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Importance of Recommendations

Importance of Recommendations depends on three factors:
1.The program for which you are applying.
2.Your aim for applying.
3.The university you are considering for application.

If you are having research experience and are applying for a research program or a Research Assistantships than recommendations play an important part.
Similarly for Teaching Assistantships.

If you are considering a top ranked program then also recommendations play an important part.

Corollary of this is your recommendor’s credentials should be impeccable.The recommendations should site some specific experiences and should not be generic in nature.

According to a recent Survey following factors play an important part in an application mix.
2.Standardized Test Scores

All are important ingredients of the application mix.

I have not mentioned TOEFL because it has a different role to play. For
admission if you have a decent TOEFL score it is sufficient.Every university
or even a program specifies a minimum TOEFL score. If you meet it along with
good credentials it is enough.
However it does not imply that if one has a high TOEFL score it does not
have a positive affect on ones application.
Among the other credentials the importance of each depends on the rank of
the university you are applying. For Top Universities Academics is more
important and second weightage is given to GRE.As we go down the ranks
importance of academics goes on shrinking and GRE starts playing more
important role. This is for a normal student.
By my saying this I am not decrying the role of other items in the
application mix i.e. Recos and Essay.
Sufficient it to say that the importance of each item depends on each
individuals circumstances.

If you have a low GRE score it is important that you have good academics.To
some extent the negative impact of low GRE score can be balanced by a high
academic score.
The importance of high academics can be realized when you note that while
you can dispense with low GRE score by taking the test again you cannot
overcome with low academics.

Similarly if you have low academic score you can be excused to some extent
for this by scoring high in GRE. Along with this you should be able to
present your case well in your SOP and your Recos should also support your case.

Thus you will see from the above that

The active ingredient in the application mix are
1. GPA

The supporting ingredients are

The dormant ingredient is
TOEFL comes to play when there is a tie.

In the case of Business Studies experience is another important aspect. More of it later.
The importance of each lies with your circumstances and your choice of a program.

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