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Data & Trends

2009 GMAT Profile Yields Data Both Grand and Granular

The GMAT exam was taken a record 265,613 times in the Testing Year 2009. And for the first time, the number of tests taken by non-US citizens surpassed that of US citizens, 135,105 to 130,508. The new figures, for the year ending June 30, are highlighted in the 2009 Profile of GMAT Candidates, published later this month by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

“Total GMAT volume is up, but by breaking down the figures by country, by world region, by gender, by intended degree, and by age, we see a very complex picture emerge,” says Lawrence Rudner, GMAC vice president for research and development. “The Profile gives admissions professionals around the world highly specific and meaningful data to inform their decisions for individual programs.”

The Profile, the most detailed breakdown of GMAT tests taken that GMAC publishes, features extensive data on the ages, gender, citizenship, and location of GMAT test takers over the previous five years. The Profile provides not just topline data such as overall volume, but also precise details such as the mean score of the 47 tests taken by citizens of Estonia in TY2009, which was 556.

This year’s publication, redesigned based on reader feedback from last year, includes new tables on tests taken by intended degree and world regions. Among the highlights:

  • Overall GMAT test volume has been rising for the past five years. This year’s total is up 7.55 percent over last year’s record 246,957 tests administered.
  • The number of tests taken by those under 24 continues to rise rapidly, from 68,350 in TY2008 to 79,577 in TY2009. The five-year average annual growth rate for this age group is 23.6 percent.
  • GMAT test volume was up in all world regions, but five-year growth trends reveal wide disparities in growth rate.  The five-year average annual growth rate is 31.3 percent in Central/South Asia, 22.2 percent in Australia/Pacific Islands,  14.6 percent in East/Southeast Asia, 8.3 percent in Western Europe, and 7.3 percent in Canada.
  • Among tests taken by US citizens, five-year annual growth rate is up 6.3 percent for blacks, 8.6 percent among Asians, 4.0 percent among Hispanics, 0.9 percent among American Indians, and 4.5 percent among whites.
  • The overall mean GMAT score is down one point, to 539. Some 39.5 percent of tests were taken by women, the same percentage as last year.

The 2009 Profile of GMAT Candidates will be sent to GMAT-using schools by early December. Data from the 2009 testing year are already available in the GMAT Interactive Profile [], which allows users to make custom reports. GMAC researchers are also available to answer questions about GMAT volume at

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