Friday, August 14, 2009

'Official guide will help students gauge performance before taking the TOEFL test'

Prachi Rege / DNA

Wed Aug 12, 2009 18:52 IST

Education Testing Services (ETS), advances quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. It has recently released the third Edition of its Official Guide to the TOEFL Test. Gena Netten, manager of English Language Learning Tools at ETS, gives the details on the new and improved test guide.

What would the latest edition of the Official Guide to the TOEFL Test constitute?
The Official Guide represents preparation aide that is produced by the creators of the TOEFL test. It not only contains actual questions designed by TOEFL test development experts, but also includes two full-length tests that have been withdrawn from active use.

How will the students be able to use this guide?
Students can use this guide to get a complete understanding of the four sections of the exam, what the test measures, ETS's approach to measuring how English is actually used on university campuses. They also get to take two practice tests to help understand their performance before taking the actual test that goes towards college admission. They can access the guide from

Mention a few benefits of using the official guide.
Whether the test taker chooses the eBook or the popular paper book, they will get a proven bestselling guide that features:
Hundreds of real TOEFL test questions and essay topics
Two full-length, authentic tests
Valuable tips and practice exercises for all four language skills tested - listening, reading, speaking and writing
Detailed explanation of scoring and measurement criteria
ETS raters will comment on test taker responses for writing and speaking

What is the reason behind providing such a guide?
ETS wants to ensure that test takers do their best when taking the TOEFL test. Despite high-priced, intensive private preparation courses, there is really no better way to prepare than studying examples of questions from actual TOEFL tests.
Understanding the exam and what it measures, and experiencing a practice testing session at your convenience also reduces the stress associated with taking an important admission test. All this goes toward fulfilling ETS's mission, which is to advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services.

Three bilingual versions-Chinese, Korean and Japanese are currently under development by ETS...
We recognize that offering the Official Guide in other languages is very important. Our work continues on translating The Official Guide into Chinese, Korean and Japanese and we believe that they will be available in the near future.

Any suggestions that you would like to provide the large student community preparing for the TOEFL test?
The TOEFL exam is the only English language admission test that measures how English is actually used. Unlike other exams, we do not treat English as separate skills to be learned and used independently of each other.
In designing the TOEFLiBT, ETS worked with universities and higher education officials to design a test that met their needs, we collected examples of spoken and written English directly from classrooms and college publications.
This ensures that the test reflects the skills and abilities universities want, and gives students a good foundation to build upon once they enter higher education.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mumbai, Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Let's just say this one's my tribute to Florence Nightingale.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mumbai, Thursday, July 2, 2009

Personally I believe that banking, is the best job in the world. It not only pays well but also has a number of perks which can be put to good use.

Mumbai, Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I appreciate the efforts put forward by Ms Lalvani, it was pleasure talking to her as she explained to me the current and future plans of her trust with regards to the education sector.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Forum to end scourge of child abuse set up

Prachi Rege/DNA

Mumbai: Child sexual abuse (CSA) is probably the one social evil that is overlooked the most in India, a crime that people consistently turn a blind eye to, pretending it does not exist. To help spread awareness about CSA and find ways to curb it, the Forum Against Child Sexual Exploitation (Facse) held its first networking meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working on the issue were present at the meeting, as were members of the special cell for women and children set up by the Maharashtra Police.

"These meetings are going to serve as a platform to create a network of people who are tackling the serious issue of CSA," said Ketki Doshi of Facse. "One doesn't have to belong to a social organisation. You just need to be willing to offer support to the cause. We will meet once every two months and discuss the kind of cases that we have handled and how we solved them.

"Following this practice will help us to create new awareness modules and address this problem which is rampant in our society but is fairly ignored," she said. The discussion began after the screening of two films showcasing the problem of child sexual abuse, made by Sahil, an NGO from Pakistan. Yeh Hamara Kal Hai is a 12-minute film about young Mintoo living in the shanties of Islamabad. His desire to play a video game makes him fall prey to an abuser.

The Other Side of Childhood is a 20-minute animated film which shows the evil trade of child sexual workers taking place at city hotels in Pakistan. It also portrays the evil cycle of the abused turning into abusers themselves.

"Both films depicted the scenario that children, especially from vulnerable backgrounds, fall into and succumb to child abusers," said Roshni Nair, member of Facse and assistant professor at the Centre for Criminology and Justice, School of Social Work.

"In our society we need to first acknowledge the existence of child abuse and then move on to make children and their parents understand this problem," Nair said. "Facse organises training sessions in which we show them how to identify child abusers and bring them to the fore."

The special cell members present at the meeting stressed the need for legislation to book child abusers and protect the victims. According to them, many cases go unreported as the families fear social stigma, as a result of which the abusers are free to continue with their depredations.

Pradeep Bhavnur, a lawyer at the Bombay High Court, said, "Two years ago a Delhi-based NGO had filed a petition with the Supreme Court to define child sexual abuse. But due to the absence of appropriate legislation in this regard, a definition could not be framed."

The network decided that all social groups would get together, share case studies and solutions, and provide training modules that will help people to tackle this unspoken, unspeakable crime.

Mumbai, Thursday, June 25, 2009

This story was done with a perspective of publishing it in the communities section. However, with a little twist we made it into an academy story.

Mumbai, Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This is an excellent training base for students interested in robotics. Though on the expensive side it will be surely worth it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mumbai, Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This article was published four months after submitting it. No no it wasn't a bad ex-editor just had the habit of sleeping on stories, which by now he has mastered.
Anywho better late then never...the cranes have finally seen the day of the light.

Mumbai, Thursday, May 21, 2009

READING-Oh yeah I live on this hobby of mine. Books going hi tech is certainly a USP of selling it to the kids. Happy Reading Children!!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mumbai, Tuesday, June 2, 2009

An interesting twist to textbook learning. In my four years of writing for education I have realised that idiscoveri is one organisation which is taking real step forward in making learning a practical experience.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mumbai, Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Mumbai University finally managed to take some steps and be a little more proactive in connecting with its large student community.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My favorite stories. Guess what it's about ACTING!!. They all say if I wouldn't be a journalist I would certainly be on well...BROADWAY!!
An exciting way to keep our summer vacations full of infotainment and recreation.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mumbai, Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This is another of my "What you need to do with your career story?" It was interesting to right about the numerous vocational technical options available for students.

Mumbai, Thursday, May 7, 2009

This is one of the last conversations that I organised and covered. For a hospitality student the "World is the Oyster".

Mumbai, Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's fascinating to see how the English language still grips people. Even though we are the second largest country to have the most number of English speaking people, many of us are still struggling to learn it...

Mumbai, Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Publishing of this story came as a was a good one said my editor.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

This is an excellent way of using technology to it's best...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mumbai, Thursday, April 23, 2009

Post this conversation, I realised the importance of preschools, in shaping up a bright and secured future.

Mumbai, Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mumbai, Tuesday, April 16, 2009

I'm happy this story has seen the light of the day. Three cheers! to my batch mates who are taking this step ahead in life... to bring out a change in society. All the Best to them.

Mumbai, Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Got an awesome response for this one too. It was fun to do this story.
Animation certainly has a bright future.

Mumbai, Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This is the best story a fabulous response from readers.

Mumbai, Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yet another competitive exam for the engineering geniuses.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mumbai, Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This is my first speak up story. Got a good deal of information on pets myself.
Another fun part was speaking to BMC officials, well they are not as bad as we take them to be...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mumbai, Tuesday, April 7, 2009

After doing this story I realized that "there are no short cuts to success". If you want to achieve something as coveted as a seat in an IIT start preparing two years in advance or just change your dreams instead of chasing them...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mumbai, Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's always a pleasure to cover the event of my Alma mater.

Mumbai, Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This story got me a follow up in DNA's Thane-Mulund edition. MACCIA is a hub of and for entrepreneurs...

Mumbai, Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mumbai, Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This DNA conversation was on the IT industry. Promising, surprising and enterprising as always this industry still has some hidden areas to be explored in the slowdown...

Mumbai, Tuesday, February 17, 2009

One of the things I like covering in the vast education beat is the Schools. Especially those that are recently launched and have adopted the new techniques of teaching. IB schools are certainly the next best school education.

Mumbai, Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The most competitive entrance exam under the sun is going to be on April 12, 2009. With seven more IITs this is gonna be one toughie to crack...All the Best.

Mumbai, Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The rather lucrative career of a dentist gets a new boost with this programme.

Mumbai, Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Forget Bartenders, Brewmasters who know how you have your coffee is the next best thing on the cards...

Mumbai, Tuesday, March 24, 2009

DNA Conversations is an unique concept started by this newspaper. Through this we are connecting with not only the industry but also the readers. Whatever comes out of this panel discussion is a reader friendly guide...on education.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

How I became Miss Limpsalot...

This is a story of a young girl. Oh no if you are thinking that this is something from the Far Far away kind of stories than you will be disappointed. This is the story of me, Prachi Rege, aapli Mumbai girl, who has been living and walking its streets and platforms like a soldier on foot, for as long as I remember.
However, this soldier on foot was quite disappointed on December 31, 2008. Yes, the last day of the year, popularly known as New Years Eve. So this is what happened...
A very enthusiastic me, just like my fellow Mumbaikars left office to head home and join my family for New Year’s celebrations. But fate had other plans for me. While walking towards the station I passed a group of labourers who were loading cement tiles on a hand cart and one of those heavy pieces kissed my foot and the world came tumbling on it. I walked a little ahead with a muffled cry passing my lips and I could sense something sticky on my foot, to my horror in the middle of that crowded lane it was BLOOD!! Alone and helpless, I walked towards the station dragging my bloodied foot.
If you think the next thing I did was to get into the train then I wouldn’t blame you; but looks like my ordeal wasn’t destined to be short lived. I BLACKED OUT...on the station. The next thing I know is that a mob of people were picking me up, and I was screaming for my mobile which had fallen to the ground. Some twenty odd good Samaritans revived me with water and reassurances (my personal thanks, apologies and blessings to all of these people), after which I just put myself into the train and limped home, this time with a bump and bruised head from the black out.
And that’s how I became Miss Limpsalot on New Years’s eve....