GRE Exam and Applications


As the MS & PHD deadlines are approaching there are certain parameters that you should assess before you send out your application to any college.

These parameters are as follows:

1) GRE & TOEFL Score

2) Academic Record

3) Statement of Purpose

4) Letter of Recommendation

5) Research Work

6) Work Experience

7) Extra Curricular Activities

Let us look at the importance and myths related to the above mentioned 7 parameters.


For those of you who plan to pursue either your Master or PhD abroad ,you need to take what is called the GRE ( Graduate Record Exam) .This exam is mandatory and is the basic criteria for all good universities abroad.

GRE exam has 3 sections – Verbal, Quant and AWA. Of which, AWA is a very important section as it is the only section that has a cut off (usually 4 out of 6).

While practicing AWA always keep in mind that unlike your MS Office the GRE software does not have auto grammar and spell check .So, be cautious of the same.

The requirement of GRE score varies from student to student depending upon his/her background and profile. For example, an engineering student would need a higher quant score (at least 165) and a non-science student would need a higher verbal score (150 and above).

A good GRE score that can take you to a good university is anything more than 320. However, your admission into a good university is not solely dependent on your GRE score as there are a lot of other components that are taken into account.

TOEFL– Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFL is an easier exam which is to fulfill the VISA requirement. Mostly universities have a cut off for TOEFL and the students are just required a clear the same. Scoring exceptionally well on TOEFL doesn’t give you an edge over other competing students.

Academic Record

A good Academic record is a must to get into a reputable college. Now, the question arises what is considered under academic record?

The universities look at the following:

  • Ranking of your College
  • Your rank in class/college
  • Course you pursued in your under graduation
  • The grading system you college follows.

Basically, you don’t have to worry if your college doesn’t give out marks that easily vis-a-vis other colleges because even that is taken into account. If you have been a good scorer you will be give your due.

Statement of Purpose (SOPs)

As the name suggests this document presents your interest field to the university you are applying to .A good SOP answers the following 4 questions:

  • Name of the course you are applying for.
  • Your educational background
  • The reason why you are opting for that particular university.
  • Why should the university take you?

If you answer these 4 questions properly you will take your application to another level. Avoid writing clichés like I want to join this university because it is world renowned, instead try to write things that are relevant and substantial. For example, you can browse through the universities website and the faculties there, the courses taught etc. and mention them in your SOP. This will give your application that extra push.

The last question is the most essential of all .Here need to write about your qualities that set you apart from the crowd.

Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

You need 3 LORs in hand in order to apply. Now, your LORs can come from your professors, project heads, research people etc. If you know some HOD really well but he hasn’t taught you then don’t take his recommendation as it won’t be considered worthwhile. However, if a professor who has taught has resigned or promoted then your recommendation can come from his end.

A very common myth among the students is that the qualifications of the recommenders add weight age to your LORs, well, it doesn’t. The mere fact that a professor has taught is enough for him to be able to recommend you.

Research Work

Research work is indispensable on your application .It is the only criteria that can either make your entry into a university very smooth or extremely difficult. Research work includes research papers, thesis, dissertation, journals, patents, projects, industrial trainings, internships etc. Even if you don’t score well on GRE, you don’t have a good academic record but you have done substantial research work you can get into a top university.

Work Experience

Work experience is not mandatory for MS or PhD students. Only a few programs ask for a work ex but mostly it is not taken in consideration. Nevertheless, if your work ex is in the field of research it can make a difference.

Extra-Curricular Activities

It is obviously a good thing if you are a versatile student, unfortunately ECAs don’t make a difference to your profile when you apply for MS or PhD abroad. In simple words, among all the parameters this is the lowest rated when it comes to your application.

Remember; when it comes to application it is about how you present what you have in hand. So, make sure that your presentation is good and your message is being conveyed the way it should be. Lay a lot of emphasis on your research work as that is a very important criterion, especially for PhD students. So, pay attention to these 7 parameters and you are good to go.

At the time of your exam, you can send your scores to 4 universities right away. In case, you need help in choosing these universities then mail us the following at

  1. Your educational background
  2. Your mock tests score (ETS)
  3. Program you want to apply for
  4. Any specific  criteria ( like financial constraints etc )


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