Graduate Management News

November 2016

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

Differentiate Your Candidate Pools Using New 2016 Profiles of GMAT® Testing Data

New reports combine candidate demographic profiles and GMAT® score-sending trends to reveal the program types prospective students are targeting for enrollment—a vital resource for schools seeking to build tailored candidate profiles for recruitment.

Data to go Thumb

GMAC’s newly released 2016 Profiles of GMAT Testing—a series of three data briefs that summarize five years of global GMAT exam trends for testing years 2012 through 2016—offer schools an integrated view of key candidate demographic data coupled with GMAT examinees’ score-sending data.

With the profiles, your school receives a detailed view of candidate test-taking data both by citizenship and residence—presented at the global, regional, and individual country level. No matter what country your school recruits from, you can use the data to build a profile of your applicant pool based on mean age, gender, and mean Total Scores. The profiles offer a breakdown of the program types—MBA, non-MBA (master’s), and doctoral—where candidates are directing their GMAT score reports in 2016, and for each country you can see what share of the total GMAT testing pool they represent in their region and globally.

Track Demographic Trends Over Time as Well as Differences in Program Preferences

The five-year view of GMAT exam data reveals how candidate demographics are trending over time and highlights the program selection behavior of the most recent cohort of test takers in 2016. For example:

  • The gender gap in GMAT test-taking continues to shrink, with women accounting for 118,027 exams out a total of 261,248 taken worldwide—45.2 percent of the total in TY2016, up from 42.9 percent in TY2012. This is the highest female-to-male ratio in GMAT history.
  • At the country level, US citizens still take more exams than citizens of any other country—a total of 83,410 in 2016. Chinese citizens accounted for 70,774 exams in 2016, the second highest country total.
  • Regional data show that citizens of the East & Southeast Asia region for the first time outnumber citizens of the United States (as a region) in total exams delivered—with 88,802 exams delivered to East & Southeast Asian citizens versus 83,410 exams delivered to US citizens.
  • The GMAT candidate pool has slowly become younger. The average age of candidates sitting for the GMAT exam in TY2016 is 25.6 years old, down from 26.1 years old in TY2012.
    • The youngest cohort is from East & Southeast Asia (24 years old on average).
    • The oldest cohort is from Africa (28.5 years old on average)
    • Worldwide, 561,866 score reports were sent in TY2016, with 65 percent going to MBA programs, 32 percent to non-MBA programs, and 3 percent to Doctoral programs.
    • Women are more likely to send scores to non-MBA programs whereas men are more likely to send scores to MBA programs. This pattern holds across all citizenship groups regionally, albeit at different levels.
      • Worldwide, 42 percent of scores sent by women were directed to non-MBA (master’s) programs, compared with 25 percent of scores sent by men.
      • Globally, 72 percent of scores sent by men went to MBA programs, compared with 55 percent of scores sent by women.

The Profile series includes the following three reports:

  • Profile of GMAT Testing: Citizenship, TY2012–TY2016, featuring GMAT testing trends by candidate region and country of citizenship;
  • Profile of GMAT Testing: Residence, TY2012–TY2016, summarizing GMAT testing trends by candidate region and country of residence; and
  • Profile of GMAT Testing: North America, TY2012–TY2016, presenting GMAT testing trends for US and Canadian residents by US region, US state, and Canadian province, and by race/ethnicity for US citizens.

The three Profile reports are publicly available for download at