In March 2012, we had put up a post advising ECE students, about job opportunities in the US. Today, let’s talk about something related but slightly different: while you are waiting for an admit or preparing for an MS, you can use the time to build useful skill sets. If you are an engineer who would like to explore options in software development, you could think about the area of web-development and related technologies.

Web development specialization: Making an educated choice in operating system technologies and related skills

If you are a wannabe web developer, picking the right skill sets is key to a successful career. Once you have chosen the web development skills you want to acquire, there are many ways to develop them:

  • extra “private” courses or certifications
  • regular college and work-related project work
  • ad hoc additional projects at college / work

(The latter two will also allow a hands-on tangible demonstration of your skills.)

The question is “what web development skills should you focus on?”

Developer success mantra: ‘Portable and Adaptable”

Today there is an emerging demand for web developers with skills that are more ‘server-based’. You will have a good scope to land and retain jobs in the future if you have web development skills that can be applied across a broad spectrum of applications rather than merely on standalone technologies or platforms. So, if you are a web developer who till now focused purely on ‘Microsoft,’ think about expanding your horizons to include technologies related to

  • UNIX (especially scripting)
  • Oracle
  • Opensource.

You could also consider upgrading your programming language skills to include:

  • basic knowledge of at least JAVA & C and
  • advanced knowledge of at least one of these.

Till now, developers who had good skills in C and Csharp, .NET and VB would do well. But now, new opportunities are opening up. It seems increasingly likely that in the future, cross platform migrations or expansion will become more and more popular. So, developers will need to be familiar with server-based technologies (perhaps SQL/Exchange) that allow this.

Remember: An entry barrier ensures that your talent stays in demand!

Of course, it is often a good idea to choose software courses which ‘everyone is crowding’. But, exploring the less crowded courses is not a bad idea either – the easier it is for everybody and anybody to get in, the more competition there will be for jobs which require the skills these courses teach. There will also be a lower premium on skills that have ‘mass demand’. So, consider looking beyond the usual choices. Sometimes, mavericks who buck the trend find rewards that others cannot!

Application Process ImageOnce your final list of universities is ready, you can start applying to universities for your much dreamed of ‘MS in US’. Here are the key steps:

  • Complete the online application forms
  • Request ETS to send your GRE and TOEFL scores to the university/department
  • Prepare document packets, consisting of:

It is really important that you carefully follow all instructions regarding the sending of documents. Please also adhere to prescribed deadlines since the application can be rejected if you are late.

Remember you can always call up the Academy if you feel you can’t carry out this demanding process all alone. We have services that are designed to take care of every difficulty you face – we are always there to help.

All the best as you move on to a great admit!

Related LInks


Word RootsIf you found the last post on roots helpful, here are 2 more roots which cover 25 GRE words. For those of you who have come directly to this post, here’s a link that will help you understand why we are talking about roots so much: go to first roots post. (But basically, it helps to make learning the GRE words much easier).

genus generis (14 words)

The Latin word genus (cognate with Greek ‘genos’ and the Sanskrit root ‘jan’) has produced a number of English words. Genus has two basic forms: ‘genus’ and ‘generis’ (the second of which is more important because most derived words in English and other modern European languages have come from it whereas ‘genus’ exists as a single English word).

Genus, like Sanskrit ‘janaḥ’, means essentially “that which is born, people” (Sanskrit ‘jan’). The derived GRE words have the basic idea of birth, production, family, type, kind:

  1. generate – to give birth to, produce, create e.g. the hardest challenge in essay writing is how to generate ideas.
  2. genus – kind, race e.g. one can see straightaway from their appearance that these two animals are not from the same genus.
  3. generic – pertaining to kind or race e.g. in Britain the word ‘Paki’ is used as a generic term for all South East Asians, whether they are from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh or Pakistan .
  4. general – relating to a kind e.g. loyalty is a trait found in all dogs in general
  5. generality – the quality of relating to a kind e.g.the generality of his descriptions is such that they apply to everybody in general and no body in particular; it is impossible to identify any one on the basis of descriptions of such generality.
  6. genre – a type, specifically a type of art e.g. detective novels and thrillers are some of the popular novelistic genres; romantic comedies are a popular genre in Hindi films.

The addition of a number of prefixes (as in Sanskrit) produces a variety of GRE words:

  1. regenerate – to produce again, reproduce e.g. lizards can regenerate lost limbs.
  2. degenerate – (de reverses the meaning of the verb, hence) to decay, decline e.g. Alzheimers is a disease that causes the brain to degenerate.
  3. engender – (a French form of Latin ingenerare; en and in mean in, hence) to produce within something) e.g according to the Mahatma ‘violence engenders violence’. OR His unusual upbringing engendered within him a complete disregard for distinctions based on class, religion,caste or sex.

This last word illustrates an important principle that will help you extend your knowledge of GRE words even further. After the conquest of England by the Norman French, Old English – Anglo-Saxon) was transformed by the language of the invaders, which was descended from Latin, and thus gave Old English an enormous number of Latin-origin words, the “first wave” of its Latinate vocabulary; the second wave, derived directly from Latin, would come a few centuries later). The Greek word genos (birth, descent, race) is closely related to Latin genus, and produces the following words in the list of GRE words:

  1. genesis – birth, origin e.g. the genesis of this mystery goes back to the time when the earth was being formed.
  2. eugenic – relating to good (eu) birth, the generation of healthy people e.g. the leaders felt that the intermarrying of Chinese, Europeans, Africans and Asians would not at all be eugenic.

Closely related to genus is another Latin word, gens (gentis) (meaning descent, clan, race), which produces the following GRE words:

  1. gentry – people of high, noble descent e.g. the gentry sat separately from the common folk.
  2. gentility – noble descent, nobility e.g. Though they no longer owned grand houses, horses and servants, you could still make out their gentility.
  3. genteel – characteristic of the upper class despite their poverty, they found it difficult to abandon their genteel tastes and habits.

4. agere (13 words)

The Latin word agere – to do, set in motion, drive, urge, chase, stir up) produces many GRE words:

  1. agenda – things to be done, items of business, actuate (to cause to do, to motivate) e.g. there are several items on the agenda for this meeting.
  2. actuarial – pertaining to public business (actus, thing done), calculating, pertaining to insurance statistics, agility (rapid movement, nimbleness) e.g. making policies that would not result in too high a number of claims is part of the actuarial work in the business of insurance
  3. agitate – (from agere, agitare, to move something to and fro) stir up, disturb e.g. the agitator in washing machines is so called since its function is to agitate the detergent and clothes in the water.
  4. cogent – (from cogere, com-agere, to drive together, compel) convincing e.g. I am afraid I don’t find his arguments at all cogent.
  5. exacting – (forcing out (ex), hence) extremely demanding e.g. nowadays computers and robots carry out the exacting work of making sure that every one of the thousands of components produced daily in a modern assembly line have been made precisely according to specifications.
  6. exiguous – (from extended meaning of measured, exact, hence) small, minute e.g. I cannot live on such an exiguous salary.
  7. exigency – (from extended meaning of to demand) require, hence) urgent situation e.g. the exigencies of war demand quick responses.
  8. reactionary – (acting back or in response (re), hence) opposing progress, politically ultraconservative e.g. khaps which allow, encourage or demand honor killings when inter-caste marriages are reactionary in their thinking.
  9. intransigence – (from transigere, to drive through (trans), accomplish, agree; with negative prefix in) refusal to agree or make any compromise, stubbornness e.g. we failed to reach a compromise only because of his intransigence.
  10. cogitate – (from com, together, agitare (frequentative form), to repeatedly drive thoughts together in the mind, hence) to think over e.g. we cannot solve this problem with superficial thought: we must cogitate.
  11. retroactive – (acting backwards (re), hence) taking effect before its enactment (in the case of a law) or imposition (in the case of a tax) e.g. it is unfair to pass laws that tax them with retroactive effect: it is like telling farmers who have just reaped an abundant harvest that they will have to give a large part of it to the local landlord. Had they known before hand they would not have planned on using up
  12. ambiguous – (leading about (ambi), hence) unclear or doubtful in meaning e.g. ambiguous statements like “the chicken is ready to eat” (which could mean: ‘the chicken is hungry and would like something to eat’ or ‘the chicken is cooked and now we can eat it’) can be quite funny
  13. prodigal – (driving away (pro), wasting, hence) wasteful, reckless with money e.g. prodigal expenditure on weddings forces many Indians into poverty.

If you found this post useful keep looking for our posts on the roots as a way to learn GRE words – they will really help!

Image for RC

Preliminary Reading and RC

One of the most important aspects of preparing for reading comprehension in the GMAT is preliminary reading – that is, reading to be done before you start tackling GMAT RC passages in order to prepare you for the challenges that those passages will throw up.

One challenge that you will face on Reading Comprehension passages is that they tend to be about unfamiliar topics and concepts; and talk about unfamiliar terms and fields. They use difficult phrasing and vocabulary, and complicated sentence structure. The only way to get used to the level of complexity you will find in GMAT passages is to read widely.

Another challenge is the fact that reading passages on screen means that you may not be able to see the whole passage at a time, and may have to scroll up and down to read the rest of the passage. This is very different from reading on paper, where you can usually see the whole passage on screen at a glance. The fact that you can’t see the whole of the passage at once when you read long passages onscreen, makes comprehending the passage much more difficult.

Reading widely both on paper and onscreen will help you build up the skills that you need to meet the challenges presented by reading comprehension passages in the GMAT. The reading material suggested here is arranged, and should be read, in the following order:

Plan for Preliminary Reading (Overview)

  • General Reading on Paper
  • General Reading on Screen
  • Easy RC

Once you have completed the preparatory reading you can go on to actual GMAT RC practice (see below):

Plan for Going Through Practice Material (Overview)

  • Medium-level GMAT RC
  • Hard GMAT RC
  • GMAC Material on mba.com

Going through the material in the order given will help you to get to the required competence in reading skills and tackling questions in easy stages.

General Reading on Paper – Newspaper Editorials

Newspaper editorials are short and have language that is fairly close to what you find in GMAT RC passages in terms of both vocabulary and complexity of sentence structure. Unlike GMAT passages, however, they deal with topics that are familiar and so can be easily understood. The familiarity of the subject matter will help you deal with, and get used to, the complex language and high-level vocabulary in GMAT reading comprehension passages.


When you read, summarize the editorials (or any other articles, essays or passages that you read) as if explaining to a 5th Std. student. This will force you to be brief, clear and simple. If you can read and discuss editorials in groups of 2 or 3, then you can get greater clarity about the main idea of the editorial and how to present it. Apply this approach to all other passages that you read.

General Reading on Screen – Websites

As explained above, reading RC passages is more difficult when the passage is on the computer screen. To prepare for practice with reading onscreen which is required to take computer-based tests therefore, read websites like

  • aldaily.com
  • thebrowser.com

Note: the articles on the websites mentioned above are very long so, if you are not used to reading very much, read only a little at a time – may be just 5-10 lines at a time. Gradually increase the amount you read (to 15 or 20 lines and over time to 30-40 lines) and increase your stamina.

Reading such articles will also expose you to a broad range of topics and to concepts and vocabulary outside the scope of your usual reading. Other useful sites include:

  • sciencenews.org (good explanations of terms you may have forgotten in the children’s articles)
  • the-scientist.com (life science)
  • sciencedaily.com

Read these websites in conjunction with:

  • dictionary.com – for explanations of unfamiliar words
  • Wikipedia – for explanations of unfamiliar terms, concepts, fields, people etc. that you encounter in your reading.

Easy RC – TOEFL® Reading Comprehension Passages

TOEFL RC passages are easier than those in the GMAT, but (unlike the editorials and websites) they contain Reading Comprehension questions. Since the passages and questions are easier than those in the GMAT, TOEFL RC passages provide a good ‘warm up’ which will prepare you to move from articles and editorials to actual GMAT RC passages.

Going Through the Practice Material (Details)

The Oak’s Academy RC material contains 150 passages and 1,000 questions, providing excellent graded practice. It will take you about two months to cover the material if you do 3 passages a day. After you have gone through all that material you can go through the material on mba.com, the Official GMAT website.

  • Medium-level GMAT RC (Oak’s Material)
    • RC 11-20 (easy practice – over 50 passages with over 400 questions)
    • RC 1-10 (medium-level practice – 50 passages + over 300 questions, some of which are covered in class)
  • Hard GMAT RC (Oaks Material)
    • GMAT Reading Comprehension Homework (over 40 passages and 240 questions)
    • GMAT Reading Comprehension Classwork (10 passages, 40 questions – cover passages that have not been done in class)
  • GMAC Material (on mba.com) – some interesting preparation materials available online have been listed below:
    • Free GMAT Prep software (listed about halfway down the page – an ‘extension pack’ (called GMATPrep Question Pack 1) with about 400 extra questions is also available)
    • Official Guide (OG) 13th Edition, includes over 1,000 questions:
      • 900 real GMAT questions, 200 of which have not been published before
      • IR section + 50 IR questions online
      • Diagnostic exam with 100 questions
      • Grammar and Quantitative concept reviews
    • Quantitative Review Book
      • 300 Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions arranged in order of difficulty
    • Verbal Review Books
      • 300 Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and Sentence Completion questions arranged in order of difficulty
    • GMAT Paper Tests – 3 sets of tests, each containing 3 paper-based tests making a total of 9 tests (no answer explanations are provided though).

(to be updated again in December)

Here is the revised list of US university application deadlines for Fall 2013 semester (with the revised deadlines in blue). It covers 118 universities with application deadlines from December to July for the Fall 2013 semester.

  • Note that these are the general (or graduate school) deadlines. Be sure to check the departmental deadlines for the specific department you are applying to since these may differ from the general deadlines.
  • Remember also that some universities have separate deadlines for sending documents by mail and for online submission.
  • Finally, keep in mind that if you are applying for financial aid the deadlines are earlier. Wherever information is available on these aspects we have included it.


Related: US University Application Deadlines – Spring 2013 Semester



December 12

  1. Indiana University, Bloomington – 1 Dec 12
  2. University of Miami, Coral Gables – 1 Dec 12
  3. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill – 1 Dec 12
  4. University of South Carolina, Columbia – 1 Dec 12
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – 15 Dec 12
  6. Tufts University – 15 Dec 12
  7. Yale University – 15 Dec 12
  8. Michigan State University, East Lansing – End of Dec 12


January 13

  1. Kansas State University – 1 Jan 13
  2. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – 1 Jan 13
  3. University of Maryland, Baltimore County – 1 Jan 13
  4. Worcester Polytechnic Institute – 1 Jan 13
  5. University of South Florida, Tampa – 2 Jan 13
  6. Indiana University Purdue University – 2 Jan 13 with funding, 1 May 13 without funding
  7. University of Virginia, Charlottesville – 10 Jan 13
  8. Washington State University, Pullman – 10 Jan 13
  9. Florida Institute of Technology – 15 Jan 13
  10. State University of New York, Buffalo – 15 Jan 13
  11. State University of New York, Stony Brook – 15 Jan 13
  12. Texas A & M University, Kingsville – 15 Jan 13
  13. Texas Tech University – 15 Jan 13
  14. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor – 15 Jan 13
  15. Vanderbilt University – 15 Jan 13
  16. Duke University – 30 Jan 13
  17. Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago – 31 Jan 13 with funding, 1 May 13 without funding


February 13

  1. East Carolina University – 1 Feb 13
  2. University of Rhode Island, Kingston – 1 Feb 13
  3. University of Tulsa – 1 Feb 13
  4. Eastern Michigan University – 15 Feb 13
  5. Marquette University – 15 Feb 13
  6. University of Illinois, Chicago – 15 Feb 13
  7. University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth – 15 Feb 13
  8. University of Oregon, Eugene – 15 Feb 13


March 13

  1. University of Maine, Orono – 1 Mar 13
  2. California State University, Chico – 1 Mar 13
  3. California State University, Sacramento – 1 Mar 13
  4. Illinois State University, Normal – 1 Mar 13
  5. North Carolina State University – 1 Mar 13
  6. Oklahoma State University, Still Water – 1 Mar 13
  7. Portland State University – 1 Mar 13
  8. University of Nebraska, Lincoln – 1 Mar 13
  9. University of Oklahoma, Norman – 1 Mar 13
  10. University of Toledo – 1 Mar 13
  11. George Washington University – 15 Mar 13
  12. Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Brooklyn – 15 Mar 13
  13. South Dakota School of Mines & Tech – 15 Mar 13
  14. University of Colorado, Denver – 15 Mar 13
  15. University of Kentucky, Lexington – 15 Mar 13
  16. University of North Texas, Denton – 15 Mar 13
  17. University of Pittsburgh – 1 Mar 13
  18. California State University, Northridge – 31 March 13 Online, 30 April 13 Supplementary Documents (to be sent by courier)


April 13

  1. California State University, Long Beach – 1 April 13 Online, 15 April 13 Supplementary Documents (to be sent by courier)
  2. California State University, Fresno – 1 Apr 13
  3. Oregon State University, Corvallis – 1 Apr 13
  4. San Jose State University – 1 Apr 13
  5. Stevens Institute of Technology – 1 Apr 13
  6. University of Houston, University Park – 1 Apr 13
  7. University of Michigan, Dearborn – 1 Apr 13
  8. University of Texas, Arlington – 1 Apr 13
  9. University of Texas, San Antonio – 1 Apr 13
  10. University of Utah, Salt Lake City – 1 Apr 13
  11. Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University – 1 Apr 13
  12. West Virginia University, Morgan Town – 1 Apr 13
  13. Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo – 1 Apr 13
  14. Wichita State University – 1 Apr 13
  15. Florida International University – 1 Apr 13 & 1 Jun 13
  16. Lamar University – 15 Apr 13
  17. Northeastern University, Boston – 15 Apr 13
  18. Old Dominion University, Norfolk – 15 Apr 13
  19. South Dakota State University, Brookings – 15 Apr 13
  20. University of Georgia – 15 Apr 13
  21. University of Iowa, Iowa City – 15 Apr 13
  22. California State University, Fullerton – 15 April 13


May 13

  1. Minnesota State University, Mankato – 1 May 13
  2. Mississippi State University – 1 May 13
  3. New Jersey Institute of Technology – 1 May 13
  4. North Dakota State University, Fargo – 1 May 13
  5. Northern Illinois University, Dekalb – 1 May 13
  6. Oakland University, Rochester – 1 May 13
  7. Southern Methodist University – 1 May 13
  8. Tennessee Technological University – 1 May 13
  9. University of Idaho, Moscow – 1 May 13
  10. University of Louisville, Louisville – 1 May 13
  11. University of Nevada, Las Vegas – 1 May 13
  12. University of North Carolina, Charlotte – 1 May 13
  13. University of Texas, Dallas – 1 May 13
  14. University of Texas, El Paso – 1 May 13
  15. Villanova University – 1 May 13
  16. Wayne State University – 1 May 13
  17. Western Illinois University – 1 May 13
  18. Indiana University Purdue University – 2 Jan 13 with funding, 1 May 13 without funding
  19. California State University, Los Angeles – 15 May 13
  20. University of Louisiana, Lafayette – 15 May 13
  21. University of North Carolina, Greensboro – 15 May 13


June 13

  1. Louisiana Tech University, Ruston – 1 Jun 13
  2. Monmouth University – 1 Jun 13
  3. Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville – 1 Jun 13
  4. University of Detroit, Mercy – 1 Jun 13
  5. University of Wyoming, Laramie – 1 Jun 13
  6. New Mexico State University, Las Cruces – 1 June 13
  7. Drexel University – 13 Jun 13
  8. Texas State University – 15 Jun 13
  9. Missouri University of Science & Technology, Rolla – 15 Jun 13


July 13

  1. Arkansas State University – 1 Jul 13
  2. Florida State University – 1 Jul 13
  3. New York Institute of Technology – 1 Jul 13
  4. Santa Clara University – 12 Jul 13
  5. Lehigh University – 15 Jul 13
  6. Marist College, Poughkeepsie – 15 Jul 1
  7. University of South Alabama, Mobile – 15 Jul 13


August 13

  1. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology – 1 Aug 13
  2. University of Houston, Clear Lake – 1 Aug 13



  1. University of Massachusetts, Lowell – 12 months prior to the beginning of the semester in which you would like to join
  2. University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee – 12 months prior to the beginning of the semester in which you would like to join
  3. University of Memphis – 4 months prior to the beginning of the semester in which you would like to join
  4. Lawrence Technological University –90 days prior to the first day of the semester in which you would like to join
  5. Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison – Rolling
  6. Rochester Institute of Technology – Rolling