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Where did I go Wrong?


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Just a quick Question to throw it out there to gauge where I went wrong and fell behind in my applications.

I have a Bachelors Degree in Instrumentation & Control Engineering from NSIT, Top15 Engineering college in India.


My Bachelors Marks Score is 53.8%

GRE: 307 (150 Verbal; 157 Quant )

Toefl: 99


In addition I have 2 years of work experience as a Software Developer in Software Development Firm


I intended to apply for the MS program in Computer Science.

I applied to 8 universities: NYU PolyTechnic, Northeastern, UIC, NJIT, San Jose State, Texas-Arlington, Texas-Dallas and Rochester.

I have been rejected from all these colleges and I was utterly disappointed. I need to know where I am falling short in my applications.

I look forward to applying again for the Fall of 2016.


1. Would a graduate diploma course help in my applications and better my chances of being accepted?


2. Are my choice of Universities too ambitious?


I understand that my academic scores in bachelors are not that great but would like to pursue my interests in the field of CS.

Any help in guidance and gauging the shortcoming would be welcome.

Edited by kantrohit
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Your GRE's are way too low. Some universities discard applications that do not pass the cutoff, and a 157 is fairly low for any engineering program. The verbal score is also very low, but I do not know how they weigh it.


Given the fact that many Indians have English education, the TOEFL is also low. However, this is not decisive, just an observation. If you improve your GRE verbal scores, your TOEFL will go up too. 

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I'm not familiar with the Indian grade system, but I do know that percentages are generally lower than in North America. How does 53.8% compare? That is, do you know what percentile this grade average is?


I agree with the above that your GRE and TOEFL scores are weak. 


This is also a good time to contact the schools you applied to and ask politely if they have any feedback for you. They might not say anything useful, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

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- Take the GRE again and aim for a Q of 160 or above (165 or above recommended).


- I'm not sure what 53.8% is. Is it your percentile? Or is it your average marks in percentage? If it's the latter, then this converter calculates it to be 3.0. A 3.0 is actually pretty low, so you'd have to complement it with a) excellent GRE scores (~330 or higher), B) related work experience (which you have), and (recommended) c) publications.


- A TOEFL score that's above the universities' minimum requirement is usually fine. 99 is an okay score. If you want to improve it, then go on, but this isn't really important.


- Reevaluate your SOP.


- Have a look at the LORs that were sent for you. Do they bring out your strong points? Are they thoughtfully written? How well do your recommenders know you?

- Contact the schools like TakeruK said.

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Dear kantrohit,


I just want to share my CS Master "reject" experience with you.

Hope this will help you evaluate your scores whether they need improvement or not.


Last year I applied for 7 top CS schools in the US.  All of them rejected me. They are Stanford, CMU, UW-Madison, UMich, Princeton, UCSD, Columbia.


I got TOEFL 100: (Reading:29, Listening:23, Speaking:23, Writing 25)

GRE : Q170, V150, AW3.0

My GPA: 3.5/4.0 (from top university in Thailand)


However, my LoRs were sent very late (by the end of LoRs deadlines which were 1-3 months after my application deadline).

Also, I submitted all my applications very late (about 1 week before the application deadlines). 


My SOP was moderate (I guess). So this year I will apply for Fall 2016 with better SOP and better scores on GRE and TOEFL (Fingers cross).


There are a lot of factors which might or might not affect my applications.




Hope this will help you.

Edited by darksteam
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