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Bloomberg BusinessWeek Taps Clear Admit for Insight on Business School Admissions in India

Only 0.25 percent of applicants to India’s top business school were admitted for the 2012-14 academic period, making Stanford Graduate School of Business (with a 7 percent acceptance rate) and Harvard Business School (13 percent) look easy to get into by comparison, according to a recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek article. Bloomberg BW turned to Clear Admit co-founder Graham Richmond to provide a little context.

“India’s population is so large, particularly among young people, it’s easy for [IIMA] to have the luxury of making one huge cut,” Richmond told Bloomberg BW.

Indeed, IIMA received 173,866 applications for the class of 2013 (compared with Stanford’s 6,618) and cut 173,431 of them, largely according to entrance exam scores. All IIMA applicants are required to take India’s Common Application Test, or CAT.

Nunzio Quacquarelli, director of the QS World MBA Tour, told Bloomberg BW that most of the people he sees applying to IIM’s 13 schools are Indian, around 23 years old and have one or two years of work experience. In contrast, BW data reveals that applicants to Stanford average 27 years old and have almost five years of work experience, giving admissions committees much more to compare.

While using the CAT to reject such a huge percentage of applicants to IIMA may also make dealing with the sheer volume of applications possible, some question whether it provides the best indicator of how well students will fare in business school. MBA World Tour’s Quacquarelli notes that more test-centric admissions may result in less diversity, noting that an overwhelming majority of IIMA students come from engineering backgrounds and that the school has fewer female students than other internationally recognized business schools.

Read the complete Bloomberg BusinessWeek article, “Abandon Hope: An Elite B-School’s Wild Selectivity.”

Posted in: MBA News

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