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My GMAT score was 100 points lower than the class average

MBA abroad admits with 630 GMAT exam score

When submerged under water, Shouvik Das knows how to hold his breath and not panic. That ability helped him tackle the challenge he describes in this story.

MBA applicants, especially those competing in over-represented applicant pools, strive hard to get a GMAT score that’s head and shoulders above their target bschool’s class average.

Apart from a confidence boost, high GMAT scores allow applicants to focus on the other things that matter in the application – essays, recommendations, resume, interviews.

But what if you can’t improve your GMAT score and end up with a 100-point difference from the class average? In most cases, it generally means one thing – a sure-shot rejection.

If you have enjoyed stories of tea-brewers who have found success in life, you’ll like this one too.

My GMAT score was 100 points lower than the class average

by Shouvik Das

Working as a Program Manager at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for a major British aero engine manufacturer,
I periodically used to introspect.

  • Am I prepared to deliver what’s expected of me?
  • Am I ready to take up a more business-oriented role in my firm like many of my superiors have?

One of big steps that I always knew I needed, to build a better version of myself, was an MBA. It was the best way to understand of business side of the equation.

The first hurdle was GMAT. I subscribed to few online GMAT courses and maintained a consistent study schedule.

Based on my performance in mock tests, I was expecting my score to be within a range of 650-670.

But on the exam day, I ended up scoring sub 600 score (i.e 550-600 range).

That’s at least 100 points below the average GMAT score for my target bschool – S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR).

Sigh! My entire world came crashing at my feet at that point.

Nevertheless, based on the exceptional stories I read online (on MBA Crystal Ball, GMAT Club), I did not lose hope.

I didn’t want to quit without a fight. To guide me through my fight, I certainly needed someone who was the best in the business.

It crossed my mind that maybe I should just talk to my friends at top ranking B-schools rather than spend money on MBA application consultants.

But, it was evident with my low score and average IT male profile in one of the big IT services firms that I need the guidance of someone who had vast experience in guiding the applicants.

And to give me hope, I had seen a few situations like mine!

After a thorough research on the consultants, it was clear that based on their quality of work and testimonials of MBA Crystal Ball, they were the best in the business.

I signed up for the MBA application + brainstorming package with MCB for SPJIMR, Bombay.

I had selected SPJIMR primarily because of two reasons:

  1. Learning pedagogy which instills value-based leadership
  2. Most cost-effective learning opportunity.

Vibhav, an understanding and patient guy, was my mentor/coach. Unlike other consultants, Vibhav neither believed in spoon-feeding nor in forcing his thoughts.

He had a series of thought-provoking questions which enabled me to introspect during the brainstorming session.

With him, I saw a clear and precise order emerging in my chaotic essays. Throughout the journey he kept on challenging my reasoning for each of my assertions.

Slowly, I could see a new story emerging from my experience. One that was driven by business impact, revenue generation and customer obsession.

I saw my career from a new perspective – where I was a leader focused on process improvement, team management and project profitability.

I even had a story of how my hobby of “tea brewing” – on how it has shaped my personality and made me a more meticulous planner.

Essentially, it sharpened my own logical reasoning about my goals and prepared not only my essays, but also got my story in shape for the MBA interview.

All this made me more positive. I saw a small silver lining in my profile and my confidence went up a little.

Vibhav was instrumental in getting me ready for this college. With his support, my MBA application essays came out crisp as desired.

In a nutshell, his guidance was over and above my expectations.

Thoughts from Vibhav (Shouvik’s consultant)

Shouvik was a quick learner and an extremely perceptive person. He knew of his score disadvantage, but he approached the essay drafting process with a very positive attitude. He understood the change in thought process that I advocated fairly quickly and changed his approach.

Though, IT is a over-represented profile by a large measure across all Indian management institutes of repute, it also presents some of the best opportunities of work and growth in the country today.

The ability to showcase the business benefit that you are enabling, for your client and your employer in precise revenue terms and business impact at scale, requires more than a bit of digging around and thinking.

But candidates who are able create a story out of that in their essays dramatically increase their chances of standing out and differentiating themselves in this over-crowded space.

Shouvik’s realization about the importance of his work in the context of his client’s business was the aha! moment that made all the difference.

Based on my profile and relevance of my essays, my application was shortlisted for the final stage – the MBA interview.

For the interview, I was prepared not only for the questions that are usually asked repeatedly in a B-school interview, but also for questions that may knock one off their feet.

In my case it was – describe yourself in one word.

Rest is history!

I successfully converted my application and secured an admit at the prestigious SPJIMR.

In the end – I want the blog readers to remember this.

GMAT is an important part of one’s overall application but certainly not the “only” decisive factor.

Take it from me! Do not be disheartened with a low score.

Having a consistent score in your 10th, 12th and undergraduate / engineering degree goes miles to establish solidarity.

It also pays off to take help to showcase the true you, if its difficult to do it alone.

Having a guiding hand such as MBA Crystal Ball will go a long way in giving you the direction and guidance to make your application and your interview way more impressive and logical.

Good luck to all the aspirants. May god speed!

Also read:
Low GMAT score 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 Email. Or follow on Linkedin, Facebook.

13 thoughts on “My GMAT score was 100 points lower than the class average”

  1. Hi Sir,

    I have currently received a PG in M.Tech (Integrated) in Information Technology from VIT Vellore university. This was a four year programme while working with an mnc . I wish to pursue phd abroad ,is it possible to do so?are the foreign universities accepting this kind of degree? and also how could we find out about the same?
    also is indian phd accepted by the foreign countries like USA,Canda,and Australia?

    could you please help me with the same sir?

  2. I am pursuing BE CSE 3rd year ,I want to do MBA abroad so,kindly suggest me some top ranked universities in france or any other countries with affordable tuition fee.

  3. Hi, My self Subrahmanyam. I am a MBA graduate and have 9 years of experience in sales and marketing. I want to do a management program or online course in Digital marketing or International business or CRM. I am confused which is better for me and have better future. I have experience in sales in different countries so I am thinking for International business but Digital marketing is in demand. Can you pls help me to figure out which course is better.

  4. Hello Everyone,

    I have just completed my B.Tech from IP Univeristy and also have a gap of 1 year after my 12th.
    Right now i am doing an internship in a startup as a Business Analyst.
    I am thinking of Joining MIM and give GMAT
    Can anyone help me

  5. Hi ,
    I am a Grad and have an experience of 5 years in Infosys.

    How should I prepare to get into Harvard and also what is the whole process to do do?

    It would be great if you can also tell the total fee and expenses.


  6. Hello Manish sir. Nishank Aggarwal here from ndim delhi. I need your help for further admissions in mba colleges or business schools i am very much confused . Please help me out. My what’s app number is 9354113989

    • Thanks for reaching out Nishank.

      It would be great if you can reach out to us on mcb (at) mbacrystalball (dot) com with your profile details – resume/gmat score/target colleges/deadlines etc.

      We can take it from there.


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