Q. Is 720 a good GMAT score?
A. It's definitely better than the 650. But not as good as the 750+ score.
That was not very helpful. So let's refine the question and make it a little more specific.
Q. Is 720 a good GMAT score for IIM or ISB?
A. It is slightly below the class average for ISB. For Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) it also depends on which IIM we are talking about. IIM A/B/C is more competitive than IIM I/L.
Slightly better, but not quite, since we need to include the applicant's profile when answering the question.
So, let us take a closer look at the profile and life story of an MBA aspirant who targeted top schools in India and abroad with a GMAT score of 720.
Read on to find out where he got in and where he didn't.
Is 720 a good GMAT score?
author Shubhankar Agrawal
The greatest victory is not in never falling, but in getting back up every time we fall.
I clearly remember this quote from my 8th grade moral studiesea book. Until I was ten, I was the best in educationeclass and when I read this quote I remember asking myself how I would rise and achieve greatness if I didn't fall.
But I had no idea what would happen in the years that followed. I excelled academically with a very competitive mindset and actively participated in public speaking competitions throughout my school life.
I experienced my first setback in the form of not being able to break through the top engineering colleges in the country. I always dreamed of the IIT IIM combination and was in the 5 year IPM program at IIM Indore but failed to complete the interview.
I joined Computer Science and Engineering in Bangalore in a second rate university with the aim of joining an IIM right after graduation. But life had other plans.
I had to drop my year because my arm was broken during my sophomore engineering exams. By that time I had already lost all hope of passing IIM. I had a great interest in business and capital markets and decided to focus my energies on that.
In 2016, my father went through a major business bankruptcy and needed someone by his side to take responsibility. His poor health also acted as a catalyst and I joined my family business right after graduation.
I started working in a factory. The whole setup was quite challenging because the corrugated board industry is very fragmented and works in a very traditional way.
We were often rejected on quality as our system was not updated with the latest technology and surviving a small unit was very difficult as this business is more of a high production, very low margin game.
In addition, we were outside a rural environment with little room for growth. I began to understand the nuances of business and worked intensively in the field for the first 2 years.
I have traveled all over the country trying to find a way for my growth.
On the other hand, I also ran a distribution company as an effort to diversify and learn about retail. I continued to learn about personal finance and investing, and to satisfy my thirst for financial knowledge, I studied and passed CFA Level 1.
In January 2020 I started my multi-year expansion plan, but COVID came as a damper and derailed everything.
But as an entrepreneur, I sensed an opportunity in the beverage and glass industry as they fell under the category of essentials.
We got started in a very short time. I visited multiple customer locations to bring in new customers and we were running at 200% capacity.
Managing a production facility at the height of COVID while taking care of all precautions and the well-being of our employees was a challenge in itself and taught me a lot about human relationships and behavior.
I continued with our expansion plans, but disaster struck again in October 2020 when my father became seriously ill and had to be hospitalized.
The whole mantle of leadership fell on me and from there I came into my own and have been running my business ever since.
After working for 5 years, I realized certain gaps in my skills in terms of knowledge, skills and experience, I felt a lack of structured learning.
I realized that I really wanted to build my own conglomerate, which required me to go through a structured learning process at a top business school and work in a real corporate environment.
I heard about the MBA Crystal Ball and tried it outexcellent reviews of MBA application adviceon their sites and also on various other online portals.
After going through these testimonials, I was sure she would be my guide on my journey to high school.
I have plannedtaking the GMATin August 2022, but I couldn't get much free time due to a busy schedule.
I prepared for GMAT every day for 2 months for 2 months and appeared for the exam in October 2022.
I aimed for a score in the 710-740 range and managed to score 720.
Although I was not very happy with my result, I decided to continue because I wanted to apply for primary schools myself in the second round and it was very clear to me that I could not wait another year.
I was aware that MBA Crystal Ball is very selective in accepting applications from new applicants. I approached them with a bit of skepticism – not knowing if they would accept my case or not. I also felt that their services had a higher price tag than I had planned.
Manish responded quickly and I decided to go for the three school package as I didn't want to risk losing a year.
Shantanu was appointed as my advisor and after my first interaction with him I became convinced that I was in the hands of the right people.
Shantanu helped me build a strategy, recognize my weaknesses.
The price and duration of the program were big factors for me. So we decided to focus on European B schools and US B schools where I had the chance to get a scholarship.
One thing I really admired about him was that he was open with his assessments and thought extensively with me to arrive at the best realistic options.
He really helped me set my expectations right and clarify my goals after the MBA.
IIMA PGPX round 2 deadline approached. So I decided to apply myself, but Shantanu was kind enough to help me and there he looked at my resume.
I was not very well prepared for IIMA as I thought I had little chance of being shortlisted there, but I was pleasantly surprised when I got an interview.
With only five days left in hand, I called Shantana and applied for the interview package. He went above and beyond and helped me extensively with the preparation for the interview.
The interview went really well and focused more on the reasons behind my career choices, industry insights and whether I was well versed in what I wrote.
After my IIMA interview, I strongly felt I had made the cut and decided to work on other Bschool applications. I also applied to ISB.
Then we decided to wait for D-day for the IIMA 2nd round results before applying to another school. Come on the 16theDecember and I could see the result flash on the screen.
I eventually transferred to a premier business school in India and was deeply surprised by the career path God had in mind for me.
I rejoined Shantanu and decided which other colleges would be a better choice given my limitations. I went on to INSEAD, but couldn't make the final cut at INSEAD and ISB.
The whole journey was one of self-discovery and you learned a lot from it.
I cannot stress enough how important the right consultant is, as they will be your mentor and guide, helping you map out your perilous journey.
I am very grateful to the MBA Crystal Ball team for their support!
Coming back to the previous question, a GMAT score of 720 was good enough for Shubhankar as it helped him get into one of his dream schools. But, as you may know, business school applications don't depend on a single parameter (such as your GMAT or GRE score).
Try shifting the focus from your score to your profile. If you need help with this, please email us:
info [at] mbacrystalball [punt] com
We have published many stories of candidates who punched above their weight and were accepted by schools such as INSEAD and even Wharton. Check them out here:Low GMAT Success Stories