The holy grail of management students the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) has slipped in popularity in India, with 25,394 students sitting for the exam in 2011. In China, however, there has been a sharp jump in applicants, with 40,069 taking the test. Seen for long as the ticket to a US college, an impressive career and a green card, GMAT seems to have lost some of its appeal in India, where there were 30,633 applicants in 2009.
While the numbers are dropping in India, management hopefuls in China have surged 200% from 13,048 in 2007. In 2007, India was ahead, with 21,481 applicants. The numbers went up marginally over the next two years, but have been sliding since. More applicants in the 25-30 age groups are opting for the exam, according to the Asian Geographical Trend Report for GMAT examinees, collated and analyzed by the Graduate Management Admission Council that conducts it.
Among Chinese, the percentage of under-25 applicants shot up from 48% in 2007 to 77% in 2011. In case of India, under-25 applicants made up 34% of those who took the exam last year, down from 36% in 2007. Half the number of Indians, who appeared for GMAT in 2011, was in the 25-30 age groups, up from 45% in 2007. Also, while women comprised 64% of Chinese applicants last year, in India they made up just 25% of the examinees.
The report, however, did not see any alarm in the Indian numbers, saying, although lower than the T.Y. 2009 peak, GMAT testing in India has now stabilized and showed new signs of growth during the second half of 2011. Indian analysts saw the trend in the context of reasons-ranging from a slowing economy to a greater choice of exams. Analyzing the drop in Indian applicants, IIM-Ahmedabad director, Prof S. K. Barua suggested several factors like visa restrictions imposed by the US and even a backlash against students in Australia in recent years.
He also attributed the trend to caution arising from a slowing economy in India. The Indian economy has not being doing well which will make people wary of taking a break from a reasonably good job to appear for GMAT, he said. AICTE chairman, Dr. S. S. Mantha said “students now had a big option of exams to choose from, including CAT, CMAT and MAT, and this could be a reason for the flagging appeal. Several state governments take CMAT scores so that only students who are clearly opting for a college overseas sit for the test”, he said.
There has been a growth among east and south-east Asian citizens opting for GMAT. Predictably, the number of non-US citizens giving the exam has also risen to 55% in 2011 since 2007. Incidentally, the number of students appearing for CAT has also come down in the last two years, suggesting that people are more discerning in opting for management courses.
2,58,192 students around the world appeared for GMAT in 2011, Non-US citizens appearing for the exam has risen to 55% in 2011, since 2007 Chinese is the highest citizen group to take GMAT in Asia, rising from 23,550 in 2009 to 40,069 in 2011. Indians taking the test have come down from 30,633 in 2007 to 25,394 in 2011.
Courtesy: Times of India