The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is, taking over the management of the NMAT exam in India from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS). HT Education catches up with Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC, to find out how NMAT by GMAC will work.
Why did GMAC select NMAT?
The (Indian) testing system is based around elimination: merit lists, cutoff... as opposed to tests of prediction which tell you how you can use a test as a way of seeing how badly or how well you would do within a particular classroom and not just where you were in the merit list.
To bring India to global standards two things need to happen. One is that schools should come together on a common multi-school test. Take a test and apply to multiple places using the same test. The second thing is that tests should be statistically predictive, using the science of psychometrics. The NMAT test in India is built around psychometric principles, it has some predictive capabilities and is computer based. We felt that if we took ownership of that test we could start meeting our objectives of actually bringing global best practices of management education to India.
What makes the GMAT model so different?
GMAC is a global organisation and our charter is to essentially connect candidates with business schools. To us, India is the largest management education market in the world now in terms of candidate volume, but it has the most fragmented structure. In India, people take a test for a B-school before they find out if that school suits them. There has to be a process of discovery – where students discover their capability and schools discover them. According to the GMAC model, students take the GMAT and match their capability with their scores and then pick their schools according to that.
How will you handle NMAT?
We will focus on the internals of the test – the test items, the psychometric validity of the test items, the removal of all forms of bias of the test items to ensure these do not create any answer bias between people of different genders, religious grouping, regional origin, or most important in the case of many Indian tests, undergraduate specialisation. If you have a test item which requires you to have an engineering degree, then you know only engineers are going to apply, which is not fair.