Another recent study conducted by GMAC examined the accuracy or validity of the GMAT as an indicator of success in PhD programs in management.
The need for such a study arises from the increased pressure to know whether or not standardized tests are useful indicators of success. Tests, such as the SAT, have recently been under a great deal of scrutiny. Accusations have been made by parents and the media that the SAT in particular privileges certain groups of students. The GMAT, not unlike other standardized tests, has recently been under pressure to demonstrate whether it is indeed a factor that should be granted so much weight in graduate management educational admissions decisions.
The recent study based on data provided by US PhD programs and PhD students themselves indicates overall that the GMAT is a useful predictor of first-year success in PhD programs. Data even suggests a greater correlation between first-year success and GMAT results than first-year success and undergraduate grade point average. The study of the performance of non-native English speakers on the GMAT, in particular, the Verbal and Writing Assessment sections of the test, display a clear association between scores and success in their programs.
These results are helpful in acknowledging the usefulness of the GMAT as an indicator of success to admissions committees. However, the results are not conclusive. Further inquiries into correlations between success and GMAT are necessary. As the GMAC maintains, these results in the study are relevant only to PhD students in management programs, a unique and small subgroup of GMAT test takers.
The above discussions are based on the GMAC research report written by Kara O. Siegert, “Predicting Success in Graduate Management Doctoral Programs,” as of 12 July 2007.
Different trends are underway among international applicants, who make up a large portion of applicant pools and student bodies.
Overall, two out of every three applicants to PhD programs in Business are international students. The impressive breadth and diversity of the applicant pool increases the difficulty of acceptance into these highly competitive programs. In 2007, the average acceptance rate to doctoral business programs was 13%, making these programs the most difficult business management program to get into.
However, the PhD programs are the only exception from all the graduate management programs in terms of application volumes in 2007 – they have not experienced the same strong growth as witnessed by all other programs. In short, the percentage of PhD applicants among all business management program applicants is decreasing. This can be evidenced by the marked increase in applications to part-time MBA, EMBA and flexibleMBA programs which are particularly attractive to foreign nationals.
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