New data published by GMAC point to a record 286,529 GMAT tests taken in 2012. This is the highest number ever recorded, reflecting an 11% increase from 2011, after a slight decrease in 2010-2011.
A big contribution to the increase is the number of test takers outside of the U.S., especially in Asia. Only 41% of the 2012 tests were completed by U.S. citizens, while the number of test takers outside the U.S. rose by 19% from 2011. The next largest percentage in 2012 went to Eastern and Southeastern Asia at 27% of total tests, in third place were Central and Southern Asia with 11.5%, and the fourth spot went to Western Europe with 6.6%. The Middle East took the fifth spot with 3.5%.
GMAC, the company responsible for the GMAT test explained that the 2012 data show that MBA studies are becoming increasingly global and varied, with a wider range of candidates from around the world sending their GMAT scores to programs in different parts of the world. In 2012, 831,337 score reports were submitted by candidates (an average of 2.9 reports for each test taker) to 5,281 programs. It is important to note that the data refers to the testing period ending 30.6.12. Part of the increase in number of test takers results from the attempt of many to rush to take the test and avoid the new IR section added mid-year.
Additional statistical data shows that among 2012 test takers, 57% were male and 43% female (this number is consistently rising and at an all-time high for the third year in a row). Test takers are becoming younger, with 47% below 25 and 38% between 25-30. In terms of their origin, China is second to the U.S. at 20% and India in third with 10.5%. In reference to which countries test takers sent their reports, the U.S. led at 75.8%, followed by the U.K. with 4.2%, and Canada with 4%.