Applicants to Indian school of Business often wonder which round of ISB has best chances of admission. This blog post hopes to answer this question that the applicants have.
It doesn’t matter. It is a myth that if candidates are not able to apply to R1, the chances of admission to ISB significantly decline in R2 and R3.
ISB PGP typically has three rounds
For the past many years, the PGP at the Indian School of Business (ISB PGP) has had three rounds. The timelines of these three rounds at ISB typically are:
- Round-1 (R1): First half of September
- Round-2 (R2): Late November/early December
- Round-3 (R3): January end
Note that a candidate can apply only once in one admission cycle; in other words, a candidate can apply to only one of the three rounds in an admission cycle. This being the case, applicants often wonder which round should they apply to, to maximize their chances of admission.
The incorrect impression
Many candidates mistakenly carry an impression that ISB ends of filling up most of the available seats in R1 itself. As a result, in R2 and R3,.a disproportionately large number of applicants compete for the few remaining available seats.
The fact is that over the years, ISB Admissions committee has developed a very good estimate of the approximate number of candidates who apply to each of the three rounds; ISB accordingly apportions the available seats across the three rounds. The provision of waitlisting few candidates in each round also gives ISB Admissions committee the flexibility to not ‘overfill’ and ‘exhaust’ the seats disproportionately in any one round.
What does ISB say about this?
ISB website states the following in this regard:
Which deadline is better to apply – Round 1 or Round 2 or Round 3?
We encourage everyone to apply early as it helps candidates to plan work & relocation arrangements. Nonetheless, submitting an application during either cycle does not significantly affect your likelihood of being selected.
After having worked for many years with numerous applicants across the three rounds of ISB admissions, we can vouch for this.
Few questions that candidates have, around this topic:
I don’t have a good GMAT/GRE score. Should I apply with this score in R1 or should I re-attempt GMAT/GRE and apply with a better score in R2?
If you are reasonably confident of getting a much better GMAT/GRE score in your re-attempt, it is better to apply to R2.
I am expecting a significant promotion almost immediately after the R1 application deadline. Is it worthwhile to wait till R2, since my career trajectory will come across as more impressive in my R2 application?
Absolutely! A significant promotion is worth waiting for R2.
I am very busy with my GMAT/GRE preparation and so, will not find time to create a compelling application by the R1-deadline. Should I nevertheless apply in R1?
A well crafted application goes a long way in projecting your candidature to the Admissions committee. Hence, if you believe that you will not be able to do justice to your application by the R1 deadline, it’s better to apply in R2.
I am a reapplicant this year. Last year, I applied in R3 and got rejected. If I apply in R1 this year, it would mean that just 6 months have passed since my application to ISB last year. As part of the reapplicant essay, I am not sure what significant profile improvement can I show in these 6 months. So, should I wait and apply to later rounds at ISB?
Yes, if you feel that over the next 2-3 months, you would have something significant to show as part of the reapplicant essay, R2 may be a better fit for you.
I have heard that chances of a scholarship are more in earlier rounds. So, should I apply to R1, even though my GMAT/GRE score is not decent?
Well, chances of a scholarship are pretty uniform across all the rounds. However, quantum of scholarship does vary. For instance, 100% tuition fee waivers are typically available only in R1. Having said that, we always suggest that chances of ‘admission’ should be the foremost priority of the candidates.
If candidates are wondering which round of ISB has best chances of admission, the answer is that all the three rounds have almost an equal chance of admission. If a candidate believes that his/her profile/candidature would be stronger in later rounds (by virtue of a better GMAT/GRE score, a significant promotion, or a more well-crafted application), it is better to apply in later rounds.