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INSEAD Opens the Door For Applicants With Low GMAT Scores

INSEAD Opens the Door For Applicants With Low GMAT Scores

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Recently, INSEAD has opened its doors for applicants with low GMAT scores. Here is the blog with the complete information on the same. Read to know the reason and impact.

Rahul Srivastava
Updated on:  27 Oct 2023  | Reviewed By: 
| 2.74K | 4  min read

The GMAT scores have varied a lot in the last two years with scores dipping to new lows across business schools in the US and other parts of the world in 2020 when the pandemic began. Suddenly the scores witnessed an upward trend in 2021, and many students couldn’t secure admission at their preferred business schools. The first question that pops up in the mind is about the variation in scores as to how the scores made a V-curve. There can be several reasons for it but the most crucial is the uncertainties that prevailed during the COVID times. The number of applicants decreased abruptly amid the uncertainties due to lockdowns, closing of international borders, online classes, etc. The students weren’t sure if it was the right decision to spend such a huge amount on education during COVID times. 

However, within a year the clouds of uncertainties faded, and a considerably bigger pool of applicants applied for top B-schools across the globe. It led to a direct impact on the required GMAT scores for top B-schools. Although it wasn’t universal, many B-schools kept low scores for admissions. INSEAD was one such institution that kept the scores low to include more students.

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INSEAD Welcomes Students with Low GMAT Scores 

When it comes to world’s top B-schools, the name of INSEAD automatically comes into the mind of a GMAT aspirant. In 2020, the scores dipped and rose unexpectedly in 2021 which led to a huge number of applicants with less scores remaining outside their dream B-school. However, INSEAD took a path less taken in contemporary times and chose to lower the GMAT scores. INSEAD has decided to accept the test takers with low GMAT scores by lowering the threshold for the required scores. This is a more comprehensive approach by taking into account the difficulties MBA aspirants are facing in these tough times. INSEAD has decided to factor in the reality which involves students who have faced the brunt of the pandemic, and haven't been able to study properly. 

A low threshold for GMAT scores for admission to INSEAD will certainly help students who weren’t able to score well and don’t want to waste their precious time in taking the test again. However, the B-school has clarified that for students to be accepted at low GMAT scores must be compensated by their academic record. Those with strong academics are more likely to be admitted if they have scored less in the GMAT exam. It is a student-friendly approach taken by INSEAD so that the contemporary situation doesn't harm their prospects in future. The admissions department at INSEAD has clarified that those with low scores will be interviewed or might be asked to retake the test, and it will vary on a case-to-case basis. 

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INSEAD has decided to take a more comprehensive approach that brings a considerably larger pool of applicants so that no deserving student misses out on the opportunity of getting a world-class education. There have been several instances in the past wherein students with lower scores didn’t even apply at INSEAD. So, to rule out any possibility where a deserving student might not get the chance to take admission, the scores have been lowered to widen the applicant base. 


Changes in Scoring Pattern 

With changing times, the scoring patterns have also changed. Earlier getting an 85 percentile wasn’t a big deal, and aspirants used to get in the top score brackets with much ease. The scoring patterns have changed a lot in the last three decades with a sharp rise in the number of applicants taking the test. Now getting an 85 percentile is a pretty uphill task as more number of aspirants are taking the GMAT than ever before. The growing number of applicants has increased the competition among the test takers. It’s because of these reasons, deserving candidates despite having strong academics haven’t been able to get admission at INSEAD or for that matter other top B-schools globally. The admission body, and key authorities took note of it, and now a candidate with a low GMAT score will also be given the chance if you have a strong academic background. 

More About GMAT Exam

The GMAT scores required for admissions weren’t published earlier, it started somewhere around the 80s. As we entered the information age the practice became a permanent affair, and now test takers have access to cutoff scores for all the top B-schools. Since the test takers are aware of the score requirement they push harder which is subsequently reflected in the ever-rising cutoffs for B-schools globally. With every passing year, the bar is getting higher and higher. So, INSEAD has taken a less walked road by adopting a more comprehensive way to determine the admissibility of candidates. So, getting a high GMAT score will not be a panacea for you, and a low score will not shatter your dream of studying at world’s best business schools. INSEAD has taken this road, and others are also expected to follow suit since the world now needs problem solvers not great scorers in a test. 

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