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The Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) Application Trends Survey 2009 reported a record number of over 265 000 students having the GMAT exam in 2009, which means a 7.6 percent increase compared to the previous year. Although this number is growing, the US’ share is decreasing considering the number of American students and more surprisingly the number of business programs attended in the US. Focusing on the GMAT scores foreign student are becoming more and more competitive and the quality and prestige of overseas MBA programmes are also improving.
The distribution of GMAT taking students according to demographics:
• Asia with the Pacific region claimed the first place with a 75 percent growth in the number of GMAT exam taking students. The silver medal goes to the Middle East and North Africa (43%), while North America ended up at the third place (30%) slightly conquering Europe (25%).
• In spite of the traditional age group of 25-30 years, a 40 percent increase was observed among the “younger than 25” students in the US, while the volume of 31-39 and older than 40 age groups has decreased.
• The female-male ratio also experiences a slight rise especially in Asia with a 51 percent of test takers being women.
The general increase in the demand for business education can be considered a good sign for the economy and an anticipated response for the decreasing job opportunities on the labour markets. The rapid growth of Asia and other developing continents - resulting in a declining share of the US and Europe – was not unexpected due to the fact that the United States and Europe encouraged this process. In spite of the critical voices that can be heard on behalf of the United States, the actual disproportions in education can be balanced in a globalised world with a more and more international educational sector.