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Academics = Transcripts + GPA + GRE

Academic part of your US Grad School application includes Under-Gradate Transcripts, GPA (Percentage) and GRE Scores.

You will learn how Academic factors are used during profile evaluation by Graduate School admission committee.

Grad Student Profile

Every student profile will fit into one of the following category

  • Low GPA, Low Scores
  • High GPA, Low Scores
  • High GPA and High Scores

There are many comments from prospective students that sounds similar to

  • I have low GRE, but very good percentage. Can I get admission?
  • I have 1300 in GRE, but academics is 55%. Can I get admission wtih Aid?

Low and Highs will not balance each other in every situation. Where there is an imbalance, your strengths and weaknesses in each area will be considered. Depending on how they add up will determine if you will be given admission.

Low GPA and High GRE

Low GPA and High GRE Score will have less impact, if the GPA (percentage) throughout your Bachelors was taking a dip.

If your Academic percentage looks 80, 76, 75 and 70 for 1st to 4th year respectively and if  GRE Score is less than or equal to minimum required scores for admission then chances of getting admission in less likely.

If the GPA from 1 year to 4th year is on upward trend and above minimum required GRE Scores, you’re in much better shape.

University Selection

When selecting universities you have to perform similar analysis for every school. If you have an organized approach towards university selection, where you track all the information in single spreadsheet, it will make things lot easier.

What other analysis is possible with your profile?  When you selected the school, did you do a similar analysis? If not how did you select universities?

Note – Don’t try to convert Percentage and CGPA to GPA. When filling out application, just say 75% or 7.9/10 CGPA.


  1. LYNN OLIVERA on September 18, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    Nice comments ! I Appreciate the info . Does someone know if I might be able to get ahold of a sample 2011 UK C1 version to fill out ?

  2. Shakti on January 6, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    I’ve graduated from University of Petroleum & Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun in Applied Petroleum Engineering and the grading system over there was GPA out of 4.0. I scored a 2.71 which is equivalent to 74% But for most of the MS programs in US, 3.0 is the minimum requirement.

    My GRE Score is:
    TOEFL: 101 (24,20,27,30)

    I am apprehensive about the fact that I don’t meet the minimum GPA requirement for most of the MS Universities for Petroleum Engineering. What should I do?
    Should I mail the professors/graduate school admission dept asking about my chances cause of low GPA??

  3. SRIKANTH on November 10, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    HI HSB,
    this is Srikanth.. I am doing my bachelors in ECE ( presently 4th year ).
    I am planning to write my GRE for Spring 2014 .. I have academics 85% aggregate as of now. Will my acads be much useful even though i have low gre score?
    CAn you suggest me some universities which give preference for the acads…

  4. kasol on August 28, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Hi there
    I scored 325 in GRE.(VA-155 & QA-170)
    My academic record is poor.
    MBA (Finance)- 2.52/4
    BTECH- 5.2/10(eqv to 60% as per univ. guidelines)
    Which all colleges should I apply to so as to get an acceptance?
    P.S.: Planning for M.S./Ph.D (Finance)

  5. rushikesh on April 28, 2012 at 5:52 AM

    hello HSB i scored high in my gre but had a year drop after my first year in engineering(BE) but my scores improved later on i scored 51% in 1st year, 52% in 2nd year, 64% in 3rd, and 73% in 4th year’s first sem i have done 2 courses in languages(like c c++,java,etc),one in embedded systems would i get a university if i apply for it or should i go for ms after a job experience of 2 years?
    please reply!

  6. mayank on December 15, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    hi HSB……
    i have been consistent in my undergraduation B.E(I.T) degree(i.e 1st yr is 60, 2nd yr is 58, 3rd yr is 61, 4th yr is 61)……
    do i have chances to get in top U.S B-schools for my M.B.A’s????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    plz help……

  7. jitesh on October 21, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    sir i got double drop in engineering,after second year and after third year also i have lots of backlogs during this years,but i still want to do ms in us,i had given old gre in july 11 2011 and got 610,i know this score is very bad,i am planning to give new gre in august 2012,and want to get admission in computer science,sir i request you to give suggestion for me regarding on my chances of getting admission with worst academic record also please reply me if this time i score good in gre and toffel,will they consider my application,also the final stage is getting visa,and getting amit from universities

  8. Pradeepa on October 23, 2010 at 11:48 PM

    Hi.. My gre score is 1170(Q-730 & V-440) and my aggregate is 73.6% in ECE. I would like to apply for fall 2011.. Kindly suggest universities which are good and which accepts my score for VLSI , embedded systems. Can i make it to top 50 universities? Pls Help..

  9. sirisha on September 2, 2010 at 9:40 AM


    My First Name in the passport is Naga Venkata Surya lakshmi Sirisha.

    Last name is Gelli

    But while filling the GRE application it doesnt allow me to put my total first name.

    What should i Do?

    Any Help pleaseeeeee………..

  10. harsha kalyan penuma on July 30, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    First of all thanks for the info. This blog has been really useful. sir u were discussing about GPA cutoffs. i was searching the blog but i want to know if there has been any survey about colleges which accept only high GPA and which consider low GPA also.

  11. cash on July 12, 2010 at 3:33 AM

    Hi HSB,
    Firstly i wanted to thank you for all the info uv provided here.Way to go man.i had a few queries.I have done my engg from Pune univ.Completed that in june 2009 and am presently working with infosys.Am sure of getting a good GRE score but i wanted ur views on my cgpa.My aggregate is 57.9 . with 1st yr:50%, second yr:54% , 3rd yr:60% , 4thyr:68%..did pretty well in my last 2 years and was in the top 10 of my class in the final yr…How would this go with my profile.would it be a big disadvantage..i am aiming for only the best univ in the US.Do consider that its pune university in your reply..Really appreciate u taking out time to help.Thanks again.

  12. Rakesh on June 29, 2010 at 8:35 AM

    @sania: No one can say for sure, but yes you do have a good chance to get aid in some or the other form, but you need to understand that you need to have a excellent sop and letters of recommendation too, besides having some kind of R & D experience

  13. sania on May 21, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    i have obtained 66% in electronics and 1550 in gre.can i get admission with aid in usa universities

    • nakul on June 28, 2010 at 11:30 AM

      sania if u have obtained an increasing percentage from first to last semester that i then ur likely to get it……as ur gre score is gud

  14. sameer on May 21, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    i have got 67% and 1500 gre score,can i have admission with aid in us

  15. Rakesh on May 18, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    @shailesh, you have got pretty good score and you can get admissions for sure. However in order to find universities suited to your scores you need to do a lot of research starting with finding schools which generally select students having minimum score below yours. In addition you must understand that each student's profile is somewhat unique w.r.t. universities. So its really hard to say whether the universities you selected, you would be able to get admissions in

  16. juvenile on April 30, 2010 at 9:25 PM

    I have graduated in aug 2009 with B.E in E&Tc.I would like to apply for fall 2011 for MS in Information systems or information management.During my engineering i received 2 drops and my GPA is below 3.0.
    I do not want to go to just any schools but a good one,not the top schools but atleast the top 100 or 150.
    I have been contacting a few schools and they say that my toefl score is good (103/120) and that i should contact them after i take GRE.
    Is there anyway i can compensate for my low GPA to get an admission into a good school?(B.E=58%)pune university.
    After i take my GRE in the months on aug 2010 i will look for a job n work untill next year fall.I do not have any work ex since 2009 that i graduated.
    Will i have to show work ex if i apply in fall 2011 ??
    I would really want to get through Northeastern University in Boston

  17. sunil on April 10, 2010 at 3:06 AM

    i am now 65% .is there any minimun % to study M.S say 70% and above

  18. maddy on March 15, 2010 at 7:28 PM

    I have an average GRE(1240) score and TOEFL score(110)and 76% in acads. I got

    admission into University of New Mexico(Computer Science) without aid. I was new

    to this process and due to lack of proper guidance I couldn't apply for better

    colleges even though my toefl score would get me admission into better colleges

    in California or other states. Now its a little late to apply if I want aid from

    colleges. My friends told me based upon my performance in d first year of my

    graduation I can shift to another college. How far is this possible?

    Few people told me it will be very difficult to shift in the second year as all

    the credits will not be transferred. Others told me its ok no matter where you

    study it is based upon your performance and that unm is not that bad.I am

    confused please help me. If gng to UNM is a bad idea with good profile atleast I

    will wait till Spring and apply.

  19. bipin on March 13, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    hi hsb

    i recieved my toefl score as 91 and i have low gre score of 880 , moreover i have aggregate in bachelor's as 74% as i did my b.pharm. am i eligible to apply,to university with an aid.

  20. sai kumar ganji on March 13, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    serious problem here…plzz help me ..HSB!

    iam a 3rd yr btech student n my name is "G V L N SAI KUMAR"..i.e; GANJI VENKATA LAXMI NARASIMMHA SAI KUMAR. (GANJI IS MY SURNAME) i hav this full name in my my Btech transcripts are under the name of "G V L N SAI KUMAR".

    yesterday, i tried to register for GRE through online…n there in the registration form..there are three name fields 'FIRST NAME,MIDDLE NAME, LAST NAME'..i tried to fill the FIRST NAME field with 'VENKATA LAXMI NARASIMHA SAI KUMAR' is not allowing me to fill…d character limit is 23 but my first name is of 33 character. how to fill it!????

    nd if i fill it as according to my passport…will it create me any problem during the admission process as my name in my btech transcripts is G V L N SAI KUMAR…?

    plzzzz help brother!

    plzzzz help brother!

    • HSB on March 13, 2010 at 12:04 PM

      Post your comment in the right article. you have posted 3 comments in articles that are not related to your question.

  21. ram chander on March 13, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    i am having my b-tech score low(55%)and my GRE score is 1150 and TOEFL yet to write,can i get admission in us texas university

  22. ranju on March 10, 2010 at 6:16 AM

    Hi HSB,

    Reading the above posts, im almost loosing hope of goin to the US. My undergrad persentage is low(55% to be precise in EEE),im yet to give my GRE and TOEFL. are you sayin that i will neva get an admission in any of the universities? because im working really hard on my GRE and Toefl and i was hopin that this was the only way to counterbalance my undergrad scores. im worried.. plz help me..

  23. teddy on March 9, 2010 at 11:55 PM


    As I can see from the post, you mentioned only undergraduate GPA to apply for graduate school in US. I know my Undergrad GPA is not good even though it shows an increasing trend form previous years ( 1.9, 3.30, 3.33, 3.7, 3.21, 3.05) with final CGPA 2.87/4. Then, I am working now my Msc and have GPA of 3.7 plus having research experience, TOEFL score 603 and I am waiting my GRE result. Are you saying ALL THAT MATTERS IS UNDERGRAD GPA?


  24. Sailesh on March 9, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    Hi HSB,

    I got aggregate of 73% in my undergrad, Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering. I had lot of backlogs during engineering (1st and 2nd yrs) but was able to clear and pass as regular student. Sophomore year(3rd year), i got avg marks of around 70%.I worked hard in senior years(last year) and was able to score 81% and 83% and i ranked within top 5% of class, anyways this all made my aggregate to 73 and i am at within top 10% now. I gave my GRE last month and was able to score 1120(Q680,V440). I am interested getting MS degree in Computer related subjects such as Software Engineering, Information Technology, Information System or Management Information System..But not in core subjects like Computer Science or Computer Engineering. So how does my profile fit in? Would you please suggest me.

    I am looking at UTA for MSIS, Missouri University of Science and Technology, UHCL..

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