Do Grades And Institution Matter If You Want To Apply Abroad?

Do Grades And Institution Matter If You Want To Apply Abroad?

When you apply to study abroad, Do your grades and institution matter? If yes, to what extent?

“I have bad grades. I can’t study abroad.”

“I wish I would have focused in class. I would have certainly done better.”

“My situations just did not allow me to focus properly, but now, how can I study abroad?”

These are some of the things we hear from someone who wants to study abroad but doesn’t like their grades. Let us clear the air around this.

We work hard during our academic years to pass the tests and possibly get good grades and get into reputed institutions. It becomes vital for us to take admissions into reputed institutions to secure our future. 

As a matter of fact, everyone in India wants to pursue their engineering and MBA from IIT’s and IIM’s. 

Perhaps we all have heard people say, “Once you get in there, it is all set”, and of course, you might have seen students proud after clearing their entrance examinations. 


It is because of the credibility and reputation these institutions have established. How do you get into these institutions?  

You need to have at least 75% marks and also clear the entrance examination. Pretty hard. Isn’t it?

If this is the level of competition alone in India, Imagine how much grades and institution matter if you want to apply abroad?

This is not meant to discourage or demotivate you. You can study abroad if you are willing to.

An Example

Let us take two scenarios.

One, A, has graduated from a decent university with average grades but wants to study abroad. Two, B, who graduated from a reputed university with good grades, also intends to apply overseas? Who do you think admission officers might prefer? 

Without a doubt, B. 

To say grades are solely important would be wrong, and to say grades are not necessary would be wrong. 

Grades have importance but to some extent. 

But, there is still one question: Will A be able to study abroad?

Absolutely. If he is passionate about it.

Various factors influence a student’s admission, Grades being one of them.

A realises that he should make up for the average grades to get into his dream university. 

But how? What should he do? 

He then decides to connect with foreignadmits and seek guidance. Why foreignadmits? A knows that mentors and counsellors who themselves have experienced this and are experts in such matters. They understand the students’ perspective and guide them throughout the journey.

If you are struggling with such questions and problems, an educational consultant is of much help, who will guide you from the start to the end.  

Do Grades Solely Matter For The Application To Get Accepted?

In short, No.

Some students have excellent grades and are still rejected. The impression of the overall application is what matters, and grades are just one part of it.

Do Grades And Institution Matter If You Want To Apply Abroad?

Yes, but to some extent.

What To Do If You Have Average Grades?

Firstly, what is the average grade? On a scale of 0 to 4 (GPA), anything below three is considered moderate. You need not worry if you have middle grades. Here are some things you can do to uplift the overall impression of your application.

  • Work experience: yes, if you have a fair amount of work experience, that will be helpful and beneficial to you for your application process.
  • Entrance examinations: Score very well in your entrance examinations ( GRE, GMAT, IELTS, TOEFL… etc.). This will provide the admission officer with an impression that you are indeed a hard-working person. High scores in these tests can compensate for your low grades. 
  • SOP, LOR and essays: These can drastically influence your admission probability. A striking SOP, LOR and essays is always recommended.
  • Extracurricular activities: Apart from your academics, your extracurricular activities also help determine your application acceptability.  
  • Volunteering: This particular aspect will add value to your study abroad application.
  • Show the admission officers your interest in the program you are applying for.
  • Show off any projects, events or research papers you have worked on.  
  • Pathway programs: If you are willing to join a pathway program, that might be helpful. Pathway programs assist students who need additional preparation to get admission to a degree program at a University.
What To Do If You Are Still In College But Want To Apply Abroad After Completion?

The necessary things to keep in mind are : 

  • Focus on your grades. You know, they are essential.
  • Find your career path by consulting trusted mentors.
  • Join Internships.
  • Volunteer.
  • Participate in workshops, events and anything essential to inculcate qualities of teamwork and leadership.
  • Give importance to Extra-Curricular and Co-Curricular activities.
When Should You Not Worry About Your Grades?
  • If you are applying for language courses abroad, there is usually no need to worry about your grades. The institutions providing language courses provide admission irrespective of the educational background. 
  • If you apply to a community college, grades should not be the prime reason to worry as community colleges have open admission criteria.

How To Overcome Exam Phobia

To sum it up all, the admission officers are looking for students who can add value to their institution and benefit from their course. The whole application process is a way for them to pick students who are genuinely and passionately willing to study and provide value to the program. If you can reflect this in your application process, then there is an excellent chance for your application to get accepted.


Grades are important but to some extent. There might be various reasons one might score fewer grades, but you cannot allow it to hinder your future progress. If you are willing to study abroad, then you can make it. It might not happen instantly, but you will know you are on the right path with the proper guidance and counselling. After all, why are we here?