Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) which conducts Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), wants to increase its base of test takers in India by attracting undergraduate aspirants to appear for the entrance exam.
GMAT is a test to help business schools to select qualified aspirants, has been popular with candidates with more than 4 years of work experience and undergraduate students have largely kept away from the attaining GMAT test.
Ashish Bhardwaj, regional Director, South Asia, GMAC said, "Undergraduate students typically do not write the GMAT in large numbers. If they write exam, they do so for banking the score - which is valid for 5 years. We are trying to inform them they can go for a masters programme right after graduation. We are trying to broaden the perspective of the aspirants, and thus working with undergraduates".
GMAT plans to increase the number of women test takers from 25% to 40% in 5 years.
Bhardwaj says over the last decade, most of the top business schools internationally have launched masters programme in various disciplines like Management, Accounting, Financial Accounting, Telecom Management, Heath Care, Hospitality, etc. This 1 year masters programme prepares one for a functional job.
"This particular set up of offering enjoys a very limited awareness in india There fore, we think we can make more information flow to candidates and inform their choices by telling them that they can straight away go for a masters programme after graduation, " says Bhardwaj.
GMAC has worked with 16 undergraduate colleges and the response from these colleges has been good. Another focus of the council is to get more women candidates to take GMAT. In Indian only 26% GMAT takers are women, where as in China, it is 58%. GMAC wishes to take the number of Indian women test takers to around 40$ in the next 5 years.
Bhardwaj says, "We think women are very important. We are struggling to find out to get more women in India to take GMAT. We are looking at ways on how to reach out to women. One way is to go to women only undergraduates college".
Around 80% of Indian students prefers an MBA programme. In GMAC, the candidates from the non-traditional undergraduate background like Lawyers, Doctors, Ex-defence officers etc are test takers. Th council says it is looking at ways to create diversity in a class, "Not just business schools, but recruiters too want more diversity", says Bhardwaj.
After the US and China, Indian is the third biggest market for GMAT. Th council says it sees the most dramatic growth for itself in the Asian region. "Asia is clearly going to be a growth ares for us in the near future. Given the demographic dividend in the region and the growth of management education, we see the growth continuing for us", added Bhardwaj.
GMAC's India office looks at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) market. Within this area, India alone is 96% of market. "So, its needless to say our time go in developing the india market", says Bhardwaj.
Around 175 programmes in India accepts GMAT Scores. The GMAC council is focusing only on top 200 business schools in India. The council invested over a Rs. 20 crore in the indian market and also looking at opening few more new test centres in the country.