When comparing GMAT volume during the first seven months of this year and the first seven months of last year, it all looks remarkably the same. World-wide volume is virtually unchanged. The US test-taking volume has declined by less than 2%. Outside the US, test-taking volume increased by are respectable 5.4%, led by Korea, India and Greece.
Registration volume, however, is up worldwide by roughly 4%. The US is still down 1%, but non-US registration is up by a noteworthy 15%. Certainly in terms of overseas interest in the MBA, the situation is changing. We’ll have to wait and see whether that increased interest translates into more applications at US business schools or just boosts volume at Asian and European schools.
If application volume is going to rise this year and next, which appears likely, then this is a great year to apply, provided of course you have the stats, community service, leadership, goals, and other elements that business schools look for. Don’t apply just to "get it out of the way."
Realize that application volume is down by about a third at most schools since 2002. That was a crazy year in admissions, but clearly there has been a precipitous drop. If the pendulum swings back, even if it doesn’t quite reach the 2002 heights, now is a year when competition will be a little less stiff than it was two years ago or probably will be in two years.