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Foreign Student Series: The Business of the GMAT

In part 16, we discuss the Graduate Management Admission Test. Transcript of radio broadcast:

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

What do you think is the most popular subject of study for international students at colleges and universities in the United States?

How many of you thought of engineering? Seventeen percent of foreign students, or one out of six, studied engineering during the last academic year.

But the Institute of International Education says twenty percent, or one in five, studied business and management.

Which brings us to the subject this week in our Foreign Student Series -- the Graduate Management Admission Test. The GMAT is commonly required for students who want to earn a master of business administration.

The GMAT is a computer test that measures reading, mathematics and writing skills. You have to write two essays in sixty minutes.

An organization of business schools, the Graduate Management Admission Council, is responsible for the GMAT. Four thousand programs around the world, it says, use the GMAT as an important part of their admissions process.

But just as students compete on tests, tests also compete. In fact, the GMAT could offer a good case study for a business class. The council's Web site points out that the Educational Testing Service has recently been marketing its GRE test to graduate schools of business.

The council presents reasons why business schools should use the GMAT instead of the Graduate Record Examinations, or GRE. Most importantly, it says the GMAT was designed by business schools for business schools.

The GMAT costs two hundred fifty dollars, which is a lot. But the council says that is because the test can be taken almost every day of the year at more than four hundred centers around the world. Almost two hundred of these are outside the United States.

Students can learn more about the GMAT at

Now, another question: Which countries do you think send the most students to the United States for higher education? The Institute of International Education in New York says last year's top five were India, China, South Korea, Japan and Canada. The United States, it says, received a record six hundred twenty-four thousand international students. The number was seven percent higher than the year before.

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. Our Foreign Student Series is online at I'm Steve Ember.