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What GMAT score should I get for an admission into ISB?

Embarking on your journey to ISB, you start preparing for the first hurdle – the GMAT. The GMAT, testing nuances of quantitative aptitude & verbal ability (along with your power to reason and articulate your thoughts well) has been a nightmare for a lot of test takers. While many do well & achieve their target scores, many others achieve a sub-optimal score. Then comes the million dollar question – Is my GMAT score good enough? What are my chances of getting into ISB with this score? Should I retake the GMAT? Or the recent one, Should I go for the GRE instead? Of late, we have been receiving a plethora of requests looking for answers to the questions above. Hence, we thought of putting it to rest.

As you would know, ISB (or any other top B-school) would look at your profile holistically. It would weight your academics, extra-curricular achievements and work experience to understand you as a person and what you can bring to the class. Hence, we try to understand what an ideal score would be by looking at the level of work experience and extra-curricular achievements. While work experience can be quantified in number of years, extra-curricular achievements are more subjective in nature. However, you know if you have high extra-curricular achievements or not, don’t you?

In the 2x2 matrix below, we give indicative ranges of a good GMAT score for your profile.

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So, if you are someone with 3-4 years of experience and decent extra-curricular achievements, 700 to 720 on the GMAT would suffice. However, you would need to go beyond 720 if your extra-curricular achievements are not that solid.  Understand that the lower the work experience, the higher the GMAT score you should target. Hence, if you are a YLP or an Early Entry (EEO) candidate, you should aim for a 720+ on the GMAT.

On the other hand, higher the experience, lower is the GMAT score required. Hence, with more than average work experience and stellar extra-curricular achievements (sports, dance, theatre, mountaineering, volunteering etc.) you would be fine applying even with a 600 to 650 score. However, lack of extra-curriculars would have to be compensated by a higher GMAT score (650 – 700), even if you come with more than average work experience. We haven’t mentioned the below 600 range as the minimum GMAT score for recent ISB classes has been around 600. However, if you have a stellar profile, even a sub-600 score would as there is no “cut-off” score for getting into ISB.

Note that here we are talking of extra-curricular achievements and not mere participation. Similarly, we assume that your achievements at work are at least commensurate with an average career progression for the tenure mentioned. You would have noticed that we did not mention the third pillar, i.e. academics. That’s because we assume your academics to be in line with your abilities as tested by the GMAT. Again, the more experience you have, the lesser is the importance of your academic scores.

Before we conclude, some points we would like to make:

  • As with any test score – the higher your GMAT score, the better.
  • The score ranges mentioned above are general guidelines and thus indicative. As every profile is unique, your chances of getting in would depend on your case.

Ensure that you are ready to take the GMAT before you book your slot. To find out if you are really ready or not, our blog post here might help: http://strategy4gmat.com/blog%20dtl.php?bheading=When%20are%20you%20really%20ready%20to%20take%20the%20GMAT

So, go ahead, prepare well, aim high and achieve your highest score possible. However, even if you are not able to do that, but still lie in the ranges above, you would have strong chances of getting into ISB.

Need help formulating your strategy for the GMAT?  visit www.strategy4gmat.com/gmat-strategy.html

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