15 Things to know before planning to Study Abroad

15 Things to know before planning to Study Abroad

        The Journey to Masters abroad is never a cakewalk nor a bed of roses. It is a harsh journey with thorns all over the road from GRE and TOEFL exams to having a WES evaluation and Mailing ETS and only your knowledge and a strong willing confidence that “I can do it and I will do it” will help you go through the process with ease


You might have bumped into my blogs from anywhere around the internet.

Let me introduce myself.

Hi, I am Laxmi Yadahalli from Karnataka pursuing my Bachelors in Information Science and Engineering from a reputed Engineering college in north Karnataka.

I too am an aspirant just like you. Having a million dreams in my eyes, a ton of thoughts in my brain and one confidence in my Heart that I will do it.

15 Things to know before planning to Study Abroad

15 Things to know before planning to Study Abroad

Today I just randomly decided to unlock my mobile, open a blog and just start typing something about the whole Master’s process. I am here to share some information I know about the whole Master’s degree process. Hopefully, by this Christmas or New Year, you will know the procedure easily and have maximum information on everything that matters.

Now, without wasting much of your time let me explain those 10 Basic things and their meanings which I will be frequently using in my blog.

Now just take a deep breath. Rest your back and think “I am going to do this”.

Let’s get the cat out of the bag! Excited?

[themify_box style=”red announcement”]15 Things to know before planning to Study Abroad[/themify_box]


1. MS (Master of Science) A majority of us confuse MS with Master of software. I myself did it until I started exploring my journey. So MS stands for Master of Science, which is a Post Graduation Degree after your Under Graduate.

It involves many courses and a ton of subjects and research works to choose from. Students from Engineering, Diploma Engineering, Pharmacy, Agriculture, Medical, Business, Commerce and Science (B.Sc.) and many other UG courses take up MS for their Post Graduation Degree. You are earning a Masters Degree here in Science be it Pure science subjects or Technology, commerce or business courses.


2.  Educational Testing Service (ETS) is a private and the largest non-profit organization which conducts and administrates the exams GRE and TOEFL ,founded in late 1940s with its headquarters situated in Princeton at New Jersey in the US.


3. Graduate Record Examination also popularly known as the GRE is a standard exam for admissions to most of the Graduate Schools in the US. It was founded around in 1949 by ETS. I will be discussing that in detail further.


4. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is also an entrance exam. It is also a standard test to measure English language ability to non native students coming from all over the globe. Further details will be out in upcoming blog.


5. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is again another standard test for English Language for Immigration and UK visas developed by the British council. Was started in 1980 to assess English Language Proficiency of non-natives.


15 Things to know before planning to Study Abroad

 15 Things to know before planning to Study Abroad


Let’s talk some more points on higher studies as part of the 15 Things to know before planning to Study Abroad article ,some more points in line.


6. Statement Of Purpose (SOP) is a long essay about 1000 to 1500 words that is usually and often asked by the Universities abroad which is to seek information about the candidate’s information and the motivation to choose a certain career path and their goals after that.


It includes a brief introduction and information of the college history like Grades, project and research work/Internships and explanation to backlogs or year drops.


7. Letter Of Recommendation (LOR) is an Important Document of any student’s life who plans to study abroad.

It applies to both Under and Post Graduate admissions. LOR  can be given only by Department Faculty, project head, Head of Department and Office related heads like Boss or senior supervisor to Recommend and support the person applying to study. It includes the behavior, working ability and skill sets as observed by the Recommender.


8. Grade Point Average (GPA) is the final Average Grade point obtained by calculating the grades of all 6 or 8 semesters of a course at the end of the Degree. *It is scaled down to 4.0 in the US system.

In India it is the word like Distinction or First class, Second class. Basically the Class of marks you fall in.


9. Semester Grade Point Average (SGPA) is the score you secure at the end of every Semester. Like the total score of 6 subjects 3 labs and 2 electives of semester N.

Say N is any of the 5th or 6th or 7th or Nth semesters. It is the CGPA used by universities. Used for calculating GPA.


10. Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is the score which you attain from semester 2. Basically in semester 1 both CGPA and SGPA remains same.


From 2nd Semester and onwards, the CGPA starts accumulating till the 8th semester end results sheet. It is the Overall Grade Point we get. Or in simple words The average of all grade points for the subjects taken during the course of degree.

11. World Education Services (WES) is another non-profit organization which provides the Credential Evaluations for International Students planning to study or work in USA and Canada, Founded in 1974, headquarter at New York, USA. We can get our grades evaluated and scaled to US 4.0 scale using WES help.


12. AWA and RC are the important parts of a GRE exam.

AWA stands for Analytical Writing and RC for Reading Comprehension.

The AWA score ranges between 0 to 6 in half point intervals. Average AWA to be scored is 3.5 for any good university. RC is the testing for our ability to understand a passage and answer the questions followed.

Remember those CBSE 10th days? We used to read a passage and select the possibly most accurate answers? It is almost same. But a little tougher. Because we aren’t kids anymore.


15 Things to know before planning to Study Abroad

15 Things to know before planning to Study Abroad

13. I-20 is a form issued by a University or a school which has granted you an admission. It contains your name, the course offered and Fees for the academic year where as DS-160 is the Application for F1 student visa i.e, is Non Immigrant form for the Study visa.


14. Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) also called as the the I-901 form is the immigration database to process the documents for International students and exchange visitors during their stay in the United States. It is used by Department of Homeland Security.


15. Fall and Spring intakes are two semesters. Both have their own pros and cons.

We will discuss that soon. Fall Semester begins in Late August or Early September ends by early January or Late December and Spring Semester begins by Late December or Early January and ends by Early may.

June and July are summer vacations to either return home once or do Internship. Hence plan your activities accordingly. There are no summer intakes for International students.

That’s it for the 1st blog. Hope you enjoyed reading. Comment down below on what topics do you need a detailed blog on. I will try to cover every topic inch by inch. GRE or TOEFL exams are a no big deal if you are well versed with language by watching English channels and Into reading books.


We Indians are already good at Quants by Default. So with a bit of smart work and dedication, we can achieve our dreams.

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Ayansh is a blogger by passion and an engineer by profession.

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