What to do after taking the GRE
- Gather information
- Decide on program to undertake
- Shortlist universities
- Prepare required documents: Letter of Intent, Letters of Recommendation, Resume, Official academic transcripts.
- Apply to Universities
For a winter intake i.e. September/October:
- November (of the previous year) : Gather information
- January: Shortlist Universities and Apply
- March: Update Passport if required
- July: Apply for National VISA and travel to Germany
- September: Semester begins
- November: extend VISA to get a student visa
How to select University?
Select the type of university based on the specific type of program you wish to apply for. It is important to be clear about what exactly you wish to pursue and specialize in. The Universities should be selected on the basis of the availability of your program, language of the program (English), scholarship opportunities, research facilities and opportunities and consequent internship and job opportunities.
What is a Letter of Recommendation?
Letter of Recommendation (LoR) helps the admission committee know about your technical, academic and non-academic expertise through your recommender. The content in the recommendation is extremely important. So, choose your recommenders wisely. There are certain areas on which the universities expect you to be rated by your recommender. They are as follows:
- Current standing in your undergraduate class
- Comparison with the students who have gone for graduation in the same university
- Communication skills (Oral and written skills)
- How well he understands the subject
- Teaching Potential
- Emotional Maturity
- Recommendation with Financial aid or not
- How strongly they recommend you (Very strongly, strongly, moderately, etc.)
Usually, the recommenders are from your undergraduate institute (your respective department especially) and work/internship place (if any). So, does designation of the recommender matter? Honestly, it does. You can’t take a recommendation from a teacher who has just joined the institution and has an experience of a year or two. A LoR from your institution’s dean or principal holds a lot of weightage. A LoR from the company’s manager makes a difference. In most applications, following are the recommenders -
- Your final year project guide
- Professor who has taught you during your undergrad course and you have scored well in that subject
- Any project guide/companies you have worked
- Project Managers/Corporate Officials where you've worked/interned.
Recommendations cannot be given by:
- Any random personality you met in a conference
- It would be great if you can get a LoR from a Math Professor if you are applying for a Financial Engineering course.
- Make sure that you are on good terms with your recommenders. If not, then try improving them. Learn Buttering. Don’t force your teachers to write good about you (if you succeed, lucky you). Always remember, they are doing a favor to you.
Having said all this about LoR some universities don’t need LoR. Make sure university you are applying needs you to submit LoR.
How important is the SoP/LoM?
The evaluator has never seen you or heard of you. So, the SoP/LoM serves the purpose of telling the admission committee why they should choose you. It is “the” most important document. They want to know a student in and out and not just by his transcripts and final year project. A SoP carries a lot of weightage. A well written SoP/LoM, particularly for the top universities, can tilt the scales in your favour.
How should I write an SoP/LoM?
SoP/LoM is basically an essay and a major chunk of it will be boring. However, it is the most important document which means it will take a lot of your time. Start working on it as soon as possible. It’s not an essay on a political leader which will get over in a day. You have to make several rough drafts, keep on editing, get it proof-read by your seniors and then you will have your final copy ready.
What NOT to write in an SoP/LoM?
- Don’t boast about your achievements, especially marks. Put it in a subtle way. Write more on how that particular achievement helped you and spurred you on.
- Language is an important parameter so you should avoid using slangs (Yeah!, Chuck, etc.). Also avoid using short form for words like you, are, etc. Keep your vocabulary in control though. Don’t refrain yourself from using nice GRE words. Make sure that the usage of the word makes sense.
- We love copy-pasting but, this is not the place. You can take an idea, but it would be appreciative that you make it as unique as possible.
- Your SoP/LoM shouldn’t highlight your interest in working in an MNC or earning heavily. It should hit your goals and targets. It should be inclined towards your interest in the course and the respective university.
- Don’t make it too long and boring on a particular topic. Understand that a reader is a man and not a computer.
- Make sure you keep your SoP/LoM in a safe locker. Don’t share your SoP/LoM or the idea of it with anyone. The people reading your SoP/LoM are experts and will surely be able to identify copied SOPs/LoMs.