Graduate Management News
Data & Trends

Annual GMAT Volume Totals 263,979

After four years of growth, global GMAT volume reached 263,979 for the year ending June 30, 2010. That’s down less than 1 percent from the all-time record 265,613 last year, and is higher than every other previous year. It represents more than one GMAT exam taken every two minutes somewhere in the world.

The number of tests taken by women, which topped 100,000 for the first time last year, continued to climb in testing year 2010. The 105,900 tests taken by women represented 40.1 percent of all tests taken, the first time that proportion has topped 40 percent. Driving much of that growth was China, as nearly 63 percent of the GMAT exams taken by Chinese citizens were taken by women.







Source: Profile of Graduate Management Test Candidates, 2010

“One possible reason why there are so many Chinese women taking the GMAT exam is that there is a growing interest in accounting programs,” said Michelle Sparkman Renz, GMAC director of research communications. More than 2,700 Chinese women indicated they intended to pursue the master of accountancy degree, compared with only 741 male Chinese test takers, she says.

With test volume by Chinese citizens up from 23,550 to 30,264 in a single year, China has overtaken India (26,937 tests) as the No. 2 GMAT market, behind the US.  Test taking by Chinese citizens is nearly triple what it was in testing year 2006, when 10,142 exams were taken by Chinese citizens.

China isn’t the only country with noteworthy growth in demand for graduate management education in the past five years. Non-traditional sources of talent for global business schools like citizens of Middle East and African countries marked double- or triple-digit growth since the testing year 2006:

  • Egypt, up 711 tests, or 164 percent
  • Lebanon, up 688 tests, or 80 percent
  • South Africa, up 385 tests, or 101 percent
  • Turkey, up 365 tests, or 23 percent
  • Kuwait, up 338 tests, or 209 percent

Overall, the percentage of GMAT exams taken by non-US citizens reached 52 percent, adding up to 136,918 of the 263,979 total. That’s a percentage point higher than last year, when tests taken by non-US citizens were a majority for the first time.

Other GMAT volume trends suggest characteristic changes in talent pipeline. The average age of GMAT test takers increased for the first time in years, to 27. This age increase was driven by slight rises of traditional b-school age talent, as tests taken by 25- to 30-year-olds climbed 3 percent and tests taken by those 31 and older rose 7 percent.

More details on five-year GMAT volume, broken down by numerous variables such as age, gender, undergraduate major,  and world region, are available in the Profile of Graduate Management Admission Test Candidates, 2010. In addition, the Interactive Profile, allowing you to create customized reports based on GMAT volume data including where tests takers live, their work experience, and what career they anticipate after business school is available to GMAT-using schools.

Both are available at A third highly interactive product, designed for member programs, will be released later this year.

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