The IIMs or Indian Institute of Management are one of the most prestigious business schools in India. And overtime, the IIMs have gained a reputation for themselves not just domestically but internationally as well. Most early graduates and professionals strive hard to crack the CAT exam — administered by the IIM — to get into an institution within the IIM block. However, there seems to be ambiguity surrounding the idea of whether or not the IIMs accept the GMAT as part of their admission criteria. This article will help you understand how to crack the GMAT for an admission into an IIM. 

There are 20 institutions under the IIMs that offer Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) and Executive MBA courses. Under the umbrella of the PGDM and EMBA courses, there are numerous specialization courses that students can pursue. Let us understand what are the eligibility criteria to gain admissions to an institute within the IIM block.

Qualification Requirement & Eligibility for Indian Students

To get into an IIM, you need to have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university with a score of 50% or above. For Indian students, it is mandatory to score above the cut off on the Common Aptitude Test (CAT). The CAT is the common entrance test created by the IIM faculty and has a new cut-off score released each year. The applicants who score above this cut-off have a higher chance of getting a call for the next round in the admissions process. Although work experience is not mandatory, you can  gain a competitive advantage if you have any work experience to show. You can also apply to the PGP programme taught at IIMs soon after your undergraduate studies. However, for an Executive MBA or EMBA, you will need to have at least five years to qualify for the programme.

Qualification Requirement & Eligibility for NRIs and International Students

There is always an ambiguity regarding whether IIMs accept GMAT score or not?  Yes, you can apply to the one-year MBA programme taught at the IIMs using your GMAT scores. However, whether you’re a resident or a non-resident holding an Indian passport, applying to the two-year PGP course will require you to submit your CAT scores.

Furthermore, in addition to the IIMs, here are top business schools in India that do accept GMAT scores:

  1. Indian School of Business
  2. XLRI Jamshedpur
  3. IMT Ghaziabad
  4. IIFT Delhi
  5. Management Development Institute Gurgaon
  6. SPJIMR 


GMAT vs CAT — which exam should you choose? Has this question bothered you time and again if you are looking to pursue an MBA? Both exams have their advantages and disadvantages. While the former is used to apply to business schools abroad, the latter is widely accepted by business schools domestically. Although there are IIMs and other business schools that accept the GMAT score for their admission purposes, the CAT has a wider scope in India. Hence, when deciding between CAT or GMAT it is essential to consider the following factors:

  1. You career goals
  2. The location you wish to pursue your studies
  3. Cost of studying
  4. Programme preferences

While CAT is mostly appropriate for someone interested in a PGP course in India, the GMAT is a better option for those looking to study abroad given the vast number of business schools that ask for GMAT scores as part of their admission criteria.

How to Crack GMAT for Admission into an IIM?

To gain admissions into an IIM using the GMAT score, it is essential to meet the cut-off scores required by each institution within the IIM block. Mentioned below is a table comprising the list of IIMs and their GMAT cut-off scores for each of their programmes:

InstitutionProgrammeGMAT Score Cut-off
IIM AhmedabadEPGP680
IIM BangaloreEPGP709
IIM CalcuttaPGPEX701
IIM LucknowIPMX680
IIM IndoreEPGP700

Hence, it can be inferred from the above table that to get into any of these programmes taught at the IIMs you not only need a GMAT score but also work experience since most of these courses are executive-level programmes.   

Now that we have mentioned to you how to crack GMAT for an admission into an IIM, provided you with the list of business schools that accept the GMAT in India and mentioned a detailed break-down of each IIM that accepts GMAT scores for its respective programme, you’re better positioned to plan your higher education goals and choose the exam that suits your needs the most.


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