1. The world keeps getting more global. Business and commerce are the twin engines flying the jet of globalization, even if politics tries to keep its hands on the steering wheel.

    So it shouldn’t surprise you that this trend is increasingly affecting the world of business school and the GMAT. Over a quarter million GMAT exams were taken in 2017. This comes in spite of the fact that testing declined in many prominent western nations such as the United States, France, and the Netherlands. This also comes in spite of the fact that business schools are increasingly accepting applications without GMAT scores.

    We know that some of you GMAT-takers will want to know where you stand in relation to, well, all the other GMAT-takers out there. Depending on your perspective, and where you come from, the increasingly large and global applicant pool might mean you face increasing competition. Or it might mean that your part of the world is itself the increasing competition for everybody else!

    Helpfully, the folks who run the GMAT offer an annual report that breaks down GMAT data by country. (Would you expect anything else from the organization that vets most of the world’s aspiring B-school students? The annual report can be found here.)

    Interestingly, while the United States maintains its supremacy in business schools themselves. (Business Insider’s 2015 rankings of the best business schools in the world–the most recent year BI published such a ranking–had the US filling out all the top ten slots, and eighteen of the top twenty), the US doesn’t come anywhere near the top of the 2017 global GMAT rankings, though US GMAT-takers’ mean total score (549) was at that country’s highest level in the last five years.

    The ranking of the highest-scoring countries is much more geographically diverse than the ranking of the top b-schools, with the top five countries coming from four different continents. The highest of these was Argentina, with 381 test takers registering a mean total score of 614, despite none of Business Insider’s top 50 business schools being located in Latin America.

    There are no African, Arab, or North American countries represented in the top twenty–though Bermuda’s 11 GMAT-takers and their 597 mean score more than held their own in the Caribbean. But the diversity of the list—in spite of (or perhaps in combination with) the relative fixity of the top business schools themselves—suggests that the next generation of business leaders, which will come from this generation’s GMAT-takers and b-school students, is going to be increasingly global.

    We’ve listed the twenty highest-scoring countries below.Of course, you should be careful not to draw the wrong message from this data. If the increasing diversity of the business world means anything, it’s that the country you come from does not condemn nor entitle you to any particular outcome on the test, or in the world of b-school and business thereafter.

    Ranking Country Mean Total Score Number of Test Takers
    1 Argentina 614 381
    2 Australia 612 1,023
    3 Singapore 609 2,463
    4 Hong Kong 607 2,266
    5 Lithuania 606 25
    6 Chile 601 681
    7 United Kingdom 600 4,081
    8 New Zealand 598 85
    9 Bermuda 597 11
    10 Uruguay 596 52
    11 Spain 595 1,069
    12 China 594 49,024
    13 South Korea 594 3,112
    14 Bulgaria 593 138
    15 Belgium 589 491
    16 Macao 589 91
    17 Hungary 589 157
    18 Poland 588 278
    19 Uzbekistan 586 89
    20 San Marino 586 5
    21 Switzerland 586 752


    Dave Green
    Senior tutor and professional test-prep writer. Interdisciplinary wizard, with Master’s degrees in economics, philosophy, and political science at HUJI.

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