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Top 5 myths about ISB application busted!

Posted on August 03, 2012
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Over the last decade of its existence, ISB has evolved into a brand in itself – a sense of honor, prestige and accomplishment for everyone who has graduated from the Indian School of Business!   Constantly ranked as one of the top B-schools in India and also as 20th in the Global Top MBA Rankings 2012, Financial times, London. ISB has a lot to offer to future leaders in terms of research based innovative curriculum, international outreach, global best practices and insight into emerging markets for career growth. So if you are an aspirant trying to put your best foot forward in your ISB application, this blog will give you a headstart. 


ISB has been constantly ranked as one of the top B-schools in India and also as 20th in the Global Top MBA Rankings 2012, Financial times, London.


ISB has constantly maintained these esteemed rankings for five years consecutively. To add more feathers to its cap, ISB has also been revered with South-Asia’s first AACSB accredited school! Undoubtedly, MBA aspirants are not leaving any stone unturned to add ‘ISB’ into their CVs.   However, in this helter-skelter, several myths have cropped up over the last few years. Most of these grapevines are related to the ISB application process. We are looking at the top 5 myths!  



Myth 1: You are bound to get rejected with a sub-700 score!

ISB Application


GMAT is important. Very important! This is because to select among thousands of applicants, this concrete 3 digit number is of great help to B-schools world over. GMAT provides a good indication of a student’s logical application in a business context that will make him an effective future leader.   But do not forget that GMAT is just a part of the selection process and not the selection process itself.


Any reputed B-School, including ISB looks for a complete package to fit in their MBA program and not just one aspect in isolation.   There is a reason why an ISB application with a lower GMAT score are accepted. Else they could have just put up on the website “Applicants with only a GMAT score higher than 700 need apply”. According to the official ISB statistics around 25% of the entering class had a sub-700 score. Infact over the last few years we have had several of our own students get through with a sub-700 score getting!  


According to the official ISB statistics around 25% of the entering class had a sub-700 score.


This myth is perhaps propagated by those who got rejected because the other factors such as weak essays, poor interview are intangibles that no one wants to admit. I have not heard an applicant say “I got dinged because my post-MBA goals were perhaps a bit fuzzy”. While GMAT gives a more solid reason – “I got dinged because I had a 690” makes the excuse a bit more palatable.   Read on for a detailed Analysis on the ideal GMAT score range for ISB.    



Myth 2: You shouldn’t apply with more than 10 years of work-experience!

ISB Application


 Till date, ISB has created over 4000 global leaders who are spread over 25 countries! Though the average experience in the class is still a “young” with 3-6 years experience being the median on the curve, more and more mid-career professionals are seeking an ISB PGP to catapult their careers to the next level.  


ISB PGP admissions committee understands the unique background such senior people bring in, and works hard with the industry to ensure that they are rewarded with a position that is commensurate with their talents and experience. While the usual career progression is into a managerial position (“LEAD”), the students with more than 8-10 years of experience are provided with opportunities to interview for senior management roles such as Country Head (“LEAP”).  


Students with more than 8-10 years of experience are provided with opportunities to interview for senior management roles such as Country Head.


However, a caveat over here is that ISB (or any Bschool in the world) cannot guarantee placements. This is a known fact that there are fewer positions at such a level and that an MBA is not a “placement agency”. It is important that applicants with rich experience bring with them their own network, as well as understanding of their domain. ISB placement committee can ensure that the required groundwork is done to help facilitate the process.  



Myth 3: The details in the ISB application form are not that important!

ISB Application


 The online ISB application form that contains details regarding the applicant’s profile such as educational details, work-experience details, essays, video, and recommendations. Along with this there are also some details, which many applicants consider “minor”, such as extra-curricular, awards, languages known etc.   However the admissions committee gets to review a file which contains these very details before it even gets to see your essays. Thus, these details on the ISB application form become the initial point of contact between you and ISB.


First impression may not be the last one, but first impression does take you to the next level, that is the interview!   Thus, every aspirant should ensure that he/she reserves enough time to fill out all the details in the ISB application form completely so that it comes across convincing, interesting and unique.


The admissions committee gets to review a file which contains these very details before it even gets to see your essays.


It is very easy to create a login to see what are the details required. Do not leave out filling the form to the last date of the ISB application, when you will be hurried and might end up making mistakes.    



Myth 4: Showing NGO/not-for-profit work is a must on your ISB application!

ISB Application


 ISB is in search for people who bring varied perspective into the classroom discussions. That is why you will come across many interesting yet so-called “unconventional” profiles at ISB of people who have been involved in the society around us through various NGOs.   However, it is a myth that ISB wants everyone who applies to have contributed to a social cause.


Though, it is true that such an association does impact your ISB application in a positive way, it should only be added if the applicant has genuinely done so. Association with an NGO just for the sake of embellishing your ISB application will actually reduce your chances of an admission!


Association with an NGO just for the sake of embellishing your ISB application will actually reduce your chances of an admission!


Integrity is a quality that is highly regarded in B-schools these days. Culturally Indians tend to use their times constructively in many other different ways – not just in social causes. So, candidates should look at creative ways of revealing their managerial or leadership qualities such as playing a sport, or being a part of rock-band!  



Myth 5: The essays are the crucial aspects, the interviews can be handled!

ISB Application


 Applicants place a lot of emphasis on the ISB application essays – a correct thing to do because it is through essays that B-Schools will actually get to know about who you are as a person, and what you bring to the table.   However, it is also equally important that you focus on the interview process, through which the admissions committee tries to see if the person behind the essays is interesting in real-life.


Those 20-40 minutes are crucial because it is an opportunity for you to bring out real-life examples to convey your strengths and managerial traits.   There is more to you than an application form and the ISB interview panel wants to see that. Don’t deny them the opportunity by trying to play safe and telling them what you think they want to hear. Or still worse talking something tangential to what you have mentioned in your ISB application essays.  


The panel wants to know you better, and the only person who can help them is you.


Here is what we suggest to applicants facing an MBA interview – treat it like a conversation, not a quiz. The panel wants to know you better, and the only person who can help them is you. Just ensure you are able to articulate the main questions well – why you want to do an MBA, why specifically ISB, why is now the right time in your career, and why should they select you. The rest of the questions should be about what *you* have done in *your* life – something you should definitely not worry about!  


I hope this article was useful in busting a few myths about the ISB apllication process for you. Did you believe in any of them before you started reading? Is there any other myth you would like us to answer? Do let us know.  


For those planning to apply to ISB this year , please write to enquiry@crackverbal.com or call us @ 9008177800.


Profile Evaluation Crackverbal


  1. 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.

    1. i have work experience of 2 years, i wish to join isb just detail me through studying methods and procedures

  2. Leaving the scholarship for AIESEC members aside, how beneficial is it to have been a part for AIESEC for ISB YLP?

    1. Hi Sonali,

      Can you please give some more background about your profile, your work profile and also your GMAT score if you have taken it.

  3. I have completed my engineering in 2012 ECE branch
    Post completion. I have 3 years of corporate experience.
    Now I have started my own business and I want to do MBA from ISB.
    please suggest

    1. Hi Tushar,

      Corporate experience + entrepreneurship seems to be a great combination. Now you just need to plug in the WHY MBA and WHY ISB questions. Make sure you read up on this as much as possible – we have a few resources to help you with the decision in the ebooks and video section.


  4. Hi, I’m currently working for a management consulting firm in the US. 2 Yrs of work experience 2 promotions in the last 2 years. Have a masters degree in Industrial and Systems engineering from an American university and a Bachelors Btech in Mechanical Engg. Planning on applying for 2018. Looking for direction.


    1. Hi Aneesh,

      Your profile looks very strong. I would encourage you to mail us at essays@crackverbal.com (in case you haven’t done so).

      Meanwhile dig into the ebooks / videos section – there are a ton of resources there to help you šŸ™‚


  5. Hi guys I need help, I got interview call from ISB for this Sunday. Today I was checking my profile in ISB site n found I attached my friends colleges marksheet accidentally what to do now please help can I mail them and tell or should I tell them on interview day . The marksheet I attached was of my frds who scored 86 cgpa and I scored 90+cgpa. will they cancel my interview šŸ™

    Will they reject my interview call plz help

    1. Hi Rashmi,

      Don’t worry. I am sure ISB will understand the predicament. Just tell them that this was a mistake. I am sure while filling out the details you provided your own marks – so it is easy to delete and rue-load.

      Mistakes happen all the time – and ISB understands that out of the lakhs of people who have filled out the application form so far – some mistakes like these are bound to happen.


  6. Hi ,
    I am Planning to pursue PGP from ISB, but academics score are as follows:

    SSC – 84.80 %
    HSC – 77.50 %
    Undergraduate (BE Mechanical) – 62.7 %

    Will at such low score affect my admission and if yes upto how much extend and if i want to get into ISB at such score what should I do now.

    I have an Entrepreneurship Experience of 2 years but unfortunately things didn’t go well and i shut down.

    what can you suggest me

    1. Firstly – don’t worry about school marks. Secondly – your college marks are way in the past. If you get a rock solid GMAT score – you can allay their fears about your academics.

      Entrepreneurship is by its very nature prone to failure. What matter is not that it failed – but that you tried. I think you should portray yourself as a risk-taker. We have had people with failed entrepreneurship experience get into ISB in the past. So no reason you shouldn’t try.

      But yes – scoring well on the GMAT is important šŸ™‚

  7. Hi Arun, I was looking to apply for ISB 2018 batch. Though my scores have me in a bit of a quandary. I scored 72% in Twelfth, had a CGPA of 3.12 out of 4 for my graduation, 580 in GMAT and 107 in TOEFL. I have completed 54 months of full time work experience while working in a public sector bank here in India and have even gotten promoted to Manager and have completed my CAIIB.
    Should I apply or try for another B school. Taking the GMAT again will be tough as due to the demands of my work I can’t spare the time for studies.
    What would you suggest?

    1. Any school you apply with – your GMAT scores are going to haunt you. Of course you can apply to schools where 580 will get you in – but I assume that is not the intent.

      I would suggest you relook at the GMAT part. You may want to review our free trial course here: http://gmatonline.crackverbal.com


  8. Hi arun
    please suggest if I have a chance at making through ISB.
    10th -83 %
    12th – 62%
    BBA -67%
    MBA- 6.7 CGPA /10
    total 9 years work exp. 5 years with retail branch banking ( Hdfc bank ) and 4 years with Coca Cola ( trade marketing and key accounts )
    i was a professional percussions player and have a sangeet prabhakar degree .
    Have played state level table tennis .
    i am married and have recently been blessed with a baby boy.
    i have attempted Gmat once last month and my score was 630. Disheartened , i did not accept the score.
    kindly suggest

    1. Your profile looks great and ISB would love to have you. Yes – GMAT is a concern that you need to address as quickly as possible.

      Congrats on the family front. Studying for GMAT along with parenthood is tough but doable. I have had many students who have juggled multiple priorities. This is the path you have chosen – you also have an option to kickback and relax by continuing where you are. It is a lot of hard work but hopefully it would be worth every moment!


  9. Hi Arun,

    I need your advice.
    10th – 93.2%
    12th – 83.67%
    BE (Electronics) from Mumbai University – 64.3% aggregate and passed with distinction in final year.
    2.2 years work experience in IT(IGATE , now Capgemini).
    I secured rank 1 in L1 exam conducted by the company and have also got a promotion after one year.
    I also participate actively in CSR and fun events in the company.
    Should I give GMAT and try for ISB? What are the other options for MBA? Please help.

  10. Hi Arun,
    Please advise.
    10th- 90%
    12th- 88.6%
    Btech ( mech) – 8.21/10
    During schools days, i won awards in cricket, kabbadi, long jump, high jump etc. I have also won Gold in national karate championship and bronze in international .
    During my engineering i was president of 2 clubs, organised a fest and won a few awards for poetry writing.

    what could be good GMAT score to get an interview call from ISB ?

    1. You should aim for a GMAT score of 680+ to have a good chance for an interview call.

      For more details, you can schedule a free call with our Consultant on 9008177800

  11. Hi Arun,

    Just wanted to clarify one thing! Does ISB accept old gmat scores? And if yes…then how old scores can are accepted?

  12. Hi Arun,

    Just to clarify one thing! Does ISB accept old gmat scores ? And if yes …then how old tje score can be to be accepted?

    1. Yes they do accept GRE scores. There is nothing like a minimum score. It depends on your profile. Look at anything above 320+

  13. Hi,

    I have scored 650 in GMAT, I have 3 years of experience in IT. Is this good enough to apply for ISB this year for the batch of 2018 ? Or shall I give GMAT another chance before applying this year ?

    Really confused as because of working hours constraints, cannot study more than what I have done and I am not sure next try will improve my score substantially.

    1. Hi Neha,
      650 is not a bad score.But what is important to understand is the competition you are facing.If you feel you don’t need to take GMAT, then focus on what else you can do to improve your profile.You can reach out to Vijay@crackverbal.com for the profile builder option.

  14. Hi ,
    Need your advice ,
    10th : 91.8
    12 : 88.8
    Btech: 75.1
    Four hears of It experience with Accenture in banking domain
    How strong is this profile and what other things required to get admit in top business school

    1. Hi Raj,
      Your work experience , career progression and leadership skills will determine your chances of admit, along with your GMAT score.
      As per whether you are eligible , you are so nothing to worry. Please get your profile evaluated by our team. I am sure you will get some good pointers.

  15. Sir, can a qualified Chartered Accountant, with good academics and with only 3 year articleship/ internship experience in a Chartered Accountant firm apply for ISB. Will the job profile actract the reqruiters…..?

  16. Hi,

    I have a 3 yrs old GMAT score (730; given in Aug 2014) . Would using such an old score diminish my chances of getting selected in ISB? Should I aim to retake the exam?


  17. Hi,
    I have around 2.5+ yrs of experience in private sector. I am yet to give GMAT. I have already done MBA but the college was a normal b-school, it did not yeild me much benefits. I have experience of working with some top corporates like ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND AND PEARSON VUE.I am also six sigma green belt certifies. I am aiming for ISB HYDERABAD. My academics were normal 12th-78%.
    I just want to know what other things i can plan to make my application strong to get into ISB.

  18. Hi,

    I am Sudeshna. Have 6+ years of work experience in Banking.; I have worked with ICICI Bank, Indusind Bank and currently associated with Axis Bank. Had taken career progression twice in my duration and possess extensive experience in retail branch banking operations, relationship management and strong hold in NRI relationship management. My acads as follow-

    10th ( WB board)- 79%
    12th ( WB board)- 63%
    Graduation ( Zoology Hons. from University of Calcutta)- 58%
    PGDM Marketing from Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies- 75%

    Please suggest me if I should go ahead with GMAT keeping ISB in focus.

    1. Absolutely! You have a good career progression. You should focus on a good GMAT score. Let us know if we can help you. You can reach out to us at 9019199800

  19. Hi,
    I have 7 years experience with the The Times of India group in sales and marketing. My academic achievements are :
    10th : 70%
    12th : 72%
    B Com : 68%
    PGDMM : 72%
    I have taken a break of almost 3 years after my son was born. Should I even think of ISB, will they even consider a candidate like me , please advise.

    1. Taking Sabaticals is not a problem. What is most important is if you have a skillsets to get into the corporate world. If you can justify that and also align your goals which looks feasible to the B-School , it is possible.

      And most importantly GMAT score has to be high in such cases. Anything above 700+

      If you need more help pls reach out to us @ 9008177800

  20. Hello arun
    I am a dental graduate work experience of 9 years, I have previously worked as a research fellow at all India insitute of medical sciences Delhi , have a few research publication to my name, also served in a govt hospital as a resident dentist. Presently working in a coporate dental chain. My academic background is not too strong
    10std 62 Percent
    12 std 57 percent
    Bachelor in dental surgery : 56 percent
    Diploma in endodontics : 63percent
    GMAT score of 650
    What are my chances of getting into isb
    Please kindly guide and advise
    Dr Manu Rastogi

    1. There are chances since you won’t be assessed with the IT crowd. However, they would like to know about your post MBA plans. It’s worth a short.

  21. Hi,

    Below is a quick background info about me:

    10th : 9.2 CGPA
    12th : 78.8%
    Bcom(Eco hons): 70.5%
    Pursuing MCOM from IGNOU distant learning

    Currently working with one of the Big 4’s for around 2 years as of now. Want to apply in ISB 2018 batch.
    I don’t have a great extra curricular activities in my CV but I have been performing well in my company & also working on add on’s like event management etc.

    Wanted to know your views about my profile. Also I am thinking of giving GMAT in September so that I can apply for R1 in ISB. Do you think it’a a feasible option?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Raghav,
      Your profile is good. Just make you are clear about your post MBA goals. It’s important that along with a good GMAT score you also focus on making sure that the most important points / highlights of your profile are articulated well. Let us know if you need help with that. You can reach out to our admissions expert @ 9008177800

  22. Hello, I am planning to apply for ISB, Currently I am working in US, and have 3 years of work experience in IT, Masters from New York University with 3.4/4 GPA, B. Tech 7.1/10 , 12th 59% and a GRE score of 302, Looking for some direction, how can I make profile more stronger?

  23. Hello Crack verbal team,
    I recently wrote GMAT and got 690 Scores (Q -50 & V-33). Currently, I am working as Deputy manger in Production Planning & Control Dept. in JSW Steel Ltd. Dolvi, near Mumbai. I have 7 years of work experience in Steel industry.
    My Academic Back ground
    12th – 64%
    BE in Chemical Engg : 65%
    M. TECH In Chemical Engg: 8.3 CGPA
    Have founded a start up with my spouse in K-12 Education system in which we promote practical based learning in the field of science among children. We have been in start up for 4 years and run it with job. Over 950 Children have attended our science workshops.
    Kindly evaluate my profile. Suggest me should I focus on My start up story in essays or focus on my work experience.

  24. Hi ,

    I am currently working with an IT firm( Teradata) as a database admisnistrator in Mumbai.Have completed 2 years of total experience.
    What are my chances of getting into ISB. I am looking for 2019 batch
    10th – 84%
    12th – 65%
    BE IT(68% overall)

    Will be appearing for GMAT/GRE in december

    Kindly advise

  25. Hi,
    I had graduated as an ECE engineer in April 2015. I worked for a fintech company as part of their webapp’s front end design team from June 2015 to August 2016.

    I joined IBM in October 2016, as part of an account that supports the infrastructure of a bank. My KRAs involved support of deployed software as well as ensuring SCCM deployment of software updates went through smoothly.

    I have a GRE score of 323(Quant: 165, Verbal: 158). I do have arrears in my engineering degree(Over 4).
    I would like to apply to ISB. I would like to know if my profile fits the bill

    1. Hi Andrew,
      What is also important is your post MBA career goal. You have a good GRE score and 2+ yrs of experience. You have a chance.

  26. Hiee..
    I have completed my graduation in June 2018 .. I am currently working in a company as a finance office, till date I have 2 months of work experience in that company. I am currently preparing for GMAT exam .. in general what is required of me for (including GMAT score) fitting the profile in isb …. ?

  27. Hi,
    I am in Indian Navy and have 30months work experience here.I am looking forward to do executive MBA through ISB Hyderabad. My academic credentials are:
    BE(civil) -79%
    I am planning to take GMAT in February.
    I request you to kindly give me an insight of my profile.

  28. Hi, Iā€™m currently working as a Research Associate for the Competition Commission of India in New Delhi. 3 years of work experience working on some of the landmark cases in the history of Competition law in India. Have a masters degree in Economics (International Trade) from JNU and a Bachelors degree in Economics from DU. Planning on applying for 2019. Looking for direction.

    Suvid Kapoor.

    1. Hi Suvid,

      Your profile looks interesting. Would request you to get on a call with one of our experts at 8880560000 for more guidance.

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