Dear Mentor:

Are my GRE scores good enough for CS in the US?

I have studied Civil Engineering at IIT, Delhi and have two years of experience in the software industry. I want to study Computer Science at a prestigious college in the US. I have got a general GRE score of 1950. Should I give the Subject GRE for Computer Science also? What score in the Subject GRE is regarded as "good" for admission? If I do not get a good score in the Subject GRE, will it reduce my chances of getting admission?

CS aspirant, India

Dear CS aspirant:

First of all, you should try the iMahal College Finder. Based on the performance of students admitted in the past, the College Finder offers guidance on which schools are likely to offer you admission. To learn about the ratings of various colleges, you can visit the Rankings portion of the iMahal Education Section.

Whether you require a subject-specific GRE depends on your prospective school. Requirements vary across schools. You can use the iMahal Education Section for the US Computer Science Colleges and Universities to reach the websites of these schools to determine the need.

You have to understand the difference between getting admission and getting financial aid. Getting financial aid is extremely competitive, much more so than getting admission. Your score on the General GRE is a stretch to get admitted to the top schools in the US, and getting financial aid from them would be an even greater challenge. You may have to lower your sights and go for a lower-ranked school where you have the possibility of getting financial aid - that is, of course, if you need financial aid.

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