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Importance of GPA and GRE scores in your MS applications

Often a student wonders if her GRE score is good or is the GPA OK?

Here’s how I look at it-

Admission Committees use your GPA and GRE scores to determine whether you can handle the course load or not. A low GPA or GRE score makes them question your aptitude and ability to manage the curriculum. Further, having a low Quant score and doing poorly in your core courses (e.g. Data Structures for Computer Engineers etc) raises a red flag. So, while a low GRE score on its own may not disqualify you completely, it puts you at a huge disadvantage. I have seen students with superb research profiles or good industry experience but mediocre or subpar scores struggle to get into quality schools.

A GRE score < 310 (and Quant score < 155) can be a serious deterrent and you might consider retaking GRE. We prefer students get GRE > 320 to be able to remain competitive at top schools.

Similarly, when mentioning your GPA, it is important to convey where do you stand in your class/university. For e.g. saying your BE percentage was 73% does not tell the admission committee anything unless you tell them that you fell in top 1% of the class or top 10% – it makes all the difference!

Tip: If you end up applying with low acads (GRE or GPA), do try to explain somewhere in your application that the low score is not reflective of your ability to excel at the program for so and so reason (need help? contact us).

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  1. Hi,my cgpa is 7.6 put of 10 in first semester results. Can I do Ms with this percentage. How much totally cost to do Ms .can I get scholarships .please help me and reply this question quick as much as possible……

  2. Hi ma’am!
    My GRE score is 316(quant-165, verbal-151), cgpa – 7.04. I am currently doing my bachelors in economics from the university of Delhi. I have done a course in python.I am also doing a research paper. I want to apply for fall 2018 analytics/ data science programme in top universities. Can you tell me how can I improve my profile for the same? Also, should I mention any reason for my cgpa? My cgpa has increased in every semester and I have better performed in quant subjects so should I highlight this in SOP or just let it be?
    Thanks in advance

  3. Hi, Nistha,
    My GPA is 77.1% and university topper’s percentage is around 86. I fall in the top 5 students in my class. My GRE is 319(163Q), 4 AWA. Is this good enough when applying to top schools?

  4. Hi…. I have scored really low in my GRE…. My score is 290… (145-145), I am put in a situation where i cannot reappear, planning to giv my toefl my oct end.My cgpa is 7.91 and have completed embedded systems course during my second year. Presented 3 papers and have won in all three presentations. Completed two projects successfully. Have been a trained and been a trainer in a embedded systems programme conducted by Wipro mission 10x.
    Kindly give me your suggestion, should i proceed applying ? if yes then how should I shortlist universities?
    Thank you.

  5. Hi Nistha!
    I would like to tell you that my CGPA is 6.75(out of 10) and it took 2 extra years for me to complete engineering (i know i have a very bad academic background). But i’m highly passionate about turning the table and making a great career..i’m planning to take GRE n TOEFL in october and i’m planning to go for ms in 2016 fall..please help me with the scores one has to try reaching, in order to get admission in top 20-25 universities..I have the highest amount of desire to push myself to any extent..
    Please help me!!

  6. hello maam, i have given my gre, have scored 291 and my toefl score is 82, and my cgpa is 6.59. Do i really stand a chance of admission for ms is electrical engineering.

  7. Hi,
    Following is my profile:
    GRE:320 (Quant-165 ,Verbal-155 ,AWA 3.0)
    TOEFL :111(R-30,L-28,S-26,W-27)
    CGPA :8.91 (CSE)

    I am applying to following universities:
    Texas A & M College Station-
    Arizona State University –
    North Carolina State University, Releigh
    University of Southern California
    University of California – Davis
    SUNY- stony brook
    University of Florida
    University of Illinois, Chicago

    What are my chances…should I include any other college

  8. Sir,I’m preparing for my GRE and going to attempt this june.My GPAis 2.6 out of 4.0 i wanna do masters in Environmental engineering ..please suggest me a good score in GRE that may place me in universities like houston

    • Since your GPA is on lower side, you need a GRE above 310 (better if you cross 320).

      • Hi, my gpa – 3.4/4 ; gre – 307(Q-162, V-145) ; Toefl – 109. I did an additional diploma course in embedded systems for 6months, worked in a startup for 6 months later quit to work on my own doing some freelancing on web development for an year. Can you please suggest me where do I stand for MS in Data Science ?

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The honesty with which the SoPs were reviewed was refreshing. The best part was, I was still writing each word of the SoP on my own, with the best possible feedback I could have gotten. It’s the way its supposed to be. Also, the insight Nistha offered to help me in selecting the right schools to apply to was invaluable.