It is quite challenging to get into a Business School of your choice. You have to unlock several stages or hurdles to step into the B-School of your dreams finally. The final hurdle before going to a B-School is the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). It is an academic criterion required by the candidate applying for admission in a B-School. Especially, if your aim is to get into foreign B-Schools, GMAT is mandatory. You can find in detail here why GMAT has an edge over other entrance exams. 

The main aim of the GMAT is to analyze the candidate’s verbal, reading, written, and quantitative skills before getting admitted for the Graduate Management Program. The purpose of GMAT is almost the same as CAT, which is to evaluate a candidate in terms of their ability to perform in an MBA program.         

CAT remains the most popular choice in terms of getting into a management program in India. But the scope of GMAT is huge in terms of doing an MBA program outside India, in foreign countries. GMAT is an excellent choice for those who are looking to take up executive MBA programs. GMAT is the key that will help to get admission into premier institutes like IIMs and IITs. 

Why is the Scope of GMAT Broader in India Than Others?

  • Business Schools allow only domestic students to submit only their scores of XAT or CAT or GATE or NMAT. But foreign applicants are allowed to submit the score of GMAT in India. It is one of the reasons why it is always handy to have a good GMAT score.
  • For the executive MBA programs, the GMAT score is accepted from both domestic and foreign applicants. So GMAT has a vast scope for getting into graduate management programs as well as executive management programs.
  • If you are aiming to get admission into the top IIMs in India, you must know that they accept only GMAT scores besides GRE scores. As you can see, a GMAT score is required to get admission to one of the top business institutes in the country. 

Why GMAT over CAT?

GMAT is a global exam accepted by thousands of business schools across the world, and CAT is a national-level entrance exam for B-Schools in India. Deciding between CAT and GMAT can be challenging for all the aspirants out there. 

Although both CAT and GMAT are standardized tests for getting admission into management programs, their scope of acceptability is different. Both the tests are designed to measure skills in aspirants like Data Interpretation, Quantitative Ability, and Reasoning Skills. 

Reasons Behind Growing Popularity of GMAT as a Qualification Criterion

  • Currently, GMAT is available in more than 114 countries worldwide. 
  • It is approved and accepted by more than 7000 programs around the world by 2300 Business Schools
  • More than 140 B-Schools in India have accepted the GMAT as an admission criterion.
  • It is being accepted in schools around India as it provides opportunities for improving overall scores, has a flexible scheduling nature and score validity.

Top Private Indian Universities that accept GMAT Scores

GMAT scores are accepted by almost all management colleges and institutes in India. Some of the most popular private colleges that accept GMAT scores are: 

  • Xavier School of Management (Jamshedpur)
  • MDI (Gurgaon)
  • SPJIMR (Mumbai)
  • NMIMS School of Business Management (Mumbai)
  • SIBM (Pune)
  • Great Lakes Institute of Management (Chennai)
  • ICFAI Business School (Hyderabad)
  • IMI (Delhi)
  • TAPMI (Manipal)
  • BITS Pilani

As for public/government business schools, all IIMs accept GMAT scores for admission of a student. Other government colleges vary according to their own rules and regulations as to whether they accept GMAT scores or not.

Top Universities abroad that accept GMAT scores

The benefit of applying for GMAT over CAT is the ability to qualify and apply for business schools abroad. This includes some of the top business schools around the world. GMAT scores can be used to apply and qualify for Indian management schools that are mentioned above. Qualifying for studies abroad with a good GMAT score also qualifies a student for scholarships.

The top foreign universities that accept GMAT scores along with their cut-off scores are given below. 

School Name Average Cut-Off Score
Stanford Graduate School of Business737
Harvard Business School729
London Business School708
Yale School of Management730
Dartmouth College: Tuck722
Carnegie Mellon: Tepper691
Boston University: Questrom680
University of Oxford690
University of Cambridge690
Erasmus University Rotterdam640
McGill University694
University of Toronto665
University of Alberta619
University of British Columbia650

As an aspirant, it might seem quite challenging to get admission into the above-mentioned foreign universities. But with a good GMAT score, you will be a few steps closer to getting into your dream college. 

The table above will help you set your goals accordingly if you want to get into some of these premier institutes. All the mentioned cut-off scores are averages as per the academic session of 2019-20. 

You can get the cut-off score of some part-time MBA programs around the world here. 

Benefits of GMAT

The programs which accept GMAT offer a generous ROI (Return On Investment). The salaries offered to GMAT qualified aspirants are pretty generous, relatively. Job profiles offered to the B-School candidates are not limited to consultant, principal consultant, AVP, product manager, senior manager, and more. Top recruiters who deploy B-Schools candidates are Amazon, Deloitte, Accenture consulting, Microsoft, HSBC, and PwC. 

If you happen to be a professional with experience, looking for a career path change, executive MBA programs are the best bet for you. Executive programs are great for grooming you individuals into great leaders and entrepreneurs. 

Perks Enjoyed by a GMAT Qualifier

The scope of the GMAT is immensely broad as it is a sure-shot way for getting into the top-tier GMAT schools worldwide. The GMAT score is mandatory in most countries for an aspirant to get into B-Schools. Some of the perks experienced by GMAT qualifiers are:

  • Scope of being in a multicultural environment

Most foreign universities require you to have a GMAT score for admission. As the admission criteria consist of the GMAT score, you simply cannot do without it. So, if you are looking to study in a B-school abroad, GMAT is a necessity. As a benefit, you will also get to explore a lot of foreign cultures. 

Studying in an international University does not only provide you with a very precious educational degree, but it also gives you the experience of living in a completely different culture and country. This will expand your horizons and improve your management skills to manage people from all around the world. 

  • Flexible Validity

There is no given age limit for attempting the GMAT exam. Even if you happen to be a graduate having more than 10 years of work experience, you can still upskill yourself with the GMAT. Executive MBA is a program specially designed for those individuals who want to take their leadership and entrepreneurial skills ahead and make a future out of it. GMAT’s flexible age limit features allow people of any age to appear for the test and get into their desired college at any age. 

  • Huge Career Opportunities

All the renowned companies around the world like HSBC, Microsoft, PwC, and Deloitte are always looking for candidates with a degree from a reputed business school. A few years of experience in the business field could act as a feather to your cap. Getting a GMAT qualification will let you enjoy all the benefits related to top-tier companies and recruiters. 

How To Prepare For GMAT?

The most common way for GMAT preparation is the 8-week study plan. Some of the other ways in which you can prepare yourself for the ultimate GMAT exam are given here. 

A few quick tips and tricks to score a high GMAT score is given below. 

  • Determine Your Target and Start Preparing Accordingly

Your target GMAT score should be the B-school cut-off marks in which you want to get your admission. It is necessary that you start preparing to aim at the score that will get you admission to your choice of business school. The goal should be to acquire a score close to the given cut-off in your initial practice tests itself. 

  • Regularly Take Practice Tests

The duration of a GMAT exam is 2 hours 45 minutes. So, limit yourself to a time of about 3 hours maximum while attempting a practice test. You should start taking practice tests regularly after you have learned the maximum syllabus for Reasoning, Verbal, and Written English and Mathematics.

  • Be Consistent

Being consistent with your study schedule is the key, as the test results are going to determine your future in the world of business. Keep in touch with all the topics and syllabus so that everything stays relevant in your mind as you get closer to the GMAT exam day.


There is a scope of improvement in GMAT compared to other exams like CAT. Any candidate can apply for retaking the exams to improve their overall score multiple times during the year. On the other hand, CAT is held only once a year. 

Apart from being an entrance test that is approved globally for getting admission into business schools, it is also excellent for those seeking to reinvent their career in business. At present, nearly all Indian Business Schools accept GMAT scores. As an MBA aspirant, getting a decent GMAT score should be your primary goal to get your foot wet in the world of business.


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