Steps to Take Before Fall Admissions Deadlines

Posted by on July 13, 2017 in Student Profiles | 6 comments

Steps to Take Before Fall Admissions Deadlines

Steps to Take Before Fall Admissions Deadlines


Prospective applicants for the Fall admissions have 3-4 months till the application deadlines, most of which are in December and January. Unless you are all set to apply and have all the required materials ready, there is a lot that you need to do in these coming months.


In fact utilizing this time effectively is crucial and will greatly improve your chances of being admitted to the programs you apply to.


A good application has multiple aspects many of which require time in order to be properly developed and polished.


This post explores these and suggests the keys steps that you should take in order to be prepared for the applications.


Carry out a school search

…. Before you can start the process of applying to schools you need to search for the prospective schools and programs you will be applying to. Once you have decided the degree you want to pursue, you will need to find the universities offering that program.


You may use other criteria along with this as well such as geographical location of the school, the faculty and past placements of graduate students. Moreover, also check the admission requirements thoroughly.


SEE ALSO: Scholarships for Graduate School


Create a spreadsheet in Excel where you record information regarding the schools where you plan to apply. Find information regarding the application requirements, deadlines and available funding for each program in the spreadsheet.


This will save you a lot of time that might be spent on running multiple searches later. is a very good starting point for school selection.


Prepare for and schedule GRE/GMAT & TOEFL/IELTS

Almost all graduate schools require GRE/GMAT score when admitting students to their programs. Once you know the schools you will apply to, you can get an idea of the average score for the incoming admitted students. Then you can start planning when and how you will prepare for the GRE/GMAT exam.


On average expect this to take 2-3 months unless you feel you will not need that much time to prepare.


SEE ALSO: GRE Study Plans


Schedule the exam with some time to spare before the application deadlines, in case you decide to re-take. Preparing for TOEFL/IELTS is not as troublesome as compared to the GRE/GMAT exam. Prepare for the GRE/GMAT first and then for the TOEFL/IELTS since preparing for the former automatically prepares you for the latter.


SEE ALSO: GRE or GMAT? Which one to take.


Get your transcript and degree

….. Make sure to get your transcript and degree (if you have graduated) issued from your educational institute. You will need to upload a scanned copy of these as part of your application so make sure you have these well in advance from the application deadlines.


Some universities take 2-3 weeks for the documentation, it would be smart to have this done and out of the way so that you can focus on the more important parts of your application such as recommendations and essays when the deadlines near.


If you are in your final year and do not have your degree/transcripts then send partial transcripts. Also send a letter from your current university clearly stating the expected date of getting the degree.


SEE ALSO: Overcoming a LOW CGPA in your application


Plan for getting recommendations and writing essays 

….. Good recommendations and well written essays can bolster your profile as a student. The most frustrating part of applications can be when the deadline is next day and your recommender is not answering your emails. To prevent this from happening contact the people who will write a recommendation for you early on and let them know of all the places you will apply to and their deadlines. You should also use this time to start thinking about your essays.


SEE ALSO: Writing Personal Statements


Some universities give a prompt for you to write on while others will ask for the personal statement. Be prepared to write multiple essays – therefore planning in advance will make the process of writing a lot easier.


SEE ALSO: Sample Academic Reference Letters & Sample Work Reference Letters



….. If you are a working professional you will already have this covered. However, if you have recently graduated then you should ideally get some experience before applying. Even if this means that you will only be able to have an internship, you should still use the opportunity. Work experience is another one of the factors which makes your application strong.


Calculate a cost estimate

….. Applying to graduate schools starting from registering for GRE/GMAT to actually submitting the application is a costly affair. Budget for this in advance. You will have to pay for GRE/GMAT, TOEFL and the application fee for submitting the applications.


On average you may incur $127 to apply to one school. Sending the GRE score costs $27 &  sending the TOEFL score costs $20. Submitting an application may cost around $80. However, not all universities charge an application.


Nevertheless, I stress again that you should plan this in advance. On average it costs between $ 1500 to $ 2500 to apply to between 4-6 graduate programs abroad. This includes test prep for exams, exam fees as well as all application and documentation fees.


  1. Avatar

    Hi, I Wana ask you one thing . I am planning to apply in USA for masters . Currently I have two options to pursue my 16 years degree in computer science one from (University of Agriculture, faislabad) and other Comsats. Which University should I consider or would be best for applying in Ms computer science in USA other than high Gre score. Please please answer my queries. I would be very grateful of you.

    • Avatar

      Hello – Actually COMSATS has a better international repute.

  2. Avatar

    Hello! I want to ask which should be taken first? GRE or TOEFL?

    • Avatar

      Hello – both are required for admissions. But do GRE first as it is harder and requires more time and effort. Moreover it will also help your prepare for toefl

  3. Avatar

    ??????? ????? ?????? ????? ? ??????
    Talha bhai,
    I want to apply to Stanford and UC Berkley. I have CGPA of 3.56 in Mechanical Engineering from NUST. Where do I stand?
    How much GRE score do I need ?

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