MBA students across the country will soon no longer have to rely only on their school’s prestige when seeking employment. The International Certification Institute (ICI) has recently developed a Certified MBA exam in order to improve the MBA hiring process and has just begun “beta,” or pilot, examinations.

The organization reported that students from over 200 MBA programs worldwide have applied to take part in the CMBA pilot exam. The beta testing is scheduled to continue through the end of January, at which point test developers will decide upon the final test design and subject matter as well as the scoring of the exam.

The test development included collaboration of 35 MBA program directors and about 150 MBA professors from across the country. “Georgetown [neither faculty nor MBA program director] has not taken part in the development of this certification process . I have not heard any of our students talk about it,” SB Associate Dean and MBA Program Director Marilyn Morgan said in a written statement.

“Developing a valid and reliable certification exam is an extensive process, involving a number of elements that are critical for success and credibility,” David F. Foster, cofounder and president of Galton, said. Galton is the leading provider of assessment and certification development services and director of the CMBA test development. “We have done exhaustive research and development with ICI during this beta exam period. As we enter the analysis period and final stages of development, the broad range of beta applicants for this exam will have a significant and positive impact on the CMBA standard.”

The applicants to the pilot testing include candidates from seven of the top 10 ranked MBA programs and about 70 percent of the top 50 ranked programs, according to ICI. “The extensive interest in the beta exam confirms that MBA students and graduates are looking for a competitive advantage and an objective and universal tool to differentiate themselves without relying on, or competing against, program prestige or school reputation,” anaging Director of ICI W. Michael Mebane said.

The test developers are expected to analyze beta exam responses in order to refine questions, making sure they are clear, fair and non-biased on the CMBA final exam. In addition, beta candidates will eventually be rescored against the final form, where those who achieve the passing standard will become the first CMBA’s seeking employment.

“We are entering the last, critical stages of preparing the final form of the CMBA exam,” Mebane said. “Input from our broad and diverse range of beta exam applicants will have a significant impact on delivering a viable CMBA standard, further establishing the exam’s value to both students and employers. “It is an interesting development in the area of MBA education and many of us are watching with keen interest to see what happens,” Morgan said.

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