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GMAT sees more female test-takers in China

(Global Times)

13:12, November 12, 2011

BEIJING, Nov. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Women are showing more enthusiasm for graduate management education than their male counterparts in the Chinese mainland, though the business world is still heavily dominated by men, the organizer of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) told the Global Times.

"In 2011, more than 64 percent of people sitting for the GMAT exam were women in the Chinese mainland, while the proportion was 48 percent in Hong Kong and 41 percent globally," Dr David A. Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the US-based Graduate Management Admission Council, told the Global Times.

The 64-percent proportion of female test takers is the second highest in the world.

In 2009, the GMAC report showed that 40 percent of its GMAT takers were women, while the proportion of women applicants stood at about 55 percent in the Chinese mainland.

The GMAT is a computer-adaptive standardized test for measuring aptitude to succeed academically in graduate business studies. Business schools use the test as a criterion for admission into graduate business administration programs.

"The women taking the test in the Chinese mainland are younger than the average. The majority are 21 and 22 years old, and they are looking to go into one-year master's programs compared to two-year MBA," said Dr Wilson.

"The two-year MBA usually starts when you are 26 or 27, and that will take you to 28 or 29 when you graduate. So that's why a dramatic growth in China has come to the young ladies who are looking to go to one-year master's programs and begin work earlier," Dr Wilson noted.

According to statistics from the GMAC, in the Chinese mainland, the number of GMAT test takers has tripled from 10,000 to more than 30,000 over the last five years, accounting for 12 percent of the global applicants in 2011. If calculated on the basis of citizenship, Chinese test takers take up 16 percent of the total number of applicants in 2011.

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