Israelis taking the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score lower grades than the global average, according to new figures regarding students who took the international standardized test required for master of business administration (MBA) studies from 2008 to 2012.
According to the annual report of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), an international non-profit organization of business schools, Israeli examinees scored an average grade of 484 points in 2012, while the average grade of all GMAT examinees was 548 points.
Although the Israelis\’ average score is higher than that of candidates from the Middle East – 440 points, American examinees reached a more impressive figure with an average of 530 points.
Examinees from Australia and the Pacific region top the list with an average of 597 points, followed by examinees from Southeast Asia with 578 points.
The United States leads in the number of examinees with 144,650 students who took the test, despite an average annual drop of 1.4% in the past five years. An average annual increase of 11.2% was recorded in the overall number of examinees from outside the US, with Israel ranking 12th with 2,385 GMAT examinees.
China ranked second with 44,464 examinees, followed by India with 22,803 examinees and Canada with 9,313 examinees. Turkey came in last on the list of the 20 countries with the highest number of examinees with 1,197 students who took the test.
4.3% increase in women examinees
"One of the reasons for the drop in the number of examinees is that most leading universities have begun accepting the GRE test," explains Aharona Maskil, director of the EducationUSA advising center in Israel. The GRE is a parallel exam required in many educational institutions abroad and in Israel.
"The interesting figure in the survey is that the past 10 years have seen an average annual increase of 4.3% in the number of women taking the GMAT exam compared to a 2.2% increase in the number of men. Still, the number of men who took the exam in 2012 was 33% higher than the number of women – 163,686 men compared to 122,843 women.
"A similar ratio was found over the years between men and women examinees in Israel, with 1,484 men who took the test in 2012 compared to 901 women."
GMAT is an admission test for a graduate management program, such as MBA, in the world\’s leading universities. It assesses a person\’s analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in standard written English. However, there are additional requirements for master\’s degree studies, including work experience, credentials, essays and volunteer work.
Although the average obtained by Israeli examinees is significantly lower than the global average, some see a bright side in the disappointing figures.
"The average score of Israeli examinees does not reflect an accurate picture of Israelis\’ achievements in the GMAT test," says Hila Yerushalmy, a senior MBA advisor at the EducationUSA center and the MBA 2013 Fair director.
According to Yerushalmy, large percentages of the Israeli examinees applying for MBA studies in Israeli educational institutions, most of which do not require a grade in the verbal section as an admission condition, focus on getting a high grade in the test\’s quantitative chapter. If you look, for example, at Israelis applying for MBA studies in the United States, their average ranges from 680 to 740 points."