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The Secret behind GMAT score for ISB

Posted on July 15, 2016
GMAT score for ISB

You would agree that it is almost impossible to get anyone to answer this question:

What is the GMAT “cutoff” required for ISB?

There are varying answers:
Some people tell you not to apply with a sub-700 score.
While others tell you the story of their cousin who got in with a 640.
Worry not! In this in-depth article, you will find the answers to all your questions related to the GMAT scores required to successfully apply to ISB.
We will also look into the trend over the last 10 years, the highest & the lowest scores at ISB during this period, and also look into the mid 80% range of the students.
Take a peek into the differences in the GMAT scores at the Hyderabad campus, and the Mohali campus, and finally you will get a framework to apply to your specific profile.
We pulled out the data from the ISB website.
Some of it exists in ISB PGP class group
And for some historical data, we had to resort to some hacks (such as using wayback machine to look at the archived data).
We went all the way back to 2006 because we reckon that 10 years are about as much as you need.
Let’s get started!

1) What have been the GMAT scores at ISB?

Here is the average GMAT score at ISB over the last 10 years:

Average GMAT Score at ISB from 2006 to 2016

YearAverage GMAT score


Here are a couple of things you will notice straight away:
1) GMAT scores have 7 in the most significant bit. For the less technically inclined, what I meant was – you have scores in excess of 700 in all the 10 years πŸ™‚
2) The highest average GMAT scores for any year was 2010 with a whopping 716. The lowest average GMAT score was in 2016 with the number just at the border of 700.
Let us look at the same data from a perspective of analysing the trend. This time we are changing it to Class of 2007 and Class of 2017.
GMAT score for ISB
Let’s be honest: there is no such trend.
But if you do want to read into it – you can perhaps see a spike around 2010 but the average scores are now back to what they were in 2007.
The biggest drop was for the ISB class of 2016 for which the number dropped from 711 to 700.
Takeaway: Though the class size at ISB has been increasing (just in 2012 the class size was 574, while this year around 812 students graduated), the average GMAT scores have consistently been hovering above the 700 mark.

Okay so this is a lot of data that was thrown at you. But what does this mean for you?

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2) What GMAT score do I need for ISB?

If you are reading this article this far, it means that you are in one of the following categories:
1) You have taken the GMAT, and are not sure if your scores are enough.
2) You have not taken the GMAT, and are wondering how much would be enough.
Let us tackle the second category first.
If you have NOT taken the GMAT then go ahead and score as high as possible.
In our experience, there are fundamentally 3 things that ISB looks for:

1) Clarity of vision that shows you are a person who can get what you want.

In our opinion it is very, very important that you figure out what you want to do with your MBA degree.
If you have not seen the ISB essays for this year – then do check out the ISB essays 2016-17 now!
However, this is the part that really cannot SEPARATE you from the rest.
It is a hygiene factor: necessary but not sufficient.

2) History of excellence that tells them that you have the potential to lead.

This is stuff that cannot pretty much change.
You need to have taken interest in the world around you.
If you spent the entire summer, goofing around, watching GOT on torrent – then not much hope.

3) Pedigree that is shown through GMAT, Undergrad institute, and Employer brand.

You wish you could have studied harder in 12th to get into a better college – or have gotten a better rank.
You wish you could change your marks at college – (never knew inorganic chemistry mattered in life πŸ™‚ ).
You wish a better performance in the campus interview would’ve gotten you that dream job.
Here is the deal:
You can stop wishing.
And start studying for the GMAT!
Now, let us look at the last bit of data: the mid 80% range.
What this means is, you stack all the students in order of their GMAT scores and remove the outliers.
Outliers are the extreme cases: say someone like an astronaut-turned-monk-turned-olympic-athlete got in with a 600 πŸ™‚ (<- just kidding!).   Interestingly this data is not available for the class of 2007, and again not published after 2015.    

Mid 80% Range for Years 2007 to 2016


YearAverage GMAT score


What can we interpret from this:
– Pretty much you need to have a GMAT score above 670 if you are not an outlier. In other words, a 650 can be suicidal if your profile is average.
– Getting a score around 750-760 will put you in the top 20% – not the top 2%. In other words, it is not a big deal if you have a 760 on the GMAT.
– In general, this data also means that if you are in an over-represented demographic such as IT or Finance, then you need to make sure that you bulk up your GMAT scores.
Read how one of our students teamed his 750 GMAT score along with his profile to impress the Ad-com members at ISB.


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3) What else can we interpret about GMAT scores needed for ISB?

Let us try to see if we can get some more juice.
Good news is that we did get data for the GMAT Score range. More importantly, we got the comparison between the ISB Hyderabad GMAT scores and ISB Mohali GMAT Scores.
Bad news is that we did not get data for all years.

GMAT Range for ISB for the Class of 2007 to the Class of 2017

YearGMAT Range @ ISB Hyderabad CampusGMAT Range @ ISB Mohali Campus


– = Data was not found on the ISB website
NA = Not Applicable as the first graduating class of ISB Mohali campus was in 2016
Here are some interesting observations from this trend:

1) What is the lowest score ever at ISB?

The lowest GMAT score EVER was someone who got in 2016 at the ISB Mohali campus at 590.
Except for that pretty much the lowest score seems to be 600.
So if you have lower than 600 – don’t even think about applying to ISB

2) Is there a difference in GMAT Scores at Hyderabad & Mohali campuses?

There is almost ZERO variation in the scores for the last 2 years.
This pretty much means that there is no difference in the 2 campuses as far as GMAT Scores are concerned.

3) What is the highest score at ISB?

Let’s admit it: this is more of a voyeuristic question πŸ˜ƒ
The highest score ever at ISB has been a 780.
However, interestingly in the last few years the highest hasn’t been more than 770.

4) Can I apply to ISB with a sub-650?

As we mentioned above, with an average profile try to shoot for a higher than 650 score.
So what if you have a 620? Or a 650? Should you use the application money to buy beer instead?
Our advice – you have a fighting chance, provided you are a diverse candidate.
Else, as we said above, build your GMAT muscle.
You might want to read how one of our students from a non-IT background made it to ISB with a 670 on the GMAT.

Okay so with that said, you have enough stuff to think about your own GMAT scores for ISB.
Did you like this in-depth article I wrote?
If yes, then let me know in the comments below.
I can even skim through and predict your chances at ISB with your GMAT scores (and profile).
Get your Profile Evaluated!


  1. Hi arun..
    Excellent article and in depth analysis on ISB..

    Have a query on my profile…
    Did my Masters degree abroad(UK)and 5yr work exp in Public sector insurance company(india)…not yet given gmat…my prep scores are 660-680…how are my chances at ISB?

    1. Hi Ravi,

      You have a very interesting profile mix. The fact that you have already done a Masters can work to your advantage as you can talk about the international experience you had during that time. However, this also puts greater pressure on having a strong reason to do an MBA at this point in your career. You must clearly explain the transition and need for an MBA degree as this in some sorts will be your second Post graduate degree.

      With regards to your GMAT scores, well 660-680 are slightly in the lower range. Try to push your scores upto 700 at least. In case you need help with some GMAT strategy videos, you can head over to http://www.gmatonline.crackverbal.com .The videos here will help you understand how you can tweak your prep in order to touch a 700 and above score on the GMAT

    2. A quite motivating article…indeed!!! What chances i have to get an admit from ISB?

      GMAT score 630 with 6/6 in AWA
      4 yrs exp in TCS
      Career 80% throughout

      1. Hi Swagat,

        Well, yes your GMAT score is slightly on the lower spectrum. Also you have a IT profile which makes the competition in your profile pool slightly higher. Yes, a well written application can be a game changer, but “well-written” is very subjective. You have 2 options here:

        1) Re-take the GMAT and hopefully you get a high score πŸ™‚

        2) Apply with this score but put 200% effort into writing your MBA essays. Make sure you highlight different aspects of your personality. Showcase your “IT profile” in a more compelling way. Focus on a good story line.

        Its like this – a good star cast but no story line can hit the blockbuster, but not win the critics acclaim! So similarly, keep in mind the Adcoms and ask yourself “WHY” they must interview you for ISB!

        Hope this helps. In case you would like to have a detailed chat on the application procedure at ISB and want to talk to an expert, just call us on 9008177800 or drop in an email at enquiry@crackverbal.com

  2. Hi Arun.
    Really well done with the figures, the article is very informative.
    I have a BA.LLB form National Law School and i am also a CS(company secretary) Professional student, i am currently working as a legal consultant in an NBFC. I am planning on writing GMAT and applying under Early entry option in ISB (as my experience is below 2 years)
    Kindly advice.
    Thanks !

    1. Hi Prakhar,

      I must say you definitely have a very strong profile. Law + Company Secretary is a killer combination! I would definitely encourage you start with your GMAT prep! To start off with, why don’t you watch some GMAT strategy videos here: http://www.gmatonline.crackverbal.com

      This will give you a good sense of how and what the GMAT tests you on. In case you need help with your GMAT prep, please do get in touch with our faculty. We can definitely help you with a prep schedule!

      And to answer your question about applying to EEO option at ISB – well, yes you can go ahead with that. But if you are just a few months short of 2 years, you can probably apply in R2 of the PGP program itself.

      All the best! πŸ™‚

  3. Hi,

    I have a GMAT 680, 3+ years of experience in IT both in R&D and Services background. My Quant and verbal scores are 50 and 31 respective. The undergraduate cgpa is 7.3 and in 10th and 12th I have 87 and 80%.
    Should I target a higher score for applying to ISB?


  4. Hi

    This is a good article and it does give a clarity of thought. Test Scores are 700 and above.

    Really really bad Academics
    12th 65%
    Grads: 46.8% Maths Hons
    PGDM: 55.3% Marketing
    PMP certified
    PMP-RMP certified
    Prince 2 Practitioner
    Six Sigma Green Belt certified
    Google Adwords Certified.

    Should i even think about ISB?

    PLease answer

    1. Yes! You do have a Chance.

      Check out Early Entry Option by ISB. The Early Entry Option allows recent graduates with less than 24 months of full-time work experience to secure their admission to the ISB PGP.

      Our Admissions team will be able to guide you better and improve your chances by helping you out with your application process likes essays and interview preparation.

      For more details check out http://applications.crackverbal.com/

  5. Hi Arun,
    Great article. Very well put!
    I hold an engineering degree in Computer Science (2008 pass out) and have been working with Accenture since July 2008.
    I have 3+ years of onshore experience (Australia and UK) and am currently working out of UK.
    With this much experience, do you think it is wise to go for executive MBA? My whole sole motive is to widen my horizon and work with global firms with great work cultures and excellent opportunities which seem far fetched in the monotonous IT job that I have!
    PS -I have recently started preparing for GMAT.

  6. Hello.

    I did my schooling (10th-12th) from British School of Milan, Italy. Did my graduation in Mech Engg from NIT. Have held leadership positions at school & college level (Head of Intnl Relations in School Committee, Ambassador for Brazilian Delegation at Milan MUN, Secretary of Girls’ Hostel, then of CHRD committee Students’ Council of College 2013 etc.). Currently, I am working in automobile sector – Research & development (2.5 years till date). Have had international exposure in terms of product testings and OEM interaction (in S. Korea) as Project Lead for two years that I have been working here. Have presented a paper in International Journal (Tyre Society) at Conference (Sept’16) at Akron, Ohio, USA.

    What do you think about my profile? I am yet to take GMAT. What would be the score which goes well with the above and puts me in a strong position for an admit?

    Please let me know

    1. Hi,

      You definitely have an excellent profile which is a significant factor in getting admit into a B-school.

      Now the only thing that would probably stop you from getting into your dream B-school would be a good GMAT score. With your profile, a GMAT score of more than 680 would put you in a strong position for an admit at most B-schools.

      Our online GMAT program is tailor made to help working professionals score a 720+ in GMAT without quitting their full-time job.

      You could check out our Free Online GMAT trial Course by visiting http://gmatonline.crackverbal.com/

  7. Hello Admin, thanks for this brilliant article.

    I have completed B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering (Year : 2015) from College Of Engineering and Technology , Bhubaneswar , which is one of the most renowned government college of eastern India.Presently am working with Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (India’s Leading Automobile Company) as assistant manager in supply chain management and have gathered around 2 years of work experience .

    Here are my academic details :

    Matriculation (10th) : 86.4 %
    Intermediate (12th) : 86.4 %
    B. TechΒ  (Graduation) : 8.72 CGPA (Out of 10)
    GMAT: Not Appeared (Got around 650 score in gmat prep)

    Extra Curricular and Highlights :
    1)Awarded number of times at school, district and state level science exhibition.
    2)Branch Topper in Btech
    3)Worked as a free Lancer in companies like Google adsense, amazon mechanical turk. (website development and monetization)

    Startup :

    Am founder of a company named ” Trademonk Overseas” , which deals in Indian handicrafts and handlooms. The main purpose of our business is to promote Indian rural handicrafts and hand looms in domestic and international market. After MBA am planning to expand this business and explore new startup opportunities.

    I request you to be kind enough to evaluate my profile and give your valuable feedback regarding of possibilities of getting into ISB. Looking for an early response.


    Bibekananda Patra

    1. Hi Bibekananda ,

      Your profile looks promising. B-Schools look for Academic potential, career progression, and a clear post MBA career goal. You need to justify who will be taking care of the business while you are doing your MBA. Also, while you are paying off your loan (assuming you will take a loan) , what kind of role would you take up.

  8. Hello Admin,

    I have 7+ years of experience in IT. I will be 30 years old by the time I apply to ISB in 2017 oct. I am planning to apply next year.
    10th 85.5% 12th 88% BTech in IT 64.5%
    First company TCS – worked for 6 years. Moved to Capgemini.
    Not much extra-curriculars; certified internally in TCS with BW and HANA
    GMAT 750 . Only 1 attempt – taken in March 2017.
    What are my chances? Kindly post your opinion.


    1. Hi Bharadwaj, 750 is a great score. Your experience is also awesome along with the pedigree of a good company.You definately have a good chance to ISB this year. Do let us know if we can help you in any way.

  9. Hello Admin,

    I am a PSU employee with 4.5 years of Managerial experience. The CPSE I work for primarily provides e-commerce solutions to other CPSEs and Govt Depts.
    Prior to this I had worked in french IT company for 2 Years.
    I scored 81% in 10th , 72 % in 12th and 71% in B.Tech (CS).
    I am looking for a change as the career growth in a PSU is snail paced. I have yet to take GMAT.
    Please suggest if my profile will be considered for ISB ? if yes , What sort of score should i be aim for in GMAT ?

  10. Hey Admin,

    I am an economics hons grad from DU with 84% score in both 10th and 12th and 52% score in Economics Hons. I have 2 years of exp in Compensation Analytics from Hewitt and 1+ year of experience in Talent Management (HR) at Airtel.

    How much do I need to score in GMAT to be able to get shortlisted?

  11. Hi there,

    I have a IT profile 4.5+ years WE with Infosys in India. 1 month foreign WE. Have strong acads right from school – B.Tech/12th/10th: 79.40 / 93.6 / 93. Have served as an Office Bearer for Toastmasters International in one of the clubs. Have been the City Coordinator for a leading national NGO for a particular city in India, while working. Have been actively involved in extra curriculars from school.
    Downside – GMAT 650 first attempt
    Should I apply to ISB 1 year programme, or re-attempt GMAT for a higher score?

    Thanks in advance!

  12. Hi,
    A very good article. πŸ™‚
    I have 3 years of work experience and my gmat test centre score is 650.
    But my scores in 12th and B.E is 64%.
    Am i eligible for applying ISB?!

    Thanks πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Vijay. We have had students who have got an admit into ISB even with a GMAT score of 620.

      It’s difficult to answer your question without knowing about your work profile.

      Why don’t you fill in our Free Profile Evaluation form, so that we have more clarity on your profile and are in a better position to answer your questions.

      Link to free profile evaluation form: https://applications.crackverbal.com/free-resources/mba-profile-evaluation/

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