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> It is not all that hard to get into an IIM these days actually.

Last year 1,73,735 candidates took the CAT admission test through which the IIMs admit 3,335 MBA students. That's a 1:52 ratio.

Now you could argue that not everyone who takes the CAT is an IIM applicant. So let's take IIM Ahmedabad's (slightly dated) data for 2006-08 admission [1]. Of the 1,44,027 who applied to the institute, 273 secured an admission. That's a 1:527 ratio.

Harvard Business School's admissions:applications ratio is 1:12 [2]

I'm sure you have an explanation of why a 1:527 ratio is "not that hard".

[0] http://www.business-standard.com/article/management/boys-rul... [1] http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/institute/about/key-facts/institu... [2] http://www.hbs.edu/about/facts-and-figures/Pages/mba-statist...

Is scoring well on the CAT test enough to get admitted?

If that is the case then you can't compare the numbers directly, since you have a very non-trivial number of students who are rolling the dice.

In contrast Harvard is very upfront about their requirements, causing most people to avoid applying if they won't qualify.

A caveat : The pool of IIM or IIT aspirants is a very low signal to noise ratio. It's not just that they are hard to get into, it's the number of people who aren't prepared for it but still pony up the entrance fee. I'm sure that's not the case with Ivy leagues.

That's just not correct. IIT's are exceptionally difficult to get into. The entrance exams(IIT JEE) nearly kill the kids.

Plus in the scale of India's population you get a lot of kids, who are working for years to crack the examination. So the only way to create a selection process is to have a crazy difficult exam.

Please read the comment again, I think you interpreted it incorrectly. I'm saying, lots of people are forced to appear for IIT/IIM due to peer/parental pressure but they are clearly not even close to prepared for it. This isn't the case with ivy leagues i.e. bound-to-be-rejected applicants are far lesser with ivy

I can't help but notice you guys are ignoring the fact that india has a huge population. In the context of indian population does this numbers really look that impressive? Doesn't it also mean that there are not enough highly sought after institutions like IIM or IIT?

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