ISB with 670 GMAT? Possible?
Every year, we hear stories of many applicants who apply to the Indian School of Business (ISB) and make it with low GMAT scores. The ISB admit with a low GMAT score is not a myth, but reality. However, ISB applicants who wish to be able to make it through a rigorous application process need to demonstrate excellent planning and execution to be able to make it. This is not about ‘hoping’ for an admit, but making it happen through an outstanding application and interview. Every year, many applicants make it to ISB and other top schools with lower than average GMAT scores. This article is the story of SV, an ISB with 670 GMAT and excellent planning.
ISB 670 GMAT admit: Preparing for the Application
The first thing that many people say when hearing the story of an applicant who made it with a lower than average score is that he/she must have been out of the world in terms of other parameters. Perhaps he/she was a global investment banker, a leading strategy consultant, or at the very least an IITian. None of these hold true for SV, but that does not mean that SV is not outstanding on her own steam. She has spent more than 8 years at Infosys and at Deloitte, and has won multiple awards for her work. Her current work in Sharepoint and IT consulting helped her to showcase her technical and managerial ability, and from multiple aspects (including the appreciation garnered from her seniors and peers), SV would be considered an outstanding professional. However, her GMAT score was only 670, and SV wondered if this would be enough when she approached GyanOne.
Preparing for ISB applications with a low GMAT
The first step to fixing an issue is acknowledging it. Right from the outset, SV knew that her GMAT score would not be outstanding, but it would be decent. Discussing her profile and introspecting into her strengths, SV realized that she had many of the skills that ISB was looking for, including clear career goals and a well-defined career progression. She had been a student leader in college, and had taken multiple innovative initiatives to add value at Deloitte. Working with GyanOne, she understood how ISB could help her achieve her dreams, and how she would fit with the school. This planning was critical – SV overcame her limitations through focusing on her strengths, and showing how she could be an excellent applicant (and later a student) in this first stage of the ISB process. In this way, her planning was similar to that of Ankit Nanda, who had made it to ISB with 660.
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ISB interview preparation and backing up the app
SV received a call for ISB interview preparation in January, but she knew that she would need to do more than simply prepare for the interview. She looked at the interview not simply as a part of the application process, but as a unique opportunity to show the admissions committee that she was much more than just her GMAT score or her IT background. Working with GyanOne, SV planned in deep detail for the interview, understanding her strengths and how to showcase them, studying her future career path, and also understanding ISB more deeply. This was preparation that was not just good for the interview, but also for her own understanding and career.
This preparation allowed SV to make it to ISB with a 660 GMAT (Class of 2017).
How to make it to ISB with a 650/660/670 GMAT
SV’s case presents definite lessons that other applicants with similar GMAT scores can learn from. Further, the learning is not just limited to those with below average GMAT scores, but to all applicants who wish to boost their chances of making it to ISB.
– Start early and plan different components of your application well. Your application is the key to the ISB door – working on it at the last moment will not help. Not only do you need to answer the ISB essay questions, but you also need to make sure that you are coming across as an outstanding applicant. This will take time.
– Work with peers, mentors, or an admissions consultant to ensure that you are bringing out the right elements in your profile. Sometimes, technologists and engineers tend to focus on elements that may not be valued by the school. Further, you may have many stories in your profile that you do not even recognize as being valuable. Work to bring those out.
– Clarity in career goals and your fit with ISB is critical, not only for your applications, but also for your interview and your own career. Make sure you have it.
– The interview is more than just a question and answer session. It is valuable face time with the admissions committee, a golden chance to show that your GMAT score is not all that defines you. Prepare not just to answer questions, but to awe and impress.