Business School are world renowned, and will give you a competitive edge when it comes to finding international employment.

Canada

Canada holds several key advantages for Indian students looking to acquire their MBA abroad. It is an especially popular destination for those students who are looking to remain in country after graduation in order to pursue a career overseas. Due to recent immigration policies, it’s easier than ever for highly skilled students who graduate from a university within Canada to attain permanent residency. Canada is also home to some great internationally recognized business schools, as well as modern cities with a high quality of life, great public transportation and a friendly and welcoming populace. With all this, it’s easy to see why Canada is one of the top locations for study abroad students.

There are many great places around the world in which to pursue your education. The abundance of options can make deciding which location is best for you overwhelming. By arming yourself with the information of what makes each of these countries stand out against the competition, you’ll be able to find the university that works best for you.

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