GMAT Takers using Indian B-Schools on rise

GMAT Takers using Indian B-Schools on rise

More students are applying to Indian business schools using their Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores, according to data for the testing year 2011.

Last year, business schools in India received 17,638 scores from GMAT examinees across the world compared to 11,484 scores received in 2007. The Geographic Trends Survey Report, 2012 for GMAT was released in the US on Wednesday.

GMAT is the admission criteria for 1,500 B-schools across the world. India held its position as the fifth study destination of preference for GMAT test-takers from around the world, with the US topping the table.

The number of business programmes in India accepting GMAT scores has soared. “More and more schools in India are signing up to use GMAT in their admissions process,” said Alex Chisholm, senior manager, statistical analysis, Graduate Management Admission Council, via email. “As of February 2012, there are about 150 programmes in India with official GMAT codes.” In 2007, there were only 23.

“I did not want to get into the Common Admission Test (CAT) race, which pretty much ruled out the Indian Institutes of Management for me,” said Vikas Hotwani, 25, who gave the GMAT and enrolled at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad last year. “I chose ISB over American institutes because the course is shorter, of international quality and cheaper.”

The number of Indian test takers’ scores sent to US business schools also dropped to 55% in 2011 from 67% in 2007, while for Indian schools it went from 12% in 2007 to 15% in 2011. Other destinations have also become attractive to Indian students, such as Singapore (from 4% in 2007 to 7% in 2011), UK (from 6% in 2007 to 10% in 2011). Schools such as INSEAD and Singapore Management University in Singapore and the ISB in Hyderabad have increased their profile in the past few years.

“With growing reputations, shorter programmes and lower fees, the number of queries about schools in Asia has gone up in the past year or two,” said Alisha Mashruwala, of Collegify, which helps students apply abroad.

Compared to 2010, however, the number of Indian candidates appearing for GMAT declined in 2011 (from 26,937 in 2010 to 25,394 in 2011), as did the number of scores sent in total to business schools (from 1,19,181 for 2010 to 1,12,725 for 2011) given rising education expenses.

“Testing in India peaked in 2009 and has declined somewhat since then,” said Chisholm.

“Recently, the number of GMAT exams taken by Indians has started to grow again.”