Saturday, September 6, 2014

How to Search & Apply for your Masters Degree

Below I am listing the steps needed to find and apply for your post graduate studies and to secure a scholarship

#1 Choosing your course

Use Course Finder websites

Use Google

Put your target course title in quotes “” and use “site:educational.domain” to find any mentions for your course inside educational websites

Example Search: “Data Mining”
This will search for data mining courses in universities in UK

Example Search #2: “Data Mining” site:edu
This will search for data mining courses in US universities only

Example Search #3: intitle:"Msc" AND intitle"Data Mining"
This will search for data mining courses everywhere by limiting the search to pages having these keywords in page title

#2 Compare University Ranking

While choosing your Course/University you need to check their world-wide ranking and compare it with other options

#3 Finding Scholarships

Now since you have decided your target course, it is time to decide how you will secure money for it, you may be able to fund yourself or find a scholarship either provided by the university or by external organizations

1- University Scholarship
If you have already chosen your course, you need to read the scholarship section in your university website, you will probably find scholarship offered by them

2- Scholarships offered by Entities in Egypt

Citadel scholarships

Sawiris Scholarships

Masr El Kheer

3- Scholarships by Country

US: Fullbright scholarships





General Scholarship search websites

#4 Preparing for your English test - IELTS

You will definitely need to take an English test to be able to apply for Masters, you have 2 options either IELTS or TOEFL, from my experience IELTS exams is much better/easier than TOEFL
IELTS Website

My IELTS experience

TEOFL Website

Prepare GRE - if needed

GRE is needed for some courses in some universities mainly in the US, so check the requirements of your university to see if they need this test

Note: I didn't take this test before

#5 Application Process

Now I assume you have chosen your course and have passed the required tests, then probably you need to do the following depending on the requirements of your university

Prepare other papers

References: you need to ask 2 or more doctors from your local university to be your reference by filling a “reference template” which should contain endorsement and support for your application, they should say that they think you will be able to do well in your postgraduate studies

Personal Statements: You need to write 1 page essay describing your motivation towards this course and why you think you are a good candidate and how you will benefit from it

Transcript: The full transcript of your BSc studies

Certificate: your graduation certificate ( shahdet el gam3a – egypt )

CV: your CV if you have worked for sometime

and finally Passport & images

Then you need to apply online through your target university website and upload all these documents and wait for their decision


Decide and apply early: the deadline for Sep 2015 application may be in Feb 2015 in the US and some universities WW so you need to prepare & apply 1 year before your course, also some scholarship deadlines may be in Nov 2014 for courses starting in 2015

Your GPA need to be above 3.0 to get accepted
Work experience is a + for your application
VISA Application if you secured university acceptance and money for your masters apply for VISA as soon as you can because it may take time

Video Guide from Egypt Scholars organization

Saturday, April 12, 2014

My IELTS Test Experience & Tips

I have taken the IELTS test 2 times since 2010 so i thought i had some experience to share

Who will get high scores in IELTS

Achieving high band in IELTS test depends on many factors some of which are more important than others, below i am listing the most important factors

First: your accumulated knowledge and experience in English language
Second: whether you have an "Answering System" or not and how much you are familiar with the test format
Third: how much practice tests you did

There are some other factors that are part of IELTS exam design, from what i have experienced so far, it seems that IELTS also tests your time/stress management, your analytical skills and your IQ but i think these factors are less important than the 3 main factors below

Factor #1: Accumulated English Knowledge

You need to enrich your English knowledge by reading, writing, listening and speaking English a lot

Factor #2: Answering System/Process

You need to have a process for solving each type of question, exam timings are so strict and you will not have time to think what to do in the exam, you need to handle each question from minute #1

Example: Reading Questions Answering System

Now you have a long essay and about 10 questions to solve in 20 minutes, if you went on reading all the essay i can guarantee you will fail in this part of the exam, since u will not be able to memorize it all and the questions are sometimes tricky and may contain synonyms of the essay words

When i checked the tips on the web i managed to invent my own system, and it worked

  1. I write the current time on the top of the page to monitor time left to solve this specific section
  2. Quickly read all the questions in that section, and MARK every single word that seems significant, this part will take 2-3 minutes, you will know why it is beneficial in the next point
  3. Then i read the first paragraph in the essay and first line of all other paragraphs, while reading i also MARK any significant word and specially words that match the QUESTION WORDS i marked earlier
  4. And Finally i go through the questions one by one and try to locate the paragraph which contains the answer, thanks to marking, now you will be able to easily match questions with paragraphs by looking on the marked words either to exclude or to do deep reading on that matched paragraph

Factor #3: Practice 

The more you solve practice tests, the more you will be confident and unstressed at the tough time of the exam, and you will also be able to try and tune your answering systems and to track your timings 

Tips & Tricks

Below i am listing some of the resources that i used and recommend for everyone taking the Test, these resources contains suggested answering systems for other question types such as Listening, Writing and Speaking

IELTS Tips Playlist 
A great playlist containing British Council tips videos for all question types

Listening & Speaking Tips

Writing Tips
A great PDF containing valuable writing answering system and tips

Sample Questions & Answers

Other Tips

  1. The test system is very strict, make sure your are at the test venue 1 hour before your test, if you came late specially in the speaking test, you will be at risk of not entering the exam
  2. Sleep well, make sure you have breakfast, bring a bottle of water, got to the toilet directly before the exam, you don't want to go to the toilet while the exam is running, that's precious time to lose
  3. Bring your ID 
  4. Take a deep breath between each section of the exam
  5. If you found a question that is hard to solve, put your best guess, mark it,  pass it, and check it back if you still have time at the end
  6. Always keep track of time for each section, move to the next section if the available time for the current section has ended
  7. In the reading section, Make sure you have enough time to transfer your answers to the answer sheet

What is my IELTS score :) ?


Saturday, July 28, 2012

ماذا تعلمت من الحياة حتى الآن

  1.      الحياة ليست سهلة و المشاكل تحدث في كل وقت، كن مستعدا للقتال
  2.      النجاح والقوة في هذه الحياة هى نتيجة للجهد والانضباط والمثابرة والمعرفة
  3.      السعادة تأتي من روحك، والدين يرعى الروح،  بدون هدف فى الحياة لن تكون سعيدا
  4.      لا تكون موظفا مخلصا، دائما غير و ظيفتك او انشئ عملك الخاص
  5.       كثير من الناس ليسو كما تراهم او كما يروجون لأنفسهم (خصوصا السياسيين)
  6.      أهم الأصول في حياتك هى صحتك ثم مالك
  7.      لا تكون جزءا من دوامة الحياة، إخرج منها، وفكر اذا كان هذا هو الاتجاه الصحيح ام لا
  8.      دائما غير نفسك وتعلم /إ فعل أشياء جديدة
  9.      حاول ان تفعل أشياء في الحياة  تستمر طويلا (انظر الحديث فى اعلى الصفحه)
  10.      أحيانا عليك أن تكون صارم، اللطف لا يجدى طوال الوقت
  11.      حاول الإستماع الى نقد من حولك في كل وقت
  12.      يجب ان تكون مرنا

What i have learned from life so far

  1. Life is not easy, things goes wrong all the time, be prepared to fight
  2. Success and power in this life is a result of effort, persistence, discipline and knowledge
  3. Happiness comes from your spirit,  spirit is nurtured by religion, also without a goal or aim in this life you wont be happy
  4. Don't be a loyal employee, change positions and do your own business
  5. Many people (specially Politicians) are double faced 
  6. The most important asset in your life is your health then money
  7. Don't be part of life vortex, get out of it and think if this is the right direction
  8. Always change yourself and learn/do new things
  9. Do things in life that will last long (check the quote up there in the blog)
  10. Sometimes you have to be tough, kindness won't work all the time
  11. Try to get feedback from people around you all the time
  12. Be flexible

Saturday, July 21, 2012

نصائح عملية للصحة - عن خبرة

  • لا تدع العرق على الجلد لفترة طويلة من الزمن قد يغلق الأنسجة ويؤدي إلى التهاب و دمل
  • استخدم خله الأسنان و / أو  فرشاة أسنان قويه لمنع تكون الجيرعلى الأسنان
  • لا تقف أو تجلس على نفس الوضع لفترة طويلة: قد يسبب الكثير من المشاكل المتعلقة باضطرابات العظام والعضلات وضغط الدم وغيرها من المشاكل
  • خذ حمام كل يوم
  • اغسل أسنانك كل يوم (قبل النوم / بعد الإستيقاذ)
  • لو كنت لا تنظف أسنانك بعد تناول الحلويات، يجب عليك على الأقل شرب الماء
  • شرب الماء بشكل عام
  • النوم المبكر
  • إذا كنت لا تتناول طعام متوازن، خذ الفيتامينات
  • لا تأخذ جرعات كبيره من الفيتامينات، سوف تؤدي إلى نتائج عكسية
  • العب الرياضة على الأقل مرة واحدة في الأسبوع
  • حاول ان لا تصاب بالضغت العصبى او حاول تخفيفه في اسرع وقت ممكن، من خلال المشي، وممارسة الرياضة ... الخ
  • امشى كثيرا
  • إذهب إلى طبيب الأسنان كل 6 أشهر: يمنع المزيد من التعقيدات فى مشاكل الأسنان
  • القيام بفحص شامل كل عدة سنوات: سوف تتعرف على مشاكلك الصحية في وقت مبكر، وربما تمنع مزيد من التعقيدات
  • لا تشرب الكافيين فى الليل: لتكون قادرة على النوم في وقت مبكر
  • لا تاكل وجبات دسمة او الأطعمة المالحة ليلا لتنام جيدا (كل قبل ساعتين من النوم)
  • إذا كنت تعمل على أجهزة الكمبيوتر لفترة طويلة سوف تعاني من معظم الأمراض المذكورة أعلاه
   تدوينه اخرى عن المشاكل الصحيه المتعلقة بلكمبيوتر
  • إذا كنت تلعب كمال اجسام وكنت تأخذ مكملات غذائيه و بروتينات، لا تزيد فى الأحمال بشكل مبالغ فيه، قد تعانى من مضاعفات عامة و مشاكل فى الغضاريف بسبب رفع الاثقال الثقيلة
  • لا تمنع البول لفترة طويلة
  • لا تدع نفسك تعاني من البراز الصلب (الامساك) و لا "تحزق"  كثيرا
  • تأكد من نظافه وسادتك والمكان الذى تنام فيه للوقايه من مشاكل العين
  • لا تأكل الوجبات السريعة يوميا، الغذاء الطبيعي هو أفضل بكثير للصحة (عن تجربه)

Practical Health Tips based on experience

  • Don't let sweat on your skin for a long period of time since it closes the tissues and lead to Folliculitis
  • Use tooth pick and/or hard tooth brush to prevent dental plaque
  • Don't stand or sit down in the same pos for a long time: may cause many issues related to  Musculoskeletal disorders, blood pressure and other issues
  • Take bath every day
  • Brush your teeth every day ( before sleep/after wakeup )
  • If you don’t brush your teeth after eating sweets, you should at least drink water
  • Drink water in general
  • Sleep early 
  • If you don't eat balanced food, take vitamins
  • Don't overtake vitamins, will lead to opposite results, my body couldn't bare  1 tablet of "One a day vitamin", now i take half tablet
  • Play sports @ least one time a week 
  • Try to prevent stress, if you became stressed you need to relieve asap, by walking, playing sports ...etc
  • Walk a lot
  • Go to the dentist every 6 months: prevents further complications
  • Do complete checkup every several years: you will know your health issues early and may prevent further complications
  • Don't drink caffeine @ night: to be able to sleep early
  • Don't overeat @ night specially salty foods to be able to sleep well (two hours before sleep)
  • If you stay working on computers for a long time you will suffer from most diseases mentioned above
       My article related to computer related health issues 

  • If you go to the gym and you take supplements, don't over stress your mussels, i am warning you, my friends and I had general complications and cartilage issues because of Heavy Weight Lifting 
  • Don't hold your pee for a long time
  • Don't let yourself suffer from hard stool (Constipation) and don't try to push it so hard for long times  
  • Make sure your pillow and the place you sleep in is clean and not dusty to prevent eye issues
  • Don't eat junk food daily, normal food is much better for health (proven)


Saturday, July 14, 2012

29 سنة فى الحياة

بلغت 29 سنة فى هذا العام -2012-  مرت عقود منذ عام 1983، طوال هذه الفترة فى الحياة تعلمت الكثير: من المواقف الصعبة التى مررت بها، القرارات التي اتخذتها، المشاكل الصحية، والثورة، والعلاقات الاجتماعية وبيئة العمل والعديد من المحطات أخرى في حياتي

اليوم وأنا في وسط عمرى، أشعر أن لدي بعض الخبرة التى استطيع ان انقلها للأجيال القادمة، لماذا يجب أن يواجهو نفس القضايا، ويقعو فى نفس الأخطاء التي وقعت فيها؟

لهذا السبب انا احتفل بعيد ميلادي هذه السنة بإفتتاح هذا البلوج الذى سوف يحتوي على معظم خبراتي في الحياة التي اكتسبتها خلال العقود السابقة، وأيضا الخبرات و التجارب التى سأكتسبها في المستقبل

كريم عودة