Sub-700 GMAT Score – What are your chances at ISB?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2014

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“Do I need a 700 GMAT score for ISB?”

This is a question we are asked almost on a weekly basis. And if the person asking the question has an average Indian IT Male profile, our answer has so far been a regretful ‘Yes’.

For the class of 2015 at ISB, GMAT score is 711 on average and the mid-80% of the ISB class had scores ranging from 680 to 750. So it stands to reason that someone with a very average profile must aim to beat this average GMAT score for ISB.

Though ISB has been saying for years that diversity is a key factor in their admission decision, some CrackVerbal students with very good profiles but a less-than 700 GMAT score have been dinged in previous years without even an interview call. Some of them had strong international experience, stellar work experience at a startup, and so on.

Though dinged at ISB, they did manage to get admits to other internationally ranked schools (INSEAD, Rotman etc. among them.) So, despite the rare exception, the 35+ students we’ve sent to ISB in the last two years mostly have 700+ GMAT scores.

However, this year, we are observing a welcome trend shift at ISB.

Of the many students we helped with their ISB applications in Round 1, quite a few with strong essays but a less-than-average GMAT score for ISB (<700) have received interview calls.


Some such profiles include:

Female, Civil engineer, 5 years experience, GMAT 640

Male, Media sales professional, 10+ years experience, GMAT 650

Male, Research analyst, 4 years experience, GMAT 660

Male, Software engineer, 7 years experience, GMAT 680

Male, Software engineer, 5 years experience, GMAT 690, Re-applicant

Having worked closely with these students to craft their application essays, we know for a fact that despite their non-unique profiles and average GMAT score for ISB, they had really strong, interesting stories to tell. And that really seems to be the clincher for the interview invite.

A webinar conducted by ISB on September 30th interestingly featured an alumnus from the class of 2014 who got into ISB despite a 610 on the GMAT. And if you look closely at what ISB’s admission emails and updates this year say, there is a distinct emphasis on “application essays” and “profile” and not so much on the GMAT score.

Based on these trends and a few conversations with admission team members, we suspect a radical shift in the ISB admission committee’s focus this year while short-listing candidates for interview – those with strong stories but an average GMAT score (between 600 and 700) are being seriously considered for admission. So the average GMAT score for ISB this year may be less than you think!

So, those of you planning to apply to ISB in Round 2, don’t let your sub-700 GMAT score stop you – go ahead and apply! Just make sure that your essays are able to convince the ISB admissions committee that you are someone interesting and full of potential. You have strong chances of being interviewed at ISB.

Our analysis of this year’s ISB essays along with tips & advice is HERE – check it out for an additional advantage.

Wondering if you can get into ISB this year? Let us help you!

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