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Admission Process

Five Important points to be noted while selecting universities

1. For graduate programs you have to be accepted by the graduate school as well by the program where you apply.
2. Many universities have a minimum criteria of GPA that means percentage in our case. I have observed that they want at least 60% marks from Indian candidates. Please do check on this aspect before you apply.
3. Several Universities have a minimum TOEFL requirement. Check about this before capplying.
4. Please keep in mind that a Graduate school may have a different requirement than a program where you are applying.
If the requirement varies than generally the programs requirement shall be higher.
5. Observe the application Deadlines. If you cannot then you are likely to be rejected.

You will appreciate this if you observe the process of selection. Every graduate application is scrutinized by the Graduate School and the department you are applying to.

I present below the movement of your application:
1.You send the application to a Graduate School. In some cases you simultaneously send a copy of it to the department you are applying. In other cases the graduate school forwards the applications meeting the basic criteria observed by them.
Every Graduate school has set up a basic criteria like minimum GPA, TOEFL and in some cases GRE scores. Candidates meeting these criteria are only considered further by the department. Upto now the selection is very objective as only those applications are passed to the department which statistically meet the norms set by the Graduate School.
2. When your application reaches the department of your choice it is here that the subjective angle comes into play provided the department has not set any norms for itself. Let me point out that the department if it has set any minimum criteria it is usually higher than what is required by the Graduate School.
3.Once the application comes through this then the departments admission committee makes the final decision and it is here that your higher GRE , RECOS and SOP come into play.

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.
1.Academics
2.Standardized Test Scores
3.Recommendations
4.Essay

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
2.GRE / GMAT/ SAT

The supporting ingredients are
3.RECOS
4.SOP

The dormant ingredient is
5. TOEFL.
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.