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rejection detail mba

Why Indian MBA Applicants with High GMAT scores get Rejected by Ivy League Business Schools

Wanted to share this with you- a lot of you are reaching out to me to take my services as you were Rejected by TOP Schools last year. I get to hear from SO MANY Re-applicants (Indian Male MBA admission consulting Candidates primarily) with HIGH GMAT Scores – Why do so many Indian Male Candidates with GMAT scores ranging from 700-770 face so many REJECTIONS FROM TOP BUSINESS SCHOOLS? And if we add another distinction of “Information Technology Background”, the results get even worse. Seriously!

application rejected denied admission

I will share some recent conversations with the “REJECTED 700+ (GMAT scores) Indian Male Applicants”

  • Candidate 1: I recently spoke with an MBA applicant from Calcutta. With a GMAT score 730, and 4 years of work experience, he did not make it to any of his target business schools last year. Neither was he invited for an interview by some or all (I can’t recall) of those business schools.
  • Candidate 2: GMAT score 740 + Infosys 2.5 years: Faced 10 out of 10 rejections last year with an MBA admissions consultant that apparently did not showcase the case very well. He was finally heading to UBC Sauder School of Business (Canada) this year and had paid the deposit too. I am happy that he decided to not go, and work with us in his endeavor to make it to a better place. Sauder comes at a price tag of INR 40 lacs with a 65% probability of getting a job (Check their placement statistics) with an average salary of $65,000. An immigration consultant will do better than that if you have worked with Infosys.
  • Candidate 3: GMAT score 760 and 3 years of work experience in Educational Startups and an above average career progression: Did not make it to any of the top schools he applied to last year (He did not share the name of the consultant who worked with him)
  • Candidate 4: GMAT score 720, and 4 + years in Accenture: We did not get the opportunity to see his story, but it was sad to find out that he got wait-listed by NUS, and dinged by all the other Business schools on his list.

Our understanding of the reasons

  • The MBA admission consulting Candidates did not pick the right business schools and the goals story did not match with the business schools they were applying to.
  • Did not know the importance of essays and story building. Yes! A lot of times applicants spend an entire year in experimenting before waking up to the reality that selection mechanism of the international Business schools is not driven by only the GMAT scores. In India, the IIM’s have a very different way to identify talent, and are too much CAT centric, and one barely needs to write anything before starting up with these colleges. So! Different target business schools: Different approach.

GMAT Score 700 + Applicants: What is your category?

(See the Table Below) .Through this note, I will also emphasize on THE IMPORTANCE OF INTERVIEWS, and other components in your application, and make you understand the importance of the quality of communication with the very elite MBA Programs.

This communication is directly with Indian/Males/High GMAT Scorers and the purpose is to give a better understanding of the blind spots.

You decide what category describes you most appropriately- I neither support nor denigrate any of the following categories. I am just describing in a very open space that these categories exist)

Work Experience

More than 3 years at Microsoft or Google Or an Investment bank/PE Firm/Consulting Firm/ and other global organizations( Domestic /International) that have very well defined leadership, and candidates bring a strong credibility to the overall story

More than 3 years at any of the companies mentioned in “Candidate A” + Other companies (Including startups) in IT/Finance/Marketing/Operation, and other supporting Roles.

Written Communication Skills

Have average to above average writing skills, and have the ability to pick up the MBA Networking exercise very well, and follow the steps. Do not need an intensive handholding in writing emails, and engaging existing students, and adcom members. Put them on the right track of constructing communication themes while they are in action and reaching out to the existing MBA students of their target business schools, and other adcom members, and one can be certain that their essay inputs will have a lot of meat and not just the verbiage from the website.

Are not very articulate in their overall written expression. There are times when applicants need help and a lot of push in starting over with the first paragraph. It is quite common for applicants to not possess great writing skills, and they require a lot of support in their communication while writing to the adcoms or other people in the same category.

Oral Communication

Can lead a very powerful 30-40 minute conversation with the alumni/adcom members over the phone or in person. Will know how to create “What questions to ask” and won’t just copy from the MBA NETWORKING GUIDES other resources. CAN DELIVER WITH MINIMAL SUPERVISION.

Can memorize the answers to the questions, but they need the interviews to be very predictable. These applicants if sent under prepared will become very nervous in the interviews with School Alumni as Alumni tend to be more elaborate in their discussions. Alumni interviews have lasted for 1.5 hours.

They need extensive supervision while preparing for difficult/unpredictable questions.

Understanding of their Future ambitions


While they might not know what their future career path would look like, they are open to following the procedures, and carry a thoughtful and meaningful research into understanding the importance of various post MBA career positions/paths.

There are some who are very focused, and are really aware of what they want out of their MBA program .

These MBA admission consulting candidates require a lot of hand holding in IDENTIFYING THE SHORT TERM AND LONG TERM GOALS.

Most of the times, the initial expression is very naive. And we are not talking about only changing the paragraphs, or selection of words, but the entire thought process.

Personal and/or community Accomplishments

man woman accomplishment community celebration

I would have loved to state “Above average participation” in areas outside academics and professional careers, but sadly, it is not the case. However, I can establish peace with that.

For over 15+ years as an Entrepreneur, and India’s Top Educationist, Jatin has led a range of initiatives in the Education Industry. In this role, he has created many successful educational services and products geared towards generating success for professionals aspiring to join IVY League and global Top Tier Universities for MBA Programs, Masters Programs, and undergraduate courses. He is the Founder and CEO of PythaGURUS Education, and has been recognized as a thought leader in the Higher education sector. Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Times of India, India Today, Business Today, Tribune, and many other national newspapers have recognized his work, and have given him numerous opportunities to be a regular columnist. He has also served as a panelist for NDTV, and other national news channels.

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