American business schools will now segregate American GMAT takers from Chinese and Indian GMAT takers because Americans suck so bad at taking the math-oriented section of the test compared to their Chinese and Indian counterparts.
The GMAT — if you haven’t applied to business school lately — is the Graduate Management Admission Test, a four-part, computer-adaptive exam. Virtually every elite MBA program requires the GMAT or a substitute test for its traditional MBA program.
Students from South Asia and East Asia are blowing the doors off the 37-question, 75-minute “quantitative” section of the test, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Asian students have achieved so many perfect and almost perfect math scores that they’ve caused the average quantitative score to rise. American test-takers, who have been plodding along in the same range of scores, now look worse compared to the mean score because of the intense foreign competition.
This year, for example, the average, pre-scaled, raw score for applicants classified as “Asian-Pacific” was 45 — seven points above the worldwide average of 38 and a whopping 12 points higher than the lowly American applicant average of 33.
Asian students’ scores have gotten better, too. A decade ago, the Asian-Pacific average was 42.
Americans who now find themselves at lower percentiles are experiencing “a ton of student anxiety,” according to Jeremy Shinewald, who runs an M.B.A. admissions-consulting company. Americans who want to go to b-school are “banging their heads against the wall,” he told the Journal.
Making matters worse is the fact that the quantitative section is the main focus of admissions staffers at fancypants MBA schools. They labor under the belief that the quantitative section is a tremendous predictor of business school success.
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the outfit behind the GMAT, has responded to the scoring crisis by announcing that it will henceforth allow admissions staffers at business school to segregate applicants by the country and the region of the world they are from.
“I need to be able to show my scholarship committee, which includes faculty, that this person is in the top five percent of test takers in his region,” Sara Neher, an admissions staffer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, told the Journal.
A typical Asian student spends just over 150 hours studying for the GMAT while U.S. students spend just 64 hours — about 42 percent as much time.