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GRE AND TOEFL

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GRE AND TOEFL Powered By Docstoc
					2011




   ABOUT GRE
   AND TOFEL




          3/3/2011
GRE & TOEFL: The Standardized Tests

GRE : Graduate Record Examination
      The official website for GRE is www.gre.org

TOEFL : Test of English as a Foreign Language
    The official website for TOEFL is www.toefl.org


If you are an aspirant who want to pursue his higher education that is Post Graduation
/Masters Degree program or PhD in USA or Canada you need to appear for GRE. Also
if You are a person who’s native language is not English you need to appear for
TOEFL irrespective of whether you had your undergraduate / post graduate study in
English medium. Hence all Indians must have to appear these two examinations if they
want to go for MS ( Master of Science ) / PhD program in any discipline. Hence here is
a brief description of these two examinations and other useful information which you
need to know before you opt for MS/ PhD. It is a long, meticulous and often painful
process but is definitely worth it if you want a good graduate education in the
engineering sciences. I will now detail the steps to be followed, in chronological order.


Graduate Record Examination: General Test

Description of the General Test

The General Test measures analytical writing, verbal, and quantitative skills that have
been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of
study.

The analytical writing section tests your critical thinking and analytical writing skills.
It assesses your ability to articulate and support complex ideas, analyze an argument,
and sustain a focused and coherent discussion. It does not assess specific content
knowledge.

The verbal section measures your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and
synthesize information obtained from it, to analyze relationships among component
parts of sentences, to recognize relationships between words and concepts, and to
reason with words in solving problems. There is a balance of passages across different
subject matter areas: humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

The quantitative section measures your basic mathematical skills, your understanding
of elementary mathematical concepts, and your ability to reason quantitatively and
solve problems in a quantitative setting. There is a balance of questions requiring
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. These are content areas usually studied
in high school.

Preparation Material for GRE: Generally widely used books for GRE are BARRON’s
GRE , ARCO , Princeton Review ( Also the CD provided with this book is supposed to
be very good) , KAPLAN etc. ETS also provides a Free Preparation CD after you
register for GRE. You may try out a google search .
Yet there are many sites for its preparation. The stuff is available on its official website
www.gre.org There is a separate question pool for the topics of Analytical Writing on
this site. Also one site www.number2.com is a very good site for online preparation of
GRE. It is beneficial for the students who get free internet facility from the institution.

TOEFL Testing Program

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) measures the ability of nonnative
speakers of English to use and understand North American English as it is used in
college and university settings. Scores on the test are required by more than 4,300 two-
and four-year colleges and universities, professional schools, and sponsoring
institutions.

The test is offered on computer throughout most regions of the world. In areas where
access to computer-based testing is limited, a supplemental paper-and-pencil version of
the test is administered

The other information regarding GRE ( CBT & PBT ) and other queries is given on the
website www.gre.org So please visit the site if you have any queries.
Similarly the information regarding TOEFL ( CBT & PBT ) and the other queries is
given on the website www.toefl.org so please visit the site if you have any queries.
Below I have discussed about the application procedures and not much about the
examination pattern. These are basic steps in general to be followed by the aspirants.

Preparation Material for TOEFL: TOEFL is a very cool examination and needs no
special preparation almost. But still to mention a few books BARRON’S TOEFL ,
CLIFFS etc. ETS also provides a Free Preparation CD after you register for TOEFL.
For additional stuff visit the official site www.toefl.org

Basic Steps Towards GRE

First of all decide whether to go for MS in USA , CANADA where GRE / TOEFL or
both are required. Since there are steps to follow only if you are determinant. If yes
then decide the field of interest. That is whether to opt MS in the same field of your
graduation or any other field. Accordingly decide your projects in that particular field.
1. Get your passport since you have to give your Passport number as your identification
  number in the GRE application form.
2. That is get your Industrial Training done if necessary in that field.
3. Then do your mini project & Final year project in that field only.
4. Also try for the final seminar in that particular topic.
5. Get some research papers in this field published in international magazines or at least
present it in inter college technical festivals. In this case the students should note one
thing that the research work done should be an original piece of work . Then only it is
of importance.
The first step is mandatory for all who want to apply for GRE and TOEFL.
It is not necessary for you to get an admission for MS to follow all the remaining
fields but if you are planning for and AID this is must. Also for getting admission this
plays crucial role in the process. Try to do as many as things possible of these.

Choosing Field of Interest:
           Hopefully by the time the Prof Letting ( Discussed Later ) process starts you
will have decided which sub-field of your department interests you enough for you to
pursue your graduate education in it. It need not be too narrow, but there should be
some choice made. Second fact of life - people working in some fields get scholarships
easier than people in others. But it should not be the only factor in deciding which field
you are going to work/apply in -otherwise you may end up doing an MS in something
you do not like. Applying in the field in which you did your final-year project and the
maximum things mentioned above will improve your chances, but that does not mean
that your MS should be constrained by what you did in your Final year project.
                        If you are planning for MS/PhD in a different field than your
graduation then it important that you get maximum of this stuff done in order to
substantiate yourself in the Statement of Purpose and make your resume look more
impressive.

These are initial basic things that one should know before deciding to go for MS.
Then comes the GRE and TOEFL in vision.

GRE Procedure: General Test

   1. First of all request the Bulletin for GRE from the site www.gre.org This is the
      official site for GRE. Also you can request the bulletin from www.ipem.org
   2. you have two options either you request the bulletin if you have time before you
      appear for GRE or get the form downloaded from this website.
   3. Then fill up the form and make a draft of required Dollars in the name of
      ETS-GRE . Presently the application fee is $140. Do not send the cash. It
      should be in Dollars only.
   4. If you have credit card ; you can send the money directly through the card. The
      information for this procedure is given in GRE bulletin.
   5. In the application form for GRE there are options for giving GRE test centre
      and Dates of test. You give it as per your convenience. The information for
      filling out this form is provided in the bulletin.
   6. Send this form along with application fee to your country ETS centre. For
      India it is in Delhi. The address is given in the bulletin.
   7. After this you will get the acknowledgement letter from the GRE. Also your
      date & time for test will be mentioned in that. That is supposed to be your hall
     ticket. So keep it safely for appearing the GRE exam. Also other instructions
     will be mentioned in that letter which are mandatory for all students to appear
     for GRE. You must do take your Passport , Hall Ticket and Secondary
     Identification with you for your test. You can not take other things with you.
     Follow the instructions in the hall ticket and bulletin.
 8. After you finish the exam your official score is to be sent to the universities
     where you want to apply for MS. Since ETS send your official GRE score to
     four universities free of cost. Since that fee is included in your GRE application
     fee ( $ 140). So select the universities carefully. Since these are the places
     where you can save your money.
 9. If you want to apply for other universities than those four then you must fill out
     extra score report form. You will get the extra score report form along with your
     original score report from ETS.( This score report for you will be given within
     3-4 weeks after you appear for GRE.) Also the extra score report form is
     provided in GRE bulletin. You may also download the Extra score report form
     from the website www.gre.org
 10. Fill this form with the institution codes where you want to apply along with the
     department code to which you would like to apply. Both the ‘Institution codes
     and Department codes’ are given in the GRE bulletin and are also available on
     the site www.gre.org which is the official website.
 11. Along with this make a bank draft in the name of ETS-GRE of the equivalent
     amount required for reporting scores to the extra universities in US dollars.
     Presently for reporting score to one university application fee is $ 15.
 12. Send this extra score repost form along with the application fee ( Draft) to
     ETS/GRE on its address at Princeton. This address is also mentioned on the
     extra score report from and also in the GRE bulletin.
 13. Then your work for ETS – GRE is over.

TOEFL Procedure:

1.First of all request the Bulletin for TOEFL from the site www.toefl.org This is the
  official site for TOEFL. Also you can request the bulletin from www.ipem.org
2.you have two options either you request the bulletin if you have time before you
  appear for TOEFL or get the form downloaded from this website.
3.Then fill up the form and make a draft of required Dollars in the name of
  ETS-TOEFL. Presently the application fee is $130. Do not send the cash. It should
  be in Dollars only.
4.If you have credit card ; you can send the money directly through the card. The
  information for this procedure is given in TOEFL bulletin.
5.In the application form for TOEFL there are options for giving TOEFL test centre
  and Dates of test. You give it as per your convenience. The information for filling
  out this form is provided in the bulletin.
6.Send this form along with application fee to your country ETS centre. For India it
  is in Delhi. The address of ETS at Delhi is given in the bulletin.
7.After this you will get the acknowledgement letter from the TOEFL. Also your date
  & time for test will be mentioned in that. That is supposed to be your hall ticket. So
  keep it safely for appearing the TOEFL exam. Also other instructions will be
  mentioned in that letter which are mandatory for all students to appear for TOEFL.
  You must do take your Passport , Hall Ticket and Secondary Identification with
  you for your test. You can not take other things with you. Follow the instructions in
  the hall ticket and bulletin.
8.After you finish the exam your official score is to be sent to the universities where
  you want to apply for MS. Since ETS send your official TOEFL score to four
  universities free of cost. Since that fee is included in your TOEFL application fee (
  $ 140). So select the universities carefully. Since these are the places where you can
  save your money.
9.If you want to apply for other universities than those four then you must fill out
  extra score report form. You will get the extra score report form along with your
  original score report from ETS.( This score report for you will be given within 3-4
  weeks after you appear for TOEFL.) Also the extra score report form is provided in
  TOEFL bulletin. You may also download the Extra score report form from the
  website www.gre.org
10.Fill this form with the institution codes where you want to apply along with the
  department code to which you would like to apply. Both the ‘Institution codes and
  Department codes’ are given in the TOEFL bulletin and are also available on the
  site www.toefl.org which is the official website.
11.Along with this make a bank draft in the name of ETS-TOEFL of the equivalent
  amount required for reporting scores to the extra universities in US dollars.
  Presently for reporting score to one university application fee is $ 15.
12.Send this extra score repost form along with the application fee ( Draft) to
  ETS/TOEFL on its address at Princeton. This address is also mentioned on the
  extra score report from and also in the TOEFL bulletin.
13.Then your work for ETS – TOEFL is over.


  NOTE: For the a particular Department ‘the department codes’ to be mentioned
 in the score report form are different for GRE and TOEFL score report forms for
 the same particular University ( university / institution code for a particular
 university to be mentioned in both the forms is generally same.). Hence please refer
 both the bulletins or the websites for these codes.

  University Applications

  1. You request the graduate applications from the universities where you would
     like to apply. You can request the applications by visiting their university
     website and filling out the application request forms.. Some times you have to
     mail directly to the graduate coordinator requesting the application on your
     address. Make sure that you cross the minimum eligibility criteria of that
     university where you would like to apply. Also have a look at the message
     board of www.edulix.com so that you can imagine whether that university is a
     right choice for you or not.
2. Generally you should do this when you apply for GRE test. Since it takes 3-4
   weeks to reach the applications on your address.
3. If you have not asked for the Graduate application for a particular university
   and you want to apply that university then you may download the application
   forms from their website. Then you can take the print outs of that and send the
   applications.
4. Then follow the procedures/ steps for applications given in the bulletin from the
   universities which you have selected.
5. Make the application fee draft in US Dollars on the correct address mentioned
   in the university bulletin. Do not send cash. Make sure that the address is
   correct.
6. If you have credit card then you may send your fee directly. Also you may fill
   out the electronic – application for the MS/PhD program. The electronic
   application is generally there for all universities. It is more safe and fast than
   the mailing procedure.

It is better to select the universities looking at your credentials , the minimum
requirement of scores by the university and the application deadlines. So that you
can raise the chances of getting an admission with AID. Also have a look at the
minimum annual expenses at the university selected. For this visit the
sites www.review.com www.universities.com www.usnews.com www.phds.org
also go for NRC rankings on yahoo website. There are many more to mention. Visit
the USEFI website to get more information on study in USA.
                There are many things to be sent to the universities along with
application other than Application forms.

Generally the extra material is as follows.

1. Application fee in dollars
         You can pay it directly by credit card or can make the draft on the address
mentioned by the university. It should be only in US Dollars. Make sure that the
name of the university is correct.
2. Transcripts
     The transcript is nothing but the consolidated mark list given by your
     undergraduate college or institution. Request your undergraduate institution to
     give you the required number of transcripts.
3. Statement of Purpose ( SOP)
             In this letter you have to write your particulars goals after MS, why the
 MS in a particular field , your achievements in that field. For some strange reason
 universities want you to tell them why you are interested in pursuing a graduate
 education, what you
 hope to achieve from the same, your career plans and your qualifications In short
 you have to sell yourself best in front of the faculty. You should always send
 your SOP to the university whether they ask for it or not along with the
 application material. Since it is the only chance where you can present yourself in
 front of faculty and get distinguished from others. Ask seniors for their SOPs.
 And again get SOPs reviewed by seniors. Aping legend has it that a bad SOP is a
 BAD idea and a good SOP is often the deciding criterion between otherwise
 similar candidates. Again make it point wise as far as possible, and avoid writing
 vague generalities and unsubstantiated statements


4.Curriculum Vitae / Resume
                In your resume you may list your academics and academic
 achievements. Also your honors and extracurricular activities , your papers
 published if any. You may visit the above sites for the standard format of resume.
 You should send always your resume to the university along with the application
 whether they ask for it or not.
                 After you have decided on a tentative list of universities and Profs
 in those univs you have to make your resume. Make sure you include all the
 studgiri you have done/think you are going to do. Generally people include their
 seminars, Final Year Projects, any course/lab projects worth mentioning, their
 summer training projects, their GRE and TOEFL scores, their department rank ...
 Ask some suitable senior to give you his resume for guidance and after you have
 made a draft show it to seniors for pointers and stuff. Make sure your resume does
 not sound bombastic - do not claim to have done more than you actually have.
 Also, limit it to at max 3-4 pages - no one wants to go through an encyclopedia
 detailing your greatness. Also, it may be possible that you are aping in slightly
 differing fields in different universities - in this case reorder your resume and
 emphasise-deemphasise appropriately. But it is always good to have a standard
 resume .If you have a good department rank flash it prominently. And DO NOT
 make your resume in MS Word or other such editors - plain text is the way. It
 may restrict its looks, but the professors there may not even bother to open an MS
 word document. Avoid long paragraphs - use points. I could go on and on, so I
 won't - just keep your mind open when writing your resume and make sure you
 get it properly reviewed by kindly souls willing to undergo the torture.


5.Bank Statement
               Generally if you are planning to have bank loan for your financial
 support then you must submit the bank statement from which you have property
 worth enough of affording the MS/PhD program if you don’t get AID. The format
 of this bank statement can be obtained from the websites mentioned above. But
 generally people submit it only after getting an admission into the university and
 submit to that particular university.

6.Financial support certificate
               If you are planning to go for MS on you self support or if
 somebody is financing you then you must present the financial certificate. The
 format of this can be obtained from the above websites. But generally people
  submit it only after getting an admission into the university and submit to that
  particular university.

 7.Recommendations
                 The recommendations are necessary for any universities. These are
  given by your teachers in undergraduate studies. Generally minimum 2-3
  recommendations are required depending upon the university. But you can
  submit few more if they are really good . Try to show the variety of
  recommendations.
  Steps to follow for getting recommendations.
  1. Approach your project guide and ask him for a good recommendation.
  2. Approach other professors/ lecturers who have taught you at least one course
      and ask them if they can provide you a good recommendation since the
      recommendation letters are confidential. Then only ask them to write
      recommendation for you.
  3. Generally try to get at least one recommendation for your math teacher.
  4. Try to get recommendations from professors at other institutions under whom
      you had published a paper or have done a project. If this is not possible then
      try to get the recommendations from professors of other department at your
      institutions. This helps to show the variety of your recommendation. This
      really helps in the admission procedure if you have a low undergraduate
      percentage.
  5. But still for safety give recommendation form an extra university where you
      are not applying. So that you can tear that recommendation and see whether
      the teacher has written good for you or not. If it is not good then do not send
      that recommendation. The recommendations once teared out can not be send
      to the university. Send only those which are good. So approach more teachers
      than the number of recommendations needed.
  6. Sometimes some teachers don’t know how to write the recommendation . In
      that case give some sample recommendation from the sites mentioned above.
  7. The part for recommendation is over.

8.Official score reports of GRE & TOEFL

          You have to request ETS to send the official score to the universities
  which you have selected. Some universities ask both the photocopies of your
  score reports and the official score report by ETS. Please check with your
  university.

9. Include any certificates, reprints of publications or any other such studgiri you
have referred to in your resume.

  GRE Score reporting :

      After you finish the exam your official score is to be sent to the universities
where you want to apply for MS. Since ETS send your official GRE score to four
universities free of cost. Since that fee is included in your GRE application fee ( $
140). So select the universities carefully. Since these are the places where you can
save your money.
          If you want to apply for universities other than those four then you must
fill out extra score report form. You will get the extra score report form along with
your original score report from ETS.( This score report for you will be given within
3-4 weeks after you appear for GRE.) Also the extra score report form is provided
in GRE bulletin. You may also download the Extra score report form from the
website www.gre.org
         Fill this form with the institution codes where you want to apply along with
the department code to which you would like to apply. Both the ‘Institution codes
and Department codes’ are given in the GRE bulletin and are also available on the
site www.gre.org which is the official website.
         Along with this make a bank draft in the name of ETS-GRE of the
equivalent amount required for reporting scores to the extra universities in US
dollars. Presently for reporting score to one university application fee is $ 15. ( Still
for verification of this information please visit the official GRE website or refer the
GRE bulletin.)
         Send this extra score repost form along with the application fee ( Draft) to
   ETS/GRE on its address at Princeton. This address is also mentioned on the extra
   score report from and also in the GRE bulletin.

 TOEFL Score reporting:

        After you finish the TOEFL exam your official score is to be sent to the
universities where you want to apply for MS. Since ETS send your official TOEFL
score to four universities free of cost. Since that fee is included in your TOEFL
application fee ( $ 130). So select the universities carefully. Since these are the
places where you can save your money.
          If you want to apply for universities other than those four then you must
fill out extra score report form. You will get the extra score report form along with
your original score report from ETS.( This score report for you will be given within
3-4 weeks after you appear for TOEFL.) Also the extra score report form is
provided in TOEFL bulletin. You may also download the Extra score report form
from the website www.gre.org
         Fill this form with the institution codes where you want to apply along with
the department code to which you would like to apply. Both the ‘Institution codes
and Department codes’ are given in the TOEFL bulletin and are also available on
the site www.toefl.org which is the official website.
         Along with this make a bank draft in the name of ETS-TOEFL of the
equivalent amount required for reporting scores to the extra universities in US
dollars. Presently for reporting score to one university application fee is $ 15. ( Still
for verification of this information please visit the official TOEFL website or refer
the TOEFL bulletin.)
           Send this extra score report form along with the application fee ( Draft) to
   ETS/TOEFL on its address at Princeton. This address is also mentioned on the
   extra score report from and also in the TOEFL bulletin.

   NOTE: For the a particular Department ‘the department codes’ to be mentioned in
the score report form are different for GRE and TOEFL score report forms for the
same particular University ( university / institution code for a particular university to
be mentioned in both the forms is generally same.). Hence please refer both the
bulletins or the websites for these codes.

   Now from here I have discussed the matters which were discussed in abstract
   above. That is the Academics, Standard Test Scores, Posting the applications
   ,Prof- Letting,

SENDING THE FORMS/ APPLICATION PACKETS –
         Courier them – don’t be penny wise and pound foolish and send them by post
or something. Put your email ID on the cover. Two/three people sending to the same
university often send their packets together - do this if you want, no harm. Also,
universities ask for things to be sent separately to the Graduate Office and the
Department. Send them both in separate envelopes in the same packet if required, with
a covering letter stating clearly what is what and whose. One more thing, Blue Dart
provides 50% rebate scheme for University application couriers. The scheme is on
generally for 4 months and generally starts from December onwards. But there are
other courier services also which provide the discounts. Enquire about them at your
place. Even our Indian Post is good enough. There are many other good courier
services. You can go for any one as per your convenience.

Relax…!!!                     Relax…..!!!                            Relax……!!!
     Have a Break have a Kit Kat…. Just Relax now … its too much yaar! Relax…..

Now everything regarding the Application is over. But now last impacts are important
to get a good finish. Here comes the tool Prof- Letting.
This is what we affectionately call contacting faculty in the US universities for
admission and financial aid. It is a long and painful process and will eat up your time
and concentration, but it is known to yield often spectacular results. So here is a step-
by-step guide

Pre-Application Prof Letting:
           So time has come to start prof-letting - what do you do? Make a "Prof-
Letter" - a covering letter of sorts that briefly details the field you are interested in, and
why you would like to work with the particular Prof you are sending the mail to.
Include things like your rank (if good) and GRE and TOEFL scores, but don’t make it a
second resume. Limit it to one page AT MAX – Prof ‘s there get pained by thousand
mails from all over the world and do not REALLY care about you. Send to one Prof
from each university and wait for a few days - say 4-5. Avoid sending around
weekends - they pile up in the Prof's inbox and chances are he will just delete it in the
rush to clear his inbox. Profs who do reply usually do so in 2-3 days max. In the event
of no reply or unfavorable reply, suck someone else. Sending 20 mails a week and not
even getting one reply is often the case - keep at it.
                  Generally people do it before choosing the universities for applying. If
they get a good response from the Prof at that university they select the university. If
the reply is not positive just do not apply there.

Post-Application Prof Letting

            After you have sent your applications packets, send emails to Profs who
replied positively to you before applying informing them that you have sent your
application packet and that they should see it. Also send mails to Profs who have NOT
replied to you earlier, telling them that you have applied and that could they please look
at your application? Make sure to include your resume in such new contacts, and
mention important things like department rank and stuff in the main mail itself. Don’t
send more than one Prof at a time in the same university - wait for 4-5 days for each
fellow to reply. This process can start in say late Jan. It can be pretty painful - just go
about it bravely.

Some Things Really Matter…and make you different from others…!

   “ If you have great zeal to do the extra things other than I have elaborated
above and you never get tired of Acads.. then read this Also to be frank very few
are able to do the following things except IITans and few from other Brand
Institutes… but it is very helpful if you want to make your Application different
from others and to secure Admissions in the best GRAD schools with possible
types of AID/ Schols .”
            Now there are few more important points for the undergraduate students
who are not yet in Final year or have not yet decided the Final year project since they
can change few more things to increase their chances of getting ADMISSION with AID
in a good university. These are all about Academics which supposed to be mirror of
your abilities. So be very sincere about this.

Academics:

Fact of life - universities award scholarships based on academic performance as
measured by the GRADES obtained in your undergraduate education (so if you think
you are one of those people who have low grades but high fundaes wake up). So for
few Institutions it is your CPI, and for other universities it is your aggregate percentage
or whatever. People with lower grades getting scholarships in better universities are the
exception, not the norm. Note that it is only the CPI of the first 3 years that is usually
taken into account, since the application forms for the univs have to be sent by the
second/third week of December, by which time the results of the fourth year/seventh
semester will not have come out (or can be conveniently neglected). Universities know
this and do not expect you to let them know your final year performance - they base
their decisions on the first 3 years. So basically if you want a good graduate education
at a well-known university, start mugging.

This said, universities do see other things besides grades while awarding scholarships -
it is just that they do not give them as much importance. Notable among these "other
things" are:

 1. Participation and/or winning of science/math competitions like the International
 Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), Indian National Mathematics Olympiad (INMO),
 Regional Mathematics Olympiad (RMO), Indian Physics Teachers Olympiad etc. If
 you have participated/won prizes in any of the above-mentioned or similar
 competitions, make sure you let the universities know when the time comes. It would
 even help if you mentioned your IIT-JEE rank if it is relatively good (ie say you are
 in the top 6-7 in your department in terms of JEE rank or if you are in the top 100
 overall).

2. Projects you have done - this includes your main final-year project, your seminar as
  well as any vacation project or summer internship you may have done. In fact, it is a
  good idea to have a few good projects under your belt anyway - they serve the dual
  purpose of giving you some fundaes in the field you are doing the project in and
  giving you something that will look good on your resume. Be careful in choosing the
  kind of project you are doing and where you are doing it - it should be an enjoyable
  experience and not just something you are doing for resume or recommendation.
  Places I now that give interesting research-based projects are:
a. IIT , IISc - the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
b. CAIR - Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Bangalore
c. TIFR - Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore
d. BARC - Bhabha Atomic Research Center, Mumbai
e. JNCASR - Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore
f. ISI - Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore
g. Many of the MNC tech companies - e.g. (in the field of CS and EE) Texas
  Instruments, Sun Microsystems, IBM.

 I recommend doing projects outside your present institution (especially if you plan to
 do so in the summer after your first or second years) as it will give you a different
 perspective on research from what your institution manages to give you. Many of the
 above-mentioned places have summer student scholarships, which will defer any
 expenses you may have while doing your projects. These projects are also usually
 sources for recommendation letters ("Recos") on which I have elaborated earlier.

3. In the course of your projects/Final Year you may be doing something that you think
  is novel and not looked into before. In this case you may want to consider publishing
  a technical paper on your work. There are many places where your paper can be
  published, and not all of them are worthy of mention - there are many shady
  publications in the scientific arena as well. A publication in reputed international
  journals (eg the IEEE for electrical engineering or ASME for mechanical) is the best
  you can get, and if you do make sure you let the universities you are applying to now
  of it - send official reprints if necessary. Usually you will have to make do with
  publishing in a conference - it is easier, and some of the conferences are pretty good
  too. This is a topic you will have to discuss with your guide/advisor.

WORK EXPERIENCE:
           Work experience helps a lot , especially when your GRE / TOEFL scores
 are low. If the work experience is in the related area in which you are going for MS /
 PhD then it not only helps to get admission but also the AID/Schol. So Having the
 work experience is always a plus point. It helps to get through when the competition
 is very tough.


                      VISA APPLICATION PROCEDURE

   After Admission Procedure:

                 You have to apply for the VISA when you get the I-20 from the
   university. You have to book a date / appointment on www.ttsvisas.com The
   website addresses for other consulates are mentioned on this website On this
   website all the information needed is given. So you must visit this site. Also please
   visit the official site of United State Education Foundation in India ( USEFI).
   Generally people prefer to get a consultant for VISA which is needless. Still to
   mention here are some important steps to be followed.
   The following must be presented to the Consulate at the time you apply for a
   student visa:
   1. Form I-20 or IAP - 66 (obtained directly from the university you intend to attend)
   2. Visa application form and USEFI survey form (available at the Mount Road gate
   of the American Consulate General, Chennai: Monday through Friday, between
   3.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m.) You can download the forms and can fill up them.
   3. One passport size photograph and a valid passport
   4. Visa fee, demand drafts , (the amount is specified on the consulate’s website- so
   check with your consulate’s website) drawn in favor of American Consulate
General , ( for your region)
5. Test score reports (original) – TOEFL / GRE / GMAT / whichever is applicable
7. Latest degree /mark sheets
8. Evidence of financial support as described below:
A) If the university has awarded financial assistance, please enclose the relevant
letter.
B) If your sponsor is in India, you will need the following documents:
(a) Affidavit of support on stamped paper (Rs. 10, 15 or 25) from your sponsor
promising to bear the cost of your program for the entire duration of your stay in the
United States. This document has to be notarized as well.
(b) Verification of your sponsor's financial resources by a certified Chartered
Accountant. This statement should indicate that your sponsor has the means to
support you during the entire duration of your study and stay in the United States.
All original documents for the sources mentioned in the Chartered statement,
including bank passbooks should be brought along, to be produced before the
Consular Officer, if necessary.
C) If your sponsor is in the United States, the following documents must be
provided:
(a) I-134 (available at Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) offices in the
United States) promising to bear the cost of your program for the entire duration of
your study and stay in the United States.
(b) Bank account statement of your sponsor
(c) Salary statement of your sponsor

D) If your sponsor is from a country other than India or the United States, the
documents to be provided are:
(a) A notarized letter or statement from your sponsor promising to bear the costs of
your program for the entire duration of your study and stay in the United States.
The affidavit of support from your sponsor can also be submitted by form I-134
available at the American Consulate or Embassy in the country where your sponsor
is a resident.
(b) Bank account statement of your sponsor
(c) Salary statement of your sponsor.

You may apply for a student visa no earlier than 90 days prior to the reporting date
mentioned on the I-20. For example, if the reporting date shown on the I-20 is
September 05, you may apply for a student visa between June 5 and September 5.

You can listen to audio recordings of discussions by consular officers on student
visas, at the USEFI reference library. You may visit their office between 1.00 p.m.
and 4.30 p.m., Monday through Friday, (except holidays) and schedule an
appointment to listen to a tape on student visas.
The best thing you can do is-------

The best thing to know about VISA procedure is to visit the website
www.msdreamz.com There is a separate VISA section on this website where all
the information regarding VISA application is given. The rules for different
consulates are different…like for Bombay consulate and for Chennai consulate the
rules are different. All documents and procedures are mentioned in VISA
BIBLE on this website. Also the standard samples of all documents are given here
with the help of which you can make documents yourself. In case of Bombay
Consulate there is no need of CA to certify the financial statement. You can make it
yourself and can take it to consulate. I did the same. For other consulates you can
get it certified from CA if needed. Take all the documents mentioned with you to
the consulate.

				
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