The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the all-time record for GMAT tests taken was set in 2011, with about 285,000 tests completed. And this is on top of steady 7-8% annual growth over the last 5 years. The big numbers are attributed to the new integrated reasoning section. The paper reports that students wanted to take the test before this section went live.
I partially agree. In Europe the driver is more Master’s programs that require GMAT. The proof is that MBA applications are significantly down year on year, some sources claim by as much as 20%. Someone is taking up the slack and I can tell you from my seminars that it is the popular masters’ programs. Sure some people wanted to get the test out of the way, but since the new section does not influence your score, no one is taking it very seriously (including admissions of competitive schools).