Studying abroad has been gaining tremendous mileage in the recent past. A recent study named the ‘Indian Students Mobility Report 2015: Latest Trends from India and globally’ by MM Advisory states that India has surpassed China when it comes to the growth rate of students studying in foreign universities. 3,00,000 students from India have flown abroad for higher studies last year which shows a 10% rise in the trend. The better prospects and world-class exposure that foreign universities offer, encourage bright and talented students from India to clear the competitive exams that can help them get admission into the leading colleges abroad. Students usually start thinking of studying abroad after completing their graduation. This is the time when they have to face the dilemma of which is the right medium to get admission to a good college abroad that can help them build a promising career for themselves. GATE and GRE are the two popular exams that are considered as the gateways to foreign universities, but students are often confounded as to which of these two exams they should opt for. While the GATE score is also applicable for admission into the top engineering colleges in India, GRE is only restricted to getting entry into engineering colleges abroad.  Let’s take a bird’s eye view on all the aspects of both GRE and GATE which will help clear the commonly faced doubts of students.  

A brief overview of GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) :

The GATE exam takes into account the subjects that one studies during graduation i.e. B.E. or B.Tech. It is the ticket to get admission in M.Tech in Indian universities and its score is  accepted in countries like Singapore and Germany. Students can pursue even M.E, M.S and PhD after clearing the GATE exam. The exam makes them eligible to earn a stipend of Rs 12400/- in India every month. It is an online exam and comprises MCQ and numerical answers and the syllabus covers all the engineering subjects, verbal and quantitative. Also, the cost of education after clearing GATE is less than 10 lakhs INR and Master’s Education is provided for free in Germany on the basis of the GATE score. Students can avail loan for financing their education after nailing the GATE exam. Another advantage for Indians who prefer to appear for GATE is that English doesn’t hold much importance when it comes to scoring well in GATE. The main advantage that GATE offers students is the scholarship support and the opportunity to study in the top engineering colleges of the world. The challenge arises when students complete their Master’s degree at the time of placements, and have to simultaneously compete with the top engineering brains. Another disadvantage lies in the fact that, because of intense competition, some of the candidates get eliminated before the selection process so as to finish the placement procedure in time. As there are many students, CGP or percentage is taken as the shortlisting criteria that further makes talented students who had the bad luck to overlook the relevance of their scores lose out on the opportunity.  

What comprises GRE (Graduate Record Examination):

GRE also gives importance to the English language skills of candidates besides gauging them on other subjects. The GRE score is accepted mainly in the U.S. After acing the exam, students can go for M.S and PhD. As far as the stipend is concerned, unlike GATE, the stipend is not mandatory as it depends on the funding of the lab or project. The online exam comprises MCQs and the syllabus includes verbal, quantitative and analytical writing. The cost of education after one clears GRE lies between Rs 25 Lakhs to 45 Lakhs. Students can also take loans for pursuing their Master’s degree after GRE. The most daunting challenge it holds for students is that it’s extremely important for them to have proficiency in English in order to crack GRE. Also, after clearing the exam, students have to run from pillar to post as the admission procedure is quite cumbersome.  

Reviewing the Pros & Cons of the two exams & why choose one over the other:

GATE is easier to crack after graduation, as the exam is totally based on the subjects one studied in the 4 years of engineering. Hence, even average students, by putting little effort, can sail through the exam. After cracking GATE, students can also apply for PSU jobs. Also, GATE is the best option if students wish to study in the prestigious IITs and don’t desire going abroad to study. The most common barrier they face is after completing their Master’s degree, they have to compete with lakhs of engineers for landing a decent job. Students whose parents have the spending power to back them, can opt for GRE after getting their Bachelor’s degree. Studying abroad in countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada is the dream of many students, but it is expensive as well. For giving GRE, students have to join tuitions to prepare for IELTS i.e. International English Language Testing System and TOEFL. Most of the Indian students are bright when it comes to the core engineering subjects, English being the only dreaded area they don’t have a strong hold on. For studying abroad, it’s crucial for them to clear such exams which means they have to go for tuitions, thus adding to the total training expenditure. Students who don’t have budgetary issues and are passionate about doing a Master’s degree abroad can go for GRE. If they are able to get scholarship for the same that too in a good college, then GRE is the best choice. In a nutshell, it can be concluded that both GATE and GRE have their own merits and demerits. If GATE is the ideal choice for those who wish to study in the IITs, then GRE is apt for students who want to pursue their Master’s abroad. The former is pocket-friendly and in spite of studying in India, students get a chance to go abroad while studying itself. GRE entails admission hassles which students have to overcome before they can realise their dream of studying abroad. Whether it be GATE or GRE, what matters the most is hard work, dedication and perseverance, as ultimately what’s important is a successful career, be it in India or any foreign country. And for a positive career graph, students have to be consistent in their efforts and make wise decisions by considering the pros and cons of both the exams and then zero in on the appropriate option.
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