Our Partner : For US|Canada - Higher education program Admissions

The Process

Students from all over the worldapply to American universities for admissions. They belong to differenteducational backgrounds and different grading systems. In order to comparetheir aptitude on a common platform, the universities in the United Statesrequire all the international students to take GRE (GraduateRecord Examination) for graduate studies. Also, in order to ensure that thestudent wanting to study in USA is capable of understanding English, alluniversities in the United States require their applicants coming from nonnative English speaking countries to take TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).So, if you want to go foryour masters after graduation, you have to take GRE and TOEFL.Thescores of TOEFL are valid for two years and score of GRE are valid for 5 years.

Training :

The training part consists of the studentspreparing for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and TOEFL.

a. Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE® General Test measures criticalthinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoningskills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are notrelated to any specific field of study.
Analytical Writing The skills measured include the test taker'sability to

  • articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively
  • examine claims and accompanying evidence
  • support ideas with relevant reasons and examples
  • sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion
  • control the elements of standard written English.

Verbal Reasoning The skillsmeasured include the test taker's ability to

  • analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it
  • analyze relationships among component parts of sentences
  • recognize relationships between words and concepts.

Quantitative Reasoning The skillsmeasured include the test taker's ability to

  • understand basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis
  • reason quantitatively
  • solve problems in a quantitative setting.

Who Takes It and Why? 

Prospective graduate applicants take the General Test. GRE test scores are usedby admissions or fellowship panels to supplement undergraduate records andother qualifications for graduate study. The scores provide common measures forcomparing the qualifications of applicants and aid in evaluating grades andrecommendations.

When and Where is it conducted?

The GRE Test is offered year-round at computer-based test centers at Mumbai,Ahmadabad, Allahabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai andTrivandrum. You can register for the test by logging on to
www.gre.org. Please note that there is a lot of rush to takethese tests during July to January period. It is always advantageous toregister on time. Pass port is necessary on the date of your test.
Here’s how, a typical GRE format might look like:

SECTION

NUMBER OF QUESTIONS

ALLOTTED TIME

Analytical Writing

Analytical Writing One "Analyze an Issue" task and one "Analyze an Argument"

1 Hrs (each task 30 minutes)

Verbal Reasoning

(Two Sections)
 

Each section will have 20 questions

1 Hrs( each section 30 minutes)

Quantitative Reasoning

(Two Sections)
 

Each section will have 20 questions

1 Hr and 10 min( each section 35 minutes)

*Unscored Section

(One Section)

This may be a Verbal or Math section.

Varies [30 mins if Verbal,

35 mins if Math ]

There will be10 minutes optional break following third section.

·     Revised GRE issection level adaptive test. This is why there are two sections of verbalreasoning and two sections of quantitative reasoning.

·     Your GRE score willdepend on your performance in two sections of verbal and two sections of mathout of total five sections of math and verbal together.  As you will geteither three sections of math and two sections of verbal or three sections of verbaland two sections of math. In both cases one section is unscored.

·    Revised GRE is sectionlevel adaptive. Your performance in first section will decide level ofdifficulties in second section.  So in first section each student willhave same level of difficulties but the second section will vary. And it is notadaptive within the section.


Score Reporting

Analytical Writing

On scale of 0 – 6 (each 0 – 3)

Verbal Reasoning

On scale of 130 – 170

Quantitative Reasoning

On scale of 130 – 170

·        For eachcorrect answer one marks will be awarded.

·        For eachwrong answer zero marks will be awarded.

·        There ispenalty for not answering the questions.

b. Test of English AsForeign Language (TOEFL)

The Test of English as a ForeignLanguage (TOEFL) measures the ability of nonnativespeakers of English to use and understand English as it is spoken, written, andheard in college and university settings. The TOEFL tests all four languageskills that are important for effective communication: speaking, listening,reading, and writing. The test helps students demonstrate that they have theEnglish skills needed for success. TOEFL also emphasizes integrated skills andprovides better information to institutions about students’ ability tocommunicate in an academic setting and their readiness for academic coursework.

The TOEFL test is developed and administered by the US-based “EducationalTesting Service” (ETS). This implies that ETS sets the questions, conducts thetest, and sends each examinee the score report. For the conduct of the test,ETS has appointed Testing Agencies in various countries, which act asfranchisee for ETS. In India, this agency is the “PrometricTesting Services Pvt Ltd”

The TOEFL test is offered in different formatsdepending on your location. 
Paper Based TOEFL:
 Bangalore,Hyderabad, Trivendrum
Internet Based: Ahmedabad; Allahabad; Bangalore;Calcutta; Chennai; Cochin; Coimbatore; Dehradun; Greater Noida; Gurgaon;Hyderabad; Indore; Jaipur; Kurukeshetra; Mumbai;Nagpur; New Delhi; Panji; Pune; Ranchi; Secunderabad; Surat; Trivandrum;Vadodara; Visakhapatnam.

Computer based TOEFL test is held all-round-the-year. Unlike other exams, youcan choose your own date and time for taking the TOEFL test! The test isadministered in the above cities five-days-a-week (Monday through Friday),twice-a-day. September to December is the high season for TOEFL test, so incase you intend to take the test during this period, you need to register veryearly (say 90 days in advance) to get a date of your choice. Otherwise,registering at least three days in advance is mandatory. The test lasts roughlyfour hours.

Application Process

The application process to American Universities isa long and complicated affair. It involves extensive research on the net,knowledge about the working method of American universities, accuratedocumentation and correct timing, to list just a few factors. The followingsteps are involved in the applications process.

a.      Selection of Universities 

b.      Selection of Program   

c.       Academic Documentation

d.      Financial Documentation

e.      After applications

f.        Once you have been accepted

Ø       Admissions Counseling,what we offer atFACT            

a. Selectionof Universities

Selecting universities is a very time consuming andimportant process not only from the admission point of view but also becauseapplying to universities is expensive by Indian standards. The applicationprocess itself costs about Rs. 25,000/- to Rs. 30,000/- towards examinationfees, postage, university application fees etc. Therefore, be very carefulwhile applying to the universities.

The best university for you may not be the famous ones, but those that offeryou your field of study as well as meet the other criteria important to you.The range of academic options as well as available universities are so widethat it is not possible to select the best in one go and it may take some time.
 

The basic steps involved in the process of selecting universities are

  • Decide on the field of education in line with your likings and past academic background
  • Assess your financial ability and budget
  • Now, select 20 to 30 universities based on the following criterion:
    • Program Offerings
    • Research programs
    • University Rankings
    • Program Length
    • Cost Tuition, living expenses etc
    • Availability of Financial Assistance to International Students
    • Entrance Requirements
    • Tests (SAT,GRE,GMAT, TOEFL etc and minimum scores)
    • Accreditation status (Professional accreditation for some programs)
    • Student Profile
    • Enrollment Total available seats and the size of the school
    • Location (climate, semi-rural, metropolitan city etc)
    • Facilities Library, housing, student associations etc.
    • Type of Institution Public or Private

These are the usual criteria. You could prioritizeyour criteria out of this list and shortlist the number of universities on thatbasis to about 10. You could further shortlist your choice on basis of specificissues like tuition fees, availability of financial etc. 

Your past academic record is one of the most important deciding factors ingetting admission to a college abroad. Most schools require you to have areasonably good academic record especially for technology programs and courses.Each university has its own minimum requirement for its programs, which areflexible depending on the candidate profile. It is advisable not to convertyour marks in the Indian system of grading to the American Grade Point Averagesystem or any other system since the conversion may not be accurate. You mayattach an explanatory note from your college to indicate your rank in yourclass and/or university. The letter may also indicate your place as compared tothe class and the university average and the number of students in the classand the number of colleges and students in the university. You may also provideany other information or documents that you feel may help you in the admissionprocess.

Every university has its own minimum requirementsand scores with respect to standardized tests. Check out the requirements ofthe universities and short-list the ones that will accept your scores.

Most Indians are concerned about the high cost ofeducation abroad and seek information on opportunities for financialassistance. The expenses for education abroad include tuition fees, livingexpenses, health insurance, transportation etc. This is an important criterionfor selecting the courses as well as universities.

It is important to understand that mostuniversities offer financial assistance to international students basedprimarily on merit and rarely on need. The amount, and type of assistanceoffered varies based on the university, department and level of study. Also funds are more likely to be available in fields like Engineering, PhysicalSciences and Biological sciences.
Once you start receiving application forms and material, go through in detailfor the various requirements and deadlines like the application deadline,minimum scores required in the standardized tests, recommendation lettersneeded and other such information. 

 Tabulate all these requirements and compare them with your objectives.FACT can help you select universities that are best suited for yourrequirements.

b. Selectionof Program

Selection of university and selection of programusually go hand in hand. But one must remember that even the best-knownuniversities are not the best for every single program offered in thatuniversity. Similarly, a particular university may not be very high ranked, buta particular program in that university may be excellent for your requirements.Therefore, it is necessary to study each program very carefully.

c. AcademicDocumentation

Transcripts, Recommendations and Statement ofPurpose are the academic documents required for application process.

Transcripts: Students who are applying to American Universities would be required tosubmit a detailed report and transcripts (report cards) of all the years ofhigher studies in India. The report form should be filled out by a collegeofficial like the principal, counselor or headmaster.This form should introduce you in the context of your whole school experiencein relation to the other students in your class. Admission committees will beinterested in learning how you have performed in your own educational system.The transcript should talk about your accomplishments and provide a predictionof your chances for success in university-level studies.

Since there is a variation between the styles of scoring used abroad and theones used in India, ask your college to include a guide to the gradingstandards used in your educational system and your school. If your collegeranks students by their level of academic achievement, make certain that theranking is included with the other details. Also send the school / junior collegeleaving certificate as and when it is available. The transcripts must be inEnglish only.

RecommendationsLetters of reference or recommendation letters play a very importantpart in your admission. A recommendation letter is a signed statement from aperson who has taught you in a subject that is related to the course you areapplying to. It should list your positive and negative qualities, strengths andother such information. The teacher must indicate his position, how long he/shehas known the applicant and in what capacity. He/she should briefly discuss theneed, importance and usefulness of the study the applicant proposes toundertake. Authors are usually asked to rank applicants in their letters ofrecommendation, which helps admission officers to interpret the academiccredentials of foreign students. Students should obtain letters ofrecommendation from teachers who know them as a person as well as a student.You may like to request your author to give concrete examples that may showyour qualities.

Statement of Purpose: The personal essays, and/or statementof purpose, play a very important role in the process of evaluating yourapplication for both admission as well as financial aid because it gives thefaculty assessing your application their most significant impression of you asan individual. This section is the key to distinguish your application fromother suitable candidates and a chance to market yourself. A personal statementshould include your reasons for choosing a particular course, the suitabilityof your education and experience for the chosen course, your personal interestsand career goals. Some courses like Business school courses will have their ownessay questions and format. Others may ask for a resume or reasons for applyingto that particular course.

d. FinancialDocumentation

You must submit a financial aid application if youdesire financial help for your studies in a US university. Financial assistancefor non-US citizens is very limited. The evidence of financial support isrequired by universities to issue the documents needed for visa application.Although it is a requirement for application, it is usually not taken intoconsideration into factors that determine admission. Most universities maketheir admission decisions without regard for the source and amount of financialsupport.You would be required to submit documentationof your family's financial resources to help schools assess your need. Most ofthe universities have their own financial aid form, which you would have tocomplete. You would also be required to submit a bank statement demonstratingyour financial capacity to support your education in US. Some US stateinstitutions offer tuition waivers to international students in return for sometype of educational contribution.span style='font-size:13.5pt;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:black;mso-fareast-language:EN-IN'>

e. AfterApplications

Universities usually inform students of theiradmission decisions well in advance of the beginning term. If you have receivedadmission in more than one university, you will have to decide which one youwant to attend. At this stage, you should compare a few objective and mostlymore subjective criteria. The points you should focus on areprogram curriculum, length of program, choice of courses, funding offer or bestprogram with respect to costs, Cost of living, Strength of relateddepartments/program etc.

f. Once youhave been accepted:

Each college will tell you exactly what steps tofollow to confirm your acceptance of their offer of admission and how toprepare for your first term.  This information will be included with theletter of admission or in materials that will be sent to you shortlythereafter. You must respond with a "Yes" or "No" for eachoffer of admission. You may also be required to submit a financial deposit tothe institution that you plan to attend. This is to guarantee your place in theclass. Make sure you do not miss any deadlines.

Visa :

a.Requirements of students visa

This is the last and the most delicate of the stepswhile planning to study in the United States. Most students are scared andtensed by the time they reach this stage. But they need to understand that bybeing tense, they are increasing the chances of failure rather than reducingit. Instead, if they collect all the relevant information, make thoroughpreparation, and feel confident, there is nothing that can stop them fromachieving their objective.

b. What VisaOfficers look for while issuing visa

The consular officer may not issue a student visaunless satisfied that the applicant: 
(1) has a residence abroad (India), 
(2) has no intention of abandoning that residence, and
(3) intends to depart from the United States upon completion of the course ofstudy.
Applicants generally establish their ties abroad by presenting evidence ofeconomic, social, and/or family ties in their homeland sufficient to inducethem to leave the United States upon the completion of studies.

c. How toApply

All first time applicants of F-1 visa would need tomake an appointment on the website www.vfs-usa.co.in. Refer the sitefor more details.

d. VISA Interview

Try and gather information on thecurrent trend, what the visa officer is expecting, why visa is being rejected,etc. Look for decisions and experiences particularly in the consulate where youwill be appearing for the interview. Knowing what to expect helps!

When you go for the visa dress well.Speak slowly and clearly. Don't appear tense and don't look desperate. Showingself-confidence helps. They should never feel that you will have any sort ofdifficulty language, finance, racial, religious, etc.

e. Risk ofVISA rejection

Yes. It is true that if your visa is rejected, allyour efforts and money put into the process of studying in the United States gowaste. But you can always apply for a second time and get your visa approved.As per the new rule, you can apply as many numbers of times as you want. (the application fee is to be paid every time). But the bestway is to go well prepared right in the first time.