PrepAdviser had the opportunity to attend 2019 GMAT Test Prep Summit and learn about the latest trends in business school admission testing and preparation directly from the GMAC team, top MBA admissions directors and test prep tutors.
The summit is held annually and is designed to give the latest updates on the GMAT exam, including admission trends, product and psychometrics updates, Executive Assessment updates and more. This year, the event took place in London, at the venue of Cass Business School, part of City, University of London. Below, you will find some of the highlights from the summit.
GMAT trends in Europe
Sara Strafino, Senior Manager, Market Development at GMAC, launched the conference by announcing some of the major GMAT trends in Europe and Israel. She presented data providing evidence that the center of gravity is shifting east; while in the past most GMAT test takers were from the US, the East, particularly East and Southeast Asia, is now becoming the most dynamic GMAT test taking center.
Another trend worth mentioning is that an increasing number of younger candidates (aged below 25) are taking the GMAT because of the increasing number of Business Master’s programs accepting the exam.
In terms of study destination preferences, the US keeps losing its appeal among international candidates, with many of those who considered applying to US programs saying they no longer wanted to apply. On the other hand, applications to UK schools are growing despite the pending withdrawal of the UK from the European Union.
GMAT product update
Vineet Chhabra, Senior Director, GMAT Product Manager, offered some broad perspectives on what is happening in the market, GMAT trends and score trends, and how GMAT has changed over the last couple of years.
MBA and Business Master’s applicants will be glad to learn that schools are getting more aggressive in competing for candidates and more willing to offer scholarship opportunities. Mr. Chhabra concluded that now is a really good time to pursue business education. He also pointed to an interesting trend among employers who are increasingly using GMAT scores in their hiring decisions.
GMAT psychometric update
When you want to measure your heighth, you use a measuring tape. When you want to measure your weight, you use a scale. But how do you measure psychological variables such as intelligence, aptitude, and personality traits? Enter Psychometrics, the branch of psychology concerned with the design and use of psychological tests.
Chris Han, Senior Director, Psychometric Research at GMAC delivered quite a revealing presentation on the technical design of the GMAT, complete with insights into the adaptability and scoring of the test.
Executive Assessment updates
Mr. Chhabra presented the latest trends about the Executive Assessment, revealing that currently the exam is accepted by a total of 65 schools, including 79 EMBA programs, 21 part-time Executive MBA programs, nine Master’s programs, and seven online MBA programs.
He then went on to clarify some important differences between the GMAT and Executive Assessment. Introduced about three years ago, the Executive Assessment is a fairly new exam and there are many changes planned, such as the introduction of a percentile ranking, similar to GMAT’s, probably next year.
PrepAdviser plans to cover some of the topics discussed during the summit in more detail. Stay tuned for more insights!