A million-dollar question:

Which all top b-schools give very less or no weight for academic scores?

Indeed, a million-dollar question, no?

I feel this would be one of the most searched questions regarding CAT and MBA. This is quite logical as well, as many of us do not have a great academic profile. None of us thought that our academic scores would haunt us forever, but unfortunately, that happens in CAT.

But that’s okay now. That is something beyond our control. There is no point in crying over the spilt milk. We should now look forward and see what are the possibilities for us to pursue an MBA from one of the top b-schools of the country.

Read: How does an average student feel like to be at an IIM?

So, in the following table, I have mentioned a few top b-schools (rank among top 30) that give very less or no weight to the academic profile of the MBA aspirant.

List of b-schools with low weight for academics:

B-school 10th (%) 12th (%) Graduation (%) Work-ex (%) Test Score (%)
IIM C Stage 1: 10
Stage 2: 0
Stage 1: 15
Stage 2: 0
Stage 1: 15
Stage 2: 0
Stage 1: 0
Stage 2: 8
Stage 1: 56
Stage 2: 30
IIFT (criteria changed for 2021) 0 0 0 0 65
XLRI** 0 0 0 5 65
FMS 5 5 0 0 60
IIT Bombay 0 5 5 5 80
IIT KGP 3 4 7 5 20
MDI** 0 0 0 15 55
Second-gen IIMs**** 5 5 5 5 30-50

Stage 1 refers to the shortlisting for WAT PI.

Stage 2 refers to the criteria for final shortlist after WAT PI.

** XLRI and MDI give 5% and 15% weight respectively for the candidate’s profile (10+12+grad+workex). Individual weight is not known.

*** In the admission criteria of NITIE, component-wise break up is not given, but a candidate gets a PI call with 97+ percentile in CAT (91 sectional cut-offs).

**** Second-gen IIMs generally give maximum 20% weight for candidate’s profile (including work-ex). Rest is CAT + WAT PI.

Note: Some of the data points in the above table are taken from some unofficial websites like shiksha.com. So, all the data mentioned in this article might not be accurate, but it would give you some rough idea about which colleges are possible with an average profile.

Besides these colleges, there are some other institutes like IIM K and JBIMS that give low weight for academics. I have not mentioned about IIM K in the table because its criteria keep on changing almost every year. About JBIMS, I am not sure, but I think it gives zero weight for academics.


From the above table and the points that followed it, you can see that some top b-schools give high weightage to the CAT score and low weightage to the candidate’s profile. So, to those who do not have a great profile, the key is to score very well in the CAT exam. With a high CAT score, one can get into some of the country’s best b-schools.

So, if you feel dejected just because your academic profile is not very good, please stop thinking that you can’t get into a top b-school, because you can. Some of the b-schools that are mentioned above are even better than some of the top IIMs in terms of brand name and average package. Having said that, leave all these belittling thoughts behind, keep your head down, and work hard.

Read: IIM Average Package – Old Vs New

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