Graduate Management News

China, India Drive Divergent Management Education Trends

Chinese and Indian test takers accounted for 77 percent of all GMAT exams taken by Asian citizens and 84 percent of all GMAT scores sent to schools in Asia during the testing year ending June 30, 2011. Growth from these two countries fuels the 47 percent rise in test taking among all Asian citizens in the past five years. Yet the two countries are very different in terms of who is taking the exam and why, as detailed in GMAC’s new Asian Geographic Trend Report.

“China and India are both very dynamic markets for management education, but in some respects, they are driving trends in opposite directions. Looking at their differences helps us understand how diverse the marketplace for management education is in this region,” said GMAC Senior Research Manager Alex Chisholm, who authored the report.

GMAT Exams Taken by Gender

GMAT volume among Chinese citizens is rising dramatically — up more than 200 percent in the past five years to 40,069 exams taken in testing year 2011, Chisholm said. Fueling much of the growth is a rapid increase in younger women intending to pursue specialized degrees in accounting or finance. The vast majority of scores sent by Chinese citizens, about 80 percent, are sent to the United States. China is also the only large country, and one of the few countries in the world, in which the women score as well as the men on the exam, as the average score for both was 592 in 2011.

In India, meanwhile, TY2011 testing volume was 25,394, down from a 2009 peak of 30,633 but showing signs of growth in late 2011 and early 2012. Three-quarters of the tests were taken by men, and 73 percent sent their score reports to MBA programs. In the past five years, the percentage of scores Indian citizens sent to US programs dropped from 67 percent to 55 percent as more scores were sent to domestic programs as well as regional programs in Singapore and Hong Kong.

GMAC’s Geographic Trend Reports track student mobility by combining GMAT test-taking and score-sending patterns. The Interactive Trends Tracker offers student mobility data for even more countries and is available to schools that use the GMAT exam (login required). Follow GMAC research on Twitter @GMACResearchers.  Asian report tag: #AsianTrends