Saturday, 30 July 2016

When You Fail Admission.

If you fail to get the admission of your desire, it can be like some one punctured holes through your heart. It is hard to reconcile such pain. I would hope you read this before. It's your battle. 

Such apparent hopelessness is the experience of life. It's what makes us alive. Believe me when I say this. Accepting and moving on is the best thing to do. Don't let this failure define you. You are worth as much as you define yourself. There will be more battles ahead. The important thing is to know you did your best. (If you didn't well you understand) what happens next is a puzzle. You must trust the puzzle maker. The complete picture will make sense. 

On patience:

Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be so shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of Allah never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full. - Rumi

The problem is the relation we have made between gratitude and motivation. Meaning: this idea that not being happy with what you have means your are passionate to strive   for more.  Surely it is not the only way. Could not it be the case that one is satisfied with what this have and yet still strive for what's  greater?

Different faiths have different attitudes and perceptions of failure. In my faith, receiving  things you wanted is not an indicator that God is happy with you. Similarly, not getting what you wanted doesn't necessarily mean God is angry with you. 

Our faith asks us to embrace the hardships of life. Yes! Accept it. Embrace your current failure. 

If you link gratitude and motivation, than if failure comes, what does it do more than make the current period hell. The concern for tomorrow makes you anxious. Tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow. Our whole lives have been depleted in the concern for tomorrow. What about today. What about now. 

It is hard to reconcile a wounded reader. Know that, falling is inevitable if you risk moving forward. Today you fell little and learned from it. If you hadn't, the fall of tomorrow would have killed you. 

We have made life very difficult. We have equated money with happiness. Nothing causes more pain than wanting something. Do not ruin the enjoyment of what you already have with this want.
Worse is when its something you don't want but society wants. Its called peer pressure. You would have been perfectly happy without it. Its time to take charge of your life and stop caring about what others say and what they want you to become.

If you have failed to go to a prestigious university then do not think you have failed. Proper analysis of data shows it's not the university that linked to the high pay check. Before we go into that let me explain the false analysis. They compared students with the same SAT grades that made it into different colleges( one better than the other) and at the end concluded that the better college goer ended with more pay. Here is the right analysis. Two students with the same grade made it into the same prestigious university but one decided not to go to it. But despite that they both had the same success in the end. Conclusion was not, that this college results in high pay but who the students was matters. But hold on, I get your saying it's the student that matters but I didn't make it in to college. Here the part to understand. We need to question our standards of entry to university. The students I talked about were those applying to the IVY league. What are you musing with? Your local university. Don't let this standard define you. 

Famous Failures

websites that will make you clever.

How things are, you tell yourself I'll start enjoying life in a month when such and such problems are over. Your basically giving a month of your life away. Let us not let circumstance reduce the quality of our lives. You should still enjoy your dinner. The morning walks. The secluded meditation of your Lord. The fresh breeze that reminds. The soothing chirping of the birds.  The company you enjoy. Sleep my friend. Sleep in peace and be not hard on yourself.

On trust in God:

And God said, ‘O children of Adam! So long as My sovereignty exists, do not be afraid of any worldly power or sovereignty. And know that My sovereignty will never cease. O children of Adam! As long as My storehouses are full, do not fear a decrease in your daily sustenance. And know that My storehouses are never empty. O children of Adam! I created you to worship, so do not fool around. I have already guaranteed your sustenance, so do not tire yourself out worrying about where your next loaf of bread is coming from, or how much you will have. Let your limbs work and let your heart put its trust in Me. I swear by My glory and My might that if you are content with what I have allocated for you, I will bring comfort to your heart, mind and body, and you will be praised by Me. But if you show discontent with what I have allocated for you, I swear by My glory and My might that I will set the whole world loose on you and you will be forced to run after your sustenance as the animals in the wild run after theirs, and you will still not get more than what I originally allocated for you. O children of Adam! I created the seven heavens and the earth without any effort, so do you really think that it would trouble Me to simply send a loaf of bread your way? O children of Adam! I have not asked you about tomorrow’s deeds, so do not ask Me about tomorrow’s sustenance! O children of Adam! I love you dearly, so by the rights that I have over you, love Me too with all your heart.”

The world has proclaimed the reign of freedom, especially of late, but what do we see in this freedom of theirs? Nothing but slavery and self-destruction! For the world says:”
“You have desires and so satisfy them, for you have the same rights as the most rich and powerful. Don't be afraid of satisfying them and even multiply your desires.” That is the modern doctrine of the world. In that they see freedom. And what follows from this right of multiplication of desires? In the rich, isolation and spiritual suicide; in the poor, envy and murder; for they have been given rights, but have not been shown the means of satisfying their wants. They maintain that the world is getting more and more united, more and more bound together in brotherly community, as it overcomes distance and sets thoughts flying through the air.”
“Alas, put no faith in such a bond of union. Interpreting freedom as the multiplication and rapid satisfaction of desires, men distort their own nature, for many senseless and foolish desires and habits and ridiculous fancies are fostered in them. They live only for mutual envy, for luxury and ostentation. To have dinners, visits, carriages, rank and slaves to wait on one is looked upon as a necessity, for which life, honor and human feeling are sacrificed, and men even commit suicide if they are unable to satisfy it. We see the same thing among those who are not rich, while the poor drown their unsatisfied need and their envy in drunkenness. But soon they will drink blood instead of wine, they are being led on to it. I ask you is such a man free? I knew one “champion of freedom” who told me himself that, when he was deprived of tobacco in prison, he was so wretched at the privation that he almost went and betrayed his cause for the sake of getting tobacco again! And such a man says, “I am fighting for the cause of humanity.”
“How can such a one fight? what is he fit for? He is capable perhaps of some action quickly over, but he cannot hold out long. And it's no wonder that instead of gaining freedom they have sunk into slavery, and instead of serving the cause of brotherly love and the union of humanity have fallen, on the contrary, into dissension and isolation, as my mysterious visitor and teacher said to me in my youth. And therefore the idea of the service of humanity, of brotherly love and the solidarity of mankind, is more and more dying out in the world, and indeed this idea is sometimes treated with derision. For how can a man shake off his habits? What can become of him if he is in such bondage to the habit of satisfying the innumerable desires he has created for himself? He is isolated, and what concern has he with the rest of humanity? They have succeeded in accumulating a greater mass of objects, but the joy in the world has grown less.”
Excerpt From: Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. “The Brothers Karamazov.” iBooks. 


This article give you tips on how to pass the driving test.

Driving on the road will add to your character.
Well, test it out.
You will gain more confidence. Strange as that may sound since driving requires confidence. Unless you are perpetually drunk and could give a hoot if the car crashed so there's the exception.

Since we want to be honest people, getting a licence is important and the itp experience despite the inconviniance, will have its benefits. For one thing, its time to take some heat. Consider it preparation for practical life.

Lets start.
You need to be 18 years old by paper. I do not encourage people drive earlier than this. Its sad to see young people die from car crashes. Please wear a seat belt.
Your documents get through a lot of checking, so its best to go by the book. If they tell you to watch the one hour long documentary, do so.
Of course we need to start with you getting a C form. The Itp is located in F6. On the right of AIR and Bahria University and much before Ali Medical Centre. Its before the markaz.

Since rules and preocedures change an I'd like this article to be ever green, I'd suggest visiting ITP once. Timings 8:30 onwards to 11:30 am. Driving Test timings go even further so don't forget. Before the entrance there will be a small board on what you may need. You definitely need the C-form. A copy of your CNIC (You should always keep a few with you) and a photograph of yourself.
I'm sure you already know your blood group and height. If you don't, get a test done in some family clinic in the markaz.
Once equipped, proceed to the ITP. You have to wait in line. Those who have to give the driving test and or have to receive the license don't have to wait and can go straight in.
Tell them you have to get a fresh license. The entrance is next to the huge board with signs. Usually a police officer is standing managing the intake of people.
Once inside, tell the person you want a learners license. Get the ticket, find a sit and wait. Your number will come twice. Once for the medical room where your paper will get stamped.(This is the same room where you might give the electronic version of the knowledge based test after the 40 day wait. The manual board version is in a small room next to the driving track. Its this room where you will eventually submit the form if you pass the driving test or you want to give the test and they ask you the license number of your car to write at the back of your form. Most people have to bring their own cars.)
The second time your number comes, its at a counter where you pay for the learner (and the license.) Go watch the one hour clip and get your paper stamped. This place is also next to the track. You should later ask these officers where to get a book to learn the rules and signs.
Go home, Wait for 40 days. You should learn to drive in this period. There is a sign pdf you should go through once to help you on the sign test. With a bit of luck you can pass the electronic version.

I want you to be well prepared for any 'non foul verbal- mental abuse'. (Fewwww)
Be patient and pity the officers. They're tired of having to answer the same questions to different people. If you know what to do, you can avoid the nonsense.

The next time you come in, don't wait in the outer line. Give the sign test. If you pass go to have your car's plate number written on your form. Go outside and bring your car in.

Now here comes the test advice.
You have nothing to be worried about. Your nervousness will fail you. Do not be influenced by the number of people who fail. You can pass on your first try. On your third, fifth or even ninth!

Turn you air conditioner on. Adjust you mirrors. What ever position they were usually in, bring them half way down and half way left and right. You should adjust the mirrors before your turn on the test when you are waiting in your car on the track.

When you are asked, bring your car to the 4 cones and put the breaks. Handover your form and listen to the instructions. You have to go forward, reverse back to the cones and park between the two plastic road blocks.

Make sure your seat belt is on. Now drive slowly forward. When you exit the four cones I want you to look back in the mirrors once to see the angle of your car since how you exist is how you will reverse back. Remember the position. It has to be like this when you reverse.

The next part of moving forward is easy. Once you reach the road block stop and gently begin to reverse back and left. You have plenty of time. When you reverse, its the left mirror you want to have a look at. (If turning left was the last thing you did when you moved forward.)

This initial reverse is the hard test. Its the left mirrors where the cones will be visible since the right side is being blocked by the body of the car. (This direction varies depending on the track. I made it clear what decides where you look.)

Looking left and right in reverse, remember the point we marked when we were coming out of the cones. Adjust to it and reverse.
The parking is easy.

And that's all there is to it.

Monday, 25 July 2016

How to maximise your SATs

I scored a 2210 on my SAT subject tests.
Your score may matter a lot (depending on the college/university you have on the wish list) on your merit ranking. My university allotted a 75% weightage to the SAT Scores. That's a lot!
It is important you give it it's due share. Preferably during your holidays.
In this post I recommend a few resources for the tests I gave(math, physics, chemistry) that will hopefully  help you score higher than me!
The higher your passions the more your score. The works man! The works! (usually)

How do I go about the SAT Subject tests?

The SAT's are fun to go about. That's because it is on a different level. So despite your hating math for instance, or the 'not so happy' to look at chemistry, it all swaps.
You can go about math (level 2) from a different angle and still score 800/800.
I Personally found A-level chemistry to be tough, but SAT chemistry, my advice is to go through this first!
Now Chemistry has the highest number of questions between math and physics. But chemistry wont drain you like math might. Choose the tests wisely.
Both my math teacher, and a senior student who scored 2400 , had these books to suggest:
  • Barons,
  • Kaplan
  • And Princeton Review.
According to the senior student, Kaplan has the easiest tests and Barons have the hardiest.
I advice you to study math from Princeton Review(Contains both math I and II). I scored 720 with this book and my other sources tell me an 800 with this book alone has been achieved. (Had I only given it more importance I may have scored more. Don't make the same mistake.)
Now Barons math is tough. Princeton covers it very frankly. It can hardly be called a book of math. You'll be taught tricks to go about it. After all, its just an entry test.
Don't be deceived by the size of this book. They probably made it that way because of the wrong notion students have : "the bigger the book the better."
An estimably 75% of a page is only used.
Math can be finished in one week.
Version 2013-2014 had 2 papers each( level 1, level 2)
Cost is high but definitely worth it!

Buy the latest version of Barons.
I scored 770 in chemistry and 720 in physics. Pity I don't have personal experience to share about other subjects.
Find out from your seniors which books may be most helpful. Be kind enough to share in the comment section so others like you can benefit.
When you choose which ever subject you want to start off with, do it all. Assuming you started physics, after you have read the whole book, go on to practice papers. Don't move to another subject without having done papers. You will forget. If the test is months away Revision will be necessary as well. A chapter a week will do good.

Things are tough when your going through them. When you look back, its a different picture.

What about advice for test day?

Have plenty of sleep. You don't have to panic or rush on the test. A satisfactory preparation will help you avoid so.
Chill!  Your not gonna die. Take some nice chocolates to eat during breaks.
 Time is a greater asset than scoring. You don't have to get every single question right to score full. Skip hard questions for later. If the question is easy but will clearly take time to solve, skip again. You will learn that there are many ways to solve a question. The time consuming good practice way is a no no. The books will help you there.

A lot of people may read this post but not everyone will score high.
Not everyone listens.
Not everyone who listens practices.
Not everyone who practices practices well.
Not everyone who, ok you get the point! (Haha)

Sunday, 24 July 2016

How to maximise you NET's.

How do I go about the Nust Entry Tests.

Ideally, you want to have a read of the FSC books. Again math will over whelm you. And chemistry is quite lengthy. You definitely want to take an NET session.
Not that people haven't done it without tuition from the non fsc stream. There are such talented students. But preferably you want to take tuition.
So here is what you do. After your AS, you buy the fsc books(11 and 12. Just tell the store owner to give you matric and fsc books. ) and go through them over the summers.  Now the NET is not just based on the Punjab text book. It can have questions from the KPK book as well. No, you don't read all these books. One is enough to deal with. If you take tuition, the teacher may mention the differences. (There are net sessions. Decide which session is better for you.)

You can score between 90 to 120 out of 200 on your NET without preparation. It is the next set of 50 to 20 marks you require. With the NET accounting for 75% of your admission, I cannot emphasis enough how much each mark is important. Fact is a lot of people score in a particular range. You want to go above that.
The rest 25% will be build on your O-level result to generate your merit. Your A-level will not be used since the result will not be out by then. So what good are they. Your A-level equivalence has to be at least 60% to confirm your admission. The submission of your A-level result has more time allotted than you think or are told, so don't worry about delays. The official warning comes weeks later and you wont be allowed to appear in sessional papers or the like in case you fail to submit them. But that is not your main worry. (if it is a worry.)

Scoring 80 out of 80 in math is quite difficult. It is better one focuses on all subjects as getting 60/80 in math and then scoring more on the other subjects is a far better strategy. It is easier to get more from each subject than to get a lot from one subject. So you definitely want to focus on more than just math.
There is math, physics, chemistry, English and intelligence. The reason students can score up to 120 without preparation is that the NET has both easy and difficult questions. The paper has these jumbled up. The key is to do the easy questions and not waste time on the hard ones. The NET seems to start with nerve shattering questions. You want to skip these for later. Time is a greater asset on the NET than marks.
Your beloved author ( I'm talking about myself you nincompoop ) in his first Net had about 40 questions left in about 20-10 minutes time. Hardly enough to randomly pick an answer! With a better approach, your beloved author finishes with about 20-25 minutes to spare. A drastic change don't you think? I spent the rest of the time going through the questions I had left. This included the tangling questions.
An example of a tangling math question:
In which quadrant is the solution of --sin(60)?
I) 2nd Quadrant
II) 2nd and 3rd Quadrant
III) 3rd and 4rth Quadrant
IIII) 4rth Quadrant

You want to learn the angles by heart. Learn the three triangles in chapter 9(Trigonometry). They have relevance to questions in physics as well.
Physics has simple questions that relate to formula. Such as the formula of angular frequency. You want to pay close attention to the options. On questions such as the units of Joule has more than one answer as they ultimately work out to be the same basic units, so don't rush to click the right option.

Another type of physics questions require you to manipulate. For instance what would be the effect on the escape velocity of a planet if its radius is decreased by half? Sometimes two components will be changed, one which will have no relation. #note : be very comfortable with this.

Lastly there will be questions on facts. These side tables will be very helpful to you.
PHYSICS 11 Punjab curriculum and textbook board. (I'm aware the pages vary for other boards. Try making something out of it.)
These are references to the side boxes or tables that are spread in this book.
To Learn by heart.
pg. 2. Interdisciplinary areas of physics.
pg. 3 order of magnitude of some distance/nucleus, atom, galaxy, nearest galaxy
pg. 6 table
pg. 7 /universe, Earth, year, light waves
pg. 8 /sun
pg. 11 table
pg. 14 table
pg. 15 table
pg. 50/ walking ant, flying bee, electromagnetic waves(light, radio, x-rays etc.)
pg. 82 conservative and non conservative forces
pg. 83 Do you know table, for your information table/jumbo jet, colour tv, pocket calculator
pg. 84 Tid bits, for your information/ Burning one ton coal, petrol. KE molecule of air.
pg. 86 Do you know
pg. 88 table / moon, earth, Jupiter
pg. 91 Energy sources, for your information
pg. 92 table
pg. 93 Solar energy (Reading text)
pg. 95 Residual heat of Earth Reading
pg. 109 moment of Inertia for various bodies
unit 5.17
pg. 128 for your information /air, water, glycerin
pg. 156 interesting information Tacoma Narrow Bridge
pg. 167 speed of sound in different media , copper, Aluminum, glass, Iron.
pg. 168 for your information table
pg. 169 for your information table/ Dolphin.
pg. 200 table
pg. 259 electric generator, locomotive, steam engine.
isothermal, adiabatic, boyles law, Charles law
I found a lot of questions in chemistry to be organic. You should score up to 20+ in this section at least. ( From a net giver who scored 90%+, they had almost full marks in physics, chemistry and English. A 7/10 in intelligence and the majority of their remaining marks lost from maths!)

Intelligence has easy questions where a person walks a few steps in a particular direction and then you have tell where they are. There are  hard questions or time consuming ones. I advice you to learn about Caesar Cipher and Vigenère Cipher.  ( Don't get too lost. Basically words get shifted by some pattern and sequence.)
Shift Cipher
You should know to decode.

When you make the payment and its time to select a date. Do realize it extends a lot. SO be patient and wait for convenience.
I word of advice. Three hours is a long period. You do not want to drink that nice chilled( mine was) Aquafina water bottle they give you. Trust me you don not want to consider having wore a diaper when you realize you have to go really bad.
If entry tests decided the value of a university, I'm sorry to say the NET would not hold out nicely for NUST's image. (Despite the Nice, Chilled, Aquafina, water bottle. ) At least in the eyes of non-fsc students. But what value does a students words have? Not much. Luckily even the Net session physics teacher  remarked that:" Does this question check your physics?" And no. Reluctantly said by students probably from evident difficulty to solve this non physics checking physics question.
I guess the fact so much depends on your entry test is hope for some students. But consistency is better shown with board examinations. And having a higher percentage for it is a wiser decision. Well, there's a variety of university standards. The Net does deserve some praise. You get results the following day!

Lastly our traditions teach us:
  •  to keep a decision once you have taken it.
  •  that there is no concept of "if".
  • "If I had only done this or that." NO, no! What's done is done.
If you work hard with dedication, with persistence, you may win even at odds.
Once you have given your best, have trust in the Lord. It works out. At times in ways we don't imagine how.