Dear Mentor:

With a good GRE score, what are my prospects?

I have taken my GRE [Graduate Record Exam] and got a score of 2270. My branch is EEE [Electrical and Electronics Engineering] and I have an aggregate score of 70%. What are my prospects as I hail from India?

Doing Well For MS in US, India

Dear Doing Well For MS in US:

Congratulation! You have done well indeed.

Although you did not specify, we suspect that you are talking about doing your Master's in the US, since you have taken the GRE, a standardized entrance exam, and you are writing to us for advise. A good student in India is liable to have adequate information and resources to assess his/her prospects in India. Our reply addresses your interest in the US. However, our reply and your GRE scores are equally valid for Canada and the UK.

The GRE consists of 3 parts: Quantitative, Analytical and Verbal. Each part is scored on a scale of 800; and, thus the maximum score of 2400. Its impact on the admissions decision depends on the aggregate score as well as the composition of its constituent parts. For example, engineering students tend to perform quite well on the Quantitative part, not as well on the Analytical part and worse on the Verbal part. Schools tend to equalize for this variation by assessing individual parts. Nevertheless, your aggregate score of 2270 is quite good.

Your aggregate score in school of 70% is reasonably good. You would have to convert your Indian-style score to the US-style Grade Point Average (GPA) system. You can refer to: Please explain the US terminology like GPA and official transcript. Basically, performance on each course in the US is assigned a letter grade A, B, C, D or F, with respective grade points of 4, 3, 2, 1 or 0. The arithmetic average of grade points on all courses is called the GPA. The GPA obviously is on a scale of 4.0. When you go through this conversion process for your own scores, you are liable to reach a GPA that is not all that impressive. Don't worry too much. Schools in the US recognize that such a conversion penalizes students from India. It is easier to score a higher GPA while studying in the US.

Your chances of getting admission and financial assistance in the US are good. Note that getting admission is much easier than obtaining financial assistance: you may want to balance your desire to attend the most reputable school with your need for financial assistance, if any. The iMahal College Finder can help you identify colleges where your prospects for admission are anywhere from highly challenging to not challenging at all. You would probably want to select 1 to 2 schools from each of the extremely competitive (referred to as Reach by the iMahal College Finder) and moderately competitive (referred to as Safety) categories. You may want to target 3 to 5 schools from the competitive (referred to as Target) category. You would probably have to limit the number of schools you target because each schools requires an application processing fee of $50 to $100.

You may wish to refer to the List of Engineering Schools in the US and the College Rankings of Engineering Schools in the US in the iMahal Education Channel.

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