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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!
    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!!

  4. 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.

  5. 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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I can’t even begin to fathom how crucial a role Nistha played in getting me an admit from one of the biggies in the world! I must admit I was totally clueless as I started off with my preparations for masters in US. I had parts of my application ready but I was still not able to glue them together in order to impress the admission committee. So I started seeking for a mentor – not the crooked local ones but an authentic reputed counselor who would give decisive opinions and statements about … Read more
Akhil, MSIM (UIUC)