Quality Of Education Outcomes: The Role Of The Graduate Management Admission Test

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Robert Wamala
Mukadasi Buyinza

Keywords

Graduate Management Admission Test, Academic Achievement of Enrollees, Makerere University, Uganda

Abstract

Although the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is considered by leading business institutions worldwide as a predictor of success in graduate programs, an issue of contention is whether the introduction of the examination enhances the quality of education outcomes. This study sought to obtain an understanding of this issue, focusing on Masters in Business Administration (MBA) students at the College of Business and Management Science (CoBAMS), Makerere University. The academic achievement of MBA enrollees and their candidature status (i.e., whether candidates progressed normally or not) at the end of their first year of masters studies were adopted as measures of education outcomes. The investigations are based on administrative data of 216 enrollees in the MBA program at CoBAMS in the 2010 and 2011 enrollment cohorts. Unlike the 2010 enrollees, those in the 2011 cohort were admitted to the program on the basis of their GMAT scores. In the analysis, differentials in the candidature status and academic achievement of enrollees before and after the introduction of the GMAT were investigated using the Pearson chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis test statistics, respectively. The results revealed that students who were not admitted to the MBA program on the basis of the GMAT had better education outcomes. This finding diminishes the relevance of the examination in determining the academic competence of candidates suitable for admission. Though the results affirm the bachelor degree achievement as a predictor of success in the MBA program, varying conclusions compared to literature are reached with regard to education outcomes obtained by whether or not the GMAT requirement is waived.

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