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1)                  I wish to pursue my masters, how and where do I start?

 If you are determined to pursue your masters, to start with, all you need to do is registering yourself for GRE ( and TOEFL ( You are supposed to give GMAT ( in case of an MBA.

2)                  Where do I register for GRE, TOEFL, SAT or GMAT tests?

Once you have decided to take the tests, you can log on to where you can register for the required test online and also get the complete information required. Or

Log on to  for details about GRE.

Log on to  for details about TOEFL.

Log on to  for details about GMAT.

 Log on to  for details about SAT (for undergraduate studies)

3)                  How much do they charge for the above tests?

 For the latest information about fees that ETS charges for various tests, please check the links corresponding to the tests

=         GRE: $ 160 ( 509/?vgnextoid=e3f42d3631df4010VgnVCM10000022f95190RCRD&vgnextc hannel=398af3d792285010VgnVCM10000022f95190RCRD)

=         TOEFL: $ 120 (IBT) ( 509/?vgnextoid=fd38af5e44df4010VgnVCM10000022f95190RCRD&vgnextch annel=6246197a484f4010VgnVCM10000022f95190RCRD)

=         GMAT: $ 250 ( eGMAT/PayfortheTestin2006.htm)

=         SAT:


4)                  What is the mode of the payment for these tests?

The amount can be paid from International credit cards like

=         Visa

=         Master card

=         American Express

=         JCB


5)                  I am done with registering for the tests, now how do I start preparing for them?

 Once you are done with registering for the tests, then you can sit down with the preparation.

 Books listed below can help you get good scores.

- Barron’s

- Kaplan’s

- Big book

 - Word power made easy

- Princeton review

 - Cambridge etc.

You can start with reading the high frequency words and then get deeper CDs

 - Power prep cds (free cd given when u register for the tests)

 - Cambridge

 - Princeton

 - Barron’s

And others

6)                  What should be the exact duration for the preparation?

Generally you should be going through the word lists right from the third year of Engineering if you wish to get high scores!

It also depends on the individual on how he/she sets his/her time and prepares for the tests, some of them prepare only for 10 days, or a month and some of them prepare for 2 months and some may take even longer time.

 The bottom line is, depending on the interest of the individual, the preparation time varies.

7)                  What is the right time to take the tests if I wish to apply for fall, (i.e., after my final exams)?

You can give your tests in your second year or third year or in the first semester of your final year depending upon your availability of time. The most appropriate time would be somewhere in between 3-2 and 4-1.

8)                  What are the cut-off scores in these tests for universities?

The cut-off score for TOEFL (CBT) is 213 for most of the universities. For some universities it is 200 and for some of them it is 197. But 213+ on the board will be neat. Coming to the GRE, 1000+ on the board will be neat.

9)                  What are the expiry dates of these tests?

 GRE is valid through 5years

TOEFL is valid up to 2years

GMAT is valid up to 5 years

10)               How many times can I give these tests?

You can take them as many times as u wish in a year, but cannot take the tests twice in the same month.

11)               If I scored less in the first attempt, what should I do?

If you have scored less in the first attempt, then you can use the option to cancel your scores at the end of the exam without reporting them to the respective universities. And then you can take the test again and if you are successful you can report the scores (2nd attempt) to the university.

12)               How do I report my scores to the university?

 You can use the option given at the end of the test for reporting the scores which is free of cost, given by the ETS (educational testing society) or else you can report your scores through telephone (ISD) by calling the ETS (NEW JERSEY).

13)                How much do they (ETS) charge if I report my scores?

They charge 15$ for reporting GRE and 17$ for reporting TOEFL to each university if you apply through FAX, and if u wish to do it through telephone, they charge an extra 12$ as service tax per call. (You will have to call separately for GRE and TOEFL).

14)                Where do I get the details like phone numbers for reporting these scores?

 You can get them on  Or  or or or

15)                What do I do when the university says that I didn’t report my scores even though I have reported them?

You can call the help line and explain your problem; they will immediately react to your problem.; you can find the numbers in the mentioned site.

16)               What are the things I need to keep near me, when I call the ETS people to report my scores?

The things you need to keep beside you are

- Score report (confirmation number and registration number)

- Credit card (which you are going to use)

 - Institution codes of the respective universities (available in the site

 - Department codes (e.g: 66 for electrical. refer


17)               On what basis do I select universities for applying to masters?

 You can consider the following factors while applying to masters

 - Ranking of the university

 - Assistantships and Research opportunities

 - Financial aid

 - Profile (aggregate percentage, test scores, etc.)

 - Reputation

 - Tuition fees

- Climate

 - Professors working in your area of interest

 - Job prospects

 - Near to larger cities

 - Presence of relatives or seniors

- Course structure

 - Cost of living

The above factors may be put in any order depending on the student’s choice.

18)               What are the documents that I need for applying to universities?

Once if you’re done with the selection process, then the list of documents needed for applying are

 - SSC / Inter Xerox copies attested by the principal

 - B.TECH / B.E transcripts

 - Extracurricular certificates (mini projects, paper presentations, national level papers published, international level, internships ……etc.) (Xerox copies)

- Passport Xerox

 - Affidavit of support from your parents

 - Bank statements

 - Recommendation letters (3), from corresponding professors or important persons under whom you have worked.

 - Statement of purpose (SOP)

 - Resume

 - Some additional documents, requested by the university (formats can be obtained from the university website)

19)               How do I send them to the university?

You can send these documents through courier, which will take 5 working days to reach the destination.

20)               How much will it cost me?

 It depends on the weight of your application packet. It generally ranges from Rs 600/- to Rs 1000/-. It also depends on the type of courier services.

21)               Are there any websites, where we can practice the tests online?

The below sites can be helpful


22)               What would be the best time for applying to universities?

If you wish to go for fall semester, then you should be applying and sending your application packets by NOV- DEC, if not, at least by JAN and students going for spring should be applying by JUN- JUL –AUG as most of the universities follow first come first serve policy. It is always beneficial, if applied early.

23)               How many intakes does a university have?

A typical American university has 3 intakes

=         FALL Semester – AUG/SEPT

=         SPRING Semester – JAN/FEB

=         SUMMER Semester – MAY

24)               When is the highest intake?

 Intake will be more for FALL, as many students are done with their under graduation and also many graduate students in the university’s graduate in FALL; then comes SPRING, followed by SUMMER. Similar to this hierarchy, the courses offered also will decrease in each intake.

25)               Is it true that the aid chances are very less in SPRING and SUMMER when compared to FALL?

Yeah, it’s partially true, as most of the students (75%) go for FALL, so they are given to them, but students going for SPRING and SUMMER too have good chances of securing aid.

26)               What is the difference between AID and FEE WAIVER?

FEE WAIVER is a provision where in you get your tuition fees waived, either completely or partially. FINANACIAL AID provides salary/scholarship along with fee waiver

27)               I definitely need a fee waiver or an aid; can u give me the list of universities?

You can look for

- Univ of Kentucky, Lexington

 - Univ of Alabama, Huntsville

 - State universities of New York

 - Western Kentucky, bowling green

 - Dakota schools

 - Mc neese state university

 - Lamar university

 - Farleigh Dickenson University

 - University of Missouri Kansas City

 - Texas A & M Commerce

 These schools give a fee waiver for 95% of the students. (Note: only for the first SEM)

28)               How do I contact a professor?

 You can get the contacts of the professors from the respective university websites (graduate department) and you can mail them regarding your interests and your specializations.

29)               What is the procedure to contact a professor or request for an RA?

Firstly, introduce yourself and then talk about your scores and % (GPA), talk about your field of interest, about your mini-projects or main projects /papers etc., and then show your interest towards working for him/her. Then thank him/her. Do not directly ask for funding.

30)               What is GPA?

GPA is Grade point average. It is calculated by the subjects taken and the marks obtained. Normally it is rated on a 4 scale. 3 GPA is considered to be 60%.

31)               How much GPA does a university expect?

This depends on university to university, some of them need 3.5; some need 3; and some need 2.75(which may be 57-58%) and minimum being 2.5 (55%)

32)               Tell me about CGPA?

CGPA is cumulative grade point average. It varies from university to university. Generally they take out some important subjects or credit hours and calculate this CGPA. It is on a scale of 10.

33)               Where can I get the list of American universities?

The below sites may be helpful

34)               Where can I compare things about universities?

The below site may be helpful

35)               Where can I get to know about the state?

 You can take help from websites like and you can always search through the Google.

36)               How many universities should I apply?

 It solely depends on the student, whether he wishes to apply for 1, 2, 4 or 8 universities. The best number would be 5 or 6.

37)               How should the selection be?

If you are applying to 6 schools, then

Choose 2 ambitious schools

2 of moderate chances

 2 safe schools

38)               How do I know my application status?

You can check your application status online after the university issues your identification number after checking all your documents.


You can call the admission staff and ask them about your application status. They will inform you about your status (numbers can be obtained from the grad school website).

39)               How much time will it take before I receive my I-20?

It takes 50 – 90 days to receive your i20 from the university.

40)               What is an I-20?

 I-20 is an „admission form‟, stating that you are admitted into a particular university in a particular course.

41)               How much time will the I-20 take to reach me once it is dispatched from the university? Normally, an I-20 is dispatched through normal post, which could take 3-4 weeks to reach you.

42)               Can I get it in a week? (In case if you are out of time)

Yes, you can, if you request them to send the post by courier otherwise known as express mail, you will be asked for your credit card details so as to send the I-20 by express mail. You will get it in 5 days.

43)               What are the things I need to take to the GRE/TOEFL tests?

You need

 - Passport

 - Confirmation letter (sent to your email as soon as you register for your exam)

 - A secondary photo ID like a driver’s license, Student ID, etc.

44)               What am I supposed to do if my name is printed wrong in the score reports?

You can contact ETS through phone or email and explain your problem. You can find their contact numbers in the website You can ask them to send you a new score report.

45)               What if my name is misspelled in my I-20?

You can always ask them for a new one. You can mail them or contact through telephone. They will definitely issue a new I-20.

46)               How many days will it take to receive my GRE / TOEFL score reports?

 It takes 1 month to 2 months to receive your score reports. On an average it takes 40 days to receive your score reports.

47)               What are RA, TA and GA?

RA – Research assistant

 TA – Teaching assistant

 GA – graduate assistant

48)               How different is a RA to a TA and a GA?

Teaching Assistantship basically deals with assisting professor in his classes and helping him in clarifying students‟ doubts regarding the subject and then conducting labs and evaluating paper. On the other hand Research Assistantship deals in continuing the research work done by the professor and preparing materials, documentation and other related works. Graduate assistant is one who is given a full fee waiver and then he will be doing both TA‟s and RA‟s work. There are many departments in which GA position is offered.

49)               How do I contact the seniors of the particular university?

There will be a web page for the Indians in every university website. In that website, details about The Indian Student association (ISA) will be given and also the list of all the association members along with their contacts will be given in that site. You can also look for the University’s Indian Students Association in yahoo groups where in you can contact all the Indians of the university.

50)               Will long mails to the admission staff irritate them and affect the admission process? Yeah, they definitely do affect the procedure. The admission staff will be going through numerous mails every day and lengthy mails bore the staff. So it’s better if you keep your mail small and precise (to the point). This is always advised while writing official mails.

51)               Can I get an RA or a TA or a GA in the first semester?

It is tough to get any of them in the first semester. Depending on your performance in the first semester, you can stand a chance for getting it. However some of them with a good academic profile do manage to get it in the first semester itself.

52)               How do I apply online?

It’s a very simple process, similar to filling any other application form. It can be downloaded from the university website and all your particulars are to be filled in. At the end you are supposed to give the application fee via a credit card.

53)               How much fee do I pay during the applications?

 It varies from university to university. Some universities have 100$, 55$, 50$, 45$, 25$ as fee and for few, it is free.

54)               Which university doesn’t charge any application fees?

 University of Dayton (70% Academics is the minimum requirement)

55)               What is this evaluation fee (100$ fee)?

The WES evaluation converts educational credentials from any country in the world into their U.S. equivalents. It describes each certificate, diploma or degree that you have earned and states its academic equivalency in the United States.

56)               Can you give me reasons as to why I should choose US for higher education?

- Excellent academics

 - Outstanding Research

- Flexibility in course curriculum

 - Financial assistance

 - Work programs

- Internships

 - Job opportunities

 - Cultural exchange

57)               What are public universities?

These are state affiliated institutions and some include the words “state university” in their title. They are relatively inexpensive when compared to other universities nationwide, but getting admission into these universities can be more difficult than a private institution. The enrolments tend to be very large such as 20,000 or more students. Due to huge number of students studying in public universities, international students can easily find on-campus jobs and teaching assistantship jobs. Also, many government-funded research projects are allocated to state universities, which provide RA positions for highly qualified students. Most of the universities offer partial or full tuition waivers to teaching and research assistant students.

58)               Tell me something about private universities?

 Private institutions are supported by student tuition, investment income, research contracts, and private donations. Tuition fees tend to be higher at private universities than at state universities, but they charge the same tuition to both state and out of state residents. The quality of education is equal between public and private universities. The main differences are funding and fees.

59)               Where can I find some genuine ranking of universities?

 You can get them at published by the US news.

60)               Tell me something about score reports?

 All universities accept only the original score report of the student. It should be sent directly from the testing service (ETS). A photocopy or a student copy of the score sheet will not be accepted. Any reporting should go through ETS. ETS reports GRE and TOEFL scores to four universities of the student’s choice, the cost of which is added in the examination fee.

61)               What if I plan to apply for more universities (apart from the four applied during the exam)?

 If you plan to apply to more than one university, you must send additional scoring report through ETS. The cost of extra reporting is $15 per university for the GRE and $17 per university for TOEFL. TOEFL and GRE are valid for 2yrs and 5 yrs. respectively. Afterwards, the score will not be available on the database and the reports will not be sent to the universities.

62)               What will be the main admission criteria?

The main admission criteria will be the academic performance of the students in their under-graduation (for MS aspirants). The test scores such as GRE/TOEFL are also important next to the academics. Later they look into published papers and projects. The admission is also done based on the marks obtained in the core subjects, or the courses related to selected specialization. This process is adopted when the profiles of students are similar and sometimes also in normal admissions.

63)               How can I know my admission status?

Well, many universities have online status checking facility. The status can be checked with the aid of the identification number given by the university after your admission packets reach the admissions office. Some universities don’t have the online status checking facility. In that case students can call the admissions staff to know their admission status.

64)               How many days will it take when the I-20 is dispatched from the university?

Generally it takes 2-3 weeks for the I-20 to reach the destination. It can also reach you in 5days, when you ask the university people to send it through Express Mail (which will cost you extra, 40$ approximately) wherein you are asked to disclose your credit card details.

65)               What if I don’t receive my I-20 in 2-4 weeks’ time or what if my name or some other details are misprinted on my I-20?

You can always call up the admissions staff and ask them to send you another copy of your i20 I-20. They will be more than willing to send you another one.

66)               Tell me how to know the fee structure?

auto'> It’s all shown in credit hours! Yeah! The fee in American universities is shown connecting to the credit hours. A master’s student will have to take a minimum of 9 credit hours (i.e., 3 credits * 3 subjects) per semester. On an average a master’s student will have to take 12 courses to complete his degree requirements. auto'> auto'>For example: 

If the fee per credit hour is given as 550$, then the semester fee can be calculated as 550* 9 =4950$ per semester, which in Indian rupees would be 4950*45=2,22,750 Rupees. The whole course will cost him 4950*4=19,800$ which in Indian rupees would be 8,91,000 rupees (9 lakhs approx.)

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