Do Gap Years Affect MBA Admissions And Placements?

does gap years affect mba admission

Pursuing MBA is a dream for many students after completing their bachelor’s. At the time of the admission process in top MBA colleges like IIMs, the students get selected based on their performance in the entrance exam, academic backgrounds, work experience, performance in the personal interview, etc. A frequent question asked by many MBA aspirants is, do gap years affect their chances of MBA admission? When it comes to the personal interviews of b-school admissions, many of the students who have year gaps in their career think that the year gap affects their chances of losing admission to the top MBA colleges. So, do gap years affect MBA Admission? In this article, we will discuss if the gap years affect MBA admission.

Do Gap years Affect IIM Admission?

Although the discussion about your gap years arises during the interviews, it doesn’t affect much when it comes to the MBA admissions at the b-schools such as IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, etc. During the personal interview, the panellists would want to know about your gap years. The Final selection completely depends on how you convinced the panellists or the interviewers by explaining a valid reason for the gap years.

For example, if you have one gap year because of your health issue, then you must explain the reason clearly to the interviewers and also need to submit proof for that. This is only for health issue scenarios.

When you have a good reason to explain

There might be reasons that the panellists find unacceptable, such as taking a year gap only to prepare for the CAT exam or spending the whole year searching for a job. These are some of the invalid reasons that may lead to losing the chance of getting selected to your dream b-school. Let us see some more effects of taking a year gap and also how to utilise that gap well.


Taking a gap year for CAT preparation?

If you are taking the CAT exam for the first time and you want to take a gap year to prepare for the CAT exam only, then it would be a bad idea. It is not advisable for the freshers to spend only on CAT preparation. It is advised to have a job and simultaneously plan your CAT preparation. That is because most of the top b-schools (especially the IIMs) have weightage for work experience. Also, if you’re working, it will take away the pressure of preparing for the CAT.

2 Year Gap for CAT exam

If you have already taken the CAT exam after graduation by spending one year for preparation and the result is not satisfactory, then let’s say you decided to take another year gap for retaking the CAT exam. In such cases, where you have 2 years or more than 2 years of gap, the interviewers would like to know how your efforts have been given for the preparation and how you utilized those gap years (by pursuing your interests, doing certification courses, etc.).

motivation meme

Do gap years affect MBA placements?

No, the gap years do not affect even 1% during the MBA placements. Only at the time admission process, the interviewers may ask questions about the gap years. The placements during your MBA are based on some of the parameters such as your relevant skills, quality of previous work experience, academic profile etc.

Just imagine that if you are hiring a person, there is no point in rejecting the candidate for the reason of having gap years.

Should I Take A Gap Year before MBA?

Taking a gap is not a bad idea. Utilizing the gap year well is very important and would be considered during MBA admissions. It completely depends on the skill set that you have gained during your gap year. One must need a valid reason for the year gap. Utilizing the gap year perfectly can also help you more during the MBA admission.

What to do in the gap year before MBA?

  • Professional courses & Certifications
  • Online courses
  • Research papers
  • Live projects
  • Pursuing your interests seriously

During the MBA admissions at top colleges such as IIMs, there will be a 50% chance of not even considering the gap years of the candidates and, as mentioned earlier, almost zero chances of a discussion about it during MBA placements.


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