Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity that requires careful planning and preparation. University timelines typically operate a year ahead, meaning that it’s important to start early, around 15 months before the admission deadlines, which are usually in September and October. Even with this head start, there is still a limited amount of time to work on all aspects of your profile and application. That’s why it’s never too early to begin the preparation process. Starting early allows you to enhance your candidature by filling in any gaps in your profile, working on your proficiency for admission essays, and improving your skills through extracurricular activities, community and volunteering work, or online courses. By taking these steps early, you’ll be better prepared to compete for admission to your desired study abroad program.
1. Story Development
To kick off the process, EdElevate mentors try to understand and evaluate your credentials holistically, taking into account your academic and professional experience, standardised test scores, scope for scholarships, among other things.
As your story is unique, so should be your approach for its narration. It is crucial to create an engaging personal narrative that not only emphasises your academic accomplishments but also provides insight into your personal journey and how it has influenced your goals and aspirations. You can start developing your story by reflecting on your life experiences, achievements, and obstacles, and determining how they have shaped your academic interests and objectives. You should also consider how your background, culture, and personal values have influenced your academic path and what unique perspectives you can bring to your field of study. Additionally, your narrative should demonstrate your self-awareness, resilience, and enthusiasm for learning, not just highlighting your strengths. Developing a captivating personal story can help distinguish your university application and improve your chances of being accepted into your preferred institution.
2. Profile Building and CV/Resume
With a blend of self-introspection and brainstorming, EdElevate helps you achieve a robust and balanced profile. A well-rounded profile can be your biggest asset. University admissions committees are on the lookout for candidates who have not only excelled academically and professionally, but have also engaged in research, created projects, and participated in extracurricular activities and community work. With our Gap Identifier Approach, EdElevate will help you identify and bridge the gaps in your candidature by understanding your areas of interests, hobbies, awards and achievements etc., and advising relevant activities for upskilling.
If you are transitioning from one field/branch/domain to another, online courses that we recommend can be a great way to augment your skills and strengthen your CV, while also subtly communicating to the admissions committees your commitment towards the program.
A crucial impact of profile building will be on your Resume. We will guide you on how you can put your best foot forward by including details on your achievements, accomplishments, capturing your journey, impact of your work, enhancing your suitability for top MS programs. Our mentors will assist you in editing and reviewing your CV to ensure that it adheres to the proper structure and employs efficient language throughout. With our expert suggestions, your professional Resume will be transformed into an academic CV/Resume that appeals to admissions committee members.
(Improve your CV through the power of meaningful Action Words. Choose from EdElevate’s comprehensive list here.)
3. University Pre-Assessment
Studying abroad can be a rewarding and transformative experience. However, choosing the best fit universities and programs may be challenging. Our university pre-assessment presents a comprehensive first cut off university list that will help you understand which universities you can target and aid you in making well-informed choices. We analyse and assess the universities prior to the shortlisting process according to the interest and requirements of the students, based on our experience. To set you up for success from the get go, we guide and encourage you to attend 1-on-1 sessions with the relevant program directors and university webinars to understand more about the programs in-depth. Besides these, we also help you in reaching out to prospective universities to clear any doubts about the program and eligibility, and gauging their interest in your profile.
All of this would eventually help in ultimately creating a list of universities that will be the ‘perfect fitment’ for you.
4. Timeline Management
Our expert counsellors and mentors create a timeline for you that highlights all necessary steps and deadlines for developing your profile and applications. This timeline consists of various tasks such as identifying weaknesses in your profile, enhancing your candidacy, conducting research on universities, and scheduling standardised tests at the appropriate time. For example, several students are often confused regarding the best time to write GRE/GMAT and other English Proficiency examinations. We work with students and strategize to decide the best timeline for test taking (keeping in mind that we may have to leave a buffer for retaking a test!).
Throughout this process, we will provide guidance and assistance to guarantee that you fulfil all requirements within the given timeline. In case you come across any issues or complications, we will be available to provide advice and aid you in overcoming any obstacles.
5. Brainstorming Bootcamp
Once you have a robust and compelling narrative ready to illustrate your experiences, it is also important to understand more about application essays and what AdComs look for in a potential candidate. We believe that these application essays are your THINKING test and not a writing test. And thinking is a prerequisite for creative writing. Starting early enables students to spend time honing expression and creativity, and to develop a structured thought process. With EdElevate’s Worksheets and Brainstorming Sessions, we work with students in preparing them for the upcoming application essays and testing to improve their expression at the same time. Self-introspection is essential to attempting our Worksheets which cover a broad range of questions especially curated to enhance self-expression.
6. Interview Preparation
A few top universities in the US, like Harvard, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, among others, have an evaluative interview as a part of the admissions process. If you have reached this stage, congratulations on getting the interview call! This is a reinforcement that the admissions committee is definitely interested in your profile and this is your chance to impress them. We will prepare you thoroughly with EdElevate’s tips, guides, and time-tested strategies on how to be successful. We will guide you on how to not get intimidated by the process and develop a structured thought process, helping you retain your calmness quotient even in the toughest situations. Through our interview preparation session, we craft narratives, build a structured thought process, and provide you tips to ace the interview. And through our mock sessions, we perfect your approach to give you an edge.
What’s more, we will also discuss questions that you can ask the admissions committee about their programs and how to follow-up post the interview.
Is this right for you?
Is this right for you?
Objectively, a good GRE/GMAT score is one that is competitive with the average scores of admitted students in your desired program. However, to know if your GRE/GMAT is high enough, you have to take into account other aspects of your profile. If your CGPA is below average and you have little or no professional experience, then a high GRE/GMAT score can help you offset the other gaps in your profile. On the other hand, if you have a high CGPA and have garnered extensive professional experience, then even average GRE and GMAT scores may be fine for you. (Link to Retaking the GMAT blog)
Opting for a STEM program in the US can provide students with a wide range of opportunities and advantages, making it a popular and rewarding choice. Choosing a STEM program not only opens up more research and career opportunities, but also means that you will be eligible for an additional STEM Optional Practical Training period to work in the US for an additional 24 months, for a total of 36 months (3 years).
To know how you can benefit from a STEM program, while applying for an H1 visa, read more here. (Link to STEM blog)
Simply put, this depends on the specific requirements of the program you are choosing to apply for.
TOEFL is great if you want to take up a program only in the United States. IELTS works here too but is more widely accepted in countries like Australia, UK, Canada for example.
When determining which exam to take, it’s crucial to take into account the criteria set by the institution or organization you are applying to. Some organizations may accept either exam, while others may only accept one. Both exams are acknowledged and valued, and selecting the appropriate one for you is dependent on your personal circumstances and objectives.
Some top universities also offer waivers based on academic background and profile. Most significantly, top B-schools offer English Language proficiency waivers if you have completed your undergraduate program with English as the official language for instruction. Read more.. (Link to IELTS vs TOEFL v PTE blog)
Thanks for helping me find a good university that suits me well. Furthermore, the recommendation and guidance on financial planning for my studies really help me a lot as well as your outstanding services in following up my entire application perfectly. EdElevate ROCKS!
I was looking for a team that would help me build on my own ideas and stories, help me refine them, and put me on the right track when needed, and I found exactly that in the EdElevate team. Huge shoutout to Bhanu, who helped me through some crucial aspects, even on weekends!
The best thing I got from EdElevate is the relationship with their mentors. There are a lot of things you need to take care of in the study abroad process and I believe that these are the people who ably guide you through the entire process. They know what they are doing and are always ready to help. I’m truly thankful I got the support I needed. I would like to thank Bhanu sir, Umesh sir, and Rajesh sir! I secured admits from a few universities I applied to and chose NYU for my further studies. If you are planning to study abroad, they are just the right people!