Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New GMAT Coming in 2013

Perhaps motivated by 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 the current GMAT has a strong bias in favor of Western culture, 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, will an MBA admissions officer really be able to treat these two scores as the same? It will be interesting to see how GMAC tackles problems such as these.

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).

GMAC has promised 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 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?