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Hello Everyone,

This post totally focuses on what students need to do if they have an Average or a Low GPA. Students get depressed when they see that Universities require a GPA which is higher than what they are having. But does it mean that your US Dream has ended, certainly not.  I have said it many posts that Universities follow a Holistic approach in which they will examine the entire Application of a candidate and check all the factors and then decide whether to admit him/her or not.  Below I will be discussing what you need to do if your GPA is Low or Average.

When you have a Low or an Average GPA it certainly plays in your mind when you are studying for GRE or TOEFL. I mean to say some students always think about whether they will be admitted into a Good University or not? Etc. So Firstly if you are having these questions when you are preparing for GRE or TOEFL, I would suggest just concentrate on your Exam rather than making predictions on whether you will get into a Good University or Not. Since you cannot change your GPA you have to concentrate on other factors.

Factor 1: – GRE

GRE is one of the Most Important factors. Make sure you get a good GRE Score. Study hard, Practice lots of questions. GRE Exam is easy provided you have practiced a lot of questions. So get a Good GRE Score. A Good GRE Score will certainly boost you up to tackle the other factors.

Factor 2: – TOEFL

As I said in other posts also, TOEFL generally plays a very little role in getting your admission. But you should not go easy on it. You have to prepare in the same way as you have prepared for your GRE and make sure you get a score greater than 100.

Factor 3: – Statement Of Purpose (SOP)

This is the most important thing that you need to take care of while you apply to the Universities. A have seen many Students who have a low GPA get into a good University, because they had a good SOP. So consult few people and professors while you prepare your SOP. You need to write the reasons due to which you have a low GPA and how motivated you are for pursuing your Higher Studies. So make sure you prepare a Good SOP. Check out the Tips For Writing SOP.

Factor 4: – Letter Of Recommendation (LOR)

Letter Of Recommendation is another important factor you need to take care of. Some students feel whether their Professors will give a good LOR even though their GPA is low? See it all depends on how you connect with your Professors. You need to convince them regarding your Low GPA and your interest in pursuing Higher Studies. Professors generally help students regarding LOR, so no need to worry about that.

Factor 5: – ETS Personal Potential Index

If any of the Factors that I discussed which also include your Acads is weak then  I would recommend you to create a ETS PPI profile. Check out What is ETS Personal Potential Index.

So to Conclude I would say that a Low GPA certainly affects your chances since Universities are very much interested in how you performed in your Under Graduation, But it doesn’t mean that you won’t get into a Good University. Make sure that you handle the other factors well and then you need to wait what University decides about your Application. As I said in the Other post Consider all Factors as Pillars, if one of the Pillars is weak then the Other Pillars should be strong enough.

Hope I was able to clear your Doubts regarding Low GPA.

All The Best.

Tackling Low GPA While Applying For MS

4 thoughts on “Tackling Low GPA While Applying For MS

  • September 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Does the GRE Subject Test help much to cover up a low GPA? Like in Computer Science, for example.

    • September 29, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      Most Students don’t go for GRE Subject Tests. I have my friends who had Low GPA and got into good Universities because of the factors mentioned above like a good SOP, GRE etc. So I personally feel if you have a Good GRE, SOP and LOR you have good chances in getting into a Good University. With respect to your question, Yes GRE Subject Test will help you and it will show that you have good Skills.

      • September 30, 2012 at 4:39 am

        The reason is some of the universities I am applying to mention that GRE Subject Test is “recommended, but not necessary”. I guess this is mostly only for CS as Subject Test isn’t there for most other fields.

  • July 17, 2014 at 3:27 am

    Thank you very much for this encouraging information. I want to do masters in Automation and Robotics Engineering from at least a B – Class university of USA.

    I have very low GPA since I spent most of my time doing project works during my under-graduation. Nevertheless, I have very sound research papers and publications. I have 2 years of work experience. I have joined GRE and determined to do good in that too. I have two helpful and sound professors who could write best LOR for me. No doubt, I will obviously work hard for SOP.

    You meant that universities will go after holistic approach. But as I went through the requirements of universities, they say the minimum requirement is GPA of 3.

    When they are saying the GPA minimum requirement is 3, did we became qualified enough to show our documents? Isn’t it that we didn’t meet even the minimum criteria? Also, universities providing Automation and Robotics are so less. That’s why, some times, I feel I can never get a graduate school in USA. This thought is continuously inhibiting me to do good in GRE. Would you provide me some suggestions and relevant universities name (if you know)?


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