The Executive Assessment (EA) is a computer-administered, standardized test that was introduced in 2016 and is required for admissions to many Executive MBA programs. Like the GMAT, which is used for admission to standard, full-time MBA programs, the Executive Assessment test is designed by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).
When creating the Executive Assessment, GMAC gathers input from business programs around the world — the very institutions that look at Executive Assessment scores in assessing candidates for their programs.
With that in mind, let’s first take a closer look at what skills the Executive Assessment tests and why people take the exam. Then, I’ll answer some of the most common questions about the EA exam, including which schools accept it, how to register for both the in-person and online test, how much the EA costs, what the structure of the exam is, how many times you can take it, and how to study for it.
What Does the Executive Assessment Test?
The Executive Assessment exam bills itself as a “readiness assessment” designed to provide schools with a snapshot of the real-world, workplace skills of management-level business professionals applying to Executive MBA (EMBA) programs.
In other words, the EA tests your readiness for business school by testing the skills and knowledge that seasoned business professionals use on a regular basis for their jobs. These skills include data analysis, critical thinking, logical reasoning, English grammar and reading skills, and basic, high school-level math skills such as arithmetic and algebra.
The EA tests these skills via Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning questions that appear in multiple formats and cover a broad range of topics. We’ll discuss exactly what those topics are in detail in the section on how the EA is structured. For now, the important thing to keep in mind is that, if you are considering taking the Executive Assessment, chances are you already have many of the skills necessary to perform well on the exam.
So, let’s explore exactly who should sit for the EA test — and who shouldn’t.
Who Can Take the Executive Assessment?
The Executive Assessment test was originally designed specifically for applicants to Executive MBA (EMBA) programs. So, the EA test is not for people with relatively limited work experience who are planning to apply to full-time MBA programs.
On the other hand, if you are an experienced business professional who has been working full-time for several years, and you are looking to take your career to the next level with an MBA, you may need to take the Executive Assessment.
It’s important to note that while the EA test is accepted, for the most part, only for Executive MBA programs, there are some non-Executive MBA programs that may accept the EA from experienced applicants. For example, some part-time and weekend MBA programs accept EA scores from applicants with significant work experience, and select full-time and specialized master’s programs — for example, in Finance, Accounting, or Data Analytics — accept the EA.
It’s also important to note that there is no standard pre-requisite for eligibility to sit for the EA test or to apply to EMBA programs. GMAC, the EA test-maker, allows anyone who wants to (and who pays the registration fee) to sit for the exam, and business schools all have their own requirements (ex. minimum work experience) for EMBA program eligibility.
Generally speaking, however, EMBA programs tend to require applicants to have anywhere from 5 to 10 years of full-time work experience. Different programs may have different requirements for how many years of that experience have to be at the management level. Some schools may specify only a minimum number of years of full-time employment at any level. Others may require a minimum number of years and current full-time employment.
Every program is different, so be sure to research eligibility requirements on the individual websites of the programs you plan to apply to, and if you need clarification on anything, don’t hesitate to reach out to the school admissions offices.
Which Schools Accept Executive Assessment Scores?
An increasing number of schools around the globe accept the Executive Assessment for entrance into some of their business degree programs. Those institutions include top business schools such as Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago Booth, Yale, Duke Fuqua, Berkeley Haas, Columbia Business School, INSEAD, HEC Paris, and many others.
Keep in mind that not every Executive MBA program requires an Executive Assessment score for admission, and schools have varying requirements regarding which entrance exams are required (GMAT, GRE, and/or EA). The GMAC website features a list of schools and programs that accept the Executive Assessment test, but of course, you should always check the individual websites of the programs you’re interested in to get updated information about their requirements. Don’t assume that because GMAC doesn’t list a particular program on their website, you can be certain that program doesn’t require EA scores for admission. Do your research!
That said, many business schools use the Executive Assessment score as one factor in determining an applicant’s readiness for their EMBA programs (along with work experience, recommendations, etc.). Some programs may also evaluate your EA score to determine how they can help you close any skill gaps and be as successful as possible in their program.
Get more information about the test in the full article found here.
Scott Woodbury-Stewart is the founder & CEO of Target Test Prep. A passionate teacher who is deeply invested in the success of his students, Scott began his career teaching physics, chemistry, math, and biology. Since then, he has spent more than a decade helping students gain entry into the world’s top business schools, logging 10,000+ hours of GMAT, EA, and GRE instruction.
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