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Business Faculty Are a Driving Force for the 10th Generation GMAT Exam

The "10th Generation GMAT" exam is starting to take shape—with a big assist from business faculty from around the world.

The Graduate Management Admission Council has completed a faculty survey in which business faculty worldwide reviewed and rated specific academic skills that 21st century students will need to succeed in business studies. The responses of approximately 750 business faculty from a wide variety of programs will help to guide the next major redesign of the Graduate Management Admission Test, expected to be operational by 2013.

"I have been impressed by the efforts of GMAC to listen to the opinions of business school faculty members when it comes to what skills are most important and useful to test on the GMAT," says Peter Klibanoff, associate professor of managerial economics and decision sciences at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
For the skills survey, GMAC asked business school deans worldwide to nominate faculty who teach core courses in graduate business programs of all types. The demographics of the respondents are telling: 89 percent have doctorates, 40 percent were full professors, 36 percent were associate professors, 17 percent were assistant professors, and 10 percent were deans. Seventy-four percent have more than six years’ experience teaching core graduate management courses, with 94 percent having taught in MBA programs, 42 percent in EMBA programs, and 30 percent in PhD programs.

"The survey response from faculty at graduate management programs around the world has been overwhelming," says Ashok Sarathy, GMAC vice president, GMAT Program. "This survey helps us refine the measurement of skills on the GMAT and continue to make the exam entirely relevant for business school admissions."

The GMAT exam has been continuously revised and updated since 1954, when the Admission Test for Graduate Study in Business was administered 2,957 times in three sittings. In 55 years, the test has had eight significant revisions, which include adding Data Sufficiency questions in 1961, Analysis of Situations (a precursor to today’s verbal critical reasoning) in 1966, and the Analytical Writing Assessment in 1994, as well as moving from paper to the computer adaptive format in 1997. The last major change was moving from ETS to current testing partners Pearson VUE and ACT, in 2006. Although the test itself didn’t change, services provided to schools and candidates improved dramatically. 

The 10th Generation GMAT aims to build on the existing strengths of the GMAT exam while taking advantage of advances in technology and graduate business education. The 10th version will introduce new ways of presenting questions and responding, with more emphasis on having test takers generate solutions rather than simply recognize answers. New question types are being considered in preparation for pilot testing and operational readiness.

"The GMAT is designed for one market, business schools," says Klibanoff, "and GMAC is rightly interested in having business school faculty shape the continued evolution of the exam."

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