New waves of Indians and Chinese are taking America’s business-school entrance exam, and that’s causing a big problem for America’s prospective M.B.A.s.
Why? The foreign students are much better at the test.
Asia-Pacific students have shown a mastery of the quantitative portion of the four-part Graduate Management Admission Test. That has skewed mean test scores upward, and vexed U.S. students, whose results are looking increasingly poor in comparison. In response, admissions officers at U.S. schools are seeking new ways of measurement, to make U.S. students look better.
The GMAT, administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council, is typically required to apply to M.B.A. programs, along with undergraduate transcripts, essay responses and letters of recommendation. Students at top programs like Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business have mean GMAT rankings around the 96th percentile.
Of the test’s four sections—writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative and verbal—admissions officers view results from the quantitative section as a key predictor of business school success.
One solution is to create lower standards for American students.
To address those concerns, GMAC in September introduced a benchmarking tool that allows admissions officers to compare applicants against their own cohort, filtering scores and percentile rankings by world region, country, gender and college grade-point average.