Choose a country
If your CGPA is 3.7 and above, it becomes really easy to choose a country. Australia, Canada only needs high GPA and you won’t even need GRE most of the times. But you will need a score of 6.5 and above in IELTS. If your CGPA is lower, USA is the best bet.
This can be really stressful to choose between MS/ Ph.D. Not everyone is up for dedicating their life to research but its hard to get a fund with MS.
IELTS can be taken for any countries. People tend to take TOEFL when it comes to the USA. But IELTS or TOEFL both works for the USA. Preparing for a language test is way easier than preparing for graduate exams like GRE. So, I always recommend taking IELTS after taking GRE.
GRE is frightening. I remember I used to almost shiver at the thought of taking an exam that is 4 hours long and costs around $250. But preparation can get rid of the fear. And GRE will compensate for a low CGPA. You can get into one of the top universities with a very high GRE score (even if you have a low CGPA)
Choose a University
Choosing a university can be a lot of work. But I will be making this process really easy for you. Next month I will be coming up with an app that will help you choose a university according to CGPA, GRE, and IELTS/TOEFL score.
Start emailing Professors
Choose professors from your chosen university department and start applying. Read my article http://life-as-an-international.com/2018/02/17/how-i-got-333-replies-back-from-professors/ to get ideas for this step
Start your Application
If you get a positive reply from a professor, start your application. I always recommend applying to at least 5 universities. 3 medium profiles, 1 high profile and 1 low profile universities. Again my app will help you choose universities according to your profile
Applying for RA/TA/PA
Sometimes university application automatically considers you for a Graduate assistantship (Research assistantship, Teaching assistantship or project assistantship). But sometimes you have to fill other applications to be considered for that assistantship. Email Grad coordinator for questions like that