There is plenty of confusion regarding the students who are not able to achieve 80% of marks or are not in the top 20 in their class. Students are scrutinized based on the CGPA.
The answer is NO !
80% above GPA play an important role but those are not the only factors that determine the selection.
What I have noticed is that people who have not achieved above 80% in their major or have not done research work still get to study in Korea and mark theirs from the limited seats available.
In that case what would you do if your GPA is not above 80% ?
There are several factors which involve deciding what increases the chance of getting selected for students.
The top factors maybe the following :
This might sound really weird and absurd for Indian students since voluntary work is not highly regarded in India but it is not the case in Korea. You can secure a plus point that might get your application selected. Taking part in volunteering and other activities increases the chance since the professors can easily look through your activities and keen interest in any topic.
Volunteering should not necessarily be related to your field of study also. Anything that may showcase your talent and personality would be enough to get you through the selection process.
The more voluntary work you have done could be a plus point in selection.
2) THE COUNTRY YOU'RE FROM
It's no doubt the chances of getting selected also depends on which country you're from and how many seats are available for GKS scholarship from your specific country. Since we are talking about India there are overall 22 seats for Embassy track and only a quota of 19 seats for University track for Graduation. Looking at the population it is highly competitive so the chances may actually vary depending on the seats available.
3) EXCELLENT PERSONAL STATEMENT AND SOP
The whole attention of the scrutiny is on the application form that you are submitted along with this statement of purpose and the personal statement with your own study plan. Even though you are not having required GPA in your finals. Excellent personal statement and SOP has been student's last resort.
4) RECOMMENDATION LETTER
Recommendation letters play an important role since it includes recommendation from the professors form your field of study. You are required to submit two letters which you can get even from school teachers but it's best recommended to have it written from the professors of your field since they know you best and will write in accordance with the field you've applied for studies.
[ For the people working in any company can get one recommendation letter from the manager of the company. ]
5) LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY
There's no doubt that having TOPIK level 3 or a level above could easily give you a chance over the other people because learning Korean will add 10 plus points in this selection process. Even having an IELTS score of English proficiency will help you to get that edge over other students. Even though the medium of education in most of the schools in India in English , getting a written application to the professor telling about your medium of education would be much more helpful and for the students who are from the Hindi medium are required to give the exam of IELTS.
Consider strengthening your Korean skills ?
6) EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
If you know how to play instruments, play any sports or you are a good orator. The skills have to be mentioned while writing your application which could prove to be a plus point.
The overall suggestion would be to write everything that you have. Any kind of skills or qualifications, be it language proficiency or any skills that would surely make you unique and stand out. Obviously, just being a leader of a school basketball team wouldn't let you have that seat for engineering studies. GPA above 80% still plays an important factor but that isn't the sole factor to determine the selection.
Make sure to go through the individual university's sites to check their requirements.
If you have never considered going for these above points then you should surely go for it. It is never too late than never.
Say it, write about it and let them know that you have special qualities to contribute if selected.
Thank you and all the best for your learning journey.