Tag Archives: Masters

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor | Student Feedback

My Experience @UMich Carnegie Mellon University

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is a very reputed school in any program throughout the US and would encourage students to apply to ambitious schools, since in the end what matters is one should not regret of not having applied to schools that you could possibly go to. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is the best school in the US for Automotive Engineering in any of the domains – Powertrain, Electric Vehicles, Autonomous Vehicles, Robotics.

Courses : The courses in offering are very diverse – a) Automotive Vehicle Systems where you have Industry Guest Lecturers giving knowledge about the domains and the future industry trends.b) Vehicle System Design – Students actually get to build an Autonomous vehicle from scratch, hands on experience and getting your hands dirty.

Research: The research labs and the projects that students get exposed to are very similar to real world problems. One thing I have realized so far that, there is a huge emphasis on Teamwork, Practical experience and conceptual knowledge be it anywhere in the US. While working on projects, internship or jobs – they expect you to have sound knowledge – inside outs of what you have learnt and how did you implement them.

Job Opportunities: The career fair is huge – Lots of Companies visiting, I would vouch that having experience is very critical in any field that you are looking for. The scenario hasn’t much changed I would say but having relevant background makes it a lot easier for you among the huge crowd competition. I base it purely from what I have seen here so far, my two years of experience helped me a great deal in securing multiple Interview Calls. But from there on its the candidate on how he/she takes it. I would not discourage people who do not have work experience since there are lots of opportunities that you would get exposed too and ultimately its all about “NETWORKING”. How do you go about knowing more people but also the right people who would help you grow through the career.

Good luck to all the students! Carnegie Mellon University Carnegie Mellon University

Hope this helps!

Carnegie Mellon University Carnegie Mellon University

Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US – an expert opinion by Jimeet Sanghavi

Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

There is a mass hysteria prevailing in the international students’ community in view of the recent Executive Order on Temporary Immigration Ban on seven countries and proposed changes to the H-1B bill. Let’s understand how these developments can impact Indian students aspiring for higher education in the US.

Firstly, while the EO curtails immigration from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen, the courts have overruled this EO order recently. Similarly, the refugee clause will not apply to Indians as well. Indian students going on F1 Visas, therefore, need not worry.

Moving onto the topic that has everyone on the edge of their seats (moreso, than the NaMo demonetisation effect) – the legislation on H1B (employment) visas. Before we discuss the impact, let’s understand what the H1B visa does – it allows you to work “post” the OPT (Optional Practical Training) period. After the completion of the college program, a student is entitled to work on OPT for upto 12 months for non-STEM and upto 36 months for STEM courses. Thus, a STEM student can work upto THREE years (irrespective of H1B application), which usually is more than enough to not just recover the fees and the loan but also set-up a strong foundation to build upon later.

Thinking from a recruiter’s point of view, if there is uncertainty in the regulations, then the company would be more keen on recruiting interns and people on OPT than on H1B. The OPT does not have a minimum salary requirement as compared to H-1Bs under the proposed regulations. This in turn will increase the opportunities for fresh graduates.

Lets try to decipher a few hidden clauses of the new legislation. Now, the proposed legislation on the floor in the Congress for H1B eligibility prioritizes market-based allocation of H-1B visas for institutions willing to pay 2x of the wage calculated by a survey. Estimates are that the annual salary will amount to a minimum of approximately US$130,000 per year. While the legislation is yet to be finalized, here is why even these rules should not be a cause of grave concern for Indian students:

a) Various such proposals have been floated previously unsuccessfully.

b) The current visa requirements mandate Indian students to prove their indisposition towards migrating to the US permanently. However, the new H1B leaves scope for a “dual intent” which means F1 visas may not be denied on the basis of the student’s intention to migrate. The transition from F1 to H1B in that sense should be lot smoother now.

c) The new H1B rules shall eliminate the ‘country based’ allocation earlier available to ‘Chile’ and ‘Singapore’ thereby creating more opportunity for Indian students.

d) The salary cap of $130,000 on H1B will be applicable to only those companies who have more than 15% employees on H1B visa – this will refrain a few particular companies (read – the beneficiaries of outsourcing policies) to exhaust the quota via the H1B lottery system and open up more opportunities for other companies and startups.

e) The following tweet by Trump talks of his intention to create more new businesses, which translates to more jobs. The new H1B will cut down ‘hoarding’ of talent by a few companies and help small businesses in hiring talented individuals.

Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

f) The effect of the proposal will predominantly be felt by those companies who hire Indians on H1B and L1 visas for US-based projects without paying them the salaries that an American University-trained graduate (India-based or otherwise) is in a position to command. The effect thus, will be felt more on a corporate level and not at an employee level, and the Indian students aspiring for American education should not be too concerned with this move by President Trump.

g) The OPT enables the student to work for a total of three years in the US after completion of their Masters. Many of the students who complete their Masters get a starting salary in the range of US$85,000 to US$95,000. Having gained three years of work experience, it is natural for these students to expect the salary in range of eligibility criteria decided for obtaining H1B visa. If the student has successfully proven his mettle to his employer, the employer will not hesitate in rewarding the employee with compensation that is above the minimum amount required to obtain the visa.

g) Since the proposed H1B bill aims at leveling the playing field and curbing companies to outsource jobs, it is unlikely that these vacant positions will be filled by the existing workforce. This will create more opportunities for Indian students available under OPT option.

i) If the reports are to be believed, U.S. colleges will end up losing close $700 million of their annual revenue if Indians decide to explore other avenues. This move can significantly impact US’s undisputed standing as the top study destination. University Presidents are aware of these dire implications and are trying their best to chalk out ways to attract students to the US shores, and in a bid to do so they are likely to ease out the fiercely competitive admission process. The US is known for its inclusive education system and their commitment to diversity. With the ban on seven Muslim countries, chances of Indian applicants being accepted is likely to move up a notch. In fact, we have seen better results so far this year than the previous year in terms of the admits the students have got at Collegepond.

Many brilliant innovations in the US are driven by immigrants. It is a startling fact that all the six American who bagged the Nobel prize in 2016 were immigrants! A large number of international students study STEM courses and contribute significantly to research and economic growth of the nation. Statistics indicate that there is a scarcity of U.S born graduates prepared to work in STEM fields. The universities would try their best to give out admits to deserving international students to ensure their higher-education system attracts the best and brightest from across the globe.

j) For the convocation ceremony at the time of graduation, more often than not, the parents end up visiting United States. The cascading impact of Indians not going to US Universities will affect the tourism industry in excess of US$ 1.0 billion as Indians are amongst the highest spenders as tourists in USA.

From losing revenues in the form of visa fees, University tuition, tourism, etc – the amount will be drastic for the country to suddenly sustain. Several multinational companies have already begun lobbying against the 2x eligibility criteria of $130K, and as per Mr. Vikas Swaroop, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, the concerns about H1B and L1 visas have been conveyed to the US at the highest levels. With President Trump and PM Modi expected to chalk out a long-term strategy of incremental Indo-US collaboration on multiple fronts, expect the deal only to get increasingly favorable for Indians going forward. Politically and diplomatically, it makes a lot of sense for President Trump to work towards creating a foreign policy with India which is mutually beneficial for the two countries.

Thus, it is important to scavenge at the opportunities during uncertain times rather than dwell too much on the negativities that have been propogated by media without even the laws and proposals being legislated.

Please note that this is an interpretation of the current proposals and may require modification with the future developments. Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US  
Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

Top Entrance exams for overseas study

Top Entrance exams for overseas study | Education Abroad

Overseas education is gaining a lot of prominence and it caters to students of varied academic backgrounds and interests. However, there are certain prerequisites that need to be met in order to gain admission into an overseas university. Top Entrance exams for overseas study

Top entrance exams:

Some of the most popular and important international entrance exams include the GRE, GMAT, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS and PTE.  Students may be required to give a combination of one or more exams which may be unique to that country and its education system.

Given below is a brief introduction to the various entrance exams and respective paper formats:

  1. GRE: 

The Graduate Record Examination, a standardized test, is a prerequisite for gaining admission into a majority of graduate schools in the United States.  It was created as well as administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in 1949. GRE aims to test verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills of students that have been developed over a period of time. Students who wish to pursue a master’s degree or want to study a specialized master’s course; MBA, MEM, MS or a doctoral degree can give the GRE Test. The computer-based GRE revised General Test consists of five sections. The first section of the test is the analytical writing section which consists of Issue and Argument tasks. The other five sections have two verbal reasoning sections, two quantitative reasoning sections, and either an experimental or a research section.

  1. GMAT: 

The Graduate Management Admission Test, commonly known as the GMAT, is a computer-based examination used to measure skills that are necessary for the study of management. Its duration is 3½-hours, and it is designed to predict how students will perform academically in MBA programs. Based on the GMAT scores, graduate business schools make admission decisions. Several schools require GMAT scores from applicants, therefore preparing well for the test is important. The GMAT score is vital as it can be the deciding factor regarding acceptance or rejection to a program. The GMAT tests four major skills: analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and integrated reasoning.  These skills are analyzed through four sections namely:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (one writing task, duration-30 minutes)
  2. Integrated Reasoning section (12 multiple-choice questions, duration-30 minutes)
  3. Quantitative section (37 multiple-choice questions, duration- 75 minutes)
  4. Verbal section (41 multiple-choice questions, duration-75 minutes)

A separate score and percentile rank are provided for all the exam sections mentioned above.

  1. SAT: 

The SAT is a standardized and general test of verbal and quantitative reasoning which is required by many US colleges and universities as part of their admission process. Originally, it was called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, and now it is known as SAT. The duration of the test is three hours, and it measures the verbal and mathematical reasoning skills that students have developed over time. Many colleges and universities use the SAT as one of the admission criteria among others such as class rank, GPA, participation in extracurricular activities, personal essay and letters of recommendation.

SAT consists of two different examinations:

  • The SAT Reasoning Test (Earlier known as SAT I)
  • The SAT Subject Test (Earlier known as SAT II)

The SAT Reasoning Test is a three-hour and forty-five-minute test which comprises of three sections: Critical Reading, Math, and Writing. This test is designed to measure critical thinking and analytical skills. The SAT Subject Tests are a series of one-hour multiple-choice tests in subjects such as Literature, US and World History, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

  1. TOEFL:

Students who wish to study abroad in an English-speaking country are required to take a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). It assesses your ability to speak and understand English by analyzing your English skills in terms of reading, speaking, listening and writing. It evaluates how well you combine these skills to perform academic tasks. TOEFL is accepted as proof of English proficiency in 9,000 colleges, and it is conducted more than 50 times in a year by Educational Testing Service (ETS) – a US-based non-profit organization. TOEFL has two versions: TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) and TOEFL PBT (paper-based test). Both the versions of TOEFL test has four sections- Reading, Speaking, Listening and Writing and takes about 4-hours to complete. Students can retake the TOEFL test as many times as they wish. It uses both human raters and automated scoring methods for evaluating a student’s performance.

  1. IELTS:

The International English language testing system (IELTS) is a popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration. Its objective is to assess the ability and preparedness of students who wish to study or train in a foreign country. IELTS assesses the test takers English skills with respect to reading, writing, listening and speaking. It is accepted by over 9,000 organizations worldwide, including schools, universities, immigration authorities and professional bodies.

The two versions of IELTS are- the Academic IELTS and the General Training IELTS. The Academic IELTS is usually for people who wish to study abroad, and the General Training IELTS is usually for people want to follow a non-academic course or for immigration. The duration of IELTS exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes, and it consists of four sections which test the candidates listening, reading, writing and speaking skills.

  1. PTE:

PTE Academic (The Pearson Test of English) is a computer- based English language test designed to assess the readiness and ability of non-native English speakers to participate in a university-level program which is taught in English. PTE focuses on real-life English used in academic surroundings. PTE Academic assesses listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. PTE is accepted by thousands of universities worldwide, including prestigious institutions such as Harvard Business School, INSEAD and Yale. In the three-hour test, there are three main sections- Writing coupled with speaking, listening skills and reading. There are twenty different types of question formats, ranging from multiple choice questions to essay writing and information interpretation.


TOEFL scores are accepted by a majority of universities in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. The IELTS is mandatory for Indian and other non-native English speakers, especially in the Commonwealth countries. The PTE is accepted by several institutions in the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Ireland including Harvard, Yale and INSEAD.

While TOEFL and IELTS are more well-known, there are other tests like PTE, which is relatively new. All the three tests have a few characteristics that make them unique, but they also share a few similarities. The three tests have similar sections such as- Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing, but they differ when it comes to assessing the speaking skills, scoring and evaluation criterion and format of the writing section. Unlike IELTS and TOEFL, PTE has several innovative question formats.


The GRE is another examination which Indian students must give if they wish to study in the USA or Canada. It measures the verbal, mathematical and analytical skills of the student. It is a prerequisite for gaining admission into many graduate courses, particularly for engineering and the science field in USA. Students who wish to specialize in management courses (like MBA) must take the GMAT, which is an admission requirement for business schools in US and UK.

To sum it up, these top international entrance exams are a standard as well as reliable mode for assessing a large number of applicants who aspire to study abroad. Therefore, students must plan in advance and prepare well in order to get high scores in these exams and gain admission into the university of their choice.

how to build your profile for masters

Gaining admission in universities abroad is becoming increasingly competitive. With thousands of applications pouring in against only a few hundred seats, students need to create a profile that stands out and immediately makes the Admission Committee take notice. While it is imperative to work towards creating a strong and unique profile to secure admission into a prestigious university, students are often confused and unsure of how to create a glowing profile. Here are a few pointers that will help to build an excellent profile for Master’s and make a difference.

1)  Identify your USP (Unique Selling Point)

Many applicants will have a similar or even better academic record and test scores than you.  In order to stand out and make your profile unique, you must identify your USP and highlight it to bring it to the notice of the admission committee. Start by jotting down your strengths. Give specific examples and quote instances from your academic or professional life that can substantiate the strengths you want to highlight. Focus on strengths that will help you to succeed in the program you’re applying to.  A certificate of completion or achievement is a good way to validate your strengths. Another advice is to compartmentalize your strength into categories such as academic, professional, communication or technical prowess. Thus, identifying your USP and mentioning it in your application essay will help you to put together a powerful application.

2) Write a succinct and powerful Resume?

The University admission committee has to go through several thousand applications, but to ensure that the admission committee does not overlook your application, you must create a succinct and powerful one-page long resume which highlights your strengths and achievements. It must provide more information to the admission committee than what is included in the application and helps them to evaluate your candidacy in a better manner. University resumes should be designed to enhance your application and provide yet another opportunity to showcase your worth as an ideal candidate. You must use crisp language and a clean layout, covering topics like academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, volunteer or community service, certifications, research, publications and leadership experience.

3) An interesting and engaging Statement of Purpose

Your Statement of Purpose (SOP) gives you the opportunity to display your passion and interest for the intended specialization and gives you an opportunity to explain the lacunae in your academic credentials. Your focus has to be on clearly explaining the purpose you are applying for a particular specialization.  It should also contain a brief introduction of yourself and your academic background. You must also mention your short-term and long-term goals in one paragraph.  These goals have to be as specific as possible. Describe your academic or any professional background that is relevant to your purpose. You should also give details about what motivated you to pursue further studies and have you chosen the university you are applying to. This paragraph requires you to research the program, curriculum, and faculty, so that you can highlight the specific aspects that make the university your preferred choice. It is always a good idea to take the opinions of others and seek professional help from experts like education advisers or counsellors as the SOP greatly determines your chance of getting admission in your dream university.

4) Letter of Recommendation

Refer to your strengths in the USP list that you have made and think of people who can vouch for your strengths like a good academic record, motivation, creativity, communication skills, integrity, etc.   You must take help of your professors to write impressive letters of recommendation as they qualify to truly assess your performance and vouch for your academic credentials. However, if you have any work experience ranging to a year or more, then get at least one reference from your workplace as well. A master’s degree requires the student to submit three recommendations; hence it is ideal to get one professional and two academic letters of recommendation. This will give the admission committee a balanced opinion of your academic and professional capabilities.

 5) Work experience in a prestigious company

If the company you are currently working in has a very competitive and difficult recruiting process, it makes the Admission Committee view your profile in a positive light. Also working in a reputed company makes your profile stronger and makes the admission committee realize that you are an exceptional student with excellent skills and academic record to have bagged a prestigious job or internship at a reputed company.

6) Diversify your profile

Apart from the technical skills, if you have learnt any new and different skills through extra certification courses or have any experience that can add value to your profile you must mention it. For example, if you have volunteered for any special projects and participated in any conferences or competitions, you must highlight these points to bring it to the notice of the admission committee.

7) Work towards creating a well-rounded personality?

You do not want to come across as a uni-dimensional person with only academic or professional interest. Universities believe in taking students who have a holistic and well-rounded personality. If you are a sport enthusiast or have joined any social cause or started a small entrepreneurial venture, you must highlight these in your profile.

8) Publish your research work

Published research work indubitably adds to your profile in terms of research skills and speaks volumes about your academic interests. A good publishing record is a strong indicator that you will be an asset to the research community in that university. Thus, if you have written any research paper or dissertation at graduate school, you must mention it in your profile to highlight your research skills. This will give you an edge over your competitors.

Following the above pointers will help you to create a strong and unique profile that the admission committee will review in a positive light. Working towards creating a strong and unique profile requires time and commitment, so if you want to secure admission to your chosen university, you must make a plan and start working towards it well in advance to create an exemplary profile and maximize your chances of securing admission.

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University | Student Feedback

My Experience @CMU Carnegie Mellon University

CMU is a fantastic place to be. Mech, ECE, CS, Robotics departments are one of the best in the country. Most of the students in Mech end up taking courses from CS and Robotics after taking minimum number of courses from MechE. MechE department is very good for Thermal Sciences, Design and Computational Engineering.

Courses : There some very good courses offered by MechE department. Engineering Computation, Linear Systems, Numerical Methods, CAD, FEM, Nonlinear Control, Artificial Intelligence for Machine Learning in Engineering Design are some of the popular courses here. Outside MechE, students also take courses like Computer Vision, Machine learning, Data Structures and Algorithms. MechE department has offered a new course in Special Topics in Advanced Engineering Computation which is continuation of Engineering Computation. I recommend students to take both of these courses to enhance programming skills in C++.

Professors: All the professors in the university are very helpful and knowledgable.

Research: There is a lot of research going around in the university. Some of the hot topics are Cryosurgery, Soft Robots, Biomechatronics, Fuel Cells, Geometric Modeling and Simulation etc.

Job Opportunities: MechEs’ usually have a hard time in securing jobs or internships. But eventually, almost everyone ends up getting a job. If you are more into software, you need not worry. There are plenty of those jobs here. Three career fairs are organized by CMU. One in spring and two in Fall. Many people get calls for on-campus interviews. This is also a good opportunity to network with the recruiters. All the top companies attend at least one of these career fairs.

Cost of Living : The average cost of living in Pittsburgh is between $500 to $700. Most of the students stay in Squirrel Hill or Shadyside. There are many good restaurants and grocery stores in these areas. The connectivity from these places to CMU via local transport is very good.

Good luck to all the students! Carnegie Mellon University Carnegie Mellon University

Hope this helps! Carnegie Mellon University Carnegie Mellon University

university interviews


The prospect of a university interview often brings with itself a host of feelings like happiness, panic and anxiety all rolled into one. While it is quite natural to be nervous, getting  an idea of what to expect can help you to crack the interview with flying colors. Remember that receiving an interview call means that the admission committee is impressed with your application so far, and you are close to securing an admit. University interviews can last from ten minutes to an hour. They also vary depending on the course you are applying for. Irrespective of the format of your interview, it should ideally be a two-way interaction, where you should not only respond to an interviewer’s questions but also contribute to the discussion.

What are interviewers looking for? University Interviews

  • Through the interview, the interviewer wants to know whether you are genuinely enthusiastic about your course. They wish to gauge your personality and discuss the aspects they could not glean from your application.
  • The interviewer can ask you to expand on any claims you made in your personal statement which demonstrate your interest in the subject, any research or work experience to make sure your statement stands up to scrutiny.
  • The interviewer will ask you about your reasons for wanting to study that particular course, so make sure of what the course involves and the various career options available. They will also assess your ability to communicate and deal with stress. They expect you to show some knowledge of the course and university as well as the capacity to present your ideas and arguments confidently.
  • The interviewer looks for evidence that you are capable of thinking independently, are willing to adapt to new ideas beyond the scope of your college syllabus, and that you are committed to the program.

Common questions often asked in university interviews University Interviews

  • Revisit the university prospectus and course details, think about how you will answer questions such as ‘why this course?’ and ‘why this university?’
  • Re-familiarize yourself with your personal statement and be prepared to elaborate on anything you have mentioned.
  • Try to keep abreast with the latest issues in current affairs relevant to your subject because interviewers may bring it up for discussion.
  • You may have to field tricky, and open-ended questions like “Tell me about yourself” or “How would your friends describe you?” To answer such a question, write down a list of your strengths and weakness and think of five words that sum up your personality.
  • If they ask you to speak about your weaknesses, identify one, but always tell them what you are doing to tackle it. If you are asked about your strengths, list a few. Be honest, to the point and avoid being a braggart because they might ask you to validate your strengths with examples.
  • Another favorite amongst interviewers is: “What do you do in your spare time?” While answering this question, tell them something interesting and meaningful.
  • If you plan to defer your admit for one year, the interviewer may ask you what you intend to do during this period? Point out how your gap year will benefit. Mention a way in which the gap year will relate to your course and future academic studies like taking up jobs related to your course work.
  • Another common question often asked is regarding your career aspiration. How will the university benefit your future? While answering this question, be honest and state your career plans, explain how a degree will help you to achieve your career goals and how you think the university will benefit you.

Prior Preparation to face University Interviews University Interviews

  • Research on your course and the University thoroughly. Ponder on what interests you about the course, and the reasons for choosing the program.
  • Make sure you read your personal statement once again because the interviewer might ask you questions based on it. If you have mentioned about a reading a book in the personal statement but actually haven’t read it, then you must read it as a part of your preparation.
  • A mock interview is a helpful practice. Having some interview practice beforehand will boost your confidence and expose the areas that you need to work on. Ask a career adviser to conduct your mock interviews. For extra practice, get a friend or your parents to ask you some difficult interview questions.
  • Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer but make sure that they haven’t already been answered in the information sent to you by the University.
  • Ensure that you have something suitable to wear. The university may have a dress code; if not, dress in something you feel comfortable in and will not distract the interviewer.
  • If you are unaware about the interview format, feel free to email or phone the university to ask. If you know the name of the interviewer, do a little bit of internet research and see if you share any interests.

Pointers for the big day University Interviews

  • Body language is very significant and perhaps as important as what you say to create a good first impression. Sit straight, avoid slouching, make eye contact and look as well as sound interested. It is important that you engage with the interviewer in a positive manner.
  • Listen carefully to the questions asked and do not hesitate to pause if you need some time to think through your answer or if you want the interviewer to repeat a particular question. Answering out of context will undoubtedly leave a bad impression.

There is no such thing as the perfect interview or the perfect reply to a question that an interviewer might throw at you. Be calm and view the interview as an opportunity to showcase your worthiness as an ideal candidate and discuss a subject that you and your interviewer share an interest in. Asking good questions will impress your interviewer just as much as good answers. Remember that the best way to prepare for an interview is to practice by way of mock interviews. While practicing, do not learn your answers by heart because that will make you sound over-rehearsed and robotic. Rather just be confident and use your presence of mind as these two will ensure that you have a smooth and successful university interview. University Interviews

How to get into a good university with average acads?

How to get into a good university with average acads?

A question that many students often worry about is how to get into a good university with an average academic record?  One cannot deny the importance of good grades, strong GPA and a stellar academic record as the essential criterion to get into a good institution, but even if your grades are average, you still stand a good chance to get into a reputed college. What you need to do is to make the rest of your college application sparkle and demonstrate a compelling evidence of your skills, talents, abilities and achievements to make sure that the admission committee notices you. How to get into a good university with average acads?

The following tips will help you in securing admission to a good university despite an average academic record:

  1. Work hard for your standardized test: How to get into a good university with average acads?

If your grades are average, then you must do everything you can to do well in your GRE and TOEFL. Prepare to the best of your abilities and take the test more than once if you don’t score well the first time.

  1. Write an extraordinary Essay: How to get into a good university with average acads?

The college application essay can make or break your chance of securing admission in a reputed college. Practice and work hard to write an impressive Statement of Purpose. Be substantive, direct, genuine and honest. Clearly state your interest in the field you wish to specialise in, along with the reasons for selecting a particular university while putting your best foot forward. Write from your heart and make it as unique as possible.

  1. Get strong recommendation letters from teachers and counsellors:

A gleaming LOR goes a long way in establishing your candidacy for a particular program. Recommendations not only validate your technical and academic competence but can also convince the committee of your overall preparedness for the program in terms of your aptitude, attitude, adaptability, flexibility, open-mindedness and interpersonal skills. Indeed, a well-drafted letter of recommendation is a chance for professors/counsellors/employers to help the applicant put his or her best foot forward. Admission committees are not just interested in your academic achievements but also are looking for well-rounded individuals who can add value to the university through their versatility. Therefore, try getting, at least, one recommendation from someone who has known you outside the classroom setting and can speak convincingly about your strengths and involvement in extracurricular activities, thus making you sound like a cut above the rest.  How to get into a good university with average acads?

  1. Consider schools with conditional acceptance programs:

There are plenty of schools that give students an opportunity to attend school on a conditional basis. This is ideal for you if you have lower grades but have a great application otherwise. Many schools will offer conditional admission, however; you must keep your GPA at a certain point to remain enrolled in the school.  If you have an average academic record, then you can consider this option. Some of them are- the University of Wisconsin, University of Idaho, University of Iowa, California State University- Fullerton, Colorado State University, Virginia Tech and Arizona State University.

  1. Avoid early admission: How to get into a good university with average acads?

If you have an average academic record, then it is advisable to apply for regular admissions since early admissions are extremely competitive. Your chances of being accepted for regular admission are far better than the selective process of an early admission. You must use the extra time to take challenging courses and improve your GPA.

  1. Take responsibility and offer an explanation: How to get into a good university with average acads?

If your academic performance was negatively affected due to circumstances that were out of your control such as, family issues, illness or any other reason, then you must take responsibility for it and explain it in a thoughtful and mature way. You can discuss your poor grades in the additional information field on the Common Application. However, Admission officials are aware that grades are not the only indicator of a student’s capability and therefore, if you can convince the admission committee that you are a sincere, diligent and persevering student for them to see your application in a positive light.

  1. Showcase your strengths: How to get into a good university with average acads?

Grades are not the only deciding factor that universities consider during admissions. They do look at your participation outside the classroom to see what kind of person you are. They want to ensure that you will add value to the academic and cultural fabric of the University. If you have participated in extracurricular activities, won competitions, engaged in volunteer work and social activities then you must mention the same in your application. These are your strengths, and you must play up your strengths as it will distinguish you from other applicants.

An average academic record is in no way a roadblock to gaining entry into the college of your dreams. Keep these pointers in mind and remember to stay positive and never give up!

Planning Your Application Process

Planning Your Application Process

The application process is one of the most substantial and time-consuming processes that requires a lot of premeditated planning and preparation. Students are often befuddled regarding how to plan the application process which, if not done correctly can lead to missing out on application deadlines. An important thing that students must keep in mind is that deadlines are firm and non-negotiable. To ensure that students meet the deadlines, here is an outline regarding the application process. Students should start working on grad school timelines, at least, a year before they are planning to join that particular grad school. Following these basic steps will help students to ensure the application process goes smoothly. Planning Your Application Process

A year before enrollment / three months before application deadline

After identifying the program and specialization that you want to go for, you must conduct a thorough research on institutions offering that program. Research to decide what your specific area of concentration will be within your chosen field. To get a better insight into course details, you can also request for published materials from the universities that you are considering like grad school catalogs, handbooks, and admissions and financial aid applications. Once you have finalized the course and list of potential universities, check the language requirement and proceed with all the necessary tests. For programs taught in English, it is usually IELTS or TOEFL. To perform well on these exams, students must ensure good preparation and register a few weeks before the exam.

Begin planning about financing your education and about research assistantships and fellowships in your field of study by looking into scholarships and loan programs. Some universities require the transcripts to be translated, which is a time-consuming process, so ensure a translation service well in advance. Keep in mind the application deadlines and account for the time it will take if you submit your applications through the mail because international mail takes longer and costs more. Planning Your Application Process

Eleven months before enrollment / two months before application deadline

Two months before the application deadline, students must finalize a list of universities to which they wish to apply. They must also begin with filling out the application forms and read about the admission and the application rules to comprehend the various aspects of the application process. This must be followed by drafting the statement of purpose and application essays. To be confident about application essays, you can ask your friends, colleagues or career counselor to give feedback and edits on early drafts. Also, students must arrange for Letters of recommendation by contacting the professors and employers they know to write their recommendations. Letters from potential recommenders must be requested, at least, one or two months before the application deadline to prevent last minute hang-ups. Planning Your Application Process

Another aspect of admission is taking various admission tests. Students must take their admissions exams and request for the official transcripts. Finally, students should fill out the application form and find out if they can submit the university application online. Some universities require transcripts and recommendation letters to be sent directly from the institution or recommender. In that case, the materials should be sent separately from the rest of the application.  Contact the shortlisted universities for information on scholarships and teaching as well as research assistantship opportunities. Compile a list of funding and scholarship opportunities for which you can apply, and keep track of due dates and deadlines. Planning Your Application Process

Ten months before enrollment / one month before application deadline

Formally request your letters of recommendation from your potential recommenders either through writing or in person. To ensure timely completion, give the recommenders a deadline, which is two weeks before the application deadline. Polish the application essays and tailor your personal statement for each school as necessary. If possible, have someone from the field or an industry expert to proofread it for you and make final suggestions. Complete all application forms so as to meet the deadlines. Planning Your Application Process

Nine months before enrollment / Submission of application

Submit your applications and put together all required materials like application form, letters of recommendation, transcripts, personal essays and test scores. To make your application different and noticeable, it is advisable to submit the application two weeks before the application deadline. Post submission, you must follow up and confirm with all the applied universities that your application file is proper and up to date. Call before the deadline in case you need to resubmit any documents. Prepare the financial statements for individual school applications and keep all your application materials organized to apply for financial aid and scholarships.

Thus, in this manner, by following a well- crafted road map students, can tackle the lengthy application process with ease and meet deadlines. A pre -planned application timeline that considers all the aspects of the application process ensures that students do not miss out on considering any minute detail and complete the application process in a smooth and swift manner. Planning Your Application Process

Stream Change After Graduation

Stream Change After Graduation | MS in US

Overtime, of your graduate studies, you may find that your interest in your chosen field of study is waning and that your real passion lies in a different field in which you don’t have any professional experience. What do you do then? Continue studying in the field that you know you don’t wish to pursue? Or make a change and switch to a field that is aligned with your interests? Is it possible to transition from one field to the other? The answer is yes. Getting a master’s degree in a field that is different from your undergraduate degree is challenging, but not impossible. Changing streams after graduation can be tricky, but is certainly possible and in no way hinders your chances of a successful career.  The switch should be made only after doing a detailed research and careful analysis. Here are a few pointers that will help you to make a smooth transition from one stream to the other. Stream Change After Graduation

  1. Take advise from current professors Stream Change After Graduation

Professors are available to facilitate your success and wish for your well-being, and it is always a good idea to talk to them regarding their opinions about changing fields. However, you need to convince them that switching fields is in your best interest. They may either advise changing fields or enlighten you to new avenues of exploration in your current field. Their valuable advice is sure to help you accomplish your goals.

  1. Take up related courses Stream Change After Graduation

Let’s assume that you have a bachelor’s degree in accountancy, and you wish to pursue a master’s degree in healthcare management. To ensure that you can easily transition to a new course, take up courses in healthcare and science before joining the new course. Doing so will give you firsthand experience and will enable you to gain practical insight into the field. Mentioning this on your transcripts will prove that you have some knowledge about the new field, and will also reflect well on your profile.

  1. Take up an internship related to your new field to gain experience

An internship experience which is closely related to your new field is advantageous as it will make the transition smoother. Also, the first-hand experience gained in the field will have a positive impact on your profile. A recommendation letter from a professional in the field you wish to switch to will be a positive point for your application. Stream Change After Graduation

  1. Become familiar with the language of the field Stream Change After Graduation

Learning to speak the language of your new field is time-consuming, but will indubitably create a positive impression for you. Being able to converse eloquently and confidently about the various concepts in your field will help you to come across as knowledgeable and credible. Students must aim to become familiar with the professional jargon used in their prospective career by indulging in extensive reading. If you demonstrate that you have the ability to converse well on the subject despite no prior background in that field, then the admission committee will review your application in a positive light. The most effective way to bring this to the notice of the admission committee is to mention this is in your statement of intent, or your admissions essay.

  1. Use your admission essay to convince the admission committee

The committee is interested to know that you are a good fit for the program. Therefore, the main focus while preparing your application should be on demonstrating how your educational background and experiences specifically match the needs of the new program. Through the admission essay, you must convince the admission committee about your genuine interest in the field. Write about the courses you have taken or experiences that illustrate your interest or competence in the intended field of study. Explain the reason for making this transition and how despite being new to the field, your past experiences and background will help you to meet the university expectations and career goals. Stream Change After Graduation

The above pointers will definitely help you to have a stress-free and smooth start in your new field.  Stream Change After Graduation


In today’s competitive world, it has become imperative to go abroad for masters in order to fortify one’s knowledgebase, gain a global exposure and ensure a rewarding career. Going abroad for further studies requires a host of meticulous preparations and one of the most significant parts is the application process. Students must keep in mind that the application process is multidimensional and has several aspects that must be considered for smooth and hassle-free admission aspects of application process. Different aspects of application process

Preparation in advance different aspects of application process

International students often underestimate the amount of time required to apply for admission to a university abroad. Beginning the application process at the earliest is the best strategy. You need sufficient time to conduct a thorough and detailed research about the institution and the course that you wish to study. Starting well in advance ensures you meet the application deadlines of the chosen universities.

Admission requirements include personal statements and letters of recommendation from teachers or supervisors who know you well. University website and other academic sites provide access to the application forms; it takes time to research different options. You also need to set aside time to contact your professors for recommendations, arrange for transcripts, and sign up for the required entrance exams in order to meet application deadlines. Different aspects of application process

Setting an Application Timeline different aspects of application process

Setting an application timeline and strictly adhering to it will help you to meet application deadlines with ease. The plan should start 18 months before your application deadline.

18 Months before application deadline different aspects of application process

  • Research various colleges and universities programs
  • Register and prepare for required entrance exams.

12-14 Months before application deadline

  • Choose the universities you wish to apply to
  • Obtain all necessary information and forms for each school
  • Take required entrance exams

10-12 Months before application deadline different aspects of application process

  • Identify your recommenders and communicate your requirements to them
  • Request transcripts from your college
  • Write your personal statement Different aspects of application process

10 Months before application deadline different aspects of application process

  • Retake entrance exams if scores were unsatisfactory Different aspects of application process
  • Streamline financial documents Different aspects of application process
  • Complete and mail applications Different aspects of application process

3 Months before application deadline

  • Research about the health insurance options Different aspects of application process
  • Make travel arrangements for when you arrive. Different aspects of application process

Take Standardized Tests

Universities require students to take standardized admissions tests to demonstrate their knowledge and English language proficiency such as GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS. These tests are a barometer to measure the skills and aptitude of students from varied educational backgrounds. Your performance in these tests will determine whether or not you get admission into your school of choice. To get a good score, you need to plan in advance when to take the test, prepare thoroughly and study well to do your best.

Credential Evaluators

University curriculum varies from country to country. Many universities who accept students from other countries need to verify the authenticity of the documents submitted. Universities may require you to submit your transcripts to a third party credential evaluator like WES (World Education Services). A credential evaluator like WES examines your credentials, evaluates as well as advocates the recognition of international educational qualifications and then translates the documents into your host country curriculum for review. The reason being that due to the diversity of applicants and their respective education systems, there is a need for a common ground for evaluating educational credentials.

Credential Evaluators offer three types of evaluations: Different aspects of application process

  1. Course by Course Credential Evaluation

Documents required, in this case, include originals or certified copies of mark sheets.

  1. Educational Credential Evaluation

The documents required in this case include originals or certified copies of original academic documents – diplomas, certificates and transcripts (indicating graduation date and major).

  1. Professional Work Experience Evaluation

Students must submit certified copies of original academic documentation- diplomas, degree, certificates and transcript (indicating graduation date and major). A resume containing a description of job duties and responsibilities, start and end date of the projects, including tools and skills used and employer’s name and geographical location. Also, reference letters of employment from each employer, indicating job title, start date, end date, and job descriptions. Different aspects of application process

Student Visa diff

An F1 visa is issued to those students who wish to pursue an academic program at a US university. The F-1 visa allows for the possibility of employment in the US during your stay. Students having F-1 visa can remain in the US up to 60 days even after their course is completed, unless they have applied to get permission to stay and work for a period of time under the OPT Program. After you get favourable decision from universities you have applied to, take a final call on which college you want to attend. Once you receive your I-20, an official endorsement of your academic acceptance by the chosen university, you can apply for F-1 Visa. However, as per the US visa guidelines, visas cannot be issued more than 120 days before the programme start date indicated on your form I-20 received from the college you plan to attend.

Thus, if a student considers all the above aspects of the application process and is prepared well in advance, the entire process is bound to be smooth and lead to a timely admit to the student’s dream university. Being systematic and having a careful approach towards all the above-mentioned aspects will go a long way in reducing anxiety while applying to several universities and will make the admission process plain sailing. Different aspects of application process

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