The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), owner of the GMAT exam, has announced that last year was a record year for the exam. Volume for the 2012 testing year (July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012) was up 11 percent from the prior year, and eight percent higher than the previous record of 265,613 in 2009.
A total of 286,529 GMAT exams were taken, with 831,337 score reports sent to 5,281 graduate business and management programs around the world — all historic highs, says GMAC.
The record volume partially reflects increased interest in the exam brought on by the addition of the Integrated Reasoning section on June 5, 2012. Historically, test volume rises just before changes are made to a standardized exam as test takers opt for a familiar format at the transition.
GMAT testing outside of the United States continues to grow quickly. Tests taken by non-US citizens rose 19 percent in 2012 and represented 59 percent of global GMAT volume.
Chinese test takers, the second-largest citizenship group after the US, represented 20 percent of global testing. In 2012, the number of exams taken by Chinese citizens increased 45 percent to 58,196 exams. Meanwhile, Indian citizens, the third-largest citizenship group, took 30,213 GMAT exams, a figure that increased 19 percent in 2012.
The percentage of exams taken by women hit 42.9 percent in 2012—a record for the third straight year.
“Today’s global students — who may be a citizen of one country, study in second and choose to work in a third — recognize the significance and the superiority of the GMAT exam in gaining admission to the best management programs around the world,” says David Wilson, GMAC president and CEO.
“Business and management skills are needed more than ever in an ever increasing variety of organizations. Business schools have responded by offering a deeper portfolio of programs to meet these diverse needs,” Wilson adds.