Graduate management education is becoming more global and diverse, asa broader range of applicants aresending their GMAT scores fordifferent types of programmes.

At a time when seats in some business schools go abegging and large-scale criticism is being made about the quality of management education, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) maintains that all is well in the management education sector.

In a conversation with The Hindu EducationPlus recently, Ashok Sarathy, Vice-President of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) programme, spoke about how management education is catching on globally, and about the ‘Next Generation GMAT’. Introduced in June, 2012, about 15,000 people have taken the new GMAT which aims at gauging a candidate’s ability to interpret and analyse different types of information and evaluate outcomes. Graduate management education is becoming more global and diverse, as a broader range of applicants are sending their GMAT scores for different types of programmes in different parts of the world.

A record 2.86 lakh GMAT exams were administered in testing year 2012 (ending June 30, 2012), which, according to GMAC, reflects the increased interest in the GMAT exam with the addition of the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section. The test is used in 110 countries by approximately 4,700 graduate management programmes for admissions, a GMAC release said.

Sarathy made it clear that the average GMAT-taker was not the same who wrote the Common Admission Test (CAT). “The average GMAT-taker is usually 25 years old and has some work experience as PGPX courses require this,” he explained. “About 50 years ago, GMAT was primarily a U.S.-based test. But today, management education has caught on globally.”

Asked about reports of the depleting quality of management education, he said quality was an area of concern which institutions should focus on. This is why GMAC is working with the top 50 to 100 institutions before venturing into ties with the mid-level institutions.

Format

As for the format of the GMAT exam, Sarathy said higher order reasoning is a critical aspect. “With the recently introduced IR section, we can tap into multiple skills. However, it is too early to say if the weightage for the section will be introduced.” He also ruled out the possibility of administering specialised exams, as “schools have said they want generic tests, and they will do the subject training.”