IIMs might lower GMAT bar for foreign students

Jun 24, 2013 by

Source: Business Standard

Plan to attract more students from abroad to improve diversity on campus which is a major requirement for a better global ranking

To improve their global quotient and attract more foreign students, the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are planning to lower the graduate management admission test (GMAT)’s cut-off score for the flagship two-year management programme (PGP) and the one-year full-time MBA.

IIM directors said the GMAT cut-off used by IIMs, at over 700, was too high for candidates to even qualify for interviews.

“As the institute builds its global reputation, it will have to take steps to internationalise the students admitted to its academic programmes,” said Samir Barua, former director, IIM-Ahmedabad. “This may require the institute to lower its cut-off in GMAT for admission, particularly for the PGP. Since potential applicants with such high GMAT scores easily get admission to the best schools in the world, practically no candidates apply to the PGP of the institute.”

IIM-A uses a cut-off of 760 or so, which Barua said was high. The GMAT scores of the selected candidates of the past batches have been 695 to 728. GMAT is administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council, a US-based organisation.

IIMs said lowering the cut-off significantly enhance chances of getting more foreign students. “Citizenship diversity is a major component for world ranking of management education institutes. Currently, we are marked almost zero for it,” said an IIM-A faculty member on condition of anonymity. “By bringing down the GMAT cut-off, we could attract more foreign students and enhance citizenship diversity. Out of a batch of 400-odd students, a good 20-25 foreign students would make such a difference and also increase our chances of getting ranked higher as a global B-school.”

IIM-A is the only management school in India ranked among the top-100 schools globally by The Economist. The institute is also the only management school in India that has all the three post-graduate programmes ranking high globally. Its two-year post-graduate programme in management is ranked seventh and the post-graduate programme for executives (PGPX) is ranked 11th among comparable programmes globally by the Financial Times.

Devi Singh, director of IIM-Lucknow, too, said the GMAT cut-offs at IIMs were too high. “Every IIM is thinking of bringing down the cut-off for GMAT scores. In addition to this, IIMs need to create an eco-system to attract more foreign students at our campuses. More foreign students increase chances of higher ranking among global B-schools.”

There is no cut-off score for GMAT at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, which introduced the one-year management programmes in India.

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