Making a wise decision

Dear Madam,
I am a I year PUC student who scores slightly above average. In my 10th Board exams, I scored only 80%. I want to pursue automobile engineering and wanted to know which colleges in India and abroad are good for the course. I am planning to go to Germany. What exams do I have to write and also how much should I get in these exams.

Dear AL,
Seems like automobile engineering is the flavour of the season. In Karnataka, Manipal Institute of Technology, Acharya Institute of Technology, M S Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences and Reva Institute of Technology are among some of the Engineering colleges that offer automobile engineering. The CET entrance exam is all need to take for any of these colleges.

As far as studying abroad is concerned, these are the exams you need to write:
For US: SAT (reasoning), SAT Subject tests (3 subjects) and TOEFL.
For Germany: TOEFL or IELTS
To get into any good university you must score above 80% in your PUC.

Dear Madam,
I have completed my a three year Bachelor Degree from an Indian University. Can I apply for an MS to a University in the US?

Dear Puneet,
US universities need a 4 year degree program like BE or B Tech. Alternately, you can do a one year diploma program after your BA/BSc/BCom/BBM/BBA and then apply to the US for your masters.

If you wish to study in UK, your three years of undergraduate education is acceptable. Also, the duration of your Masters program in UK is only one year while in the US, it is two years.

Dear Madam,
I am in class XI and I read your column regularly. I notice you suggest English exams such as TOEFL and PTE. While I have heard of TOEFL before, PTE is something I am not familiar with. Can you tell me what this test is and who accepts these scores? Which is better, TOEFL or PTE?

Dear Shreya,
PTE Academic is a computer-based academic English language test designed to measure the listening, reading, speaking and writing skills of test takers who are non-native speakers of English.

PTE Academic is recognised by universities and colleges worldwide. The test is also accepted by the UK Border Agency for visa applications and the Australian government (DIAC) for student visas.

For an up-to-date list of recognizing institutions, visit
Both TOEFL and PTE are equally good. The advantage of PTE over other tests such as TOEFL or IELTS is that the test takes place every day.

Registration for a test is much easier as dates are always available. There are test centers in New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin and Kolkata with up to three sessions per day during busy times.

It is a three-hour test session and results are available within 5 days. You can send free score reports to as many universities as you wish.

PTE Academic costs Rs 9,350 in India. If you book within 48 hours of your test date, a late booking fee will be applied and the test price will be Rs 11,687.50
While TOEFL is preferred in the US and Canada, it is not accepted any more by the UK border agency.

Dear Madam,
Our son is studying I PUC in Science (PCMCS) stream and taking coaching for IITJEE. We are planning to move to the USA in March. What are the options for him if he continues his education in US for another year? What is the difference in the syllabus? What exams does he have to take up if he has to continue his higher studies and what the options if he stays in India?
A Parent

Dear Parent,
If you are planning to move to the US in March 2015, you could use the next couple of years while your son completes his 11th and 12th grade to establish residency in one of the US states. This will bring down his tuition fee to a great extent. The high school syllabus in the US will obviously be quite different from his PUC syllabus.

However, don’t let that worry you.  Indian students tend to cope with any international curriculum with ease. If he wishes to pursue his engineering in one of the top universities in the US, he needs to only write the SAT reasoning and Subject tests. If he chooses to stay in India, he may continue to prepare for the JEE. In my experience, getting admission in an Ivy League college is easier than getting into IIT.

Dear Madam,
I am Abdul Qadir Mushfiq. I have done my BCA and am currently working with Wipro. Simultaneously, I am also doing my MS in software engineering offered by Wipro through BITS Pilani. I want to go into the field of smart phone where I can design, and work on software and hardware of smart phones. Please let me know how I should pursue it. Which are the top colleges and which courses do I have to pursue. Thank you.

Dear Qadir,
Universities offer masters’ degree in programming apps for smart phones and tablets. Your MS program in BITS Pilani will offer you specialisation options. At this point of time, while you are already with an established company like Wipro, rather than going looking for universities that offer specialised courses, I suggest you stay with the company and learn on the job.

Alternately, there are many short term and online courses for design of software in smart phones, hardware architecture, design of Android phones, iPhones and Windows operating systems.

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