Getting into Dhaka University!

DU… The oldest university in Bangladesh. Many consider it to be their dream university, their goal. They feel confident that DU awaits them. Then there are people like you and me who don’t know squat about DU. So this article is written with the hope that it will hopefully provide you with the information for you to get the confidence needed to give the exam. I must say that I only gave the D unit exam, so the details of the other units will need to be looked up from other articles.

What will be the available subjects in this unit? Well, these include subjects:  Economics, Law, Criminology, Finance etc. There’s a link at the end of the article, so do check it out. A point to remember, the number of seats vary and new departments are also introduced from time to time, so you need to visit the Dhaka University website to stay updated.

What will be on your question paper? This is the scariest part… Just kidding! Those of you from English Medium, with certificates from UK or other foreign countries will give your exams in English. Those from Bangla Medium will give their exams in both Bangla and English. English Medium students will have to study for General English, Advanced English, General Knowledge National and International. Bangla Medium students will answer the same questions, only answering Bangla instead of Advanced English.

What do you study? This is the scariest part… Ok, I’m serious this time! First of all, General English is the English used in our daily lives. Sound simple? Well no. It’s not that easy. To your own amazement, the English you use everyday is not always grammatically correct. We make mistakes at random and don’t even realize it. So you need to work on your grammar, spelling, vocabulary, phrases and idioms and many more. The topics will be covered in the link. Advanced English follows the same route almost exactly. It’s just a bit more.. “Advanced”. What you need to cover here are the same as the ones you covered in General English but you need to study a bit more. Many advice to go through the SAT and TOEFL books for English. The SAT book helps with your vocabulary and the TOEFL book helps with your grammar. Both play crucial parts during the exam. I personally didn’t study the books mentioned above since I had a book which covered both of them. It’s called the UCC English Supplement for D unit. You can find it at Farmgate at the UCC head office. But please, If you’re willing to go the extra mile, do. Study the books and they will definitely bear fruit.

General Knowledge is a topic which cannot be bound by mere books. It’s everywhere. Everything is basically general knowledge. Who was the first man on the moon? Who was the 16th President of the United States of America? Who was Prime Minister of Britain during World War II and many many more! Scared? Good! Now for the cheats! You don’t need to study everything you find at the bookstore! You’re not going to “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”. Take it easy. Dhaka University is not that cruel. There are some specific books which are written especially for the Dhaka University admission test. My favorites are Zubair’s GK and তথ্যকোষ by UCC (Totthokosh). Totthokosh is for those who want to know it all. Who want to build up their arsenal for whatever comes. Zubair’s GK is for those who hate exams. It’s short, to the point and has a lot of pictures which can inspire you to know more. Jokes aside, Totthokosh is better of the two since it has more information in a more organized manner. But Zubair’s GK is more friendly due to its size, font and illustrations. The choice is yours.

While studying General knowledge you’ll notice that you have a stronger hold on one more than the other, either National or International. Typically for English Medium students International will be able to tad bit easier since you’ve already studied this in classes from 3-7. You’ll find National a bit difficult since you may have never come across the national history books like the Bangla Medium students. But don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. It may be difficult but not even close to being called impossible. One thing I have to mention is that all your general knowledge books will be written in bangla. So that may be disheartening to many of you. It was to me. But to be frank, it wasn’t all that bad. Yes, you’ll feel like killing everyone in sight at a point.. But don’t worry, it gets better. You just have to stick to it. Buy a good Bangla to English dictionary and get a suitable app you like. I used this one.

Another very important thing I must tell you is to be updated. You can do this in numerous ways :

A. Read the newspaper regularly and cut out important facts you think might come in the exam. Yes, it seems like a tiresome task, but you’ll get the hang of it, and eventually you’ll like it. Plus, reading the newspaper doesn’t only have to be for the admission exam, it will pay off big time in your future.

B. Read Current Affairs every month. This neat magazine is a made specifically for those who want to give entrance exams for numerous Universities and for other jobs too.

C. Read the periodical publications by numerous teachers. These are small booklets which are records of current affairs every few months. Examples are Capsule (The one that I read), Power Play, Android and many more. Just ask the shopkeepers at Farmgate, they know which are good.

D. You guys are blessed with something called the Internet and that Internet had a baby called Google, without which life as we know it wouldn’t be the same. Google runs numerous sites, many of which we don’t even know about. Google Newsstand is one neat site where you can get the daily news in the world for free from the leading newspapers. Smartphone users have a news app pre-installed which have different names depending upon the brand. My suggestions are to use Google Newsletter and Newsstand, FlipBoard, and Facebook. As you know, news spreads, fast. Facebook is now allowing us to share news in seconds. So stay on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Twitter is a neat way news spreads since many stars and famous people have authentic accounts with which they spread the news, so stay tuned.

Many of you may have the question in your mind right now that, how do I know which one is important and which one I should ignore? Well, to have that understanding first you need to realize the gravity each news holds. How important is the news? How great of an impact has this event on my country and the world. For example, Donald Trump being elected President of USA is surely breaking news since it has a huge impact on what direction the world is heading towards. However news like the king of Cameroon getting married for his 100th time isn’t something groundbreaking (although it was jaw dropping). Also facts like Abraham Lincoln being the 16th President of USA and the first US president to be assasignated is something to remember. However facts like who was the 1st President of Argentina is not important. You might wonder, how does he know which is important and which is not? Well, I solved the past question papers and there I noticed that the questions which came were based on the important events of the important countries of the world like USA, UK, Russia, India etc. So it was a safe assumption to make that only these were important. Sure enough in my exam 2 questions were, who was the running mate of Hillary Clinton and how many votes are there in the Electoral College. Need I say more?

At the end of it all, I’d like to say, regardless of whether you get into DU or not… You’ll gain a large amount of knowledge which will definitely be useful one day. So enjoy the experience, embrace it and everything will be so much simpler!

Here is a useful link to some information which will be useful to you.

A blog by Tanveer Ahmed, Mastermind alumnus and a law student at the University of Dhaka’s D-Unit.

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