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How the ISB admission process works

What are the chances that your ISB application will be shortlisted for an interview? What happens inside the ISB admissions office after you submit your ISB essays, recommendations? Will the ISB admissions officer reject your application purely because of a low GMAT score?

V.K. Menon, senior director of admissions, financial aid and careers offers some insight into all these questions in an interview with John Byrne from Poets & Quants. We bring to you the important points from Mr Menon’s interview as he dissects the ISB admission process for the benefit of applicants. Though these inputs are for ISB, you’ll find that the approach would be quite similar for the other top schools as well. So read on.

The most important message Mr Menon has for Indian applicants (who are used to entrance exams like JEE & CAT dominating the admissions process) is the fact that the GMAT isn’t the whole-and-sole deciding factor within your ISB application. The GMAT gets a 30% weight in the ISB admissions process, which is quite a bit.

But, like our political parties, it’s not enough to gain an independent majority. You have to work towards building a successful coalition – across the other application components.

Though a high GMAT score is desirable, those will scores as low as 600 also have a chance of being considered seriously.

If you don’t believe it, here’s the story of Sudhir Nemani who got into ISB with a low GMAT score of 600!

But the ISB admission process is a lot more complex that you’d imagine. With thousands of applicants with varying degrees of skills, expertise and potential, it can become pretty confusing. Almost like comparing Adam’s apple to Steve Jobs’ Apple.

So the ISB admissions team devised a structure to categorise each applicant based on their profile.

How does the ISB admission process work?

If you are applying to ISB and wondering about your chances of getting into ISB Mohali campus or Hyderabad, it would help you to understand how the Adcom will slot you into P1, P2, P3 and P4.

The coding scheme might give you the impression that the odds increase or decrease along with the numbers. But that’s not how it works. Here’s a lowdown on each of them, in a jumbled up order (for a reason).

Category P3:

This is the dream profile for ISB. Elite undergrad college (like IIT), very high GMAT score (770-780), excellent accomplishments in all spheres, impressive extracurriculars.

Unless you’ve really messed up in one of the key areas (described in the next section) you can be confident of getting interviewed by ISB admissions officer.

Category P1:

This is where the diversity candidates will be pooled together. Despite being the top B-school in India, ISB doesn’t have the same cultural diversity that European or American or even other Asian bschools (like NUS) offer.

The next best thing they can do is to look for differentiated backgrounds from unconventional professions. If you have a sports, NGO, military, creative background, good for you.

Back it up with a strong GMAT and some strong ISB essays and you can expect an interview call.

Category P2:

All you IT Male Engineers working in technology and software companies, this is where you’ll be housed. The good news is that you are still in the race. The bad news is that you have lots of company.

If you read the resume of any random competitor from the P2 group, you might feel like he copied your CV. Tough life!

Can you narrate a story that’s different from all the other applicants who also have your background? That’s the only way to make an impact.

Category P4:

This is the only category where the number signifies the position in the category listing. Applicants with a very low GMAT score who also have nothing special to write home about would be ‘dumped’ into (one step before the politely worded formal rejection goes out).

If you happen to be in this pool, the odds of getting dinged are very high. The only hope is if you can pull out a rabbit from your hat and convince the MBA admissions committee that you deserve a seat despite the lacklustre application.

What the ISB Admissions Committee looks for

Irrespective of the category you fall in, you will be judged on 3 aspects:

Academics: This covers the familiar territory of undergrad performance (GPA, percentage) and MBA entrance exams like GMAT.

Leadership: Here’s where your professional accomplishments along with all that you’ve done outside work (extra-curriculars) will get evaluated.

Interview: ISB wants to see if all the facts and figures you submitted is backed by an effective and impressive personality as well.

Here’s how ISB’s 4 P’s (inspired by the 4P model of marketing?) stack up against each other:

Your odds of getting into ISB are as follows:

P3 > P1 > P2 > P4

In terms of the number of applicants, the order changes:

P2 (2000) > P3 (1000) > P1 (500) > P4 (300)


Will your ISB application chances plummet if you aren’t in P3?

Nope. Keep in mind that the P3 guys who apply to ISB also aim for the top international schools including Harvard, Stanford and Wharton. Adcoms know that the odds of their joining is still a question mark, even if they get an offer from ISB. So apart from dangling goodies (like ISB scholarships), the admissions committee needs to take the remaining 3 categories seriously too.

To cut a long story short, depending on which P you fall in, the queue may be short or long.

So, mind your P’s and Queues!

If you want to improve your chances of getting into ISB, get in touch. We’ve had a pretty good track record of shortening the queue even if you aren’t falling in one of the favourable buckets.

Read these related posts:
Best Admission Consultants for ISB – Application Reviews, Essay Editing, Interview Prep for ISB
ISB MBA admission with full scholarship
How I got into ISB with scholarship in my third attempt
ISB Hyderabad admission with low GMAT score of 610
Is ISB still worth the money and time?
All about ISB placements
Executive MBA at ISB
Top Application Consultant for ISB admissions

Click to watch this video of ISB in a nutshell.

ISB Admissions Process

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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

55 thoughts on “How the ISB admission process works”

  1. Dear Sameer,

    I am a SAPTechnical Consultant working for a MNC as if now , my total IT experience is almost 6 years now, prior to that i was running my own Security Agency , for almost 1 year. I am a BSc I.T Graduate form nagpur university, a average student with average scores but first class ;).
    Please be so kind to answer the below queries :

    1: Is my Working Experience is good enough for ISB.
    2 : As i had my own security agency so can i include that experience in my overall experience.
    3 : How much score in GMAt will complimet my work experience and average score .


  2. Hi Sameer,

    I am suffering from what many ppl call mid career crisis and I would need your help in deciding the right career path from here.

    First Let me tell you about myself, I am a 32 years old Professional working with a leading Indian software company as Associate Project Manager with around 9.5 years of experience. About 8 years I have spent in my present organization and rest was in a small company.

    My academics are not so impressive, I am a B.E. in Comp Science and Engg from not so reputed college with 68%. In 10th I got 71% and in 12th I got just 64%.

    But in my professional life I have been performing really well and I have always been rated highest in my all performance appraisals till now. I enjoy a lot of respect among my peers, subordinates and my seniors. I see good opportunities to grow further in the same company in years to come.

    But the problem is: Till now I had been a technocrat and was considered very good technically. The growth opportunities available to me would be neither technical nor related to running business. I t would be pure people management (at least for next 5 years).

    So I have been thinking about joining a full time MBA (1 year) for quite a long time as it may provide me a chance to run the business and move up the chain.

    As I said I had been involved deeply in technical things, I don’t have much to show as extra curricular other than some certificates related to my work. Nothing specific in my school/college.

    Please suggest me if my profile suits what Leading B-Schools (IIM-A, ISB) need.


    • Considering the experience, the one year MBA at IIMs will be a better fit than ISB. But don’t assume that it’ll automatically qualify you for managerial positions.

      Your real world experience will count too. Employers would also want to know what you’ve done before the MBA.

    • Hello sameer ,
      My Profile
      B.A ( Hons), M.A. (ECO) First Rank,
      Then prepared for civil services for 3 years then did LLB 2013 -16, LLM.
      Experience 4 years as lawyer in High Court… Did CFA level 1 and various other diplomas needed for my profession be it labour laws or arbitration or competition law. But not financially satisfying.
      Can you suggest some good B school where i can make a career change n whether litigation experience is counted for ISB or other management courses.

  3. Hello Sameer!
    Thanks for sparing time for people like me and helping out!
    I want to explode here but let me cut through the noise and try being crisp.
    – Mechanical engineer from a good college [RVCE], 11 years at Infosys – current role Project Manager
    – Career Interests: Software Products, Consulting, Want to move out of IT services

    I must say I should have given my career a thought 2 years ago when I realized I will not get to my next role in time this year. I missed my promotion for the first time in my career and realize the progress is going to slow down. Of course there are mistakes I have committed in not showing enough results but it was not entirely my fault. I have lost interest in the nature of work/technology I am working on. I felt I am capable of much more in my areas of interest and took up GMAT in 2012 Sept 11th. I know the date could not be more ominous. But scored 760, got calls from IIM EPGP, ISB. I crash landed with over confidence in IIMB- found I was one in the crowd and though was super confident with 760 (add to it the “You will cream it” I heard from some of my contacts) with my score did minimal preparation for interview and bombed it. It was suicidal. Prepared better for ISB through some online reading. I was not very keen on ISB I must say given my work exp. I prepared all the SOPs myself. I did ok and was wait listed- but did not make it finally. Again I was confident and wanted to nail it without any external help which was a mistake. I got an opportunity to travel back to US and am here for a year-did a PMP – looking for opportunities in product companies (amazon etc.) but clearly don’t have the kind of experience needed to get through. I am at cross roads now. Want to try IIM A and IIM B PGPX, EPGP or an exec MBA here but am not sure how to crack it, stand out in the crowd.
    I feel lost a bit, need someone to show me some light really..

    • Andy,

      Thanks for not exploding 🙂

      Sorry to hear that things haven’t worked out for you.

      Many with super-high GMAT scores get the impression that Adcoms will get floored and lay out the red carpet. But they do look for many other aspects that aren’t easy for applicants to nail.

      In such a situation, getting some professional help can make a difference. Or at least get the informal views of someone who knows the process well.

      Here’s the story of another applicant with a 760 who got rejected twice from ISB. He finally got into ISB with a scholarship in his third attempt.

      Given your experience, your strategy of targetting IIMs is good.

  4. Hi Sameer,

    I have 8 years 3 months of IT industry experience. I am standing at that poin of career where I need to choose between Technical and Managerial lines. Technical line involves lots of book-study throughout and keeping yourself updated with the latest technologies which I do not see an option for me. I possess excellent communication, interpersonal, leadership and management skills and good technical skills in Microsoft Technologies. Being very career-oriented person and knowing that I am good in academics, I can opt for competitive exams. To climb the ladder of management success with a great pace, I am thinking of going through a management programme. But I am a bit confused to decide whether I should go for MBA from ISB/IIM-A or Executive-MBA from ISB. Can you please advice me on this or suggest even better option.

    • In addition to the Indian MBA programs, why not include some international MBA courses too?

      There are quite a few in the UK and Europe where your age / experience will fit well.

      • Hi Sameer,

        Can you suggest which UK or European Schools to target with 8 years of experience in IT?

        Also, I have heard there is no work VISA after finishing MBA there, Is that true? If yes, then how about the job options?


  5. Hi
    My profile
    exp 11 years
    GMAT 720
    Present assignment Chief manager in Nationalised Bank
    Qualification B.E,MBA,FRM,CFA(I),Different diplomas etc

    Would it be a good strategy to go for PGPX/ISB/EPGP?
    Aim: To move in financial field as VP/In consulting role as IBM etc

  6. Hi Sameer,

    My profile:
    exp 4 years this June 2015
    GMAT not taken yet
    Currently working with Tata Elxsi as a Senior marketing executive.

    My academics: I am a B.E. in Electronics & comm, from not so reputed college with 79% aggregate. 10th from Darjeeling school with 80% and in 12th I secured 74%.

    Began my career as a software developer, and moved to marketing team within the same company.

    I have started a food business venture (Italian pizzeria) in Bangalore and learning quiet a bit of management skills from it, my shortcoming and flaws.

    I have not yet begun preparing for GMAT, but I wish to know/learn, how things would change post an MBA. Also, I would like to know if it is too early for an MBA?

    Thanks & Regards
    Nashi Ankur Jaiswal

    • It’s a good time to consider an MBA. Your work experience will be similar to the average (5 years) for most bschools.

      How your life will change will depend on the career goals you choose. You may decide to pursue your food business venture and grow it. Or go back to the IT world to take on leadership roles. The job profiles and the challenges will be very different for the two.

      Take your time to decide what you want from the MBA and then apply.

  7. Hi Sameer,
    Its great to see so many people turning to you for help. Same is the case with me. I have 2.5 years of work experience as Product Developer in Oracle. I have post graduation as my highest level of qualification.My graduation(BCA from Symbiosis Pune – 96%) and post graduation(MCA from Pune University – 89%) were completed in 2013. I have done a certification in analytics from IIT Mumbai. I run a small school of my own for underpriviledged children. I have given gmat in November,2014. My score is 650. I want to study in ISB. Do you suggest it would be a good decision depending on my low gmat marks?

  8. Hi Sameer,

    Great work Sameer in trying to help the MBA aspirants. It is really inspiring.

    I am preparing for GMAT exam in Jun 2015. Of the 5 colleges I am looking at IIM A, ISB and IIM B for their 1 year PGPX progam. In addition, I am also looking at international MBA courses in INSEAD and IMD.

    Before I get into my questions, here is my profile in brief:

    Graduation: BE (I&C)
    Post Grade: PGPM (Finance & Marketing)
    Work exp: 7 years
    Work profile: Equity research/ Asset management with an MNC bank working out of Bangalore

    Although I have core equity research and asset management industry experience I have worked all this while in outsourcing setup. I did my PGPM from a non top 50 Bschool in India. My career aspiration is to move into PE industry and as per my conversations with various people in the industry there are to important things required to get into top PE firms: Strong business acumen (and good understanding of finance/asset management/ and markets won’t hurt) and an MBA from top B school. I am not counting ‘excellent communication skills’ as that is a given for any job requirement. Hence I want to purse a 1 year MBA from one of the top ranked B schools. I can elaborate more on my profile and my aspiration to do MBA if you require, however, here are the questions to which your inputs would be much appreciated:

    Will my PGPM course (which is equivalent to MBA) hinder my application process to any of the B schools?
    I would also like your inputs on how do I present my profile and write the essays in the best way to describe my achievements? While it is easy to dump in all my achievements, I wanted to get a flavor for pointers which could help my profile jump out and be acknowledged?

    Any inputs on the above questions will be much appreciated.


  9. Hi Sameer

    Great to see your inputs for MBA aspirants.

    I am preparing for GMAT and would be giving my exam in early July. request you to please look into my profile below and suggest as to what are my chances for getting a call from ISB PGP programme:

    Xth 73%, XIIth 73%, BE 65% and MBA(Finance) 2.8/4 CGPA. I have a 1 year experience prior to my previous MBA and 1.9 years experience after. I am currently not working anywhere and had quit my job in Jan’15 to prepare for GMAT and a couple of other exams. I want to get into investment banking domain and that is the main reason I want to go for another MBA (as such profiles are only offered to people from tier I colleges). Also I had quit my job as there was no learning experience from my previous role and didn’t fit my long term goal. However I did receive some certificates in my previous organization and during the academic days.

    I will be giving my CFA level I in June and FRM part I in December.

    Will my previous MBA will be a hinderance in getting a call? Will the gap of not working anywhere be a negative influence?

    Awaiting your response on the above pointers.

    Thanks and Regards

  10. Hi sameer

    I am a pharma graduate with 64% i have 5 years of experience in pharma sales with quite good record,I am planning to do mba what scores will be helpful to get admission into top colleges.Being the the marketing guy how much of it will be helpful in getting me admission.


    • Your previous MBA will not be an hindrance, unless you are not able to anwer: why do u want to MBA again at ISB hyderabad?

  11. @Meenakshi: With less experience as a techie and with low GMAT, it sounds tough.

    @Aditya and Siddharth: While ISB does accept second MBA applications, most folks who already have an Indian MBA prefer an international one for their second degree. Here’s the list of business schools that accept second MBA applicants.

    On the query about how to best present your profile, I’m afraid a short comment won’t help. Consider signing up for our MBA consulting services.

    @Vikas: This may help: What is the minimum GMAT score for good MBA programs?


    • Hi Sameer,

      Thanks for your reply.

      I have a followup question on requirement of TOEFL in INSEAD, IMD and other Spain colleges. The rules on INSEAD website are confusing and I am not sure if it applies to me. I have a BE degree and all the languages in my course were taught in English. My market sheet is all in english (but no where it states that the language of instruction was English). So do I need to take TOEFL?

      Secondly, these colleges ask for ‘transcripts’ are these same as college market sheets and certificates that we get in a regular college course or I need to separately apply for them with my undergrad college?

      Kind Regards

  12. Hi Sameer,
    Is it really required to have work experience of two years to study in ISB I have completed my Btech in 2014 with 72%.My scores in class 10 is 84, & in 12 it is 90%.Currently,am working in TCS ,but i want to quit if i get a seat in good college.So,what do you think,does it really matters having an experience of two years.

  13. Hello Sameer,

    I have gone through all your comments and your suggestions regarding applicants queries. Like all others, I haven’t given any exams like (GMAT/CAT) I so wanna know is it possible of getting admission with any such entrance exams ???
    Well, Coming to my personal, professional and academics info :

    This is Tanuja Upreti , from New Delhi,
    2013 Graduated from D.U (Mata Sundri College) , done
    Pursuing MBA(Distance learning from IMT Ghaziabad). This year going to be post graduated.
    Work Experience for almost 2 years.
    Area of Interest : Sales & Marketing .
    Have done many other activities into Events & Management field.
    Request you to please suggest me for 1 year regular Executive MBA with 100% placement offer.

  14. Hey Sameer, I’m a commerce graduate with 8 years work experience in information systems security. I have CISSP, CISM, CISA and SSCP certifications and I am a national level athlete in skating while state level in rifling and cricket. I have regional awards in swimming, dramatics and photography.

    I am currently working as an information systems security architect with Government of India. I have multitude of letters of recognition and letters of recommendation from gazetted officers (mainly from IPS officers).

    I am yet to give my GMAT. What changes do you reckon I have with a good GMAT score?

  15. Hi,
    I have total 4yrs of total ex. in IT company.Presently working with IBM,India and past Cognizant ,India. Have dome my graduation in IT engineering.
    I badly want to peruse MBA from ISB to make a confident leadership career..I have not taken GMAT but will in 2 months.
    Will I be considered for an ISBn if i get a proper GMAT score?..
    kindly let me know..

  16. Hi Sameer Sir,
    I have been following your blog for quite some time now. I have managed to secure deferred admission to ISB (Batch of 2017) under EEO with below par GMAT score of 680 (Q50, V32, AWA 4.5). Besides, I want to explore other options similar to EEO of ISB. Can you suggest some ? Current work ex- 1 yr. Also, should I retake GMAT to improve my chances ?

  17. Hi Sameer,

    I am a Commerce Graduate (2010), CA (2012), CFA(USA)-2nd Lvel completed, GMAT SCORE 730. 3 years work experience with very large manufacturing co. as Asst. Manager ( Finance ) in Corporate Affairs. As a sportsman I am also involved in company’s initiative in sports complex, etc. Planning for doing MBA (PGPM) in ISB 2016

    What is the possibility of getting in ISB. I am also exploring possibilities in top 10 US colleges.

    Thanks in advance for your guidance.


  18. HI Sameer,

    Thanks for helping thousands of aspirants across the globe with your expert knowledge about MBA.

    About me :

    I am an Indian Telecom Male Engineer who has been working with a Swedish Telecom Giant for past 4 years.

    Total Experience : 6.5
    Current Role : Integration lead ( Position : Senior Solution Integrator)
    International Experience : 16 months as of now ( + would be working in US for next one year )

    Desired Batch : 2017-18

    College : Kurukshetra University
    Highest Degree : B.Tech. Honors (computer Science)
    %age : 71.1 %

    GMAT : 680

    Hobbies : Singing ( won several competitions at school ,college level. Performed in corporate events too) , Reading Novels( ranging from Chetan Bhagat to John Green)

    Going to join an NGO this Month for weekend service.

    Could you tell me about my chances at Executive MBA from IIM/ISB?


  19. Hi Sameer,

    Myself is a senior software Engineer with 6 years of Exp. I have done my MCA from Manipal University with 7.9 CGPA.
    My academics are not so impressive, Graduated BCA From Mangalore University with 80% , 12th is 64% and 10th is 62%.

    At work I am an average performer. All that I wanted to pursue was MBA and get into management, Work with people not really with machines.
    Due to some personal issues I could not leave the job and decide for an higher study.

    All that i have observed and what I get my by peer and others as a feed back is, I can get the work done than do the work by own.

    Please suggest me where should I take my thoughts towards.


  20. Hey Sameer…This is Shubham

    I am IIT Passout [Mechanical Engineer]

    My profile is

    10th- 93%
    12th- 88%
    IIT grades – 8.2/10
    Work Experience – 26 Months and working…
    Location of Work – 4 month of initial training in India. Turkey [6 Months] and Thailand 16 Months….and working

    Here are my questions

    1. How much “IIT tag” can help me in my ISB application ? Though i still don’t have GMAT score…i will be taking it soon.. lets consider a score of 680-700
    2. Does working abroad for 2 years will be an added advantage for me ?

    Hope to see your quick response 🙂

  21. Hi Sameer,

    Greetings. I would come straight to the point. I’ve scored 750 on GMAT. But the problem is that I just have 49% in graduation. That apart I have 26 months of full time work experience so far. Do you think I stand a chance of getting through to ISB? Please reply. Thanks!

  22. Hi sameer,
    I have done my mechanical engineering from KL University, vijayawada. I passed out in 2013, i immediately pushed off into business from then, now i am planning for admission in isb, how are my chances? and any suggestions for my admission.

    Thanks in advance!

  23. Hi Sameer,

    My GMAT score: 670 (First time) (From Non-IT Indian female pool)
    Experience: Overall 5 years of exp. in Manufacturing, FMCG (Fortune 100) and now media Industry. Presently working with an International media & entertainment company (Industry rating :1 in fortune 50)

    Degree: B.E. in Biotechnology, Through-out topper in College with University ranking
    Overall % in B.E. – 81.2%
    10th – 82.5%
    12th – 87%

    Extracurricular contributions: Decent
    NGO: Volunteer-ship team of my company, also participated in other foundations, taught 2 children…School time – presented school in various dance & singing competition. dabbled with a start-up for a while but then shut it down. Various other competition essay, debate etc.

    I don’t want to wait and want to apply this year only, wanted to evaluate my chance for ISB Hyderabad.

    Thanks in advance

  24. Dear Sameer,

    I have a GMAT score of 740. I have worked at an International telecom firm for 5 years (Have not worked outside of India). I also found a rock band back in 2011 and have been managing it and playing in it ever since. We have played almost 50-60 shows yet and are well reputed as a band in Delhi. I have also been actively involved with 2 different NGOs since 2011.

    I applied to IVEY, Canada this year and my application was selected for the interview. The interview went very well as well. But, unfortunately, I could not get through the interview. On the feedback call, the school adcom director told me that the reason for rejection was the absence of international exposure in the profile. This left me very disappointed as I though i more than made up for it with all the extra curricular and the innovations I introduced at work.

    Can you please let me know, how much weight does International Experience carry in ISB application?

  25. Hi sir,
    My name is himanshu ,i have 3 years of work-x in steel firm. now i am working in SAIL a PSU. i want to join ISB, can u tell me is it the right time to crack Gmat and how do i prepare for it?

    X- 77%
    Xii- 70%
    B.Tech – 83.4 %
    NIT Raipur
    Organisation- Steel Authority of india limited

    Glad to hear from you.


  26. Dear sameer sir,

    Kindly guide me through.

    I am an engg grduate in Electronics from a Govt University.

    I am working as an Engineer in aHydropower PSU since 2012 with around 4 yrs experience.

    How much chnaces do i have in ISB? PLS tell me about somegood MBA colleges and streams beneficial to my career

  27. Hello Sameer

    My GMAT score is 680. I’m working with UK based prop trading house since 2007. My job is to invest companies capital in foreign financial markets. In college I was Gen sect of college cultural fest and have won many prizes in dramatic events in college time. While working with Futures first, I manage companies Sports club and other extra curricular activities. I am planning to do my MBA from a reputed College either from India or from Canada.

    Is it good for me to do MBA from either ISB or IIM 1yr executive program and what are my chances to get through .

  28. Hello Sameer,

    I am a System Engineer with 5 years of Exp in a US Based Software company. I have done my from D.Y.Patil University, Pune with 7.8 CGPA.
    My academics are not very much impressive,12th is 56% and 10th is 54%.

    I am a good performer till now at my workplace. I wanted to pursue MBA and get into management.

    Please suggest me suitable courses and the process to achieve that where I could take my thoughts forward.


  29. Hi there! My name is Swathi. I have a total experiance of 4.2 yrs as a project engineer with a non-it mnc. I ve had pretty good track record in my company for all these 4 years and i have been awarded best performer of the yr too..having said that i have been thinking about an mba since two years. I gave my gmat last yr n scord really bad. Also I am a BE in Electronics and telecommunications from.mumbai university. I have a 2 yr drop in my bachelor’s degree due to some illness. But I just had two backlogs in my BE n scored a distinction in my fourth year. Pls. Guide on the next careee path. I am very keen to do a full time mba from a reputed b school in india n the USA.

  30. Hi Sameer

    I am a Graduate of BITS Pilani graduate of 2013. I have worked full time with Teach for India for two years and then with an education sector based startup in Chennai for around 8 months. I will be shifting to a venture capital advisory and startup incubator firm this February. I have had above average academics throughout except for an abysmally low GPA in College. However, my extra curricular in college includes vast experience of organizing and managing various Technical and Non-technical events and conferences. Many of them were started by our batch infact. I am extremely keen on a one year MBA and looking at making a career in either VC and PE or in consulting. After how many years of work experience (current work ex is 2.5 years) is it advisable for me to apply to B schools like ISB, NUS, HEC,etc and do I practically stand a chance with my low graduation marks ? I am going with the assumption that I would be able to secure good scores in GMAT.

  31. Hi Sameer,

    I am a Security consult in E&Y LLP. Have decent academic scores in X-93.33% and XII-95% (but the education board was matric & State board also college GPA – 7.86 (EEE)). I have close to one and half years of work experience and planning to target ISB for next year (by then will be completing close to 2 and half years).

    I am planning to take up some pretty good security certifications, Kindly suggest me in what other ways I can improve my profile and increase the chances of getting into ISB.

  32. Hi sameer , nice to get a interactive mode through your link … A straight question I want to get a chance in isb . currently working in software and we have started a small start up . my btech and +2 was not good . is there any chance for a seat at isb….

  33. Hi,
    I am having quite a difficult time. I initially planned to do CA.I cleared my CPT in my first attempt. But did not clear my IPCC until the 5th attempt. I am in my second year of Bcom from Distance university in Mumbai. I am thinking of pursuing an MBA from a really good university like IIM-A or IIM-C, ISB, XLRI. I do not havevany work experience. I did my 10th from Srilanka British board and did my 12th from Thailand American Board.
    I got 3A’s, 2B’s, 1C, 1D and 1E in 10th and I got 80% in 12th according to GPA conversion.
    I do not have any work experience. Are there any chance of getting into a good MBA college, if so what scores do I have to get in various examinations to make it possible. Please reply

  34. Hello Sameer,

    My X,XII and Engineering % are not that good.

    I am a Mech Enng from university of Pune,

    I am having a total of 5 years of work ex. out of which 3.5 years in Steel Sector as an assistant manager and 1.5 in my current org. which is an engg services organization. Both are MNC’s and are renowned organization.

    I am a computer gamer which many gaming certificates on my name.
    I have arranged various events for my colleagues during my college time and in my organizations.

    Please tell me, what will be a good GMAT score to get an interview call from ISB???

  35. Hello Sir,
    Managed to wring an interview with ISB. My profile:
    GMAT – 690
    BE – 76%
    10 – 94%
    12th – 88%
    3.5 years experience in Embedded
    Female GM candidate
    Average extra curriculars
    Can you please comment on my chances of a convert?
    Thank you very much

  36. hi

    I am a chartered accountant cleared in 2012 and cleared DIploma in IFRS from ACCA(England).I have 3 years of work experience in finance and taxation in a manufacturing industry. I wish to join ISB. Please advice in this regard.

  37. Hi Sameer,

    I have total of 10 years experience in IT industry now, my profile is mostly into technical and tech lead experience.
    my 12th and applied science program is 71 and 66%.
    Is it possible to get into ISB with my profile. Your inputs will be great to hear to prepare.

  38. Hi Sameer
    Hope you are good! You are doing great job by giving guidance to aspirants.
    Please guide me with my career path. I have 7 years of work experience in Govt PSU. This 7 years is very diverse. 4 years in Nuclear Power Cell as scientific officer. 1 year in Electrical Commissioning and operation as assistant manager and last two years in HR as deputy manager. I graduated from National Institute of technology in electrical engineering with 9.12 CGPA (highest in the batch with silver medal). In extra curricular i just associate myself with villagers and try as much as I can help them with teaching their children. Now in my mid career i want to do executive MBA and move further. I have not given GMAT till today but will appear in next three months. Please suggest what will be a safe score and what do you think about my chances for selection. Also suggest institutes where i should focus.

    Thanking You

  39. Hello Sameer,

    I have a 1 year experience in IT firm.
    Btech- 68%

    Do i have a profile good enough to get into ISB?
    How can i improve my profile, do i need more experience to have a good profile?

    Thanks in advance

  40. Hi Sameer
    I have a total of 3 years of work experience in consulting field of which 2 years has been in in one of the big 4 consulting firms and 1 year in a small consulting firm(not a known brand name) that has all its clients based out in the GCC Region.
    In both these companies I have been extensively involved in conducting internal audits and development of processes for the clients and my entire experience has been onsite working at the client location.
    I joined the smaller firm because of the international exposure that I would get by travelling and working onsite at clients in the GCC Region.
    Now my question here is, would working in a small and relatively new company after leaving a big 4 hamper my chances of getting into ISB?

    Thanks in Advance!

  41. Hi Sameer,

    I am an engineering professional working in one of the core engineering sectors and would be completing 3 years this summer. I appeared for the CAT this year and got 95 percentile. However, I chose not to settle for average pvt. B schools (got a call from IMT, Ghaziabad). Now I am really confused whether I should focus on CAT and manage to get into something like IIFT, MDI Gurgaon and likes or on GMAT and try for ISB. As per my study, the category colleges through CAT don’t have many students with more than 2 years work ex. Kindly guide what would be the right approach.


  42. Hello Sameer,

    I am Manish Mishra, I am 25 years of age. I have cleared all levels of CFA (USA), I have completed my graduation from School of open learning(DU), as I was preparing for CA as well. I got 49% in, 76% in 12th and 85% in 10th class.

    I have total work experience of 4.5 years, which includes 3 years of CA articleship. Currently, I am working at Copal Amba (A Moody’s Analystics Company) as an Associate in Private Equity division.

    Please tell me, what are my chances to crack ISB with this academic and professional background.

  43. Sir,
    I am 33 and I did B.Tech in 2004 with 64% and then prepared for some govt job. Finally i got one in 2008 and have been in profiles related to general administration, however, in supervisory role at the Secretariat. Its been 8 years now, and i feel stuck in a mundane, non-stimulating work environment. I feel that, best way to switch to the stimulating private sector would be an MBA from an institute of repute. I, however, dont know how to go about it. Should i think about MBA or drop an plan and let the depression devour me.?

  44. Hey Sameer,

    Nice article. This surely answers alot of my questions.
    Although I was hoping if you could help me in defining my bucket(P1,2..).

    Work Experience-
    By March 2017, I would have close to 4 years of work-ex.
    2 years as Strategy Analyst(might become Associate in January if I do well) at Goldman Sachs, and 2 years as Associate at Oracle Financial Services.

    X-factor: I Co-founded a startup during college in Educational Services domain, worked 1 year for it.

    Undergrad- BITS Pilani (CGPA- 7.90)
    12th- ISC- 94%
    10th- ICSE- 90%
    GMAT: Writing in Aug (What do you think would be a good score?)

    NGO Experience: Active member of 3 NGO’s,
    2 in Lucknow for mentally challenged children,
    1 in Bangalore for poor elders.

    Sports: Won inter-hostel Badminton championship during college, part of college cricket team for Mechanical Engineering team.

    Let me know if you need any more specific details.

    Additional Question- Which cycle would be better for me to apply?

    Let me know if you need any more specific details.

    Appreciate your help.



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