Recently i had many Questions from Readers across India asking for the steps to start with the process to apply for Masters, right from scratch.
Here i will explain with all minute things to consider for applying
Note: Once you are in third year, you should be reading this.
For admissions in any moderate to good University following raw materials is required.
GRE, TOEFL/ IELTS, Transcript (from University), University to select,Statement of Purpose, Letter of Recommendation, Degree Certificate / Temporary Degree Certificate, Financial Statement of Availability of funds, Online Application Form and University specific other documents and a Valid Visa.
I will cover all these in brief, and any doubts there after can be mailed to me.
GRE: GRE has three parts
3) AWA Analytical Writing skills.
Out of these start worrying about Verbal. Maths is a handiwork for Engineers and third year students will cover most part during placement preparation.
What they would not is Verbal. There are more than 2.5K words to prepare for. So start this process right from day 0. Remember take this as fun and not as a time consuming exercise. You will really enjoy playing with words. I used to go online and play scrabble with international players. Was fun.
More details about how to prepare is available here.
Moreover it is essential to give GRE, within span of 3-4 months. Here is the reason why.
2) Toefl/ IELTS: Well friends there is a common impression that TOEFL is compulsory for US. Well you can also give IELTS. In my opinion IELTS is easy to score and so you would have more chances to score more.
There is a general impression among applicants that Universities do not give priority to IELTS based applicants. This is completely baseless and false. The fact is that although i had given TOEFL and scored 106, but given IELTS is more convenient and easy. (As centers in many smaller cities of country).
This is only for already pass out students. For students just coming after graduation, will not have it, so can submit latter.
This should be obtained from University or College (Depends on University's demands). Usually getting from College is easy than University. Moreover University takes alot of time and leads to harassment.
So be specific in number of copies you need. Also check the transcript once you get as many a times their is a mistake and the entire process has to be repeated again.
4) Statement of Purpose: My SOP is given for reference
This is an example, how you should summarize your SOP.
5) Letter of Recommendation:
This is the reason why you need to keep good relation with your Prof. Your Professor will give you Letter of Recommendation. It is a letter of approval of your credentials and stuff. If you need a format i can give it to you. Generally 3 different LOR are needed by each University. If with work experience, then it should be 2 of Prof and 1 of Employer.
Till past few years it was hard copy LOR required. But now a days more and more University are asking for Online LOR.
In this case you can ask your Prof. to mail the login details send to him by University so that you can fill your own LOR by you self.
Moreover LOR is generally prepared by students itself and only the stamp and signature of Prof is asked for. [At least my Prof. did not take pain of making my LOR].
6) Degree Certificate: For Final year students this can be avoided and send later. But for pass out students this has to be send with other hard copy documents.
7) Financial Document: It is a proof of your financial capability to pay fees.
Generally a financial form is online of each University, which has to be signed by your sponsor.
8) Online Application:
I always tell all candidates to do this ASAP. IT DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY DOCUMENT OR GRE SCORE. ALL DEADLINES ARE BASED ON THIS.
So just apply online and later process will be done as and when documents get ready.
The most important part of the entire process. Will mention details once you clear all previous procedure.
10) Financial support:
Each University has different way to apply for financial support.
Now i know i have misssed many other steps, but to keep it terse i had no other option. Any queries can be mailed and will try to answer most of them.
All the best.