Latest GMAC Survey Shows Chinese Flocking to B-School

The number of GMAT scores sent by Chinese citizens to schools around the world nearly tripled (from 48,664 to 126,090) in the past five years, says a new report on GMAT score-sending patterns in Asia from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

With 40,069 exams taken by Chinese citizens in the testing year ending June 30, 2011, growth has been driven by women test takers and those younger than 25, who are largely interested in specialized master’s programs outside of China.

According to an interview with Dave Wilson, president and chief executive of GMAC, the reason for this shift is that a lot of young people realize that the best time to take the GMAT is when they are in the last year of undergraduate program, when they’re used to exams and have the time to study.

The 2012 Asian Geographic Trend Report also illustrates the globalization of management education and the quality options within Asia and around the world. Programs in Asia saw a 63 percent increase in the number of GMAT scores received from test takers in testing year 2011 (42,933) when compared with 2007 (26,296). India remains the region’s leading destination for GMAT scores, receiving 11,484 score reports in 2007 and increasing to 17,638 in 2011, with the vast majority of scores coming from Indian citizens.

Overall, Asian citizens sent 69 percent of their scores to management programs in the U.S. in 2011, compared with 74 percent in 2007. Other study destinations among the top 10 that received more than 10,000 score reports from Asian citizens included India, United Kingdom, Singapore, and Canada.

The report also shows that Asian citizens sent an average of 3.4 GMAT scores per exam taken in 2011, significantly higher than the global average of 2.9.  However, there were substantial regional differences in score-sending habits. For example, Indian citizens sent the highest average number (4.4), and South Koreans sent the lowest (2.0).

“The significance of the Asian impact on management education is real,” says Wilson. “The flows of graduate management students to, from and within the region have positive benefits for Asian firms as well as multi-national companies that operate there.”

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