Category: CAT

Top 20 Universities Accepting GMAT Scores

Think of MBA abroad and you can’t help but think of GMAT – the standardized test that is your ticket to B-schools across the world. GMAT is computer-adaptive exam that checks your Quant and Verbal reasoning skills. Unlike CAT and other MBA entrance exams, GMAT can be scheduled as per your convenience, meaning that you can take the test whenever you feel you are best prepared! Aside from the regular test-center GMAT, you can also take the GMAT at home.

GMAT is scored on a scale of 200 to 800 in 10 point increments. Your GMAT score stays valid for 5 years after the date of your exam and you can apply to universities in that duration. According to official GMAT website, two-thirds of test-takers score between 400 and 600 on the GMAT. It is generally accepted that a score above 680 increases your chances of making it to good MBA colleges.


1. But what are good MBA colleges?
2. What should be my target GMAT score?
3. Where in India can I apply with GMAT scores?

But what are good MBA colleges?

Most folks would tell you to check out the MBA rankings. There’s US News, QS, FT, THE and so on. But trust us when we say that a good MBA college is one that fits YOUR future goals, YOUR career aspirations and YOUR budget the best. If there’s anything that we have learned with 27+ years of MBA counselling experience, it is this: every profile is unique and has some peculiar aspect that should be highlighted to win admissions committee’s approval.

Here we have compiled a list of Top 20 GMAT accepting colleges in the world with the best faculty, employability, industry connect and alumni network. Take a look at fees, work experience and average GMAT score:

QS Ranking University Name Fees (USD) Work Experience (months) Average GMAT score
1 Stanford Graduate School of Business 74,706 56 733
2 Wharton, University of Pennsylvania 80,432 N/A 732
3 MIT Sloan 77,168 N/A 720
4 Harvard University 73,440 56 727
5 HEC Paris €76,000 60 690
6 INSEAD €89,000 66 710
7 London Business School £92,735 24 701
8 Columbia University 77,376 12 717
9 IE Business School Spain €72,200 36 677
10 University of California, Berkeley 68,444 60 727
11 University of Chicago – Booth 74,916 60 730
12 IESE Business School Spain €89,950 48 690
13 ESADE Business School, Spain €73,800 24 660
14 Northwestern University, Kellogg 76,368 24 727
15 University of California Los Angeles, Anderson 67,737 N/A 714
16 Said Business School, Oxford £65,520 24 690
17 Judge Business School, Cambridge £61,000 24 687
18 Yale School of Management 74,500 60 720
19 NYU Stern 78,700 N/A 720
20 Michigan Ross 72,114 N/A 722

On first glance the fees can appear to be prohibitively expensive, but respite comes in the form of MBA scholarships. At most of the business schools above, up to 50% of students receive some form of financial aid. Explore 11 scholarships for Indian students pursuing MBA abroad.

What should be my target GMAT score?

It depends on your target universities. If you are looking to join the top 50 MBA colleges in the world with GMAT score, then you must have decent work experience of at least 4 to 5 years and score a minimum 700.

Having said that we have had students who made it to top B-schools with a 680 and 2 years of work ex, solely on the basis of their resume, application essays, LORs and interviews. If you want an exact answer, connect with our counsellors for a free profile evaluation session. They will help you decide your target score and B-schools on the basis of your current work profile, academics, extracurricular activities.

Where in India can I apply with GMAT scores?

Each year more and more Indian students and working professionals are taking the GMAT instead of CAT and other MBA entrance exams. This almost exponential rise can be attributed to the fact that many B-schools in India are now accepting GMAT scores. Some of the notable GMAT accepting colleges in India are: ISB Hyderabad and Mohali, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, SP Jain, IMT Ghaziabad, XLRI Jamshedpur, etc. You will find more information on top Indian B-school cut-offs here.

When it comes to MBA admissions abroad, eligibility requirements like GMAT scores and work experience are not set in stone. Many B-schools in India and abroad are fluid about their eligibility requirements. At the same business school, we have had students who have been accepted with a GMAT 680 and rejected or waitlisted at 720. This is because admissions committee at most B-schools assess the candidate’s complete profile. If you showcase your learnings and achievements effectively, you can make up for an average GMAT score.

Want help in selecting your target GMAT score or B-school? You are just one call away. Connect with our counsellors for a free 15 minute session and get your personalized GMAT study plan and MBA admissions roadmap.

GRE vs CAT: How to prepare for both together?

Are you an aspiring graduate? Do you wish to lead an organization someday? If your answer is yes, then deciding to study for a postgraduate degree is a big step for you. GRE and CAT are tests conducted to assess aspiring students’ potential applying to leading B-schools and universities.

CAT or the Common Admission Test is a computer-based entrance exam conducted every year for admission into MBA programs at prestigious B-schools within India, including IIMs and several others.

The GRE or Graduate Record Examinations is one of the world’s most extensive assessment tests used by several international universities/colleges for admission in their graduate programs. GRE scores are accepted all around the world for thousands of graduate programs.

Getting an advanced degree opens up many opportunities, but having a game plan to approach the tests is the first essential step. Students who are eyeing prestigious universities and B-schools both within India and abroad have to go through both the GRE and CAT exams. Both the tests challenge your aptitude and spontaneity, so let’s look at how we can conquer both the targets with one shot.

GRE vs CAT – Which one is tougher? Which One you should Target?

Have you taken the GRE before?

Challenges of Preparing for Both GRE and CAT Simultaneously

It takes real dedication and focus to prepare for both the tests at the same time. You’ll have to learn to handle the intensity of knowledge required to grasp each topic in both formats.

CAT is a computer-based linear exam. In comparison, GRE is a computerized section-wise adaptive exam where the next level of questions’ complexity depends on the previous section’s performance.

Verbal Reasoning in GRE and CAT

When it comes to verbal reasoning, GRE is way more challenging when compared to CAT. GRE challenges you with multiple-choice type questions and word-selection as part of a vocabulary test. CAT also covers these types of questions and has additional questions based on word usage, paragraph formation, etc.

The GRE reasoning section tests your vocabulary and high-level reading skills. You’ll be asked to choose the appropriate word for a particular sentence, read the comprehension, and interpret the passages’ details.

You can approach the reasoning questions by visualizing and drawing tables to fit in conditions, which will help you solve them. Use the process of elimination to narrow down to the appropriate answer.

Quant in GRE and CAT

Both the exams cover the quant section from arithmetic, geometry, trigonometry, and algebra. However, the extent of intensity may vary. The Quant section of CAT is way more difficult when compared to GRE. The question format is also different. While CAT puts up multiple-choice questions and requires one correct answer, GRE may often require multiple solutions or even require students to type-in the right answer.

Prepare for quantitative aptitude by:

Building strong basics: Learn to read. Continue working with a problem till you understand it. Resist the temptation to jump to the next step and dig deep into the actual concept.

Identifying strength and planning out preparation: Follow the sequence in Math practice as every topic builds upon the previous topic. If you follow a systematic approach, you’ll be able to cover every topic with proficiency. Figure out the topics you’re good at and concentrate more on the weak areas. Such a practice will help you prepare well.

Getting the formulas right using shortcuts: Don’t learn a formula without understanding the meaning behind it. Your brain will quickly learn if you’re able to formulate links between the formula and its theory. Approach each topic from a different angle using lateral thinking—additionally, master the quantitative aptitude shortcuts to speed up the process.

Analytical Writing Assessment

Prepare for two writing tasks for the GRE Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). The section would require you to build and support new ideas, attach relevant reasoning, provide evidence, and prepare a well-focused assessment. It will help if you learn to think critically and be able to convey your thoughts. There is no such test in CAT.

To practice Analytical Writing Assessment, spend the first five minutes outlining your argument. Once you have got a solid outline, start writing the essay. Make sure you don’t spend more than 25 minutes on an essay.

Don’t Get Intimidated

Improve your word knowledge, learn contextual meanings, and grasp new vocabulary extensively for GRE. Focus on improving your quant skills in-depth for CAT. You’ll be able to handle Analytical Writing Assessment or AWA in GRE quite easily if you master the verbal section.

Many sections of both the syllabuses overlap with each other. If you make a few adjustments in your GRE preparation to learn CAT’s variations, it’s possible to crack both the exams simultaneously.

At Jamboree, we help you through every step of the way, right from GRE prep with our unique programs to admissions counselling that provides professional support in university selection and profile development.

University or College: What is the Difference

In common parlance, we often use the words ‘university’ or ‘college’ interchangeably, not really realising the difference between the two. While in India, the UGC confers the term ‘university’ to an educational body that meets certain requirements, in the US, there is no such centralized educational regulatory body.

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education provides a classifying framework for educational and research purposes, but by and large, the usage of terms ‘university’ and ‘college’ still depends on the institutions themselves. This can be confusing to international students. Let us try to differentiate between these two terms and see how you can make the most out of your study abroad experience.

Difference between a University & College in the US

University is a generic term used for educational institutions that offer full-time graduate programs. These institutions usually grant masters and PhD degrees. Universities are large institutions with student enrolment typically running into thousands. They may be private or state-funded. Most large universities are research intensive and offer state-of-the-art labs and well-stocked libraries.

Colleges, on the other hand, are generally smaller institutions and may offer full-time undergraduate, vocational or associate degrees and diplomas. Also, there are career colleges, liberal arts colleges and community colleges in the US.

 So here comes the ambiguity. For functional and administrative purposes, universities may be organized into colleges (or schools, departments, institutes, faculties, etc.). Also, there are many universities that offer undergraduate concentrations, short-term and certificate programs. Further, colleges like Dartmouth College, Boston College and College of William and Mary are actually research universities that offer a wide spectrum of UG and PG courses—they deliberately choose to retain the term ‘college’ only because of their historical prominence.

Confused? You need not to worry about terminology so long as you decide the right college/university for yourself. Here are some pointers:

  1. Career goals: What do you want out of your study-abroad experience?

  2. Most folks jump into study-abroad prep with some goals on their mind. Some may have a thirst for knowledge in a specific field, others may be in pursuit of international exposure. Still, others may harbour long-term goals like working and settling abroad. Whatever your goals, be sure to list them out and consider them against each college/program option available to you.

  3. Type of program: What is your field of interest?

    The best thing about higher education in US is its flexibility with respect to courses and credits. You can choose to study music with computer science; you can finish a four-year 120-credit UG degree in 3 to 3 and a half years. You may also choose to pursue a minor or major in an upcoming field like big data, sustainable engineering or aquaponics. The possibilities are enormous, so take your time to explore various programs as per your interests.

  4. Student Profile: Where do you stand?

    Admissions officers at US universities evaluate your overall profile based on scores in entrance and qualifying exams, extracurricular activities, internships, writing skills, recommendation letters, etc. Certain universities/programs fit your profile better than others. Do a self-assessment of your profile. Get a free profile evaluation here! 

  5. Expert help: Who to approach?

    Seek help from experienced study-abroad counsellors. They know the right time to apply and keep tabs on university deadlines. They can help you with profile improvement, application essays and direct you to apply to universities where you stand a good chance of getting an offer. This can save you a lot of stress so that you can focus on solely on exam preparation. Talk to an admissions counsellor here!

5 Tips to Write an Unbeatable College Application Essay

Like it or hate it, it is here to stay. We’re talking about the good old college application essay. If you’re eyeing an education abroad, you may have heard this a hundred times, if not more, that you need to make your application ‘stand out’. After all, the college application is your personal statement that helps the admissions committee understand why it should accept you. And so you must make certain that you put your best foot forward.

Naturally, you may feel pressured to write an extraordinary essay in terms of both content and language. So how do you go about it when you have never gone paragliding in the Bavarian Alps or run the Chicago marathon? How do you write an extraordinary essay when you live a pretty ordinary life?

Here are some pointers to help you write essays that would make your college application ‘stand out’ even if you think you don’t have anything interesting to write about:

  1. Choose the right prompt

    Essay prompts come in many shapes and sizes but their intent is the same: to get to know you better. If you’re vulnerable to going astray while writing, remember to address three core topics:

    1. Who am I?
    2. What drives me?
    3. Why should you choose me over others?

    Many colleges ask you that why would you like to pursue a certain course with them. Be very specific here and carefully align your career goals with their offerings. Colleges expect you to research their courses well and it would be great if you come across an as informed applicant.

    Check out essay prompts of the common application form.

  2. Introduction matters!

    Your admissions officer will go through a hundred other essays along with yours. It’s enough to make any one get bored out of their wits. So ensure that you catch attention with powerful opening lines that are rich in details. Use words that compel the reader to read further. Use an interesting quote or a startling fact to begin, something that goes like:

    Some risks are worth taking (piques curiosity) or 38 per cent of Indian scientists believe in God (interesting statistic)

    That said, don’t go overboard with the shock factor. Remember, most universities have strict policies on obscene language, illegal activity, violence or graphic subjects. Avoid controversial topics. Keep in mind that the person reading your application may have a completely opposite point of view and you don’t want to get off on the wrong foot with them.

    The content of your introduction must:

    • Grip your reader
    • Introduce the topic
    • Present your stance on the issue

    Check out some interesting introductory passages that worked in Johns Hopkins and Tufts.

  3. Be authentic

    Admission officers can usually sniff out a fake, so be authentic. Organize your thoughts. Share stories from everyday life to reveal your character and values. Be original and creative when you share stories but stay true to yourself. Only if you are a funny person, tell your story in a funny way, otherwise, steer clear.

    While mentioning achievements, avoid self-glorifying adjectives. Instead, bring out your winning characteristics with the help of clear examples. Just present your case and let your accomplishments speak for themselves. It is always better to say:

    I grew up in my grandparents’ home surrounded by books of all kinds. I have walked down the hillside with Kipling’s Mowgli and accompanied Potter’s Rabbit on his garden adventures. Enthralled by fables all through my formative years, words come to me naturally, and with them, winning spelling bees.

    than saying:

    Since childhood, I have loved reading books by Rudyard Kipling and Beatrix Potter. As a result, I have won many spelling bees.

    However, maintain the balance between bragging and underselling. At times, weaknesses work well. So if you’ve had an embarrassing experience while growing up (and all of us do), turn that into an advantage and share it. Check out this application essay that won the hearts of admission officers of 14 top universities across the US.

  4. Take your time

    Begin early while undergoing exam preparation, write the first draft and then sleep on it. Review your application at different times but do know when to stop. If you’re stuck somewhere, take a break and then come back to it. Keep an eye on application deadlines; your final draft must be ready at least two weeks before you intend to send your application.

  5. Take help

    A second opinion always helps. Show your write-up to family, friends, counsellor or someone who knows you. Does your essay sound like you? Does it give a clear picture of your views and what makes you tick? Consider and incorporate their opinion but also go with your own intuition.

We hope these tips will help you with your college application. Best of luck!

GMAT Cut-Offs for Top Indian MBA Colleges (2022)

Over the years, the GMAT has become a truly versatile exam. It is banked upon by 7000+ MBA and Masters programs of universities and colleges around the world to pick the crème de la crème of students. A great GMAT score opens up a world of opportunities for you so that you can upgrade your skills and career with an MBA from a top class university.

Of late, the GMAT has emerged as an exam of choice for admission to top business schools in India as well. In terms of difficulty level and competition pool, it is less rigorous than CAT. Also, GMAT scores are valid for 5 years after the exam date as opposed to CAT scores, which are valid for 1-year post-exam. You can take the CAT only once in a year whereas you can retake the GMAT after 16 days if you fail to get your desired score the first time around.

What are YOUR chances of getting into ISB? 

Have you taken the GMAT before?

Here’s the list of top-tier Indian B-schools with their GMAT cut-off scores.

Name of B School

Name of Course


Fees (As of December 2021)


IIM Ahmedabad ePost Graduate Programme (EPGP) & Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives (PGPX) 680 for EPGP, 700+ for PGPX N/A – EPGP
INR 28,00,000 – PGPX
EPGP – Link & PGPX – Link
IIM Bangalore ePost Graduate Programme (EPGP) 709 for EPGP INR 21,50,000 Link
IIM Kolkata MBA for Executive Program (MBAEX) 701 for (MBAEX) INR 27,00,000 Link
IIM Lucknow International Programme in Management for Executives (IPMX) 680+ for IPMX INR 23,50,000 Link
IIM Indore ePost Graduate Programme (EPGP) 700+ for EPGP INR 24,15,000 Link
ISB Hyderabad Post Graduate Programme (PGP) 708/710 for YLP, 690 for PGP INR 24,54,000 for PGP Link
SP Jain Global MBA – GMBA & MBA 650 for GMBA, 700+ for MBA INR 20,65,000 (Mumbai Campus)
AUD 45,240 (Dubai/Sydney/Singapore)
BITS Pilani MBA 600+ for MBA N/A Link
IMT Ghaziabad Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) Executive Avg. Score-690, minimum 500 for PGDM-Ex N/A Link
IFMR MBA 640+ for MBA INR 13,86,000 Link
IFMR EMBA 570+ for EMBA N/A Link
IIFT MBA 650+ (GMAT is only for NRI’s or children of NRI’s) INR 8,85,000 Link
IIT Madras MBA (GMAT only for NRI or Foreign Nationals) 650+ (GMAT is only for NRI’s or children of NRI’s) N/A Link
XLRI Jamshedpur General Management Program 640+ for PGDM-GMP INR 20,00,000 Link

If you have less than 5 years of work experience, we recommend that you should prepare for the GMAT alongside your CAT because if God forbid, you scoreless on the CAT then your GMAT scores would help you get into YLP of ISB or GMP of SP Jain respectively. If you have more than 5 years of work experience, then we recommend that you must take the GMAT to make it to the Top colleges accepting GMAT score in India.

Note that most B-schools do not publish cut-offs on their website. This data is based on our list of students who have received admission offers from these B-schools in the past 3 years (2018-21). If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us at you have less than 5 years of work experience, we recommend that you should prepare for the GMAT alongside your CAT because if God forbid, you score less on the CAT then your GMAT scores would help you get into YLP of ISB or GMP of SP Jain respectively. If you have more than 5 years of work experience, then we recommend that you must take the GMAT to make it to the Top colleges accepting GMAT score in India.

Good luck!