Global GMAT® Testing Volumes Top 250,000 for Second Consecutive Year

GMAC’s annual Profile of GMAT Testing provides business schools with the latest market-sizing data to inform their marketing and recruitment efforts.

Nov 14, 2017

GMAC Research

Going Global

Quantifying the size of global demand and staying ahead of market movements help business schools maximize the effectiveness of their outreach. GMAC’s newly released 2017 Profiles of GMAT Testing—a series of three data briefs that summarize five years of global GMAT exam trends for testing years (TY) 2013 through 2017—offers schools an integrated view of key candidate demographic and score-sending data. Specifically, the series of reports details the number of exams taken by candidate citizenship, residence, gender, and race/ethnicity (US citizens only); examinee mean age and mean total score; and GMAT score-sending breakdowns by program type (MBA, business master’s, and doctoral/other).

Available for download on, the Profile series includes the following three reports:

  • Profile of GMAT Testing: Citizenship, TY2013-TY2017, featuring GMAT testing trends by candidate region and country of citizenship;
  • Profile of GMAT Testing: Residence, TY2013-TY2017, featuring GMAT testing trends by candidate region and country of residence; and
  • Profile of GMAT Testing: North America, TY2013-TY2017, presenting GMAT testing trends for US and Canadian residents by US region, US state, and Canadian province, and by race/ethnicity for US citizens.

School professionals can use the data from these reports to build detailed candidate profiles for specific countries or world regions, track student mobility based on program preference, and target outreach and recruitment strategies.

Key Takeaways from TY2017

  • A total of 250,884 GMAT exams were taken by prospective business school students in TY2017—the second consecutive testing year that total volumes exceeded a quarter million exams. Total exam volume is up 5 percent from five years ago, and down 4 percent compared with last testing year.
  • At the country level, US citizens take more exams than citizens of any other country—a total of 79,862 in TY2017. Chinese citizens accounted for 68,905 exams in TY2017, the second highest country total.
  • Women sat for 45.4 percent of the GMAT exams delivered in TY2017, the highest percentage in the history of the exam. Five years ago, women sat for 42.5 percent of GMAT exams.
    • Women accounted for 63 percent of GMAT exams taken by citizens of East/Southeast Asian countries, the highest percentage of all world regions.
  • The GMAT candidate pool is slowly becoming younger. The mean age of candidates sitting for the exam in TY2017 was 25.6, down from 26.0 five years ago.
    • The youngest cohort is East/Southeast Asia citizens (mean of 24.0 years old). The oldest cohort is Africa citizens (mean of 28.5 years old).
  • Examinees sent a total of 517,774 score reports to graduate-level management programs around the world. Globally, 64 percent of GMAT score reports were delivered to MBA programs, 33 percent to business master’s programs, and 3 percent to doctoral/other programs.
    • Men sent a greater percentage of their score reports to MBA programs (71%) compared with women (53%).
    • More than half of score reports were sent to business master’s programs by citizens of countries in East/Southeast Asia (65%), Western Europe (62%), and Eastern Europe (50%).

The three Profile reports are publicly available for download at