InCred-ible Tips & Hacks on preparing for Studies Abroad!

Guest post by Incred:

So after exploring the multi-faceted opportunities and advantages that an education abroad has to offer, this week let’s dive into what it takes to start your applications to the universities. A lot of this depends on the country that you wish to study in, as requirements differ from country to country. We shall cover all the main ones in this post, so let’s move on. Since we know how valuable your time is, we have included links wherever we possibly could, so that you could access the material more easily.

[1]Graduate Record Examination(GRE): The GRE is a must if your destination is the US or even some of the top colleges in Canada.Your performance in the GRE is one of the vital parameters of your application and it is said that while a good GRE can only get you so far, a bad one can be the end of the road for your aspirations of studying in your dream University. It consists of three sections-Verbal, Quantitative(both scored out of 170) and Analytical Writing Analysis(scored out of 6). Try and target at least a 150+ in the Verbal Section and a 160+ in the Quantitative section so as to be able to apply to a greater range of better colleges.

While there are many coaching institutes who coach students for the GRE, it is not an insurmountable task to get a great score without it. The Official ETS GRE book is a must have and is a great practice for your test. The book comes with 4 mock exams which consist of test questions along with fully solved solutions. Apart from this, ETS also has two separate books focussing on the Verbal and Quantitative sections with a whole set of extra questions! The Manhattan 5 lb. is one of the best GRE prep books in the market and is a must as the book covers an exhaustive list of questions on all the topics covered on the GRE and the questions are akin to the ones that are asked on the actual test. If you are unsure of how strong your Math concepts are, going through Nova to revise your fundamental ideas is highly recommended. Most schools don’t need a GRE subject test, so a GRE general test is enough, but do check out the requirements on the websites of the universities you are applying for. Check out Perfect Scores for their videos where they explain the important GRE topics with great examples.

Also, if you have studied from an ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) recognized university (VIT,SRM,Thapar,Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan University), you may not be required to give the GRE at all for some Universities. Apart from these books, Magoosh test prep is also a very popular source with students and their material is excellent. Crunchprep also has a lot of excellent material so do not miss their site. While we have you sorted for the GRE Quantitative section, some of the must use material for the Verbal section include the Magoosh GRE App, Dr. Raju’s exhaustive word list and lots and lots of reading on your part! Make reading the Atlantic, NewYorker, New York Times, Washington Post all a part of your daily routine because mugging up words ain’t gonna get you get you far. This reading will also help you in your AWA section. We recommend you practice at least five AWA essays before your final test date and do go through as many of the essay topics that you can(There is a fixed Question Bank for the essays, luckily for you).

[2]TOEFL/IELTS/PTE: While the GRE is needed only mostly for the US, an English language test is a necessity for almost all master’s and bachelor’s courses. The three tests that you can take are TOEFL, IELTS and PTE. Check out the websites of the colleges that you are applying to in order to figure out which test you should give. While most US and Canada colleges accept the TOEFL and the IELTS, there are a few that accept only the TOEFL. The Universities in Europe and Australia tend to favor the IELTS. If you are still confused as to which test to give, read this post by Magoosh or this post by Kaplan.If you end up choosing the TOEFL, check out the official ETS book as that is the only material you really need to ace the test. ETS also has its own EdX course, which is a great guide as it is being conducted by the very same people who set the test.

With these two exams done out of the way, you are as good as halfway done to completing your application to your dream university! You now need to start preparing your transcripts (mark sheets equivalent document issued by college/university as you can’t send your original mark sheets, obviously). This can take about 10-15 days so beware and do not leave it until the last minute. Once you get the transcripts (will be issued in a sealed envelope of your college/university), you need to scan one set of transcripts as it will be needed for almost every application that you make. Many schools also need you to send a hard copy of the transcript to them, so be sure to get at least 10 sets of transcripts. Now in order to send these transcripts, you need to use a courier service, say, DHL or FedEx.

Many universities also ask you for a proof of funds while applying and this is the best time to start working on your finances. Try and draw an estimate of the total amount of money you need for your masters(both tuition and living expenses) and figure out what will be the best avenue for you to arrange for the funds. The cost of an education abroad can often be massive and this is exactly what we are here for, to ameliorate your headache of the finances by providing you an education loan at very competitive rates along with a ton of exclusive Value Added Services.

If you want to know more about the application process such as shortlisting your colleges, most common mistakes that students make while applying for further studies abroad, do follow the ongoing webinar series by our Product Head, Nilanjan Chattoraj. He is conducting a series of webinars on different topics and you can check out our Facebook page for the rest of the talks in the series.

Looking forward to hearing from you on this article and any doubts or queries you may have on our loans for students.


Writer: Sanjana Panicker, InCred



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