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Maximize your chances of getting into a top ranked US university

There is a lot of competition for admission into a top US university for Masters. The competition is even more for international students, as there are more people applying for limited slots. If you have a few years to prepare your profile, you can give yourself the best possible chance to get into a top university in the US. Admission into a top US university is based on a variety of factors; including academic performance, GRE performance, extracurricular activities, research experience and quality of the academic institution. You have two more years before you apply; so you have plenty of time to improve your profile to give yourself a good chance. You will have to work hard and excel in multiple areas, including studies. So you will have to balance studies with other activities. Just note that you don’t have to get a 100% score or 1st rank to get into these schools. They are looking at your overall aptitude. So good scores + other activities will give you a better chance than 1st rank + no activities. Look at implementing the following:

1. Take part in a lot of college activities.

If you don’t already know, figure out which activities give you the best chance of winning and which you are passionate about. Get as many certificates, trophies etc. in these fields.

2. Practice the GRE

One year before taking the GRE in your final year, start taking practise exams in GRE. Once you start noticing that you score cannot improve, do some introspection on which areas of the GRE you can improve, and repeat some more practice GREs. Keep doing this till you are comfortable with your score. Give yourself time to take the GRE 1 or 2 times more if you mess up the first time.

3.Model past applications

In your final year, look at past successful application essays for the universities that you are interested in getting into. Try to model your essays learning from the best.

4. Research work

Do some research work in a field that you are interested in.Finally, academics are important. You do need to study but don’t put extra pressure on yourself to get 1st rank or 100%. Don’t spend 24 hours studying.


-Author, Scholarships for Indian Citizens

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