How to Prepare for SAT the Right Way

Are you a college aspirant planning to sit for SAT but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we are here to guide you. SAT is a highly competitive exam and it is imperative to score well to be able to apply to the college of your choice. But SAT prep can be quite intimidating considering the vast syllabus and immense competition.

So, we have put together a list for you that’ll help you prep for SAT the right way. Read on to know more.

  • Always practice test papers: While it is important to study each section separately, practicing a full-length test multiple times in duration of your prep will help you time yourself better and mentally prepare you to write the test.
  • Note your strength and weakness: By preparing and writing tests on a regular basis, highlight those areas that are your strength as well as subjects that need more work. Based on this, prepare your timetable. However, being strong in a certain subject does not mean you don’t study for it at all.
  • Make a timetable: No matter ow much we say it, making a timetable works wonders. More importantly, sticking to it does. It’ll take time to fall into schedule initially but give it time and make it a point to keep to the timelines you’ve made for yourself. A timetable can also include milestones such as writing the first mock test, completing a subject by a certain date. Reward yourself if you are able to achieve these milestones.
  • Talk to people/friends: Reach out to people who have appeared for the SAT successfully and document their best practices. See if they suit you and apply them to your prep.
  • Give it time: SAT is no easy feat. People take months to prep and some even appear multiple times. Hence, if you plan to appear for the SAT seriously, plan well in advance.
  • Sneak in prep: SAT prep does not happen solely by sitting on a desk and a chair for a few hours straight. You can do some minor prep or revision during “dead time” such as waiting for the bus, on your way to meet a friend, etc. for example, reviewing some vocabulary flash cards or practicing mental math.
  • Find a study partner: Some people study better with partners, hence, if you’re one of them, find a partner before you start your prep. Keep yourself and them motivated through the process.
  • Take professional help: SIf you think you need help, don’t hesitate. Look for a SAT tutor online who can support you in this process.

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Biggest Breakthroughs in Physics in 2020

Physics, like other areas of science, is ever evolving. Discoveries continue that explain phenomenon that may have existed or are new. And, these changes and discoveries are happening faster than ever. If Physics interests you, we have compiled a list of the biggest breakthroughs in Physics in 2020.

Hope you learn something new!

  • Higgs Decay: The first Higgs particle was detected in 2012 at the LHC, Cern, Geneva. It is also known as “God’s Particle”. Now, scientists at LHC have also observed the ultra-rare phenomenon of the decay of the Higgs Boson into two elementary particles. These particles are called muons. The discovery has advanced the knowhow of the Standard Model of Particle Physics.
  • Quantum Teleportation: Scientists at the Fermilab in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory have successfully teleported data via entangled photons. The fidelity is reported to be greater than 90% and over a distance of 44 kms (~~27 miles). Technically, quantum teleportation uses entangled photons to transfer a quantum bit from one location to another in that instant. Now, scientists are working toward building a quantum internet that will be super-fast.
  • Detection of Sun-Made Neutrinos: In 2020, physicists detected neutrinos that can be traced to carbon-nitrogen-oxygen fusion inside the sun for the first time ever. In fact, this finding is considered one of the greatest discoveries in physics of the current millennium. The scientists used ultrasensitive Borexino detector. The detection was conducted at the INFN’s Gran Sasso particle physics laboratory in central Italy, the largest underground research center in the world.
  • X(6900) Tretraquark Detection: In addition to Higgs Decay, LHC & CERN also discovered a new particle called a “tetraquark.” These particles are not new per se, however, the latest tetraquark, also known as X(6900), is made up entirely of “heavy quarks.” It is interesting because it is made up of four quarks of the same kind wherein usually, protons and neutrons at the nucleus of an atom are generally made up of three quarks. The discovery contributes towards advancing our understanding of atomic physics.
  • Measuring a Moment: In 2020, physicists in Germany set a record for the shortest measured unit of time. They measured how long it takes for a photon to traverse a hydrogen molecule. The final measurement shared by them was 247 zeptoseconds or 247 trillionths of a billionth of a second.

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog and acquired new information about the world of Physics.

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The Boom of the Online Tutoring Industry in the United States

Technology evolution has brought with it transformations across industries. The education industry is no different. While at one point in time education or teaching was only assumed to be an in-person activity, it has changed with the advent of online tutoring. In definition, online tutoring refers to tutoring via a virtual/online environment or networked environment. Online tutoring services are cropping up almost everyday to make learning from home a reality.

The numbers also paint a similar picture. Estimates suggest that the global online tutoring market is expected to grow from $1.44 billion in 2020 to $1.63 billion in 2021. The compound annual growth rate is 13.2%. In 2025, the industry is estimated to reach $2.9 billion.

This surge is growth from 2020 to 2021 is also because of companies bouncing back to business after COVID-19. At the same time, due to COVID-19, the demand for online tutoring in the US and elsewhere is also increasing.

Online tutoring is largely divided into two types – mobile apps that have pre-recorded lessons/lectures using interactive medium and online tutoring platforms where students can register and get a personal tutor wherein classes are conducted online. The former is also called private tutoring. Private tutoring involves structured activities designed based on classroom teaching procedures in schools. The purpose is to improve a student’s school performance. In this teaching method, a student or small group of students are taught by a tutor. Private tutoring includes one-on-one educational help to school students and those aspiring for further studies. Even adults interested in learning can sign up for online private tutoring.

This increase in demand for online tutoring is happening due to several reasons. Firstly, it is highly efficient in providing lessons to students. Moreover, online tutoring is a flexible and convenient learning method making learning a more fun and less cumbersome task. In addition, along with teaching the concepts in an interactive and visual way, online tutoring also allows for paper solving and other tips and tricks that can help the students in the long run. As more people are acknowledging these benefits, the scope and demand for online tutoring is increasing.

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Evolution of the English Language: How Did We Arrive at the Way We Speak and Write Today?

A language spoken by 1.35 billion of the world’s 7.8 billion inhabitants wasn’t always the way it is today. Yes, we are talking about the English language. In fact, among those who speak English, less than half (360 million) speak it as their first language and the rest aren’t even native English speakers. How did English become one of the most predominant forms of communication across the world? Let’s have a look at the evolution of the English language.

Old English – Where did it all begin?

English language really came to prominence when Britain was invaded by the Germanic Tribes including the Anglo, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians in the 5th Century. At the time, they all spoke the same West Germanic language but with different dialects. This intermingling created a new Germanic tongue referred to as the “Anglo Saxon” and often called “Old English”.

However, it was between the 8th to 10th Century that Vikings began to arrive and settle and speaking another version of the Germanic language. It is now referred to as “Old Norse”. This mixing of English and Viking contributed as the second step as the basis for different English dialects today.

In the late 10th and early 11th Century, with the invasion by the Normans, the language started to transition from “Old English” to “Early Middle English”.

Early Middle English – The advent of grammar

This phase of the English language was associated with the evolution of grammar and with a special focus on Syntax. Basically, Syntax refers to the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language. In this period, the language also largely did away with “case endings”. Case endings are “a suffix on an inflected noun, pronoun, or adjective that indicates its grammatical function.” Resultantly, the language started become for sophisticated and complex. In the late 14th Century, the language evolved further and what we now call “Late Middle English”.

Late Middle English – The phase of new dialects

In this period, a new dialect, now known as the East-Midlands, began to evolve in the London area. In this period, Geoffrey Chaucer, as a renowned English poet played a huge rule in beginning the process of mainstreaming English. As a result, English was “approved” alongside French and Latin.

In the mid-14th Century, the “Chancery English” standard was brought about by the clerks working for the Chancery in London. These clerks were fluent in French and Latin, both the languages were extremely important and used by royalty, the church, etc. The clerks brought some changes to the way some words were pronounced in English such as swich became such. Their enormous influence over the language became the foundation for Early Modern English

Early Modern English – The start of the English Renaissance

This period of the English language is marked by various significant landmarks in grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. However, one of the important milestones in this period was the start of the English Renaissance. It is said to celebrate the height of glory during the Elizabethan Age. Moreover, with the invention of the printing press allowed Early Modern English to become mainstream.

In fact, by the end of the 16th Century, the complete Catholic Bible was translated and played an important role in the evolution of the English language. However, in the 16th and 17th Century, the world saw the writings of William Shakespeare. As a period when the language was undergoing changes, Shakespeare’s writings became an important step in concretizing these changes.

Around the same period, the establishment of the first colony in the early 17th Century in Virginia, United States also saw the dawn of American English with English colonizers adopting indigenous words, and adding them to the English language. The resultant migration between 17th to 19th Century brought to life the very many dialects of the English language.

Late Modern English – Rise of the British Empire and the Industrial Revolution

The colonization across the world and the Industrial Revolution saw the expansion of the English language. New discoveries in science and other developments brought the need to invent words in English to describe them. The scientists and other scholars often made words using Greek and Latin roots.

As a result of the colonization, various countries were introduced to English as a language especially Africa and Asia. However, the reverse is also true because even the English language included a lot of words that originated in different colonies. For example, words like shampoo, candy, cot originated in India.

English in the 21st Century – The present

Today, it will be nearly impossible to find any immediate similarities between Old English and Modern English. However, the language as we know today is a result of years and years of evolution. The rules of the English language are clearly defined, it is spoken across the world, and has become a global language.

Medical Advancements in the Last 100 Years That Have Changed Our Lives

It would be accurate to say that the last century has completely transformed the field of medicine. Cures in the form of vaccines, medicines, devices have sped the process of diagnosis and treatment that has significantly impacted the life span of people living with serious illnesses. One of the biggest examples of medical advancements in our lifetime is the COVID-19 vaccine. It has been developed near-record time by researchers.

In this article, we attempt to list some significant medical advancements of the last 100 years that have altered the way we live. Read on to know more.

  • Pacemaker (1936) – While electric impulses to stimulate the heart were in use for a number of years, Dr. Albert Hyman devised a spring-wound, hand-cranked electro-mechanical instrument he called the pacemaker. It was in 1958 that the first patient received an implantable pacemaker.
  • Dialysis (1943): It is to Dr. Willem Johan Kolff’s credit to build the first ever dialyzer. This invention has completely changed the lives of people suffering with kidney disease by giving them a chance to live a long and healthy life.
  • Magnetic Resonance (1952): Nuclear magnetic resonance used to conduct an MRI scan was developed by Felix Bloch and Edward Mills Purcell. The first MRI exam was conducted on a patient in 1977. This was a landmark in non-invasive diagnosis.
  • Cochlear Prosthesis (1957): A significant milestone in the field of hearing, Andre Djourno performed the first cochlear implantation in 1957.
  • Fetal Ultrasound (1958): Dr. Edward H. Hon is credited with using the doppler ultrasound to detect fetal heartbeat. Today, it has become a standard practice in prenatal care around the world.
  • CT Scanner (1971): It is to Dr. Godfrey Hounsfield credit that CT scans have become available to the common man. He developed the first commercial CT scanner. The first CT scan was done on a patient in London who was suspected to have a frontal lobe tumor.
  • First bionic limb (1993): The recipient of the first bionic limb was a patient diagnosed with muscular cancer. The patient wore a cap that had micro-sensors which detected brain impulses sent to his missing limb and used them to control the arm.
  • 3D printed body parts (2013): 3D printing technology has allowed researchers to print body parts with synthetic materials as well as by using bioprinting, that is, growing cells from a patient’s stem cells to encourage quicker healing.

Everyday researchers are working towards improving the health of people by finding solutions that reduce severity of illnesses and eliminate diseases. These inventions have given hope to the human race to live a long and healthy life.

If you know some other cool inventions that didn’t make the cut here, share it with us in the comments. We would love to know about them. If you’d like for us to list advancements in other fields, we’d love to put it together for you.

Evolution of the Spanish Language: How Did We Arrive at the Way We Speak and Write Today?

Any language as we read, write, and speak is a culmination of years of evolution and various factors influencing it. The same holds true for Spanish as well. A language that has been around for more than 1500 years, it has a rich and complicated history.

Spanish has become the second most spoken native language in the world today. Let’s see how we arrived here.

Spanish is a dialect of spoken Latin and originated in the Iberian Peninsula as long ago as 218 B.C. The language was brought to the region by Romans during the Second Punic War. The language further evolved when Latin as the official language of the Roman Empire started to mix with the local languages of the such as Celts and Iberians.

Further, in the 4th Century, Germanic groups such as Visigoths occupied some regions of the peninsula with the parallel demise of the Roman Empire. In this period, while the Visigoths spoke Latin, the language was influenced by the cultural depression of the peninsula. It was at this point that Spanish started to take shape the way we hear and speak it today. This was also termed as “vulgar Latin” as opposed “Classical Latin” used in literature.

The subsequent contribution to the language came from Arabic when the Muslim Moorish conquerors arrived. About 4000 words in Spanish have come from Arabic influence. In fact, in Spain, a lot of art and culture still speaks of this period. Over time, these adapted lost the way they were originally pronounced and the sounds became more “Spanish”, hence, the phonology is not heavily influenced by Arabic.

The period between 711 to 1492 is a significant one because it is marked by the reconquering of Spain (as we know today) from the Moors by the Kingdom of Castile. The language spoken by them was called Castilian Spanish. It became popular through poems written by the people to praise the brave soldiers.

The language further concretized when various subjects such as law, history, astronomy, etc. were translated to Spanish under the leadership of King Alfonso X in the 13th Century. This contributed towards significant rise in the spread of Spanish as a language.

Over years, as movement became fluid, the language began to gain foothold in other parts of the world as well. Today, in addition to some parts of Europe, Spanish is also widely spoken in Latin America.

Numbers suggest that more 330 million people across 21 countries speak Spanish today. As one of the many “romance” languages of the world, Spanish continues to expand its presence.

So, the next time you pick up your Spanish textbook, you’ll know a little bit about the history of this beautiful language.

If you’d like to know the history or evolution of any other language, let us know in the comments below.

Witnessing the Magic of Science in Our Daily Lives

The moment we think about science, we are flooded with thoughts of laws of physics or the periodic table. Science, for many of us, appears to be a subject which requires cramming up of formulae to get by in school. But we are here to tell you otherwise. Science is a subject we witness in our day-to-day lives. If we just pause and observe some phenomenon, we will realize how science is around us a lot more than we think.

So, we thought of putting together a list of common things we see or do in our everyday routine which has simple mechanics of science behind it. Here are some examples:

  • Cooking: While cooking, the heat energy is transferred to the cooking vessel in the form of convection, conduction, and radiation. Thereafter, various ingredients in the vessel begin to break down and form new bonds which results in cooked food as we know it. This involves principles of chemistry and physics.
  • Walking: The simple act of walking can be understood using the principles of biology and physics. Let’s understand how physics is involved. Basically, walking can be understood as Newton’s Third Law, that is, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Hence, when you put force on the ground, the ground applies equal force on your foot in the opposite direction, which pushes your forward. In terms of biology, walking is known to mobilize changes in the structure of our brain and increase volume in areas associated with learning and memory.
  • Driving: The process of driving any motor vehicle (car, motorcycle, truck, bus, etc.) uses the principles of chemistry and physics. The fuel in the vehicle is burnt and converted into energy. This process is called combustion. Thereafter, this heat energy is converted into electrical and mechanical energy which helps us drive the vehicle.
  • Cleaning: Yes, cleaning is a science and pure play of chemistry. If you ever read the label of a cleaning agent, you’ll see a list of chemicals. But how do they really help in cleaning? Essentially, these substances have elements that can break down or loosen common stains (such as food, dust, etc.). As a result, we are able to remove these stains easily thereby making washing and cleaning a less tedious task.
  • Reading: The principle involved in reading is called phenome awareness. It refers to the awareness of sounds that make up spoken words. Phenome awareness is critical to connect spellings and phonics which further decode the words and allow people to read.

Do you see how these five things we do in our daily lives are nothing but simple principles of science? Hence, it is best to approach science by using examples which are tangible and known to us. This can help students grasp the concepts better and even garner interest in the subject. Next time a science equation makes your head spin, think about its application in real life.

Leave a comment if you want to know more about this topic or the use of science in other phenomena you see.