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GMAT Trends: India - Part 1

13 September, 2019

GMAT: Graduate Management Admission Test

Conducted by: Graduate Management Admission Council  or GMAC

Used where: This assessment test is used by several institutes across the globe as an entry requirement for their master level management programs.

Type of test: It is a computer adaptive test and has 4 main sections - Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative reasoning. 

When?: This exam can be given throughout the year.

 

Every year across the globe, 2.5 lakh candidates sit for the GMAT, out of which 13% are Indian. Even though the global number of test takers for GMAT has been fairly stable, the Indian test taker mass has increased by 14% in the last 5 years.

 

 

TY*2014

TY2015

TY2016

TY2017

TY2018

Increase wrt 2014

Indian GMAT Test Takers

28,345

29,432

33,046

32,514

32,425

14%

Table 1: Indian GMAT Test takers (number year-on-year)

Gender:

Globally, among the GMAT candidates, male: female ratio is 54: 46. For Indian test takers, though, this proportion is more skewed towards male candidates. The split in test year (TY) 2018 was:

 

India

TY2018

Female

32%

Male

68%

Table 2: TY 2018 Indian GMAT test takers gender split

The table shows that females are underrepresented among the test taking population for the GMAT in India, i.e., more Indian males sit for the GMAT than females. However, the good news is that the percentage of Indian females taking GMAT is steadily increasing. Currently, 3 out of every 10 Indian candidates are females.

 

India

TY2014

TY2015

TY2016

TY2017

TY2018

Female

27%

29%

30%

31%

32%

Table 3: Year on year percentage of female Indian GMAT test takers

Age bracket:

Indian GMAT candidates are, on average, older than their global counterparts. While globally half of the GMAT candidates are below 25 years of age, 50% of the Indian test takers are between 25-30 years of age, as seen in the table below.

 

Age group (in years)

TY2014

TY2015

TY2016

TY2017

TY2018

Remarks

< 25

41%

39%

38%

37%

37%

Decreasing

25 - 30

46%

47%

48%

49%

50%

Increasing

31+

14%

14%

14%

14%

13%

Stable

Table 4: Age split percentage of Indian GMAT test takers

Table 4 indicates that more Indians prefer to sit for GMAT between the age of 25 and 30, irrespective of their gender. This trend also shows that more Indians prefer taking GMAT after gaining a few years of work experience.

GMAT Mean Score:

The GMAT mean score is increasing day by day both in India and globally. Interestingly, the trend of Indian test takers for the GMAT scoring more than the global test takers continues.

 

Country of Citizenship

TY2014

TY2015

TY2016

TY2017

TY2018

Global

549

554

558

564

565

India

575

577

577

583

583

Table 5: Mean GMAT scores (year-on-year) of Global and Indian candidates

Globally, fewer candidates are scoring below 600 and more candidates are scoring between 600 and 690, while the percentage of candidates scoring 700+ is fairly stable.The situation is somewhat similar in India.

 

Country of Citizenship

GMAT Total Score

TY2014

TY2015

TY2016

TY2017

TY2018

wrt TY 2014

Global

< 600

60%

58%

57%

55%

54%

-6%

600 - 690

29%

30%

31%

33%

34%

4%

700+

11%

11%

12%

13%

12%

2%

India

< 600

50%

48%

48%

46%

46%

-3%

600 - 690

36%

37%

37%

38%

38%

2%

700+

14%

14%

15%

16%

15%

1%

Table 6: Percentage of candidates scoring in GMAT

Now, let’s talk about the GMAT score and percentile.  If you observe the table below carefully, you will notice that we can place GMAT scores into two categories – 730 and above, and below 730. Once you cross 730, an increase of 10 points in your score increases your percentile marginally. However, for scores below 730, every increase of 10 points has the potential to increase your percentile anywhere between 2 and 5 percentage points.

 

OVERALL

SCORE

%ILE

800

99%

790

99%

780

99%

770

99%

760

99%

750

98%

740

97%

730

96%

720

94%

710

91%

700

88%

690

86%

680

83%

670

81%

660

78%

650

75%

640

70%

630

68%

620

64%

610

61%

600

57%

Table 7; Data Source: IMS Study Abroad

This means that if your GMAT score is between 600 and 690 and you manage to increase your score by 10 points in your 2nd attempt, then effectively you will be ahead of 10,000 candidates (considering an average increase of 4%ile in the 600 - 690 range. That equates to 4% of 2.5 lakh – the total number of GMAT candidates – or 10,000). On the other hand, if you score 730 on your first attempt, and score 10 points more in your next attempt, then you will be ahead of 2,500 candidates (1% of 2.5 lakh is 2.5k). Hence, it is advisable to sit for the GMAT again if your score is below 690, but not if you manage to score above 730.

This also means that since there are more candidates at each score point below 690, the GMAT score matters a lot for the score range 600 to 690. However, since 700+ candidates are fewer at every score point, once your GMAT score is high enough, merely the score will not help you differentiate yourself from others. So you will need to focus more on other factors like your profile, essay, letters of recommendation and so on.

Remember, for the admission, the GMAT score is not the sole criteria. Factors like ethnicity, educational background, work experience, etc play a vital role.

Educational background:

While half of the global GMAT test takes are from the Business and Commerce background, in India 6 out of every 10 candidates are from an Engineering background, according to the GMAC data. Surprisingly, this anomaly is not found anywhere else, not even amongst Russian GMAT candidates, even though Russia has the highest number of engineering colleges.

Hence, being an engineer from India, you will have to create a point of difference (POD) in your profile to get admission through GMAT, to increase your selectivity.

 

TY2018

Global

India

Business and Commerce

51%

27%

Engineering

18%

61%

Science

6%

4%

Social Science

17%

5%

Humanities

5%

1%

Other Major

3%

2%

Table 8: Global & Indian GMAT test takers educational background

Work experience:

43%+ of Indians taking the GMAT have work experience around 1 to 3 years, and this percentage is pretty high. This could be a major reason why half of the Indians sitting forthe GMAT fall within the age bracket from 25 to 30 years!

However, recent trends show that there is an increase in test takers from India with less than 1 year of work experience. This trend is probably because of increase of demand of programs which require zero or less than 1 year work experience, formally known as Masters In Management, or MIM, programs.

 

 

TY2014

TY2015

TY2016

TY2017

TY2018

wrt 2014

Global

28%

30%

31%

31%

34%

6%

Indian

12%

12%

13%

13%

16%

4%

Table 9: Percentage of Global & Indian GMAT test takers who have work experience of less than 1 year

*TY: Test Taking Year

Data source: GMAC report on geographic trend on testing year 2018

Insight Generation: GoFYI Research Team

In our next post, we will talk about different programs where Indians apply. Click here to read the Part Two of our Two Part series on GMAT Trends: India.

 

If you want to know how to develop your profile, create a POD and increase your selectivity through GMAT for study MBA abroad, please contact us at consulting@imsindia.com or book an appointment with any of our admission consultants at 9930150523.

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