Source: Times of India, New Delhi

Indian women may not have taken over corporate boardrooms yet but they are getting there. There has been a 60% increase in the number of Indian women testing their management acumen and sitting for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) since 2007. The number of women taking the exam increased from 4,863 in 2007 to 7,812 in 2012. Globally, 43% women took the exam in 2012 compared to 39% in 2008.

Significantly, after a dip in 2011, the GMAT exam — accepted by around 5,400 graduate business and management programmes worldwide — has gained in popularity again in India. In 2011, 25,394 students took the exam which went up to 30,213 in 2012. India ranked third after the United States and China in the number of students opting for the exam. India accounted for 10.5% of those taking the exams globally in 2012.

The percentage of Indian women has correspondingly increased from 22.6% to 25.9% of test takers according to GMAC research based on testing year 2012.

Globally, the percentage of exams taken by women hit 43% in 2012 — a record for the third straight year. This is up from 39% in 2008. And unlike India, where they constitute one-fourth of the test takers, women made up the majority in China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Russia.

Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) data suggests that GMAT testing in the US picked up slightly in 2012 after falling from recessionary highs recorded in 2009. The percentage of US test takers sending their scores to US schools remains a world-leading 98%. The US remains the top score-sending destination, with 76% of score reports sent to the US.

With 58,196 exams taken in 2012, Chinese test takers are the second-largest citizenship group after the US and represent 20% of global testing. Indian citizens, the third-largest citizenship group, took 30,213 GMAT exams in 2012, and test takers are sending a higher percentage of scores to programmes in India, the UK, Singapore, France and Canada.

Not surprisingly, Europe has seen a dip in popularity. European citizens sat for 24,847 GMAT exams in 2012, up 26% from 2008, and they sent more than 60% of their scores to programmes in Europe, the highest level ever. Citizens of Germany, France, Russia, Italy and the UK together sat for more than half the region’s exams in 2012.

60% rise in Indian women taking GMAT