Category Archives: GMAC

GMATCH Virtual MBA Admissions Fair Coming in November

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has announced that it will host an online admissions fair featuring admissions representatives from dozens of top MBA programs next month, on November 22 and 23. The GMATCH Virtual Fair, which will take place entirely online, is being billed as the “the first truly global virtual fair” for business school applicants and admissions officers.

GMAC has lined up a rather extensive list of MBA programs around the world for the event, including London Business School, INSEAD, UVA (Darden), Georgetown (McDonough), UCLA (Anderson), the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Nanyang Business School.

From an announcement on GMAC’s web site announcing the event:

The innovative GMATCH concept employs a rich graphical interface featuring virtual booths and a multimedia auditorium stocked with material about each participating school’s programs as well as management education in general. Participants will be able to use webcams to enable face-to-face interaction.

While we wonder how well the “virtual” concept will do, this event does provide a great way for you to interact with admissions officers from programs that you might never have considered, simply because they’re on the other side of the globe and your chances of being able to visit the school are remote. We recommend using the GMATCH Virtual Fair as a chance to go outside your comfort zone (after all, you’re in the comfort of your own home!) and explore some programs that you might not have otherwise considered.

You can register for the event here.

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Win $50,000 by Telling GMAC How You Would Change Management Education!

What could your idea be worth? How about $50,000? The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has invited anyone to answer this question: What one idea would improve graduate management education? GMAC’s Management Education for Tomorrow (MET) Fund will award a total of $250,000 in prizes to 15 people whose ideas rise to the top, with the most promising proposal taking home $50,000. All you have to do is submit three paragraphs making the case for your idea is the one that can best revolutionize management education.

GMAC will accept entries to the MET Fund’s Ideas to Innovation (I2I) Challenge at from now until Friday, October 8. After rounds of review and voting by a panel of educators and business leaders from around the world, the prize winners will be announced in mid-December., in what is considered Phase 1 of the process.

During Phase 2, to begin in 2011, GMAC will post the winning ideas online and ask schools and other nonprofit organizations to develop ways to implement them. GMAC will underwrite one or more of the best proposals using funds dedicated to the MET Fund, a $10 million initiative to invest in the development of management education worldwide.

What is “innovation,” for the purposes of the contest? GMAC defines innovation as the implementation of an idea that improves management education in a meaningful way—for students, for schools, for societies. GMAC seeks ideas that are achievable, easily understood and able to demonstrate measurable results within one to three years. GMAC is particularly interested in proposals that show potential to broadly impact management education in either a specific part of the world or globally.

If you’ve got an idea that will get GMAC’s attention, visit and get started. May the best idea win!

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MBA Grads Grow More Confident About the Job Market

A new survey released by GMAC earlier this month reports that new MBA grads are growing more confident about the economy, despite a drop in the percentage of grads who have jobs compared to last year.

According to the latest GMAC Graduate Management Education Graduate Survey, the percentage of full-time two-year MBA program grads who had an offer of employment prior to finishing school dropped to 40% this year, down from 50% in 2009. The numbers are even worse for part-time MBAs: 22% of part-time grads had a job offer before graduation, down from 38% in 2009.

Although these numbers look pretty grim, about one-third of grads who said they felt the global economy is stable or strong, up from just 9% a year ago. So, what gives? How could optimism bounce back while the job picture actually gets worse by some measures?

GMAC’s news release doesn’t go so far as to answer this question, although it may simply be a matter of “bad news fatigue,” and our tendency to doubt that things can stay this bad for that long. Not many MBA grads (other than perhaps a handful of older part-time MBAs) are old enough to remember the last time the U.S. or global economy last went through an extended rough patch, in the late 1970s. So, for most of these grads, two years into a recession, one can’t help but ask, “This thing has to be over soon, doesn’t it?”

Or, do these grads know something we don’t? Maybe they’ve noticed that more companies are returning to campuses to interact with students, even if the job offers aren’t yet flowing more yet. GMAC echoed this idea in its announcement, mentioning that the increased optimism among graduates mirrors the trend highlighted in the GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey, which found that employers are finally shifting their attention back to expanding their businesses. If that’s the case, then maybe this really is the first sign of a light at the end of the long, dark jobs tunnel.

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New GMAC Survey Says Most 2009 MBA Grads Found Jobs by September

Building on our recent post about the MBA job market appearing to thaw, GMAC just released the results of a survey that shows that three-quarters of 2009 full-time MBA grads had jobs by September. Of part-time MBA graduates, 96 per cent of them had jobs by then.

While those statistics are pretty encouraging, the salary numbers present a slightly less rosy picture. Many MBA grads found that the starting salaries they were offered were lower than those offered to their counterparts from previous years. The median starting salary for all survey participants who finished school last year was $79,271, down slightly from the Class of 2008’s $80,000 median starting salary.

Back to some more good news: The survey reports that the Class of 2009 also reasonably satisfied with their jobs. Fifty-eight per cent of grads said they were in the kind of position they had hoped to find, 48 per cent indicated they were very or extremely satisfied with the direction their career was taking, and 47 per cent said they felt their employer placed particular value on their graduate management degree. Meanwhile, 78 per cent of respondents who graduated in 2009 reported that their degree was essential to landing their job.

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GMAT Volume Flat Overall in 2009

Earlier this week the Graduate Management Admission Council released its official tally for the number of GMAT exams taken in 2009, and it came out to be 267,000, narrowly surpassing last year’s record of 264,700. While it’s good to see the number continuing to rise (and GMAC’s press release goes out of its way to emphasize that the 2009 number is its highest ever), the main headline we see is that the number of tests taken grew less than 1% in 2009.

GMAT Tests Taken by Year(Note that this number represents the number of tests taken, not the the number of people who took the test. When people talk about these numbers they tend to use those two figures interchangeably, but here GMAC did not release any official data about the number of people who took the GMAT in 2009.)

Aside from the headline growth numbers, there are some interesting tidbits in the release regarding the GMAT’s increasingly international flavor:

Beyond growing larger, the GMAT testing pool is becoming more international and increasingly diverse. According to analyses of the most recent GMAT testing year, which ran from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009, approximately 51 percent of the people who took the GMAT during the period were non-U.S. citizens—the first time since the exam’s creation in 1954 that test takers who were citizens of nations other than the United States outnumbered Americans.

The figures show that China and India have played a particularly large role in the globalization of management education. The number of GMAT exams taken by Chinese citizens rose 35 percent in testing year 2009 compared with the year before, to 23,550; the number is up 181 percent since 2005, when it was 8,393. Tests taken by citizens of India were up 7 percent in testing year 2009, to 30,633, capping a 128 percent increase during the past five years.

The number of GMAT exams taken by women hit a record 104,880 during testing year 2009, an increase of 36 percent during the past five years and the first time female test takers have exceeded 100,000 in a single testing year. The number of GMAT test takers under 24 grew to 79,577 in 2009, a 132 percent increase from 2005.

That last fact is particularly interesting: In 2005, the number of GMAT test takers under the age of 24 must have been around 34,000. Now, it’s nearly 80,000. With top business schools like Harvard making a public push to attract younger applicants, we wonder: Which is the cause and which is the effect? No matter which factor is the driver of this growth, we expect this trend to continue in the coming years.

GMAC Promotes the MBA Among Black Students

Late last week the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) announced a new partnership with the nation’s Historically Black College and University (HBCU) business schools to attract more African Americans to MBA programs nationwide. The partnership will include more recruiting efforts by schools, more marketing of the value of an MBA to black students, and fee or significantly discounted GMAT preparation services for those students.

According to GMAC, the number of African American test takers has doubled in the past decade, with a 26 percent increase in just the past four years. But the organization hopes to see that number improve even more.

As part of this partnership, GMAC will offer GMAT fee waivers for each of the HBCU business schools to use at its discretion to make sure that no student is denied access to the exam for financial reasons. GMAC will also provide each school packages of test preparation materials, including copies of the new 12th edition Official GMAT Guide and GMAC’s own GMAT Prep software on CD.

Building on this effort, Wilson also announced a cross-country tour of the GMAT Mobile Testing Center to HBCUs and Hispanic-Serving Institutions from October 2009 to May 2010. The 32-school bus tour will reach all U.S. based four-year HBCU and HSI members that are at least 40 miles from the nearest GMAT test center, thus further enhancing student accessibility to the exam.

If you are just starting to prepare for the GMAT, try a free practice GMAT exam from Veritas Prep.

GMAC Announces the Next Generation GMAT

Perhaps in response to ETS’s push into the MBA admissions market with the GRE, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) recently announced that a new GMAT exam will launch in 2013. Dubbed the “Next Generation GMAT,” the new exam will be designed to overcome the business school community’s largest objections to the current exam.

One of those criticisms has been that today the GMAT is biased in favor of the West, in part because it is only offered in English. While this does create some built-in unnatural advantages and disadvantages based on a student’s native language, one strength of this approach is that it makes it easier to compare GMAT scores of students from anywhere in the world. If, with the new exam, Student A scores a 700 in English and Student B scores a 700 in French, how will MBA admissions officer compare these two scores? It will be interesting to see how GMAC tackles problems like this one.

The GMAT has also recently been plagued other problems, such as last year’s Scoretop scandal and issues with professional test takers that prompted GMAC to introduce pal-scanning technology to its GMAT test centers. While it’s not clear how a new exam by itself will overcome these issues, one solution could end up involving more face-to-face evaluation (which would be time-consuming and expensive). Chances are that GMAC has only begun to consider its options.

GMAC says that it plans to include business schools in its discussions for what the next generation GMAT should look like. As the world’s fastest-growing GMAT prep and admissions consulting provider, we at Veritas Prep think we also have something to add to the discussion. How about you? What do you think would make the GMAT a fairer and more effective measurement tool for business school applicants? Tell us what you think!