Blog post on GMAT vs GRE for admission to ISB (Indian School of Business), by ISBeacon

ISB PGP/EEO/YLP programs gives candidates a choice of submitting either their GRE score or their GMAT score, as part of the Admissions cycle. Sometimes this makes applicants to the PGP at the Indian School of Business (ISB PGP) wonder whether they should prepare for GRE or GMAT for ISB admission.

For almost a decade after its founding in 2001, ISB did not accept GRE scores at all. For the initial few years, it was CAT and GMAT, and subsequently, it was only GMAT. However, since 2016, ISB has been accepting both GRE and GMAT scores for admissions.

Through all these changes in ISB’s admissions criterion over the years, GMAT has remained a constant. That being the case, candidates wonder if ISB has a preference for GMAT score, even though ISB does claim to accept GRE as well.

The truth is that ISB doesn’t really differentiate between the two. So, there is no bias towards GMAT or against GRE. While ISB doesn’t publish statistics in terms of the number of candidates who get admitted every year with GMAT scores vs the number of candidates who get admitted with GRE scores, we have worked with hundreds of candidates over the years, and have noticed no such bias.

The average GMAT score of admitted candidates at ISB is generally between 710-720 while the average GRE score is between 325-328. So, either a decent GRE score or a decent GMAT score will significantly boost your overall profile and candidature.

Completely your choice. Any purported preference by ISB, towards one score over the another should not be a reason for you to choose between GRE or GMAT for ISB. Following should be some of the considerations for candidates to prefer one exam over the other:

  • Individual comfort level: Over the years, we have come across candidates who could not score well in GRE, but did well in GMAT (and vice-versa). Hence, your inherent strengths and comfort level would determine whether GRE or GMAT would suit you best.
  • Long term plans: GMAT does continue to be the gold standard for MBA programs worldwide while GRE is the gold standard for Masters programs. If your plan is to apply to multiple MBA programs, make sure all those schools accept GRE scores, before you embark upon your GRE preparation.
  • Prior availability of a score: Many candidates would have appeared in GRE during their undergrad, since they would have initially planned to pursue Masters after their undergrad. If those plans did not materialize, then the candidates would already have a GRE score that they could use towards ISB admissions. In such cases, there is no reason to prepare for GMAT at all.

Good luck with your GRE/GMAT preparation!

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