I haven’t taken the GRE yet – What do I do?

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Many students are confused about whether they should wait for their GRE scores before starting their admissions process.
GRE scores form an important part of the application bundle, but it is not the only deciding factor for university admissions. Universities are interested in looking at the overall profile of the student and not just academic scores.
If you plan to take your GRE in later stages of the application time-line, say around February or March, you can make sure that all other documents are in place for the application to be complete. Following few steps would help you speed up the application process in paucity of time.

  1. If you haven’t already taken your TOEFL, start by doing that. TOEFL is an English exam that is required by most US universities. It is a test of your knowledge of the English language. For anyone whose medium of education has been English, this should be a fairly easy exam requiring minimal preparation.
  2. Prepare a shortlist on the basis of your academic and non academic profile and use mock test score as a proxy for your GRE scores. Be realistic about your expected scores. If you expect you can increase your score from 1000 in mock tests to 1300 in the final test – you are wrong.
  3. Identify and approach your referrers for recommendation letters. It is often the case that students are not in regular contact with their referrers. It is a good idea to start interacting with them, to remind them of your strengths and contributions.
  4. Look at university requirements and start drafting the required essays for completing the application form.
  5. Obtain college transcripts for previous educational qualifications and get them attested if required. USEFI is the best source for such attestation for US university applications.

There is a lot of work that goes into making a successful application and delaying the process only because of unavailability of GRE scores is novice.
Starting the process late does not mean that you will not get admission – only the top 25-30 universities have their deadlines in December or January. If you organize your thoughts and make an action plan for your application, the confidence will reflect in your application and help you secure admission in good universities.

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About Dr. Gupta

Dr. Uma G. Gupta is the Founder and President of STEM.SMART, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the pipeline of U.S students interested in STEM careers. In addition, she is the CEO of PlanetGPA, an international student recruitment services that serves as an extension to the recruitment offices of U.S. universities.

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