Masters and Doctorate, what to do to pass the selection

A master’s and doctoral degree can be important for anyone seeking financial stability and professional achievement. But, for that reason, the selections are usually competed. Here are some tips for getting into the postgraduate degree you both want.

First of all, it is important to clarify: Masters and doctorates are traditionally courses to conduct research, develop theory and prepare teachers. But there is also the professional master’s degree, which emerged as an attempt to combine academic masters with the more practical and immediate needs of the job market.

Regardless of your training area during your undergraduate degree, research hard on the masters and doctoral programs that interest you most. It is useful to search the program site and read the material, paying special attention to the lines of research, which helps identify which one of your work fits best.

It seems obvious, but an important step to entering a master’s and doctorate is also to know the work of the teachers well. Take a look at teachers’ Lattes curricula and try reading some of their articles. In addition, compare the grades of each program according to the area evaluation of the Coordination of Improvement of Higher Level Personnel (Capes, the body that oversees this type of training).

How does the selection process for masters and PhDs work?

The selective processes for masters and doctorates vary from institution to institution. All details will be in the edict, so read the document carefully and note important information such as dates, documents and phases of the selection process. If this year’s call for proposals is not yet available, use the previous year’s reference.

Despite the differences, it is possible to identify some points common to most graduate programs. In general, the processes are composed of up to three phases: one or more written tests, documentary analysis and interview with the candidates.

In the first, the competitor undergoes a test in which it must obtain minimum score – besides a good placement – to be selected for the next phase. In the second stage, you should send several documents, such as the curriculum, the pre-project, the school history, among others.

The documents will be analyzed and the selected candidate will be invited to a faculty group. The last phase consists of a Saturday in which the candidates answer questions about the relevance of the theme chosen, the dedication they want to offer to the program, among others.

Written exam time

Before taking the written test, it is imperative to read the recommended bibliography and answer the questions carefully. Most programs also require proof of proficiency in a foreign language, usually English. If you do not have language proficiency, it is worth investing in a good instrumental English course, since the second language will be useful not only in the selection, but also during the course.

Remember that the proposal of the written test is to separate the most capable candidates from the rest of the interested parties. It is a knockout stage and getting a good grade does not guarantee the place, but rather that the selectors will read your work.

Preparing the pre-project

The most important document in a graduate selection is your project or pre-project, since it explains what you intend to do during the study years. It indicates what their interests are, their theoretical baggage and the ability to formulate problems and solve them and should be appropriate to the lines of research and, if possible, to some advisor.

The most difficult thing is to formulate a research problem. The question must condense premises and hypotheses, so it is something that requires time, reading and observation of the object. Do not forget to follow ABNT standards at the time of writing.

To do a good research project, it is always interesting to talk to other post-graduate students, especially if they research in your area of ​​interest. They will be able to give opinions and critiques about the project, to verify that their idea is clear enough and if the theme is original. This is a good way to improve the project before it is evaluated by the graduate program.

Every candidate for a Masters or PhD candidate must have an academic curriculum on the Lattes platform. Just like in professional curricula, make sure you do not make mistakes in Portuguese, list all information about your academic history, such as courses, specializations, publications, articles and research. Avoid being informal in the presentation text.

About the interview

The professors of the masters and doctoral courses generally want to know if the selected candidates will be able to finish the dissertation or thesis within the period stipulated by Capes. That is why it is important to be safe and credible during the interview.

They may ask if you will be able to reconcile work and family with your studies, if you wish to pursue your master’s and doctorate even without scholarship assistance, and in the case of private universities, tuition may be paid during the course.

Questions about the research proposal are also common at the time of the interview. The goal is to discover the candidate’s familiarity with theory and especially with methodology. Interviewers want to know if you know how the master’s and doctoral program you want to join works. Therefore, they will ask you to describe the steps you intend to take and how exactly you intend to achieve the objectives you have set for them and respond to the research problem.

It is good to be prepared to explain all of this, although research may change over the masters or doctorate. Interviewers may also ask if you would like to make changes to the project. In that case, show your detachment to your project, because, as you study, you will make corrections voluntarily. Some people even change the focus and the theme of the research.

Some selective processes require students to go through interviews or oral defenses of their research projects. To avoid getting upset by nervousness, get ready in advance, with the help of friends, for the most common questions about your project and line of research. Be ready to answer questions about your academic background and future dedication to your studies.

Did not pass?

If you did not get approved the first time, do not worry. It is possible to apply again in a next call for proposals and to use previous experience to increase the chances of passing the master’s and doctorate of dreams.

Scanning and Skimming: Instrumental English Reading Strategies

Scanning and Skimming are Instrumental English reading techniques. A reading technique is a strategy to help translate texts into English faster. To use the techniques, you need to know what the intention is when reading the text and knowing the type of content to be read.

When you tap your eye on the text for specific information, then the proper technique is scanning. Already for the moments in which the text has already been read, the reader needs to explore it once more and make a magazine for the words, so the technique to use is skimming.

We analyze two reading strategies: Scanning and Skimming that are part of this method so that you better understand each one of them. Check out!

What is Scanning and Skimming?


Skimming consists of watching the text quickly only to detect the subject’s overall subject without worrying about the details. To do so, it is necessary to pay attention to the layout of the text, title, sub-title, cognates, first and / or last lines of each paragraph, as well as non-verbal information (figures, graphs and tables). In the academic context, the skimming technique is widely used in the selection of bibliographic material for research work.


Scanning is a reading technique that consists of quickly scanning the text until you find the specific information you want. Scanning is a routine practice in people’s lives. Some typical examples are the use of the dictionary to obtain information about the meaning of words or the use of the index of a book to find an article or chapter of interest. This technique does not require complete reading or detail of the text.

Scanning is an excellent technique for solving proficiency tests in English language reading of masters and doctorates that charge interpretation of texts. Here are a few steps to apply the scanning technique to the test:

“Do not start by reading the text. Read the question first and identify the key word of the question that is most often a noun;

– If the question is written in your native language  and the institution allows the use of the dictionary, look for in it the meaning of this keyword;

– Then go to the text, quickly look through it and locate the key word of the question;

– Read only the paragraph where you found the keyword. Most of the time the answer will be in it. With this you do not have to read the whole text gaining a lot of time in the test.

English Instrumental

A specific Instrumental English course is the best study methodology for effective results in a short time.

What to choose: masters or postgraduates?

When choosing between masters or postgraduates there is much to ponder and the decision is not simple. However, this type of training can give a boost to the career!

Master’s or post-graduate, here’s the question! If you are undecided about which option to choose, know that we understand your doubts well because there is much to ponder or write my essay now . From the supply in the market, to the time you have to dedicate, to the return you will get and the financial and personal investment needed for each one of them, is not even a simple decision.

Whether you are studying, working or unemployed, investing in your training is the best thing you can do for your present and future. One thing is certain, with a master’s or post-graduate degree in the portfolio, more doors are going to open here or out there.


Post-graduation can be considered almost as a specialization, perfect for deepening a specific area of knowledge. They are usually more focused on developing certain skills. Unlike the master’s degree, the postgraduate degree does not confer an academic degree and can take from three months to a year, depending on the educational institution.

The master’s degree normally takes two years and has a more academic aspect. In addition to conferring academic degree, it is a passport for those who, in the future, intends to teach or follow the research area. Master’s courses may be part of the degree, ie an integrated master’s degree or you can enroll for years after completing the degree. In both cases, the student is awarded the Master degree.


Whatever your choice, you will always need a degree or course that gives the same degree, to enroll in a master’s or post-graduate degree.


Prices vary according to the institution and can be influenced by the reputation, location and course you choose, but the values start at € 1000. However, it is not certain that the cost of a postgraduate degree will be less than a master’s degree. In fact, taking the example of the University of Coimbra and Porto, in the former, the value of a postgraduate degree is higher than that of a master’s degree in Porto.


If you just want to upgrade your knowledge from a professional perspective, you feel that you need to deepen your knowledge in a specific area or get a particular competency, postgraduate is probably the best option. From the personal and academic point of view it will require less of itself – just the fact that it does not have to study and research to elaborate a thesis already simplifies. Especially when it comes to areas such as digital marketing, information management, knowledge organization, databases, multimedia, etc.

On the other hand, if you seek to acquire knowledge to apply them in the analysis, definition and solution of projects, the best option is to choose the Master. But how does this differ from graduate school? The goal of a master’s thesis is specifically to take what you have learned in the curricular phase, to relax, question and apply forms of research, selection and comparison that will culminate in a correct and concrete solution. If it is your intention to follow the area of research or higher education, this is the first step to take, followed by the PhD.


Schools, human resources companies and the current market encourage students to take a postgraduate or masters degree. However, after graduating with no professional experience, the masters area you choose at the moment may not be the right one for your future. The ideal would be to advance to the Masters after a few years in the labor market to realize which area you most love or need to acquire more skills.