The United States takes more GMAT tests than any other nation. In 2018, Americans completed 73,556 tests – more than Europe, Canada, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East combined. With that many tests under their belt, you’d expect Americans to post the top GMAT scores in the world.
Turns out, they are only 7th-best in their own backyard. With a 556 mean GMAT, Americans lag behind Argentina (591), Chile (589), Uruguay (580), Brazil (578), Canada (572), and Peru (570) in this measure. Worse yet, the United States placed 45th in the world in 2018 mean GMATs. To put it another way, the U.S. would rank just 28th-best in Europe, with its 556 score just a point above Bosnia and Herzegovina – a war-torn nation just 20 years ago.
ASIA CONTINUES TO CLIMB
American business schools may still be the envy of the world, but the world is increasingly catching up to American students according to the latest data from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). That starts with the island-state of Singapore. Home to 5.6 million people off the coast of Malaysia, Singapore is regaled as a global trade hub, with the third-highest GDP per capita in 2018 according to the International Monetary Fund. Known for technology, education, and safety, Singapore also boasted the highest mean GMAT in the world last year. Its 619 score edged out Australia, which held the high mark the year before.
Asia featured two countries with a strong appetite for the GMAT. Chinese professionals accounted for 71,223 GMAT test-takers in 2018 – or 29.3% of the world’s total. Despite the volume, these prospective students scored a 584 mean GMAT, nine points better than Germany. India, which produced 32,425 GMAT test-takers, scored a 583. However, these weren’t the highest scores on the Asian peninsula. That honor belonged to South Korea with a 588 mean GMAT.
Overall 10 Asian countries scored a 550 mean or more on the GMAT (11 if you count 12 test-takers in Brunei who hit 549). However, that number pales in comparison to Europe, where 30 countries beat or matched the 550 mark (with Norway and Cyprus coming in at 549 and 548 respectively). Think the Brits or the Germans notched the highest mark? Think again. Poland took the Gold in the European GMAT Olympics with a 609 mean, a point better than the United Kingdom. Surprised? How about these numbers? Germany was topped by 14 other countries including Estonia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Georgia? And France? Well, it was bested by five of its neighbors – Spain, Monaco, Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland – and barely edged out two others (Italy and Luxembourg)
The Middle East and Africa continued to lag behind the pack, though several countries showed marked improvement. In the former, Yemeni test-takers bested the 400 mark for the first time at 435. At the same time, Turkey’s 582 mean GMAT represented the fifth straight year of improvement (and a score that ranked alongside China and India). In Africa, 16 nations experienced a rise in GMAT. Those included Senegal and Toto, which broke into the 500+ club at 519 and 504 respectively. In addition, Swaziland cracked the 500 mark for the third straight year.
In fact, every region defined by GMAC saw GMAT test-takers drop between 2017 and 2018 except East and Southeast Asia (+303) and Western Europe (+3). These declines have hit particularly hard in the United States. From 2017 to 2018, U.S. test-takers plummeted from 79,746 to 73,556. That’s coming off an 87,585 total in 2014.
How many prospective business students from your country took the GMAT in 2018? How did they score? How does that number compare to scores from 2013-2017? Click on the links below to see detailed historical stats for your country and region.
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