GMAT predictions for 2013

GMAT predictions for 2013

Yes, it’s that time of year when I make my annual GMAT predictions…

1) Difficulty will increase. The GMAT is understandably reluctant to let the average average score exceed 550, so it is inevitable that they increase the difficulty. The fact is that mobile apps and gmat forums mean that the test-takers are better informed than ever. I actually predict that this fact puts real pressure on the test maker, but they are pretty slow to react so don’t expect anything major this year.

2) The rise of the Chinese women manager. This is not directly related to GMAT, but is a significant trend that the GMAT tests-taken figures reveal. If you believe in demographics as a sign of future value, then find a way to cater to female Chinese executives. This year the mainstream press caught on to this statistic finally. It seems pretty clear who will run things in 5 years.

3) The number of tests taken will remain steady, but not increase again. Last year China was a strong mover and pushed up the statistics, and this trend will probably continue. However, the GRE has made inroads as an alternative and numbers in the US and Europe will be marginally down, so I expect the numbers globally to drift sideways.

4) Integrated Reasoning will fail. I don’t know of any schools that take this new section seriously. This is formality that is unlikely to gain traction. The GMAT itself has gained credibility over the years out of the lack of a better alternative. When they made IR non-scoring, they gave us all the right to ignore it.

5) Live teacher seminars will rise. I was invited to test some of the major online GMATweb-based programs for an investor group this year. It was pretty depressing, don’t ask me how a student will get to 700 with these tools. If you live in a very remote area, then you could give it a try. Most of my students work all day on a computer, and need a live person to break down the hard problems. The on-line model is economically interesting but it will increase the need for high quality live seminars. And, they do not take into account the non-native speaker tricks…

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