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3 MBA abroad & India admits with 630 score in GMAT exam

MBA abroad admits with 630 GMAT exam score

MBA and GMAT forums are filled with GMAT success stories of how Indians cracked the GMAT exam and got into the best MBA abroad universities. What happens to those who have decent profiles but aren’t able to get into the 700+ GMAT club?

Such candidates are advised by consultants, alumni and other applicants to try again to do well in the GMAT exam. But it isn’t that easy, is it? Despite their best attempts, some good applicants aren’t able to do so.

Nikhil Ladha, with a 630 GMAT and help from another MBA admissions consulting team score had tried in 2013 to apply to some foreign MBA programs, but wasn’t successful. His next attempt, in 2014, got him 3 admits from business schools abroad and in India.

How I got 3 MBA abroad & India admits with a 630 GMAT score

by Nikhil Ladha

I had around 4 years of Testing experience in Banking and Financial Services domain along with some experience in pre-sales, resource management and customer visit management when I first applied to a B-School.

I was looking forward to a career leap to move into a Business Development Management (BDM) kind of role and so I decided to pursue MBA.

GMAT exam preparation

I had very pathetic GMAT experience in my first attempt as I was nervous and was unable to focus.

I joined GMAT classes to get familiar with the small tips and tricks along with putting some sort of discipline into my studies.

The major hurdle Indian pool of students face is the Verbal section of the GMAT that comprises of Reading Comprehension (RC), Sentence Correction (SC) and Critical Reasoning (CR).

Mostly all the students focus on Sentence Correction as it is more of rule based, but in all cases rule does not work and chances of making mistake increases.

In the end I managed a GMAT score of 630.

I would suggest GMAT aspirants to focus more on RC and CR as probability of being accurate is more. RC and CR can be difficult for people who don’t have a reading habit.

So New York Times and Washington Posts would help here as the GMAT passage structure and style is similar to the articles in them.

My experience with MBA admission consultants in India

I had experienced few MBA admission consultants before I had opted for MBA Crystal Ball.

When I started interaction with MG I found the difference between MCB and its competitors. MG’s brutal attitude on essays helped to bring out the story from me in my essays.

His review is so detailed that it would force you to respond to his comments, assisting in connecting the dots.

MG helps you in bringing the story in such a way that there is a relation among the threads and nothing comes out of the blue.

If I compare 1st review of MG and final review of other admission consultants I had worked with, I would say that MG’s inputs were closer to my goals.

Another good point about MCB was that if they were unable to devote you their 100 percent they would tell you upfront.

MBA application results

2013 was bad year for me as I had interview calls from UBC and Alberta School of Business, but I was unable to convert them.

I got rejected from Illinois Champaign without even an interview call.

After working with MCB, 2014 kicked off well as I received MBA interview calls from Schulich, Nyenrode and Great Lakes and was able to convert all of them!

I did not join Schulich India as I was more keen on Schulich Toronto.

I declined Great Lakes as I had received an Onsite opportunity that time. I remember MG’s words that Onsite may sound tempting and would give you money, but ultimately you may land up doing what you don’t like and the same happened with me too.

Then, I applied to SP Jain from Onsite and I received an MBA interview call. I converted for 1 year PGPM program of SPJIMR and accepted the same after discussing with MG and Sameer.

MG had brought a drastic change in myself from the time I had given my first interview. I would like to thank both of them for their guidance in my MBA journey.

Along with them I would also like to thank one of my professors from my GMAT classes who has been of great help till now.

I would like to suggest to all desi aspirants that we have a strong competition among ourselves and I feel mostly the first qualifier is a high GMAT score because it not only helps in qualifying, but also increases your chance for good scholarship.

Having said that a good story revolving around your past experience and future goals is also required. Selecting the MBA application consultants and starting early is very important.

All the best to all MBA aspirants!

Read other posts related to average GMAT scores chances and low GMAT scores success stories.

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Manish Gupta
About Manish Gupta
Chief Consulting Officer at MBA Crystal Ball, ex-McKinsey, IIT & ISB topper. MG can help you get into the top B-schools. Read more about this top MBA admissions consultant. Connect with MG on Linkedin, Facebook or Email: mcb [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

70 thoughts on “3 MBA abroad & India admits with 630 score in GMAT exam”

  1. Hi ,

    Sir or Madam

    Hi! its great to hear that you got admission offer for MBA from 3 reputed university . I congratulate you for that . I would like to get some advice . Currently I am looking for job in IT sector I wish to apply for MBA after one year of experience of job .

    I gave my GMAT on 23 July 2014 and ended up scoring a disappointing 590 (Q40,V30) second attempt . I had spent around 45-60 days to prepare for the GMAT and the preparation was mainly concentrated on quant and improving speed. The verbal part on the GMAT was a quite a trouble during the preparation days , specially trying to keep up pace.

    What I intend to do now is to use this GMAT score coupled with the application and try to secure an admit and then defer joining by an year. I am planning to retake my GMAT again in November and if the score improves , then use the new scores for further applications.

    My profile :

    GMAT 590 (Q40,V30)

    Class X : 81% ,
    Class XII : 77.4%

    Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science : Overall 63.3% , with a final year %age of 70 [ Rajasthan Technical University ]

    Job : I am looking for Job ( Testing Domain )

    Aim : MBA

    I have queries on following points , it would be kind of you if you could answer them :

    1. My first question is how much is the possibility of getting admission in MS In Information Technology with that GMAT score ? I ask this because I prefer MS In Information Technology over MBA In Information Technology .

    2. My second question is how much is the possibility of getting scholarship with that GMAT score if i apply for a MS program ? I ask this because it would be of great financial assistance to me.

    Right Now I do not have prior work experience to apply to MBA . What should I do to increase my chances of getting admitted into my desired course in your reputed university?

    Do I stand a chance ? Also it would be great if you could suggest schools that have a good placement record and accept this score. I would like to secure an admit and then defer joining by an year .

    Thank you very much for your assistance and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours Sincerely,


  2. Thanks Anuj.
    Please find my responses in order
    1. I believe it would be difficult for you to get into MS with this score. Since you don’t have prior work experience I believe MS would be more beneficial for you and also it would provide you with more job opportunity in US. If you could try to get 48 in QA with 30 in VA, your net score would be around 650-670 and then you can get into MS schools easily with a good SOP and recommendation letter.
    2. I know people had GRE score between 305-315 and they are pursuing MS in NYU, Boston University and University of Buffalo without/minimal scholarship.
    It would be easier for you to get into MS than in MBA as for MBA in most schools at least 2-3 years of work experience in required.
    I am not aware of MBA universities where you can apply. Sorry for that!

  3. Ravi,

    Sorry for delayed response.

    I got offer from Schulich India and I was not prepared to take up a program whose 1 year was in India and another in Toronto as it gets difficult to be placed in Canada when you don’t even have any work experience. It is only 5 years old and I believe SP Jain has more brand value in India and also higher ROI.

    These are completely my views and may differ from person to person.

  4. A great article which certainly boosts up your spirits and is a guidance thing as of now.
    I am actually planning on starting my GMAT preparation , so is there a month or something which is the best for taking the GMAT exam considering you have enough time for applying to most of the colleges. I know my query may sound irrelevant to some but some may understand my keenness regarding this.
    I mean by what month we should have a GMAT scores in our hands , let say I am looking for 2016 admissions.
    A reply would be highly appreciated.

  5. Hi,

    I recently appeared for gmat exam but end up in getting 630.I don’t know whether i have courage to appear again and looking my experience and age,it’s not in positive side too.
    I am having currently more than 8 yrs of exp and looking for 1 year executive MBA in India and looking which all universities i can apply with this score and this exp.
    Need help.


    • Rohit,

      If you have only taken the test once, I would suggest you think of a retake. Too less of information here to comment, but 630 is likely to make it tough for most respectable programs. If you haven’t tried already, signup for a coaching (virtual/physical) for GMAT to get the right rigor and focus.

  6. Hi MG,

    I appeared for gmat on Aug14 and scored 620. I am having 4 yrs of exp rt now in IT . I am planning to apply for spjain ‘s 1 year mba program after 1 year with same score. I have decent acads (75 % in BE, 73% IN 12th ,86% in 10th ). Can you please review my profile and suggest whether I can get spjain with this score. Can you also suggest with this profile and exp how much gmat score is required to get into 1 yr mba programmes of IIM A,B.


    • Samarth, purely by numbers, I would suggest you go ahead even this year for SP Jain. The GMAT could be a hurdle there too, but I see no point in waiting if you plan to apply with this score. For IIMs, again you’ve not mentioned any work related facts about things that may differentiate you. Purely on the GMAT front, at least aim for the average scores there, and ideally a good 20 points higher.

  7. Hi MG πŸ™‚

    I am 18 years old and doing graduation in Bcom. My ambition is to pursue my MBA from abroad from one of the best B schools. I am starting preparation for GMAT. Could you please guide me to form a study schedule for its preparation and tell all the requirements to get a scholarship.

    It would b very helpful if u replied.

  8. Is it mandatory to have some years of work experience? Don’t they take fresh graduates? I am good at pedagogy and have leadership certificates too.

  9. Hello!!

    Amazing post,Manish i am in great dilemma in selecting colleges for MBA,I got a GMAT score of 660 and i am 4 years experience guy working in R&D design field .Because of financial and family constrains i am not able to apply colleges far above my reach i selected few schools such as SP jain,Schulich indian MBA and Great lakes further i don’t have much insight obout great lakes like carrier growth for 4 years exp guy,suggest me a college which is affordable to me considering my carrier growth so that i can plan for further application process.
    Please give me insight view for great lakes carrier growth for 4 years exp guy.

    Awaiting for your response……

    Thanks in advance,

    • You have to thank Nikhil for the post Karthik πŸ™‚

      On your question, there isn’t much information about you to make an assessment. But if you are primarily targeting Indian MBAs, why not ISB as well? That will also mean taking another stab at the GMAT though. I would definitely recommend SPJain above Great Lakes.

  10. Hi Manish/ Sameer,

    I am working with TCS for 3.7 years. I am planning to take GMAT.

    My scores so far
    Class X – 90 %
    Class XII – 93 %
    B.E – 69 %

    My preferred colleges would be
    1) GLIM, Chennai.
    2) SP JAIN, Mumbai, PGDM.
    3) IMT, Ghaziabad, PGDM.

    Considering that I want to join MBA in 2016, what would be the right time to take GMAT for the colleges specified above.

    Also, with a score of 700 in GMAT, what other colleges could I target!

    Your suggestion would help me in scheduling GMAT exam.

    Thank you!

    • Vishnu, the time to do the GMAT would be about now. You have not mentioned if you want to apply within the country only or not; neither have you mentioned any work-ex details. Purely going by year of experience and the mentioned GMAT score, you can target quite a few schools in the US as well as potentially ISB (all theoretical of course).

      • Thanks a lot for the reply Manish.

        I have been working as an IT Engineer for 3.7 years. I have decent extra curricular and leadership records by the way.

        I wish to study and work in India. Depending on the application deadlines of the colleges that I mentioned, I am planning to book the exam on September 30, so that I get sufficient time to prepare.

        I would also like to apply to other good schools in India that accepts GMAT, including XLRI. I know ISB application deadline is August(worried to know that I would miss it).

        Considering my interest, could you please help me confirm if I could take the exam on September 30. I am badly in need of reassurance by an expert.

        Your answer would mean a lot to me.

        • Have you checked the ISB website Vishnu? The deadline is in Oct and NOT in Aug! And they also have a Round 2 deadline. If you can, try to do the GMAT earlier but not at the cost of a bad/average score of course. Even if that means applying in R2, so be it.

  11. Thank you for the post Nikhil. I could very well relate to it on a personal level.

    Hey Manish,

    I just happened to take my GMAT exam and ended up scoring 630. I have a good percentile in VA but my QA scores dropped to 50 percentile.
    I have about 3 years of marketing/operations experience while working with an up coming start up and have also tried starting my own firm at some point in my life. My current job involves working with top Marketing executives (Vice Presidents/Directors) in the country and abroad and I can get good recommendations from some well known people (especially ISB alumnus). While I have always targeted ISB as the institute for doing my MBA, I want to understand my chances of getting in.

    The fact that they have candidates who have GMAT scores as low as 600 in the current batch has given me some confidence to apply for the program (This has been listed on their website). On a personal level, I am skeptical about the idea of taking the exam again. I do not know how much my score would improve within a month of preparation. The following are my details:


    1. X – 84%
    2. XII – 79%
    3 B-tech – 66% (C.G.P.A -4.0)- University of Pune.

    Work Experience:

    1. Capgemini India – Automation Tester- 1.3 years
    2. About 7 months of working on my own company. (Had to close it down due to some issues).
    3. About 2.5 years of experience working with a start up into the Digital Marketing Space. – Currently heading the Business Development, Customer Success and Customer Operations verticals.

    Please advice as to what would be the right way to proceed with my application. Do you think I should look at other universities? I have reported my current GMAT score and have sent it to the following universities:

    1. ISB – Hyderabad.
    2. INSEAD – Singapore
    3. NUS – Singapore
    4. AGSM – UNSW – Sydney, Australia
    5. Ross – Michigan.

    Your help would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Krishna,

      For the following reasons, we do not speculate on school chances:

      Though we’ve worked with candidates in the low GMAT bucket over the years, you are really playing against probability.

      There has to be something truly distinctive that makes the adcom look beyond the low GMAT score. If you think you are the only guy in your peer group to have achieved something on some dimension, maybe you have a shot for instance.

      • Thank you for the response Manish. I really appreciate the efforts put into the reply. The links have been really helpful.

        Although I understand your position about not speculating with chances at getting admitted to good b-schools, I would like to have some clarity on couple of things on my mind.

        It is understood that even with a high GMAT score, a lot depends on the profile which you send across to the adcom. Since the GMAT score is used to qualify a candidate’s profile for a round of evaluation by the adcom, would it make a huge difference if the score was moderately above 700 or below average?

        From what I have read, a score of 630 on the GMAT would definitely give my profile a chance to be reviewed. The question then stands – by how much will the opinion about the profile change based on a higher GMAT Score?

        Coming to your question about having a profile that stands out of the peer group, I feel that I have achieved a lot more than most of my peers and the fact that there are CXO level people (some of them being ISB alumnus) who can vouch for this effort of mine with good recommendation letters, I feel that I can take a shot at the application.

        Please let me know your thoughts on this.

        • So not very closely related, but this link should help put things into perspective about the chances with low GMAT score:

          At the end of the day, you are going into an academic institute where the curriculum is very demanding. So a basic level of proficiency is required and schools have GMAT as an important criteria to judge that. At the end of the day, it is a competitive process with several parameters and filters. We are purely talking about probability here. Though you may have a finite one of making in, but it will get lower as you aim higher in general. Fair?

  12. HI Manish!
    I am going to give GMAT in a month. I have 8+ years exp ( 4 years IT + 4+ years Entrepreneurship ), Started 2 startups with $350,000 seed funding.. I would like to join in one year MBA.. How much score is needed to secure seat in SP JAIN PGPM?

    • Sagar, your profile ‘sounds’ interesting. With your years of experience, even if you hit around the average score (~680), it should be pretty interesting. One wonders though, why not also target the IIM 1 year courses? Their brand value will be certainly superior.

      • Hi Manish,
        Thanks for your info… I got 670 in GMAT… should i re take ?
        How about Global MBA in USA , i am also interested on Babson and ESMT colleges ?
        Could you please suggest me on this ?

  13. My profile –
    xth – 82.4 %
    xiith – 80.6 %
    Btech – 81.7 %
    2 year work ex in TCS as of June 2015 ..considering 2016 admission By that time it wll be 3 years and 2 months.
    Microsoft certified technology specialist
    Six sigma green belt certified
    Done Jagriti yatra
    Gmat – 630

    What r my chances for getting a interview call from XIMB , SPJAIN ,ISB ??

    • Sarvesh, for reasons outlined here , I will not hazard a school specific assessment. Suffice it to say that purely basis the objective data here, ISB will be pretty tough – both your GMAT and the super competitive IT applicant pool will play down heavily on your profile. It may be worth giving another take of GMAT and/or waiting another year.

  14. Hey ,
    I am thinking to do MBA from USA after 2 – 3 years from now.
    I got :-
    55.59% in SSC (Maharastra board)
    63% in HSC (Mumbai university )
    70% in BMS i.e Bachelor of Management Studies (Mumbai U)

    I am currently working in a Broking Firm in operations department.
    In extra curricular activities I have done Mixed Martial arts.

    Kindly look into my above described profile and guide me accordingly what i should do, am l eligible for top B schools or not , what i should do in coming 2 years before applying to strengthen my profile?

    Answers would be highly appreciated. .!!

  15. Hi MG,

    First, I would like to express my gratitude towards u and MCB team. It feels so homely to know that there is somebody to guide me in the MBA marathon.
    Here is my profile:
    Completed my GMAT yesterday. Score: 620. Quants: 50, Verbal: 24 :'( (after 3 months of arduous self study)
    BE, Mechanical(2005): NITK, Surathkal – 73%
    X – 84% ; Xll – 68.3% (thanks to Chicken Pox)

    WE: I have a ~2 years of gap because of a family crisis (I can explain but ADCOM may not feel compassionate)
    So, joined a reputed IT firm (didn’t appreciate the work) and after 4 months switched to Derivatives Trading in CME, CBOT (totally loved it). Last 7 years working as an Equity Trader (trading NASDAQ, NYSE, AMEX stocks and ETFs).
    Current Designation: Senior Equity Analyst.

    I know my exp. is little odd and I got to explain why MBA or why so late, that wouldn’t be easy, but would that be a plus that my exp. unconventional?
    My primary target is Indian 1-year Full Time: S.P.Jain, XLRI, Great Lakes, XIMB etc. (before GMAT I dreamt ISB, IIMC)
    I started thinking about some Canada <2 years MBAs, but I can't afford taking too much loan (issues :)). Then I have to graduate with a job (well, I am 33+) and that wud be tough in Canada.
    I guess, I already asked too much Qs. Pls let me know, do I have a hope? Although Indian B Schools are prime, I am open to any big change in plan.
    Thanks a lot for awesome work,

    • Binit, looks like your profile does have raw potential. It is not clear as to when was the gap though? And what’s your plan after MBA?

      Given the position you are in, I would not recommend diluting your brands. Why not take another shot at GMAT and if that means targeting R2 applications, so be it. At 620, the top schools start becoming really very tough.

  16. Hi MG,

    Thanks a lot for ur reply. I had a gap of ~2 years right after my B.E. (June 05 – Mar 07). My post-MBA plans are not very clear. But I would like to move to asset management side. I am still trying to figure out.
    I understand there’s nothing like pushing the GMAT score but many factors combined I have to be on a program by 2016 (I guess).
    I know I can do better than 620 (I actually cudn’t sleep the last night and was struggling to keep myself sane in Verbal) but I don’t know how much.. What score do u really think can certainly keep me from ‘diluting the brands’? 700+ is too ambitious for me, I have play all-in (compromise great deal with an already demanding job).
    Anyway, SPJIMR applications are round the corner and I think I have to give it my best shot.
    I will be looking forward to ur suggestions.


  17. Hello Manish,

    I appeared for GMAT a year back, Sep’14, and came out with a score of 630 (Q48 V28). I’m preparing for another go at the test this September. Still, I would like you to suggest if the previous score is worth applying.

    I’m working as an Oracle Consultant for the past 5.5 years with TCS and have risen up the ranks from a Trainee to an IT Analyst with two promotions in between. I had an onsite stint at Paris recently. I currently head a team of five as part of an upgradation project. I did my schooling from St. Xavier’s (Class X – 87%) and then from D.A.V. Model (Class XII – 84%). I earned my B. Tech from WBUT, Kolkata in Computer Science and Engg stream (80% – CGPA 4.0). I have been much involved in extracurricular activities such as plays, football, representing my schools and collegese in various tournaments. I had made it to the District Level football team as well. I’m into photography and have interests in music and travelling.

    I’d like to take up Strategy/Consulting as my specialization in my MBA and have been looking up the colleges that provide this specialization. Few European institutes such as University of Manchester, University of Edinburg, GGCB, etc have caught my attention.

    Would you be able to comment on my prospects and whether applying to European colleges is worth a try?

    Swagnik Chatterjee

    • Swagnik,

      While your career graph looks impressive since IT Analyst roles are pretty close to business, but the GMAT will still be a huge dampener in your chances in general. More so if you are targeting Consulting as a post-MBA goal. I would definitely recommend a re-take.

  18. Hi Manish
    I m an army officer and its been 8 years since I m serving in army.I want to pursue MBA from a reputed college as I pursued bcom in graduation before joining army.So would it be fine if I give gmat,coming from a military background and having no experience in business administration.

  19. Manish , based on my above explained profile( which will be little better after 3 years ), can you suggest how much gmat score would be required to get into reputed MBA college and how an additional language (preferred french ) can boost my profile?

    • Hits, we are going into a purely speculative realm now. GMAT is just one of the factors and without knowing about you in-depth, it will be pre-mature for me to set a target. Apart from a super generic comment such as – higher the better, I am afraid I cannot add more. Ditto for the language thing. Point being, looking at parameters in isolation can be fallacious. Hope you understand.

  20. Hi ,Manish
    I hv done BBA scored 69% , i planning to do MBA from either USA or India. I come from a middle class family and i won’t be getting any financial assistance from anyone ,all expenses will be on loans and fews bucks i have + will save .
    So what should i do USA or Indian MBA ? And how tough is to study in USA? How can USA MBA benefits me ? Is it tough to grab a job in USA ?

    Please suggest!

  21. hey ,

    i want to do MBA from USA , is it necessary to take masters if i hold a 3 years bachelors degree ?
    will it be fine if i try to get in Mid tier MBA university?
    how much is it gonna cost to do MBA from USA for both Mid tier & top Universities ?
    How much loan assistance could i get from banks like from Credila ?

  22. Hi MG

    Read your Blog and found pretty good. I have 9 years of experience in IT with major Brands in Designing, Support, Consulting and Pre-Sales and I am really good in it. I am interested in doing full time MBA from the premium B-Schools and read many requirements of GMAT 680 (minimum). I have very good professional experience along with a great package, the only concern is my academic profile which is very average or say poor (10th 50.8%, 12th 70%, 45%). How to cover up can good GMAT score will help? Waiting for your reply.


  23. Hi Manish,
    I have scored 620 and have around 3 yrs of experience in IT company(Performance Testing domain), I am planning to apply in Canada and US. Could you please suggest me which universities i can target. Also it will be helpful if anyone can let me know if he/she is planning to do MBA from Canada.

  24. Hey , i have a plan to do mba from usa in 2017 or 18 , i am currently working in in operations department as mid offic executive since a year and half. I have a job offer for equity sales. Please tell how this profile is and how will it affect in my MBA admissions. Is it a good profile to go with or stay where i am in kindly suggest!

    Thank you.

  25. Hi manish,

    Hope you are good. My gmat score is 630 and I want to apply for master’s course in Usa. I have done btech in mechanical engineering in the year 2015( June).
    10th- 84.2% , 12th-80.4% btech- 63.4% (with 84% in last sem). I have a offer from tcs but i want to persue masters. So can I get admit from a decent university in usa. I have a good extra curricular activity record. I participated and organised various events at college level. I have also been an active member of a gov. Reg NGo.
    Looking forward to hear from you soon.


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