"If you are looking at a research-based masters degree then it's a good idea to show some proof of aptitude of research through projects work in the undergrad years.
"You may have to even contact professors to get them to be your mentor. Some universities have made this compulsory."
Overseas education consultant NNS Chandra offers advice on how to pick the right course and college.
In an online chat with readers every Friday, international education consultant NNS Chandra addresses queries and offers advice on college admission, eligibility criteria, related entrance exams and more.
For those who missed the chat on September 4, here's the unedited transcript:
Vaitheeswaran Parasuraman: Would like to study MS in computer science with any specialisation, preferably in US or Australia or Canada. Please give details right from visa details. Best regards.
NNS Chandra: Hello Vaitheeswaran, answer to all your question is beyond the scope of this chat.
If you can email me your grades and GRE scores etc, I might be able to write a more detailed reply.
antas gupta: Sir, my son is in 12th class at present(PCM).
What is advisable for him -- pursuing B TECH from abroad or MS. He has not appeared in any exam. for studying abroad so far.
NNS Chandra: Dear Antas, it depends. Depending on where he is with his grades and university prep now.
If he is strong as a candidate I would recommend to do BTech in USA. That will give him more opportunity. Also depend on resources.
For under graduate admission he must take a standardized test and put in a strong application.
aravind: Pl advise me the way forward to do MS in the USA with only 57 per cent in BTech. Or advise me the best course of action.
NNS Chandra: Hi Aravind, what happened -- 57 per cent -- That is a challenge. But you can improve your academic work by attending some online university course
Take a look at open courses in MIT. Take them. Write exams. Get credits. That might improve your academic profile..
MALOJI BHOSALE: Sir, my son is doing his BE (IT) from Pune. What will be the expenses for getting his MS degree form USA and which are the qualifying exams.
NNS Chandra: Dear Maloji, you must budget around Rs 36-45,000 an year for a Masters programme as an international student, my experience.
It can vary based on location, course load etc. He must get a good GPA and write GRE for sure. TOEFL or IELTS might be required for most universities.
pavlola-0: Sir, my son is undergoing his BTech course Electrical and Electronics Engineering final year - Cochin University.
He is planning to undergo Masters in Canada / US connected with his subject.
He is going to join for IELTS. Whether GRE is required?
Kindly advice what he has to do for getting an admission in reputed Universities in Canada /US ?Polly Varghese
NNS Chandra: Hello Polly. From Kochi. Great. Onam went well I hope. Back to point, GRE is required.
In most schools. A good GRE and GPA are a must. I would encourage him to start writing a SOP. And have him send to me. I can guide him better with that.
privatemail: My daughter studying IInd PUC with PCMB. She wants to take career in Genetics Engineering and wish to go to abroad. Kindly tell me what is the proceedure, eligibility, etc.
NNS Chandra: Abroad is a broader term. US admission and UK admission process are somewhat different.
Please let me know where she want to go. Studying genetic engineering in USA/Canada requires a good back ground study, prep done.
Standardised tests must and test of English language might be required in most cases.
shenny dcosta: What is the eligibility for SAT? Pls advice. Where can I find the relevant books?
NNS Chandra: Hi Shenny, which grade are you now, taking SAT this fall- started training- I will ask my colleague Shajid Merchant to add here. He is an IB teacher and guide you to right books.
There is no eligibility as such to write an SAT test. You can be in your grade 11 and aspiring to study in North America.
You need to be well read to score well on SAT English and should have strong foundation in Math.
There are loads of books you will find on SAT preparation. Most of them are good. You need to train yourself to sustain an almost 4 hours of SAT exam :) Shajid Merchant
anil: Sir, my current CGPA is 6. I want to pursue a course in financial management in Canada. Do you think I qualify? Pls guide me the way forward. I intend to start course in Fall of 2016.
NNS Chandra: Hi Anil, most of Canadian Universities do not really need GRE but only good academic percentage and TOEFL or IELTS scores.
Your GPA is not where it need to be. Let us be honest about that.
Also, if you are looking at a research-based masters degree then it's a good idea to show some proof of aptitude of research through projects / research work in the undergrad years.
You may have to even contact professors to get them to be your mentor. Some universities have made this compulsory
And for application -- need to put in by December at least to be. To be on the safer side.
Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Matylda Czarnecka/Creative Commons