ISB Admissions Round 1 vs Round 2

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ISB Admissions Round 1 vs Round 2

Should you apply to ISB MBA Round 1 or ISB Round 2? This is a perennial question that many ISB MBA applicants ask. We have earlier tried to answer this, but perhaps that response was not comprehensive enough. Here is our perspective on this now, which will help you make a more confident decision on ISB executive MBA Admissions Round 1 vs Round 2.

When Round 1 is better

First, you should ensure that you are ready to apply – you should have a decent GMAT score, have identified your recommender, and have time to dedicate to working on your application. Next, assuming you do have them, Round 1 is better. Why? The class profile is yet to be shaped, and so more chances of unconventional profiles, or profiles with some weaknesses making it. Further, ISB gives out some scholarships only to Round 1 applicants.

When you should consider Round 2

That said, when does Round 2 make more sense? Cases in which your GMAT score still needs improvement (that is, you are retaking) are a good example.

Some people also apply in Round 2 because they are applying to other programs (higher than ISB in their priority) and would like to see the results from those programs in Round 1 before deciding whether to apply to ISB at all.

Mentioned below are few of the profiles of GyanOne clients, who made to ISB in R2

Ankit Nanda


ISB Admit with a 660 (Below Average) GMAT in Round 2. It is commendable!  Ankit was working with Punj Lloyd for 4 years, before he decided to make that  jump in his career by pursuing an MBA.

Ankit has worked in the operations  arena, in both India and Abu Dhabi, and he used his international experience to  good effect, bringing out his key skills, qualities, and experience and making a  strong case for how he would be an excellent addition to ISB.

What Ankit lacked by way of a GMAT score, he made up from through assiduous research on his post-MBA career option, and created a very strong fit with ISB, working with GyanOne on his application. Ankit had good interviewing skills and polished them well to leave no stone unturned, to achive an admit from one of India’s top MBA program, ISB!  Read his detailed ISB PGP Success story here

Parul Abrol


Parul had a very interesting background. With 740 on her GMAT, she has been     working as a data analyst for companies like Hewlett Packard and Deloitte.

As     she has worked extensively in data analytics, and likes to get things just right,       Parul brainstormed in detail on her ISB application.

This excellent professional     has worn many hats in the past, including that of an interim HR        support/recruiter, and her flexibility and dynamism is what won her awards at   work, as well as helped her create a winning application to ISB. We wish her all    the best as this gutsy girl takes on the next challenge in her life.

Sohan Ghag


Sohan truly fought his way through ISB admission procedure. He was a  reapplicant to ISB in 2015 and could manage to apply only in R2.

A Chartered Accountant (CA) by profession, Sohan was yet to appear for his  GMAT, when he started working with GyanOne on his ISB applications. Having  worked for both KPMG and Ernst and Young (E&Y), he had good performace at  work.

With ISB dreams in his eyes, Sohan introspected on several aspects of his  profile on GyanOne’s recommendation. In the interim, he took the GMAT – just 3 days before the R2 deadline. Very few people can keep a twin focus on GMAT preparation and creating a strong application, but Sohan did it successfully. This is how, after all, champions are made.

Rikta Doshi


Now classmates with Parul, Sohan and all others mentioned on this list, Rikta  was truly amazed when her final ISB result was announced. She could belive at  first that she had made it to her dream MBA in R2.

An entreprenuer in the field of  education, Rikta was retaking her GMAT while preparing for her ISB application  (as most ISB applicants do). She had worked with CRISIL for 3 years before    taking on to her dream of being an entreprenuer, in an unrelated area. Soon did she realise that to take her start-up to the next level, management education is crucial.

Yet, creating a bridge between her past, current, and future was critical to a successful ISB application, and Rikta worked diligently with GyanOne on this aspect. Today, her hard work has paid off and she is on the way to even more success post-MBA.


An engineer and post graduate from IIT Madras, Tarun had close to two years of  experience working for Reliance Industries. A scholar and a developer, Tarun  initially thought that he could make a big difference to his career with a  management degree.

It took us some time to do his profile evaluation initially as  he had a lot of questions pertaining to his career ahead, as most MBA aspirants  do. Tarun is not only a thorough professional, but also a brilliant inventor, having  created some truly path-breaking technology products for the oil & gas industry.

Tarun worked with GyanOne, and made it to ISB, but decided not to go! He now continues to pursue his passion within the industry, and may someday decide to apply again to an MBA program. We do not see that as a negative outcome – ultimately, your work should propel you towards your dreams, MBA or not, and we completely respect Tarun’s decision.


Want to check out more on ISB MBA?

ISB PGP Admissions | ISB MBA Application Help

ISB success stories | Top applicants who made it to the ISB PGP


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