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difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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naveen19 Offline
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difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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HI....
i thought this kind of thred is missing,,which compares MS(germany) vs Mtech ,MS(india)

as we know that education system varies from country to country,,
Indian education system have either GPA scale of 1-10 or percentage system of 1-100%,,but germany has 1-5 or 1-6 scale rating with 1 being the least

a few questions
1.how difficult is it to complete successfully an ms degree in germany compared to that of indian counterparts?

2.how are the examination systems (although it varies from univ to univ)

3.how difficult is it to score ?


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08-22-2014 04:04 PM
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RE: difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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anuragm
08-22-2014 05:46 PM
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Post: #3
RE: difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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I have no clue about the programs and their levels in Germany. I am sorry. Wait for others to comment.

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08-22-2014 11:00 PM
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RE: difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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Having never studied in India for a masters degree, I could never tell you what it's like. Going by my fellow dual degree students at IIT Bombay, I guess it wasn't much different - the only difference being that you had to work harder for your thesis. Things at IISc are a little different or so I have been told. I think you should read this answer on quora. You could find many more such answers if you search on quora.

As you have confessed yourself, it is very difficult to compare the two things. In addition, I do think it is unfair to do on parameters that are not well defined (level of difficulty, difficulty of scoring, etc). So I will not indulge in any of that. I can answer your questions in plain English, though.

Before I begin, a correction. In Germany the grade scale, indeed, goes from 1-5. 5 is fail, and 1 is the highest possible grade. So the scale goes from highest grade to lowest as:
1.0, 1.3, 1.7, 2.0, 2.3, 2.7, 3.0, 3.3, 3.7, 4.0 (passing grade), 5.0

Now that the grading system is clear, let me try to answer your questions.

1. This is a very difficult question to answer because it is subjective. If you switch to a interdisciplinary program or change your area of specialization, things will be expected to be difficult. Then, there are some "Elite Masters Programs" that burden you with some additional credits (on top of the required 120). One strong difference I have noticed is that there is no rigid course structure. You can complete your courses (and as a result, your degree) according to your convenience. This is a big advantage as I felt that the system in India (especially, IITs) was very rigid and time-bound. There is always undue pressure on you to complete things in a limited time, and a stigma with attached not following this set time boundary.

2. I find the examinations here to be easier than the ones I had at IIT. The emphasis is certainly not on rote learning, but the exams are not very difficult in general. Some open book exams may be a little tougher, but that is always the case.

3. Consequently, it is not difficult to score a decent grade. It is understandably a difficult task to score straight 1.0s, but a grade in the range 1.7-2.7 is certainly manageable without straining yourself too much. Btw, this also depends on the examiner/professor and your class composition.

PS: Considering the subjectiveness of this question, I am not sure how helpful my answer is. I invite others to pen in their experiences as well, including you Rogue. I don't think a blanket comparison should be the point of this thread. Rather, this should serve as some useful information for all EU MS aspirants. And also for people like me who have little idea about other countries. Smile

(This post was last modified: 08-24-2014 01:25 PM by anuragm.)
08-24-2014 01:21 PM
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RE: difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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Now that I have successfully completed (survived and passed all courses) my first academic year out here in the Netherlands at TU Delft, I will probably share my academic experience here. I am not sure how accurately I can compare it to the Masters in India. So, I will just talk about how the system works in the Netherlands.

To begin with, the grading system in Netherlands is on a scale of 1-10 with increments of 0.5 in your final grade for a course. The minimum grade needed to pass a course is 6 and <=5 is considered to be a fail. A grade between 5 and 6 is usually not given because that is rounded off to a 5 and considered to be fail. Getting a 9 or a 10 in the courses is difficult. Professors usually don't give such high grades. There is an Honours program system here wherein you have to complete 20 ECTS beyond the 120 ECTS of your regular Masters. Not all students get to pursue the Honours program. Only students with a GPA of >=7.5 in their first semester (Q1 and Q2) are nominated by the Program co-ordinator to pursue the Honours. To be eligible for the Honours certificate at the end of the program the student needs to maintain a 7.5 overall.

Having said that, I'll answer the questions one by one now.
Quote:1.how difficult is it to complete successfully an ms degree in Netherlands compared to that of indian counterparts?
It is difficult but not impossible. The Masters program is for 2 years but in certain departments like Aerospace Engineering, it has been the case where people complete their programs in 30 months instead of the regular 24 months. 30 is average in the aero department. In programs like SET, people have completed their programs in 18 months also (when internship is waived off, it is possible to do so for Chemical Engineering also, provided thesis is completed within the stipulated time period of 7-8 months). The component that actually stretches the duration of your Masters here is your Master thesis (Eindproject). In most departments, the stipulated time is 1 year except in ChemE where we have to do it within 7-8 months. However, if you are publishing papers, this may extend by 3-4 months thus extending your Masters program. The curriculum however is pretty intense since we follow a quarter system of 10 weeks each and on an average one needs to complete 15 ECTS per quarter. The Dutch govt. has a requirement wherein you need to complete atleast 48 ECTS by the end of the first academic year to be able to continue studying on your RP. With such regulations, the stress ofcourse is quite a lot to be able to finish 15 ECTS within a span of 10 weeks. Imagine completing 5 courses in 10 weeks with hell lot of assignments to be submitted every weekend and atleast 2 exams per course. Can really make you go crazy IMO!!

Quote:2.how are the examination systems?
3. how difficult it is to score?
Here, mandatory courses have to have exams while it is not necessary to keep exams for the elective courses. So some electives have only assignments, either computational or theoretical (where you need to submit papers and give presentations etc.), some have exams plus assignments. The obligatory courses have weekly assignments/tests and two exams atleast. It is difficult to pass exams without attending classes and exercise hours. Even if you do attend classes sincerely, it is still not a guarantee that you will pass the exams. There are courses where people do not pass even after 2 attempts. But, the positive point is that you can take as many resits as possible to pass the course or get a higher grade in the course.
The exams differ from course to course ofcourse. There are a lot of courses with open book or open sheet exam. In the latter you are only allowed to carry a sheet with formulae and imp concepts written in it that you can use for your exam. Open book/sheet exams are usually very tough to score in. Some exams can be multiple choice in which case either rote learning can work or it would be absolutely application oriented in which case, if the answer clicks at that point, then you can score, if not, God help you! Most of the exams are subjective with a mix of conceptual and numerical questions all of which are application based. The professors suggest that the best way to prepare for an exam apart from attending classes is to study each and every line of your text book and go through the papers from the previous years, which works actually. There are some exams where you will be given a research paper to study 3-4 days before the exam and based on whatever you have learnt in class, you need to apply to the paper and answer questions based on the same. That gets way too tough especially if the research paper is such that it is difficult to comprehend and figure out.
Overall the exams are difficult to pass in the first attempt despite working through the course very sincerely. Getting a 9 or 10 is beyond reach. Professors are usually impressed with your performance if you have anything >=7 in your exams.

I hope this gives a good perspective of the education system in the Netherlands.

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08-24-2014 08:27 PM
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Post: #6
RE: difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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Rogue
Hi rogue...u have given a nice detailed explanation....but i wanted to know about difficulty level of university of twente as compared to TU Delft...as utwente is one of only 3 TU's in Netherlands u may have heard about that college from ur colleagues.Also can u tell us how is the reputation of utwente in industry there?


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(This post was last modified: 08-11-2015 01:45 AM by masterspassion.)
08-11-2015 01:35 AM
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RE: difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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I am not sure what you mean when you say UTwente is one of only 3TU's in Netherlands....As far as I know there are 3 TU's in the 3TU federation in NLD, TU Delft, TU Eindhoven and UTwente.

The Dutch education system is what I have explained up there and it applies the same way to all the univesities in the NLD whether it is 3TU or not. So, refer to my previous post for the answer that you are looking for. The difficulty level is roughly the same in all the universities with some regulations that might be internally different such as Honours regulations.

UTwente has pretty good industry connections from what I had read but unfortunately I do not know anybody pursuing their Masters in UTwente to be able to comment on the same. Also, it differs from faculty to faculty also. The best option is to email a current Master student there (you can find their email IDs in the webpages of research groups under the People's tab) and ask them all your questions.

Hope this helps.

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08-11-2015 02:22 AM
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RE: difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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Well, it's good that someone started this thread. To mention, every university has different course load, and hence, the difficulty and amount of pressure varies from university to university. Anugram has very well explained the grading system in the Germany. One different thing that I noticed in Germany is that for some courses, there are oral exams. I am not sure if there are oral exams for MTech/MS in India or not.

The curriculum in most of the universities is quite flexible. For eg, my course and a couple of other courses in my university are fully flexible. You get to choose what you want to study and in which semester. Also, there are courses with no or little flexibility, as the curriculum would be well designed by the university. I guess Masters courses in India lack this flexibility. Again, not completely sure. There is no real time bound to complete your study in Germany. Most of the courses take 5 semesters, even though they are designed for 4 semesters. And some courses take even more. You can try to finish it early, or late, it's totally upto you and it does not hamper in any way if you take more time to complete. I have also seen (at least in my university) that failing an exam is not really a big deal. But there is an important point to note here that, one gets only 3 chances to pass a particular exam. If one fails for 3 times in some particular course, then they may rusticate you from the university, and you are not allowed to come to Germany again for studies. Also, there is most of the times an oral interview/exam kind of thing after the 3rd failed attempt, in which the professor can pass you.

Having said all of this, I would like to comment on your queries. These comments are based on my personal experience of my university and what I have heard from my friends studying in other universities.

1. There are some really tough courses, especially in TUs, which go very deep into the subject. The exam can get pretty difficult. But in general, the course is pretty manageable, if not easy. One difference which troubles me a lot, is that my course has subjects worth of only 4 credit points, where as most of the other universities have courses worth 5-6 credits. This makes us to take more number of subjects than others, and hence it leads to long course of around 5 semesters or so.

2. As I explained, exams can be oral or written, depending upon the number of students enrolled for the subject. Also, there are no mid semester exams or anything like that. There is just one final exam at the end of the semester, which decides your grade. Also, there are some courses to be performed which are ungraded, in which you just have to pass, at least in my university.

3. Oral exams are considered kind of easy to score, than written exams. Because you get to talk and convince your professor how much you know in the subject. It has happened in my experience, that the teacher assistants of some courses are not really experts in English. Hence, they tend to directly cut marks if the answer is not in same/similar words as they expect. If you have explained it some other fashion, you may not get marks. But again, after the papers are corrected, you get to see your corrected answer sheet, and you contest their correction.

In general, scoring is not really easy in my course in my university. The case is different for different universities. But the course should be pretty manageable, unless someone deliberately screws up or ends up taking subjects which one did not want in the first place.

08-11-2015 03:15 AM
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RE: difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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How many hours lectures happen at your university daily/weekly?And are all lectures mandatory?
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08-11-2015 10:19 PM
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(08-11-2015 10:19 PM)masterspassion Wrote:  How many hours lectures happen at your university daily/weekly?And are all lectures mandatory?
@[Rogue]
@[pranav65]
@[anuragm]

At RWTH, lectures are like 1.5-2.5 hours / week. This also includes an exercise session, where in the teacher assistant help you solve the problems related to the concepts, as the professor only teaches you concept. No lecture is mandatory, except language classes and laboratory sessions. You can attend the lectures or not, it's your wish, there is no attendance. Only in laboratory and language classes you have attendance.

08-12-2015 02:17 AM
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RE: difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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Sounds about right.

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RE: difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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Attendance is not compulsory but if you don't attend you will have difficulties clearing the exams.

The lecture hours varies as per courses. 6 ECTS courses usually have about 4-8 lecture hours in a week (including tutorial sessions). 3 ECTS courses have 4 lecture hours (including exercise and tutorial sessions)

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RE: difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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Is it 1.5-2.5 hours/week per course?because it sounds too less to me?Do all German colleges have so less amount of lectures?
Bcos if we calculate from Rogue's info we get 25 hours/week lectures at TU delft which sounds okay but at RWTH only 1.5-2.5 hours/week? d'oh!

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08-16-2015 08:28 PM
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RE: difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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(08-16-2015 08:28 PM)masterspassion Wrote:  Is it 1.5-2.5 hours/week per course?because it sounds too less to me?Do all German colleges have so less amount of lectures?
Bcos if we calculate from Rogue's info we get 25 hours/week lectures at TU delft which sounds okay but at RWTH only 1.5-2.5 hours/week? d'oh!

@[pranav65]

My course, ie Communication Engg, has each subject worth 4 ECTS points. We have a lecture of 90 minutes, ie 1.5 hrs, and a 45-60 mins exercise/tutorial session. So in all, it becomes 2.5 or sometimes 3 hrs per week per subject. If you take a laboratory course (also 4 ECTS), then it will also be 3 hrs/week. This is for my course, and also for a few other courses in which my friends study.

Rogue says that in her university 3 ECTS subjects have 4 lecture hours. I think normally one lecture hour is 45 minutes, which converts 4 lecture hours to 3 hours. I may be wrong. I think she can clarify what she meant by lecture hours.

08-16-2015 09:46 PM
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RE: difficulty level of master of science programs (germany)compared to india
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I am talking about OvGU Magdeburg - CEE program. There were some compulsory courses worth 5 ECTS each and some electives worth 3-4 ECTS each. For each of these courses, about 4 hours/week of lecture and tutorial time was allotted. Again, ECTS is just an indicator and a lot also depends on the instructor and course content. As pranav65 mentioned, 4 lecture hours would correspond to 3 hours of actual teaching/tutorials per course per week.

On a typical day, you have 4 lectures. This means you spend ~6-8 hours in the University every day. As a rule of thumb, you are supposed to spend about the same amount of time outside of class studying on your own. This does not leave you with a lot of spare time on your hands.

08-17-2015 03:41 PM
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