A trio of student mobility trend reports issued yesterday by the Graduate Management Admission Council shows that graduate management education is becoming more global and diverse as applicants send GMAT scores to a range of programs around the world.
A record 286,529 GMAT exams were administered in testing year 2012 (ending June 30, 2012), with 831,337 score reports sent to MBA and other types of graduate management programs, according to the GMAC World Geographic Trend Report, which was released along with the European Geographic Trend Report and the Asian Geographic Trend Report.
The boost in test-taking partially reflects increased interest in the GMAT exam with the addition of the Integrated Reasoning section. Historically, test volume rises just before changes are made to a standardized exam as test takers opt for a familiar format at the transition.
Within the latest numbers are signs of increasing diversity, GMAC reports these key trends:
- GMAT testing outside of the United States continues to grow quickly, with tests taken by non-US citizens rising 19% from 2011 to 2012 and representing 59% of global GMAT volume.
- More test takers are sending their GMAT scores to specialized master’s degrees in business, such as master of accountancy, finance and management. In 2012, 29% of all scores were sent to specialized masters programs, up from 17% in 2008.
- The percentage of exams taken by women hit 43% in 2012—a record for the third straight year. Women made up the majority of test takers for citizen groups in China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Russia.
- More younger people are taking the exam, as the percentage of tests taken by those younger than 25 was 47% in 2012, up from 38% in 2008. More than half the Asian and European citizens taking the GMAT exam were under 25.
- GMAT testing in the United States picked up slightly in 2012 after falling from recessionary highs recorded in 2009. The percentage of US test takers sending their scores to US schools remains a world-leading 98%. The US remains the top score-sending destination, with 76% of score reports sent to the US.
Chinese test takers are the second-largest citizenship group after the US and represent 20% of global testing. Their interest in specialized master’s programs has increased — from 43% of scores sent in 2008 to 64% in 2012. Meanwhile Indian citizens, the third-largest citizenship group, are sending a higher percentage of scores to programs in India, the United Kingdom, Singapore, France and Canada.
European citizens sat for 24,847 GMAT exams in 2012, up 26% from 2008, and they sent more than 60% of their scores to programs in Europe, the highest level ever. Citizens of Germany, France, Russia, Italy and the UK together sat for more than half the region’s exams in 2012.
The World, Asian, and European Geographic Trend Reports are available at gmac.com/geographictrends.