Most Common myths about ISB (Indian School of Business)


Indian School of Business (Hyderabad and Mohali) has been ranked as the 29th Best B-School in the world by Financial Times 2016 Ranking. Even then, a majority of Indian MBA aspirants are not aware about the basic features of this school. Many consider it “Out of reach” and do not even care to apply. This post is intended to be a ‘myth buster’ and I hope it will be informative to the aspirants.

1. ISB is only for professionals with 4-5 or more years of work experience.  

It is true that 2 years of Work experience is mandatory for a seat at ISB (yes, it is not a school for the freshers). It is also true that the average work experience of a batch at ISB is 5 years. But around 20% of the batch (as told to me by an AdCom member) has 2-3 years of Work Ex.

2. I am still at college. So I cannot apply to ISB.

ISB has a unique program (or you can say “mode of entry”) for final year and pre-final year students. It is called the Young Leaders Program (YLP). If selected, one seat will be reserved for you, but you can only join when you complete the compulsory 2 years of work ex. You can find more details on YLP here.

3. I just joined a job after graduating for college. I need to wait for 2 more years before applying to ISB.

For working professionals with less than 2 years of Work-Ex, ISB has something called the EEO (Early Entry Option). The mode of application is exactly the same as the normal mode but if offered an admission, you will be allowed to join only when you finish the compulsory 2 years of Work-Ex.

4. My GMAT score is less than 700. So my chances at ISB are low.

This year (Batch of 2016-17) ISB has admitted an aspirant with a GMAT score of 600! If you have good amount of work experience and exceptional achievements at your professional career and you are able to portray them well in your application essays and recommendation letter, a low GMAT score won’t stop you from getting an admit. But it is strongly advisable to target a score of more than 730 (the more, the better). Also from next application cycle, ISB will also be accepting GRE scores.

5. ISB Hyderabad is the main campus while the Mohali one is the off-campus.

ISB strictly follows “One School, Two Campuses” concept by ensuring the following :-

1. The number of students (550 in Hyderabad and around 250 in Mohali) are divided in such a way that the overall diversity and average work experience in both the campuses remains similar

2. All the professors in both the campuses are selected from a common pool and many a times the same professor teaches at both the campuses in different terms

3. Placements for both the campuses happen together (Students from the other campus have to fly down to the campus where placement is being organized)

4. Students are not allowed to tell their prospective recruiters during the placements that from which campus they belong to(to remove any biasing)

6. The Fees at ISB is too high for me

IIM A, B, C and XLRI all have fees somewhere around 17-19 Lakhs. The fees at ISB is 25 lakhs (including hostel, excluding food). Also, you must remember that unlike other b-schools, you will be unemployed only for one year and not two (as PGP at ISB is only 1 year long).

Also, loans are easily available. For example, under the SBI Scholar Loan Scheme, ISB is the only college apart from IIM A which is listed as “AA institution”, which means 30 Lacs loan will be made available to you without any collateral. Here is the complete list.

I will be writing more on GMAT and Indian School of Business. Make sure you FOLLOW my blog (Green color button on the left side of screen) so that you get an email every time I publish a new post. Use the comment section for any queries and I will be happy to reply to each of them.



30 thoughts on “Most Common myths about ISB (Indian School of Business)

  1. One big question an IT engineer faces for ISB.

    With the amount of diversity mba colleges are looking these days, what are the chances of getting through of an IT engineer having an exp of around 50 months , some innovation awards and certifications.


    1. Hello Saurabh. 50 months is a very good amount of work experience for ISB. All you need is to aim for a high GMAT score and make sure you portray all your achievements and initiatives in the application essays very well.


    1. Hello Siddhant

      Recommendation letters are required by the colleges you are applying to and not during the GMAT time. You are expected to submit recommendations (in a fixed format with specified description of the questions provided) preferably from your current supervisor at work.

      If you need any mentoring for GMAT, ISB Application, Recommendation letters and Interview preparation, contact us at



  2. Hi anshul,
    How did you prepare for analytical writing part??And how difficult is the interview for a candidate having 48 months of workex and with no significant achievements???


    1. Hello Debasish.
      I have a written a very detailed post on AWA preparation-

      48 months is a long time and I am sure you can build a good story around it in your essays (and interview will majorly focussed around your essays). In case you need any help in framing the essays and mentoring for ISB in general, contact us at



  3. Sir I have heard that no internship is possible ?? So that will be a risky proposition na because internship are very important as many companies give huge preferences to internships while recruiting


  4. Hi Anshul sir!
    I came to know about you from CAT Preparation fb page. I have a small doubt which I think you are the prefect person to answer.
    Actually sir I was preparing for Cat 2015 but 1 month before cat I thought of doing something productive with my life ( 😛 ) and with some planning resigned from my job to open my offline + online coaching institute for Gate (since I got an All India Rank of 37 in Gate’14). I am doing pretty well there and growing with a decent pace. But sometimes I wonder if after few years I thought of doing something else or joining corporate sector, would it be possible for me to go for mba? You have done so many things and managed to get through ISB as well so I think you can definitely help me with ny query. My profile goes like this:
    10th : 92
    12th : 92.2
    B Tech : 94.9
    Job ex : Indian Oil Corporation Ltd ( 16 months)
    Started my coaching institute : Dec’ 15 onwards

    Will this venture of mine be counted as entrepreneurial exp if I decide to do mba after 3 years?


    1. Hello Chandresh. I would be very frank here and I will only talk about your prospects at ISB
      Your acads are amazing and that will for sure act as a very strong point. Coming to your GATE coaching, definitely yes! ISB values any initiative and entrepreneurial venture a lot.

      Now you need to do two things :-

      1. Target a good GMAT score.
      2. Fabricate good essays and recommendations for ISB.

      If you need any kind of mentoring, contact us at


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much sir. Could not understand why you said ‘I will be very frank here’ and ‘will ONLY talk about’. Is something wrong with my profile? Can you please throw some light on Recommendation Letter part? Thanks a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Anshul Sir,

    I worked in L&T for 21 months and just now left the company. Was senior electrical engineer there. Now i will help my father with his business. He too has electrical specific business i.e Distribution transformer manufacturing and petrochemical refinery.

    My question is, will joining my family business be counted as work ex. If yes, what proof I need to furnish for the same. And will it show me in bad light or its okay?

    And how will I furnish letter of reference in same case as Managing director is my father.


    1. Hello Sparsh

      Family business is not considered a negative point in ISB at all but make sure you portray all the achievements and leadership initiatives well in the essays. Also try to get the recommendation from someone else in the company. Managing Director recommendation is nor mandatory.

      If you need any kind of professional mentoring for your essays and interview preparation, contact us on



  6. Hello SIr,
    I just graduated from college & have cleared the stage 1 of YLP programme. I am not looking for a job as of now because i have to prepare for both GMAT(scheduled in August) & CAT. However, ISB asks for 21 months of work ex from a YLP selected candidate before joining, which means that i must be working from july 2016 to complete 21 moths work ex by 31st march 2018. But if I go for a job it’ll be really tough to prepare for the exams simultaneously. I have heard that one can defer his/her YLP joining by a year, if he/she hasn’t completed 21 months of work ex. So will that be okay or I should rather start looking for a job (I have few opportunities). Also, if I get selected for the interview round & there I tell them that I am currently unemployed & will defer my joining by a year as i wont be able to complete the desired work ex by 31st march 2018, will it negatively affect my candidature. Because they are gonna do the math anyway. Kindly guide me, I am really stranded here.

    Thanks in advance!!


  7. So that means it’ll create a bad impression if I don’t have a job while I am being interviewed at ISB. Because even if I start working from August, still I’ll have to defer my admit by a year due to the same reason.


  8. Hello Anshul,
    I read ur posts and really liked them.. I have 9 years of work experience in software development for automotive products.Is it worth doing an MBA now? Do I stand a chance to get admission in ISB?


    1. Hello Neel. Ofcourse it will be worth. An MBA will help you to move towards the management side where you will be responsible for many strategic decisions. And you definitely stand a chance if you write your application well. Do write to me at for a more detailed discussion.


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