Studying abroad

Studying abroad

Dear Madam,

Which are the entrance exams to write for a PG course (engineering) abroad?  My son is a Mechanical Engineering student who wants to pursue PG overseas.


Dear Anonymous,

The entrance exam required for admission to most post graduate courses in engineering (including MS) is GRE (Graduate Record Examination). The test is conducted under ETS (Educational Testing Service- He will also need to get a good score in English language test like TOFEL/IELTS. Finally he needs to submit an SoP (Statement of Purpose) to explain and convince how he is suited for the course.

An MS in a reputed international school adds a competitive edge to a candidate’s resume, and helps in securing employment, while a M.Tech from a premier college in India also gives you an equal recognition. While making a final decision the factors that need to  be considered are the candidate’s grades, abilities, specific skills, finances, and to a certain extent the reputation of the educational institution that the student graduates from.

In India to get into premier institutes for M.Tech (including IITs etc), he has to appear for the exam called GATE, and for state level institutions, the relevant PG-CET. Some of the other reputed institutes like VIT, Manipal etc have their own qualifying exams.

Once you are clear about whether your son would like to study abroad or in India, then you could explore which field would be most suitable for him.  If unable to decide, he may go in for an aptitude test.

Though GRE can be given anytime of the year, the best time to write GRE is during August-October and apply for next year’s Fall (August/September) session. It takes 12 - 14 months in advance before the academic year in which you plan to enrol.

It would be helpful if your spends at least three months  preparing for GRE and TOEFL. Depending on his confidence, he can decide whether he should go for coaching or use any coaching material.  Select the best coaching centre nearest to you, based on feedback from other students, and your own experience in discussions with them. Best wishes.


Dr Malini works as a career counsellor and has a Ph.D in Human Development. Send your queries to ‘Studying Abroad’, Education, Deccan Herald, No. 75, M G Road, Bangalore -560001 or e-mail us at 

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