EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GRE/TOEFL/IELTS- A precise guide for the beginners

Have dreams to make it big one day by getting the best education in the world but don’t know where to start from? Here is a precise guide for you to take the very first step i.e educating yourself with the right information about the two most crucial tests to study abroad GRE/TOEFL.

What is GRE?

GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination. GRE is a standardized test that is one of the admission requirements for most graduate schools (Master and Ph.D.) in the United States and other developed countries are known for their quality education. GRE is conducted by ETS, which is a non-profit US-based organization. It is conducted in two modes: online and paper-based depending on the country. Online mode is the common mode in India, US, Canada and most of the countries.

What does GRE evaluate?

GRE tests are categorized as GRE General Test and GRE subject test.

GRE General Test: The GRE revised General Test features question types that closely reflect the kind of thinking you’ll do in graduate or business school.

  • Verbal Reasoning: Measures your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, analyze relationships among component parts of sentences and recognize relationships among words and concepts.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Measures problem- solving ability using basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis.
  • Analytical Writing: Measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically your ability to articulate and support complex ideas clearly and effectively.

GRE Subject Test: Prospective graduate school applicants take the Subject Tests. Applicants come from varying educational and cultural backgrounds and the GRE Subject Tests provide a common measure for comparing candidates’ qualifications. Each Subject Test is intended for students who have an undergraduate major or extensive background in one of these seven disciplines:

·        Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology

·        Biology

·        Chemistry

·        Literature in English

·        Mathematics

·        Physics

·        Psychology

NOTE -The GRE Computer Science Test was discontinued following the April 2013 administration. Scores will continue to be reportable for five years.

Is GRE mandatory to apply for Grad Schools abroad?

Most of the Grad Schools in the US consider GRE as an important criterion to extrapolate the analytical, research and management skills of a student. In almost all US based institutes, GRE General test is a pre-requisite for graduate admission. There are few institutes in the US which allow graduate admission even without GRE but in my advice, they are not the good ones. One more disadvantage of studying in such schools is that changing your University (in the case of lack of funding in the middle of your studies, clashes with Professor/University or for reason unknown) can be almost impossible. This in some cases can cost going back to your home country.

It should be noted that GRE test is not mandatory if you are considering applying to Europe, and Australia obviously with few exceptions. However, many European Universities do give preference to candidates with Subject GRE, GATE or CSIR (the last two particularly for Indian candidates).

When can I take the GRE test?

You can take the computer-delivered GRE revised General Test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period (365 days). This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test that you took previously. You may take the paper-delivered GRE revised General Test as often as it is offered. When selecting a test date, make sure your scores will be reported in time for your application deadlines. For computer-delivered tests, scores reports are sent to your designated score recipients approximately 10–15 days after your test date. Please allow time for delivery of scores and processing by the institution.

Is GRE the major deciding factor in the evaluation/admission process?

In one word, NO!! There are other important criteria such as CGPA/GPA, publications, work experience(s), projects, the reputation of your past university, recommendation letters (LOR) and Statement of purpose (SOP)/motivation letter/letter of intent etc. However, good GRE score (318-340) does play an important role in the evaluation process and it can also help you compensate for a lower CGPA or lack of work experience. Similarly a good GPA (3.5+/4 or 8+/10) and work experience, publications and projects can compensate for a low or average GRE score (295- 310).

What is considered a good GRE score?

This varies depending on the University, Department, and Institute and destination country. This should be understood that GRE is just one of the several proofs of your candidacy as a potential graduate student and depending on your field, grad level (Master vs Ph.D.) and University; its weight in the evaluation process will vary. In most cases, a score above 310 (on a scale of 340) is considered decent for good Universities. Ivy league institutes mostly have higher GRE demands (with few exceptions) it can be as high as 330-340.

Sometimes, many good Universities like Iowa State University, Ohio State University, University of Georgia, John Hopkins, Cold Spring Harbor Lab, University of Texas, University of North Carolina (Greensboro) do not have a very high GRE score (varies from 300-320) demands and look for overall profile.

From my experience, I have also noticed that GRE score requirements are little higher (by 3-10 points) for M.S as compared to Ph.D. This is mainly because Ph.D. admission relies more on research skills, publications and personal qualities of a prospective student. It should also be noted that few Universities also accept GRE for MBA admission.

Most of the Universities often conduct online skype interviews (mainly for research-based Master and Ph.D. students. Sometimes, this can be followed by an interview by a Professor who would want to hire you.

Do you recommend some good books for GRE?

The books that helped me the most are: Official GRE guide by ETS, Kaplan, Princeton, Magoosh.

What else can I do to boost my GRE preparation?

Download the free app on verbal and quantitative analysis on your smartphone and go through it over and over again. Devote a great deal of time to it as much as you do surfing Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I personally used Magoosh app and it was a great help. Eat, drink, think and sleep GRE. If you are not crazy about your passion than you don’t deserve to achieve success. Period!!

Can I choose not to give IELTS/TOEFL exams if I have a GRE score?

Well, this depends on the country you are applying to. IELTS/TOEFL are exams taken by non-native English speakers to prove their proficiency in English. While GRE does evaluate vocabulary and writing skills, it does not compensate for IELTS/TOEFL as the later also evaluate listening, speaking and reading skills. All US based Universities demand GRE + IELTS or GRE+TOEFL scores from international students. For the UK, Australia and Canada based Universities IELTS or TOEFL alone (without GRE) does the job. For most of the European Universities (except the UK), an Indian candidate need not provide an IELTS/TOEFL score given that he/she can prove that he did his schooling and higher education in English medium. This means that you can apply to European Universities (well most of them) without GRE or IELTS/TOEFL.

NOTE/DISCLAIMER: These are the personal views of the writer (Jitendra Pant) on GRE based admission process.

About the author

Jitendra Pant is a Research Assistant and Ph.D. Scholar in the Department of Engineering at the University of Georgia, US (Connect here on LinkedIn). He has published 8 papers in highly reputed international peer reviewed journals (Click to see his research on Google Scholars).  He is a motivator and believes in the power of words+ actions (join FB group here Career Counselling and Higher Education). He is a BITS alumnus and Ex-Scientist in Research and Development (R&D) Department at Biocon Research Ltd, Bangalore. His motivational novel “A fool who ate his hunger” is getting released soon worldwide.  He is also an amateur singer  and have been a second runner up in Idea rocks India (click here to watch and subscribe Youtube Channel

Connect here on LinkedIn

Google Scholars

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BECAUSE IT’S YOUR DREAM AND ONLY YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE WORTH!

 

 

We all have a dream of a living a very very successful life one day. Some of us want to be a singer, other wants to be a player and some other wants to own a business. It’s important to see dreams in order to live them. That’s how Wright brothers invented the flying machine, Graham Bell invented the telephone and Steve Jobs created iPhone. However, there is a big difference between such legendary people who live their dreams and the rest of us. We listen too much to the world whose primary job is to cast a doubt on vision for success.

The moment we see a dream, someone comes to us and gives us many reasons to why we should quit. We listen to them more than we listen to ourselves and that’s where we go wrong”

Remember they don’t have a dream but you do. It’s your life and it’s your responsibility to protect it. Have, the courage to nurture your dream even in the moments of greatest doubts. Of course, it’s not easy but it’s worth every effort.

“People will mock you for being ambitious. You would be called crazy, impractical and paranoid and what not? Be amused when that happens because they don’t but you know what you are doing.”

You are your best friend and your own biggest enemy. Let the world vision your courage today. Be bold and listen to no one but your greater inner-self.

Click the links below to read similar articles.

Happiness is a decision

Everything that you need to know about GRE/TOEFL/IELTS

Do not kill the resolution you made on Dec’, the 31st

About the author

Jitendra Pant is a Research Assistant and Ph.D. Scholar in the Department of Engineering at the University of Georgia, US (Connect here on LinkedIn). He has published 8 papers in highly reputed international peer reviewed journals (Click to see his research on Google Scholars).  He is a motivator and believes in the power of words+ actions (join FB group here Career Counselling and Higher Education). He is a BITS alumnus and Ex-Scientist in Research and Development (R&D) Department at Biocon Research Ltd, Bangalore. His motivational novel “A fool who ate his hunger” is getting released soon worldwide.  He is also an amateur singer  and have been a second runner up in Idea rocks India (click here to watch and subscribe Youtube Channel.

EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GRE/TOEFL/IELTS- A precise guide for the beginners

Have dreams to make it big one day by getting the best education in the world but don’t know where to start from? Here is a precise guide for you to take the very first step i.e educating yourself with the right information about the two most crucial tests to study abroad GRE/TOEFL.

What is GRE?

GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination. GRE is a standardized test that is one of the admission requirements for most graduate schools (Master and Ph.D.) in the United States and other developed countries known for their quality education. GRE is conducted by ETS, which is a non-profit US based organization. It is conducted in two modes: online and paper based depending on the country. Online mode is the common mode in India, US, Canada and most of the countries.

What does GRE evaluate?

GRE tests are categorized as GRE General Test and GRE subject test.

GRE General TestThe GRE revised General Test features question types that closely reflect the kind of thinking you’ll do in graduate or business school.

  • Verbal Reasoning: Measures your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, analyze relationships among component parts of sentences and recognize relationships among words and concepts.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Measures problem- solving ability using basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis.
  • Analytical Writing: Measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically your ability to articulate and support complex ideas clearly and effectively.

GRE Subject TestProspective graduate school applicants take the Subject Tests. Applicants come from varying educational and cultural backgrounds and the GRE Subject Tests provide a common measure for comparing candidates’ qualifications. Each Subject Test is intended for students who have an undergraduate major or extensive background in one of these seven disciplines:

·        Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology

·        Biology

·        Chemistry

·        Literature in English

·        Mathematics

·        Physics

·        Psychology

NOTE -The GRE Computer Science Test was discontinued following the April 2013 administration. Scores will continue to be reportable for five years.

Is GRE mandatory to apply for Grad Schools abroad?

Most of the Grad Schools in the US consider GRE as an important criterion to extrapolate the analytical, research and management skills of a student. In almost all US based institutes, GRE General test is a pre-requisite for graduate admission. There are few institutes in the US which allow graduate admission even without GRE but in my advice, they are not the good ones. One more disadvantage of studying in such schools is that changing your University (in the case of lack of funding in the middle of your studies, clashes with Professor/University or for reason unknown) can be almost impossible. This in some cases can cost going back to your home country.

It should be noted that GRE test is not mandatory if you are considering applying to Europe, and Australia obviously with few exceptions. However, many European Universities do give preference to candidates with Subject GRE, GATE or CSIR (the last two particularly for Indian candidates).

When can I take the GRE test?

You can take the computer-delivered GRE revised General Test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period (365 days). This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test that you took previously. You may take the paper-delivered GRE revised General Test as often as it is offered. When selecting a test date, make sure your scores will be reported in time for your application deadlines. For computer-delivered tests, scores reports are sent to your designated score recipients approximately 10–15 days after your test date. Please allow time for delivery of scores and processing by the institution.

Is GRE the major deciding factor in the evaluation/admission process?

In one word, NO!! There are other important criteria such as CGPA/GPA, publications, work experience(s), projects, the reputation of your past university, recommendation letters (LOR) and Statement of purpose (SOP)/motivation letter/letter of intent etc. However, good GRE score (318-340) does play an important role in the evaluation process and it can also help you compensate for a lower CGPA or lack of work experience. Similarly a good GPA (3.5+/4 or 8+/10) and work experience, publications and projects can compensate for a low or average GRE score (295- 310).

What is considered a good GRE score?

This varies depending on the University, Department, and Institute and destination country. This should be understood that GRE is just one of the several proofs of your candidacy as a potential graduate student and depending on your field, grad level (Master vs Ph.D.) and University; its weight in the evaluation process will vary. In most cases, a score above 310 (on a scale of 340) is considered decent for good Universities. Ivy league institutes mostly have higher GRE demands (with few exceptions) it can be as high as 330-340.

Sometimes, many good Universities like Iowa State University, Ohio State University, University of Georgia, John Hopkins, Cold Spring Harbor Lab, University of Texas, University of North Carolina (Greensboro) do not have a very high GRE score (varies from 300-320) demands and look for overall profile.

From my experience, I have also noticed that GRE score requirements are little higher (by 3-10 points) for M.S as compared to Ph.D. This is mainly because Ph.D. admission relies more on research skills, publications and personal qualities of a prospective student. It should also be noted that few Universities also accept GRE for MBA admission.

Most of the Universities often conduct online skype interviews (mainly for research-based Master and Ph.D. students. Sometimes, this can be followed by an interview by a Professor who would want to hire you.

Do you recommend some good books for GRE?

The books that helped me the most are: Official GRE guide by ETS, Kaplan, Princeton, Magoosh.

What else can I do to boost my GRE preparation?

Download the free app on verbal and quantitative analysis on your smartphone and go through it over and over again. Devote a great deal of time to it as much as you do surfing Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I personally used Magoosh app and it was a great help. Eat, drink, think and sleep GRE. If you are not crazy about your passion than you don’t deserve to achieve success. Period!!

Can I choose not to give IELTS/TOEFL exams if I have a GRE score?

Well, this depends on the country you are applying to. IELTS/TOEFL are exams taken by non-native English speakers to prove their proficiency in English. While GRE does evaluate vocabulary and writing skills, it does not compensate for IELTS/TOEFL as the later also evaluate listening, speaking and reading skills. All US based Universities demand GRE + IELTS or GRE+TOEFL scores from international students. For the UK, Australia and Canada based Universities IELTS or TOEFL alone (without GRE) does the job. For most of the European Universities (except the UK), an Indian candidate need not provide an IELTS/TOEFL score given that he/she can prove that he did his schooling and higher education in English medium. This means that you can apply to European Universities (well most of them) without GRE or IELTS/TOEFL.

NOTE/DISCLAIMER: These are the personal views of the writer (Jitendra Pant) on GRE based admission process.

About the author

Jitendra Pant is a Research Assistant and Ph.D. Scholar in the Department of Engineering at the University of Georgia, US (Connect here on LinkedIn). He has published 8 papers in highly reputed international peer reviewed journals (Click to see his research on Google Scholars).  He is a motivator and believes in the power of words+ actions (join FB group here Career Counselling and Higher Education). He is a BITS alumnus and Ex-Scientist in Research and Development (R&D) Department at Biocon Research Ltd, Bangalore. His motivational novel “A fool who ate his hunger” is getting released soon worldwide.  He is also an amateur singer  and have been a second runner up in Idea rocks India (click here to watch and subscribe Youtube Channel

HAPPINESS IS A DECISION

Failed a test? Or had a fight with a colleague? Or your boss yelled at you? Or one of your family members is not keeping well? Or you never have enough money to afford the bare minimum? Or had a breakup or divorce? Problems are never-ending.  Life will keep happening to you but you must get up and tell yourself,

“It’s not the end!”

It’s not the end because every failure is an opportunity to shine and write your own success story! Sounds familiar? Yes, it is. But you think all these things sound good in theory but difficult to apply? Ok, let’s do this. Let us allow the failure kill our ambitions and our determination. Let it ruin the dream of a happy life. Let’s cry, blame our life, God, friends, and family. Let’s curse our life for not having money, comfort, and a perfect job. Let’s destroy our lives by thinking negative and not taking any action and everything will be fine. Right? You see what we do every day? We live a below average life by allowing our failure overpower the greatness within us. Somebody rightly said,

“It’s not about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

Life will give you thousands of reasons every moment to give up. However, if you train your mind right, every hurdle will look like a reason to learn and grow. Always remember

“Pain is not in your control but suffering is!”

So, don’t be scared of the pain and don’t allow the pain to let you suffer.

Thanks, and best regards

JITENDRA PANT LINKEDIN

About the author

Jitendra Pant is a Research Assistant and Ph.D. Scholar in the Department of Engineering at the University of Georgia, US (Connect here on LinkedIn). He has published 8 papers in highly reputed international peer reviewed journals (Click to see his research on Google Scholars).  He is a motivator and believes in the power of words+ actions (join FB group here Career Counselling and Higher Education). He is a BITS alumnus and Ex-Scientist in Research and Development (R&D) Department at Biocon Research Ltd, Bangalore. His motivational novel “A fool who ate his hunger” is getting released soon worldwide.  He is also an amateur singer  and have been a second runner up in Idea rocks India (click here to watch and subscribe Youtube Channel.

 

Haters-I am most thankful to you

I first heard the word ‘Scientist’ from a friend when I was in grade 3. I asked my elder sister, what is a scientist? She explained it to me but I didn’t understand it all. She then gave me a book to read, “Vishwa k mahaan Vaigyanik-The great Scientist of the world”.

I decided to become a Scientist one day–many laughed at me, including my friends (sometimes they are naysayers in disguise). I was advised that people from small villages and no money should not fantasize about changing the world. I should know my limit.

Then I worked in Biocon as a Scientist. Although Biocon was making and is still making a difference in the lives of millions of people, I felt that I have a long way to go. I left my job, started my M.Tech at BITS-Pilani, went to Germany and then came to the US for my Ph.D. with one goal in mind–Making a difference. I know that I have a long way to go before the change would be visible but becoming an equal contribution inventor in 4 BIOMEDICAL PATENTS taught me that there is no harm in dreaming big! It keeps you going.

My message to all those who never believed in me–You give me the courage, strength and a force to do better and better and better each day. I am most thankful to you.

DON’T KILL THE RESOLUTIONS​ YOU MADE ON DEC’​, THE 31st

Friends, Pals, Seniors, Juniors, Sirs, Ma’ams, CEOs, Managers, Team Leads, Daydreamers, Professionals and everyone.

It’s Jan’ 15th of the year 2018  and it’s been 15 days that you have been following (or not following) the resolutions that you made on the 31st of Dec’, 2017 to live a life that is meaningful and productive and a life that would fulfill all your dreams. Although I don’t know most of you, I can say one thing with 100% certainty that unfortunately, more than 90% of you have already broken their resolutions or are going to break it sooner. Sounds bitter and harsh? Well, it is supposed to be because it is true.

My name is Jitendra Pant (friends call me Jiten). I am not a Guru, who is living an ideal life myself but I have been fighting the enemy within me every day (we all have one, the biggest enemy ever) to live a life (not hope, wish or dream of) that must make me a better person, a better worker, a better colleague, a better senior, a better junior, a better listener, a better speaker, a healthier person, a wealthier person, a better son, a better lover, a better brother and a better friend to those who matter.

Was I always inspired and motivated like how I am today? Yes always!

Did I always get what I want? Of course not!

What changed in me that I started getting the results now? Around 4 years back, I came to meet (through people, seminars, books, and online videos) my motivational Guru Robin Sharma and I further got introduced to Zig Ziglar, Les Brown, Tony Robbins, Dale Carnegie and many other motivators who gave me their words of wisdom. This blog is not about me, but I was also taught by my motivational Gurus to help others grow while you grow yourself in the journey. So, here I am in an attempt (successful or not, you decide, I tried and that’s my success) to inspire you, enrich you and serve as your servant to remind you of your greater self. My blog on “The day to evaluate the resolutions you made on Dec’, the 31st” is all about you to evaluate the promises that you made to yourself with great determinations just a few days back.

Let’s try to understand why most of us failed to achieve what we wanted so badly, that we knew for sure will change our lives for good? Through the words of wisdom that I heard from legends including the Gurus I just listed and others like Steve Jobs, Chris Gardener, Aamir Khan, Usain Bolt and Nadal (these are my superheroes, you might have yours), I learned that they all follow certain common rituals that most of us lack. They are obsessed with what they want, they have a clear vision of their dreams and most importantly they take ACTIONS to fulfill them. They take ACTIONS and CONTINUE TO ACT even when they were laughed at, mocked by people (including friends and family) and ridiculed every day. They continue to hone their skills and improve it every single day inch by inch to be a better version of their own self. They visualize themselves as the “BEST AMONGST THE BEST” irrespective of their education, financial setbacks, and failures that they face in their pursuits. In short, they just don’t dream, or are positive or have a wishlist, they act, learn, fail and grow every day.

Is it as simple as it sounds? Of course not. It’s hard, it’s painful, it’s a lot of work but it’s worth the happiness, success, fulfillment, pride, health, wealth, and wisdom that you gain and you gain it at a much faster pace than you can believe. Sounds over ambitious? It might but it’s true, I can say it because I can feel it every day. I am a better version of me today than I was just yesterday. Robin Sharma has rightly said, “Those who sweat more in the field, bleeds less in the combat”. I might fail again but now I believe myself more for I have learned that “It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward”. I am nowhere close to perfection but I am excelling every day and I am cherishing the results and my friends you too will.

So today, with a humble heart and respect, I challenge, request, ask, encourage and support you to get back to the mindset that you had on 31st of Dec and tell yourself that you will nail it, you will shine, you will blossom and spread your fragrance all over to bring happiness to your own life, in the lives of your loved ones and in the lives of people who look up to you. Be the best boss and the best worker you know. Be a better family man/woman than you were yesterday. Don’t waste your gym membership this year. Eat healthy, smile at people, talk positive, read books (they are life changing) or do whatever gives meaning to your life in the TRUE sense.

They say “if you want to be amongst the top 5%, you can’t afford to act like the other 95%”.

A HAPPY NEW LIFE 2018 and ahead.

About the author

Jitendra Pant is a Research Assistant and Ph.D. Scholar in the Department of Engineering at the University of Georgia, US. He is a motivator and believes in the power of words + actions. He is a BITS alumnus and Ex-Scientist in Research and Development (R&D) Department at Biocon Research Ltd, Bangalore. His motivational novel “A fool who ate his hunger” is getting released soon worldwide.

Contact

My website

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Don’t make the resolution for a year, make ‘the goals’ for life!

“Don’t live 365 days the same way and call it a life”-Robin Sharma

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018 Dear Friends.

As the new year approached many of us would have made new year resolution. However, I encourage you to not make new year resolution this time but make goals instead.

Why? Because deep in our hearts we all know that most of us are not going to do anything about the resolution just like any other year.  Resolution is like a fantasy that excites us for few days and then we put all the efforts to kill it slowly.

Why are goals important?

We all dream of a successful and happy life but dreams without actions would only lead to frustrations.

Taking correct as well as corrective actions require planning and planning require goal settings.

Remember what you are today is a result of small decisions and actions that you have taken in the past.  Well if you think that you are not where you wanted to be or you want to go much much much above where you are right now then there is a good news for you. You have the entire year with you. So sit down, take a breathe and

  • Write 5 big goals that you want to achieve in the next 5 years. This might include goals like buying a BMW, getting admission in a top-notch University, becoming a CEO, starting your own company or just anything that you think is going to change your life.
  • Write 5 big goals that you want to achieve by the end of this year i.e by Dec’.
  • Divide these 5 goals into the small tasks into monthly goals and assign yourself with objectives that are important to meet to evaluate your progress at the end of the year.
  • Divide the monthly goals into weekly landmarks that you need to achieve to be on the right track.

ACTION cures Fear. It’s the bridge between your dream and reality. SO YOU MUST ACT ON YOUR GOALS.

Let me make it a little easy for you.

  • Be realistic in setting goals.
  • Know your strength, weakness and time slots.
  • Work on time management skill
  • Kill procrastination
  • Avoid naysayers who look down on you, eat and live healthy to be in high energy state
  • Read good books like ‘ How to win friends and influence people, 7 strategies for wealth and Success, Eat that frog. Read biographies of successful people like Anwar Sadat, Nelson Mandela, Wright Brothers and Steve jobs to name a few. The wisdom from these books would act as a constant reminder of the change that you want to make in this world.

HOPE YOU WILL ROCK THIS YEAR. Do send me a text or message on WordPress, FB, LinkedIn or on my website if this helps you or your loved ones.

Thanks and best regards

Jitendra Pant

Click here to visit my website Jitendrapant.com

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Finished writing my first fiction- “A FOOL WHO ATE HIS HUNGER”

Growing up in a small town called Ramanagar, India, when I saw successful people on TV, I always wished, if I will get a chance, I will prove myself one day. By now, I have learned that one should not wait to be given a chance to be successful but rather write his own success. I also came to the realization: When words have honesty they can touch you deep within. I then decided to use my words as my strength and started to write my fiction novel 1.5 years back.

Just finished writing my first novel- “A fool who ate his hunger”. I need your blessings, support, and love to reach many hearts and be the change I have always dreamt to be. Your love reminds me of my responsibilities. It’s not about the fame- it’s about living in the true sense by impacting many lives around the globe.

Jitendra Pant

Is this your first time in the United States? Make sure you are doing the right thing!

Are you a student, visiting scholar, or a working professional who just arrived US (or any other developed country) for the first time?

Congratulations, you finally made it to the United States of America.  Of course, the US is one of the best countries in the world to live in. A lot of people around the globe dream to study,  work and settle here for obvious reasons. But this is just the beginning. You are about to get introduced to a new culture.  You are about to enjoy the marriage between anxiety and excitement.  Based on 3 years of my experience in the US, I have summed up few pieces of advice for Internationals for easier acclimatization in this wonderful country of opportunities called, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. These dos and don’ts are also applicable to a foreigner in any other country.

  1. Do not talk bad about your country. When you arrive here, you will notice a lot of differences in the infrastructure, the way people behave and dress. If you find that US has a better infrastructure that your country then appreciate the US for that without insulting your own country in front of foreigners. It is OK to have a discussion when you are sitting in a group from your own country that’s the place to be a critic for the betterment of your own culture. Not in front of people from other countries. Remember ! A culture is a result of many decades of human practices that are dictated by the geographical location, economy, upbringing, literacy rate and human values. You can not change it overnight by insulting your own country in a foreign land. Rather learn and spread awareness.
  2. Smile to a stranger. Some countries are very conservative, where smiling to a stranger means that you are either creepy or you need some favor. In the US or even in Europe, strangers might smile at you out of their goodness. Just reflect it back the same way. Neither the pretty girl who smiled at you while jogging on the road is attracted to you, nor the guy who smiled at you need anything from you. So do not act creepy. Take it the way it is no less or more. Next time smile at every person you see on your way. Some might not give you the same smile back but most of them will.
  3. Do not feel inferior. The way you spend money or dress up or eat might have been completely different in the country you belong to. If you find people more sophisticated than you then there is no need to feel inferior about it. Rather learn from them and grab all good habits and behavior that you can. At the same time share your good habits with them. Trust me, this gradient can bring the best in everyone.
  4. Be a little flexible and show empathy. It would be much easier for you to acclimatize if you will accept that you are in a different country and the way things happen here is a bit different from your native land. In India, we tend to have a big group of friends, share food before we eat or discuss family problems very often. In the US, if the natives do not indulge in over talking then do not consider them rude, they just need their personal space.  If someone does not offer you their food, don’t feel bad about it, their idea is to not offer you’re their left over. Basically, do not compare them with respect to the standards of your native land. Understand their angle before making a judgment.
  5. Do not talk about your country all the time. Yes, you are proud of your country. Everyone is and everyone should. But when you are a part of a conversation, try to listen to them rather than jumping into the conversation and say, “Oh really! But in my country, they do it differently ..“ or in another case, “Oh yeah yeah, that’s how they do it in my country also”.  Its great to be proud of your country but its also important to be a good listener. Don’t keep talking about your country and culture all the time unless it is required in the conversation.
  6. Do not cook right before meeting people. In some countries, very strong spices are heavily used in cooking, particularly is North Asian and South Asian Countries. Spices smell can be really intimidating for some people. This can sometimes give an impression that you do not take shower when that actual reason is that you used strong spices in your cooking. Be careful ! if you cook at home, either avoid going out right after you cook or take a shower before leaving the house or at the least change the clothes. Always wear deodorant, cologne or perfume. Smell like a professional, not like the food. Haha!!
  7. Do not just hang out with people from your own country. Americans are great people in general. If you did not find a good one, it’s just your bad luck. Do not hang out only with people from your own country, this will halt your learning process. When it comes to choosing a roommate, do not always live with people from your own country. Rather go for American roommates, you will learn about their culture much fasterWatch American TV shows and Movies or sports. This will help you to understand and pick up their accent much faster in addition to making you aware of people behavior and expectations. Basically get out of your comfort zone.
  8. Indulge in new hobbies and recreation. When you are new here, you might be left with a lot of free time. Reason? Simple you don’t have a social circle. This can make you homesick.  Do not waste your time on youtube and facebook or over watching TV. Instead go to the gym, play pool, read good books, learn to play some musical instrument, write blogs, join Toastmasters (or any another public speaking group). In short, add value to your life rather than wasting time on useless pursuits or feeling homesick.
  9. Give tip at the restaurants. I know it’s not the kind of advice that is pocket-friendly. Tipping is not a part of a lot of cultures. In the US, it is very common though. I understand that for a lot of international students, it not possible to tip a lot of money. In worst case tip just $1 but a tip. A lot of restaurant staff income is based heavily on the tip that you give. So tip if you can afford.

What do you think? Please add any advice that you might have to help newcomers better acclimatize in a foreign country.

 

 

 

 

 

6-Life Lessons from the Bollywood movie, the “Secret Superstar”

Secret-Superstar-second-poster

 

Secret Superstar, a Bollywood movie about a 14-year-old girl, Insia who dreams to be a singing sensation but is scared to live her dreams because she has a conservative father who thinks that a girl’s life is only meant to serve the husband. Nonetheless, the girl becomes a Youtube Superstar but she has to disguise her identity by wearing a burkha so that her father cannot recognize her.

Here are the 6 life lessons that we can take from the movie, which can enhance our personal and professional life.

See big dreams: A dream is the starting point to any successful journey. It does not matter what age, gender, country or society you belong to. If you have the courage to see dreams you are one step closer to be successful.

Have Faith: Dreams, when combined with faith, give us the energy to keep going despite the initial failure. It gives us the reason to go against all the odds. So have faith and nurture your dreams.

Do not listen to the naysayers: Its unfortunate but very common that, sometimes our own family can make us handicapped by expecting us to play small. Sometimes the people who should support our dreams and passions become the real obstacles to our success journey. Know that if you are morally right you should listen to no one but your heart. But make sure that you do not harm in the process.

The action is the difference between hunger and fantasy: No amount of dreaming, positivity, and faith can make us successful if we do not take small actions every day to reach our goals. The action is the bridge between a dream and the reality.

Love your Family: Never underestimate the importance of your family while reaching your goals. No amount of success can make us happy if we do not have a family to celebrate it with. Remember how Insia love towards her mother became a driving force for her to take chances that turned her into a Bollywood Singer. Do not get confused between point 3 and 5, understand the context 😊

You are a superstar yourself if you have these 6 personality traits.

Thanks and best regards

Jitendra Pant

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Halloween, the Western version of the Indian Śraddhā (श्राद्घ )

 

Halloween picWhen I first participated in the Halloween parade in 2015, I found it a strange festival to celebrate. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it a lot.  Two years later, now, when the Halloween is approaching soon, I decided to do some online research on it.

I don’t know how many of you realized it, Halloween is nothing but the American version of the Indian Śraddhā.  YES, I AM NOT KIDDING. Halloween or All Saint’s Eve is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October.  It is dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed. Similarly, Śraddhā is a Hindu ritual performed one performs to pay homage to one’s ‘ancestors’ (Sanskrit: Pitṛs), especially to one’s dead parents.

 

Happy Halloween and Happy Śraddhā.

Thanks

Jitendra pant

 

 

Read more of my blog posts by clicking the link below.

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