Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the US-headquartered body that conducts the popular graduate management admission test (GMAT) exam, will introduce a Made-in-India B-school assessment test in 18 countries.
GMAC had bought NMAT from an Indian business school to localize its test and assessment facility four years ago, and has now taken it to 12 emerging economies in South Asia, South-East Asia and Africa. By the end of 2019, it plans to launch it in six more countries in Asia, Africa and parts of Europe.
“NMAT by GMAC for us represent globalization of a high quality management assessment test. A Made in India B-school test has gone global," said Sangeet Chowfla, global president and chief executive, GMAC.
In an interview, Chowfla said while GMAT will remain a global B-school test, NMAT by GMAC will be increasingly expanded to new geographies, as it suits the need of emerging economies.
He said the move will directly benefit Indian B-schools in bringing foreign students and making India a study-abroad destination for students from mid-income countries in Asia, Africa and parts of Europe.
The test is now offered in 12 countries including South Africa, Philippines and Nigeria, and by the end of 2019, it will be introduced in Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia and Egypt. “We wanted to develop, localise and spread the computer adaptive entrance test (NMAT by GMAC) from India, and within years its getting the traction," Chowfla added.
But, how does it work? NMAT is used to select students for B-school admissions at a lower price point than GMAT. Its conducted over a 90-day test window. A candidate can appear more than once during the testing period and the best test score is sent to a group of candidates chosen B-Schools globally.
Chowfla said there was growing demand for non-engineer and female candidates in B-schools as they add to the diversity of campuses, and makes the learning process more rounded. Since, NMAT is giving a lot of flexibility in terms of timing, exam retake and choice of school, nearly 43% of test takers were women, and almost half of them were non-engineers.
Chowfla said that there was a perception that the best B-schools are only in developed economies. That has changed—now both B-schools and students have globalized.
For example, India has a host of good B-schools. Their global reputation is growing and has the potential to attract thousands of foreign students, he said.
“Through NMAT we want to be a matchmaker between students and management schools in India and other emerging economies."
India is aiming to attract 200,000 foreign students to its colleges and universities, or more than four times the current number by around 48,000 in 2017-18.