Five Things GMAC Wants You to Know About the GMAT

A couple of weeks ago we posted some key learnings from the GMAC Test Prep Summit in New York City. While we wanted to post the most GMAT-relevant information as quickly as possible, there were a few more insights that we picked up that we wanted to share here.

All of the information below was provided by GMAC’s Dr. Lawrence Rudner (pictured), the “brain behind the GMAT,” as we like to call him around the office. These insights give you an idea of how closely GMAC monitors the GMAT and the graduate management education space overall. These are the highlights, but there’s a lot more publicly available information available on

In the meantime, here are five more important things that you should know:

  • GMAC will stay aggressive in preventing cheating on the GMAT. From “secret shoppers” to software that evaluates other companies’ practice questions to find plagiarism, GMAC will continue to aggressively thwart cheaters or those who make money off of helping students cheat. Palm vein readers are its newest weapon in this fight, but its strongest weapon may be its lawyers.
  • … but is emphatic that cheating won’t actually help someone on the test. They rolled out some compelling numbers (based on modeling) that show that a student could only affect his score by less than 1% by knowing five questions on the real GMAT. This is a testament to how robust the test is — even with a few false positives, it can still accurately assess one’s level.
  • Full-time MBA programs are becoming more selective. In 2006, more than a quarter of schools had acceptance rates in the 40% – 49% range. In 2009, only about 12% schools accept that many applicants. Meanwhile, the percentage of schools that accept 20% – 29% of applicants has increased from 8% to about 18%. As more people apply to business school each year, schools can afford to get choosier.
  • More preparation yields better scores. Amazingly, nearly 1/3 of applicants spend three weeks or less preparing for the GMAT. Not surprisingly, the majority of those people score below 600 on the test. However, more than 60% of those students who prepare over 10 weeks or more score better than 600 on the GMAT. This is one reason why we offer the longest GMAT prep course of any major company.
  • Only 15% of GMAT takers have undergraduate business degrees. For any potential applicant who’s considering pursuing an MBA but thinks that it’s just for “business types,” it’s interesting to note that business major make up a small minority of the applicant pool. In fact, more than 50% of GMAT takers majored in sciences or humanities.

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