Every year, we’re bombarded with statistics showing how American students lag behind their peers globally. Take a recent study from the Program For International Student Assessment, which covered 65 nations. There, American 15-year-olds – those pimply know-it-alls full of snark and fury – rank below average in math and science (and only slightly above average in reading). Yes, we’ve been passed by the Japanese, Poles, Canadians, Swiss, and Finns. And we wonder if its time to replace Nintendo with Newton.
Alas, America is blessed with the best postsecondary system in the world (for now). So our wayward youth is quickly brought up to speed as they discover who they are (and how much they can consume). But do international students really taper off as they grow in adulthood? Check out these sobering statistics from the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), which administers the GMAT:
“The median number of hours that students in India spend preparing for the GMAT is 100, and the median for test takers in China is even a bit greater. Compare that to European students, whose median is 60 hours, and U.S. students, whose median is just 40 hours!“
In fact, GMAC reports that only 10 percent of American students taking the GMAT study as long as Chinese students. And the result: The mean GMAT score for Chinese test-takers was 591 in the 2013 testing year. And in the United States? Well, it was 528. Ouch!
On a more positive note, GMAC reports that “89% of healthcare/pharmaceutical companies and 86% of energy/utilities businesses plan on hiring MBAs in the coming year. Demand for MBAs among consulting firms (79% plan to hire MBAs) and finance-related businesses (75%) is still strong.” Question is, will these employers be hiring Americans with these test scores?