Friday, March 26, 2010



Number Of Aspirants Shoots Up As GMAT Gives International Exposure; Process Better Organized

TOI| Bangalore

March 26: Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is gaining ground among students with numbers shooting up sharply over a five-year span and fairly significantly over a one-year period.

According to Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the total number of Indian GMAT test takers has increased to 32,000 in 2009 from 25,000 in 2008. The number is high compared to the number of test takers in 2005 which was only 13,000. Candidates whom The Times of India spoke to said taking GMAT provides an opportunity to study in colleges abroad as they accept GMAT score. Also, many feel that the GMAT process is more organized.

Raveena Gupta, a software engineer, expressed her unhappiness over CAT 2009 computer-based test. Terming it an “unfair process”, she said there was no uniformity in papers unlike previous years. “Some students got easy papers while others tough ones. The entire process was not carried off well,” she said.

GMAT , an universal test, is more organized. I am seriously thinking of taking GMAT. It’s more of application-based test unlike CAT where emphasis is more on mathematical part,” she added.

For Raghavendra D, an engineer, CAT 2009 was one of the reasons for his switch over to GMAT. “CAT 2009 was unpredictable. The problem with its format is that at initial level it’s highly score-based and only at the interview time weightages are given to other areas,” he said.

Raghavendra who got a seat in Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, said with his work experience it might be difficult for IIMs to get him a placement. “I have nearly six years of work experience. I have got some reviews from my friends in IIMs who said it might be difficult to get a suitable role for a person with over five years’ experience. I might feel out of place among the peer group,” he added.

But for Apratin Mukherjee, working in IT industry, it’s the international exposure that matters. “I wrote CAT 2009 and it was ok. However, I always wanted to go abroad and study. Hence, I am looking at GMAT,” he said.

Rashmi Gowda, director, Csquare Learnings, a Bangalore-based GMAT training institute, said with majority of IIMs shifting their focus from CAT and giving more importance to work experience and leadership potential, there is more focus on GMAT. “Many B-schools are now considering GMAT an alternative score in lieu of CAT,” she said.

Rashmi said once taken, the GMAT score is valid for five years, which means a student, can decide to study MBA anytime within five years. “Also programmes like MS in Management from London Business School have specially been designed for management aspirants with no work experience. Hence, the young management aspirants who wish to seek international exposure in addition to seeking just a degree, now have more options beyond CAT and IIMs,” she explained.