Posted on
18
May 2022

EA Score: How Is The Executive Assessment Scored?

What will be discussed is the following;

• The EA exam
• The EA scores
• The EA score calculation
• The EA percentiles
• A list of some of the B-Schools accepting EA scores

1. Back to the Basics

Back in March 2016, the Executive Assessment was announced by GMAC, the creators of the official GMAT exam. The EA was designed to serve professionals who aim to enroll in Executive MBA programs. The test was built to be finished in only 90 minutes, and unlike the GMAT, requires little to no prepping.

The EA is an assessment to evaluate a candidate’s readiness. That means that the score received is not a tool used to compare all the applicants, rather it is used to see if the candidates are capable of handling the programs they applied for.

If you are a busy professional looking for a way to showcase your EMBA readiness to the admission officers without the stress of preparing for the GMAT, then the EA is just the exam for you.

The EA is divided into three different sections, which are, Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning

Each of its sections aims to test different skills hidden in its takers. But to get the bigger picture, the whole exam is there to measure skills that are needed in a fulfilling career, as well as, in the Business Programs. These skills include critical thinking, the ability of deep analysis, problem solving, and higher order reasoning.

There are a total of 40 questions to finish in exactly 90 minutes, as mentioned prior in this article. For a more detailed distribution about that matter, take a look at this table below:

 Sections Number of Questions Timing Integrated Reasoning 12 30 minutes Verbal Reasoning 14 30 minutes Quantitative Reasoning 14 30 minutes

2. EA Score

Starting with the picture as a whole, the Executive Assessment has a total score ranging from 100 to 200, with a minimum score of 126, and a maximum of 174, leaving a score of 150 as the midpoint score.

The three sections making up the EA exam all have equal distribution when it comes to their scoring. The three sections’ scores range on a scale of 0 to 20.

Something great about the EA is that there is no “passing” or “good” EA score, what matters is your score and all the other factors in your application that make the admission’s decision. But, of course, the higher your total EA score, the better – especially if you are considering a competitive EMBA program

However, for most EMBA programs, their consideration of a “good’’ or “ideal” score would be one equal to 150 (the midpoint score) or above.

3. EA Score Calculation

Your total EA score is the summation of the scores you got on all three different sections, plus 120. Let’s suppose you scored 15 on each section, your score would be: 15 + 15 + 15 + 120 = 165. So, that is the scores of all the three different sections on your EA plus 120. If that was really the case, then you would have scored within the 98th percentile.

4. EA Percentiles

Speaking of percentiles, here is all you need to know when it comes to this subject. Percentiles are like rankings that identify where you stand in comparison to the other EA test takers. The higher your total score, the higher the percentile rate, and vice versa.

Taking the example from above, if you scored 165 in total, that means you are in the 98th percentile. That also means that you were from the rare 2% of all the test takers that scored that specific score and that 98% of the test takers scored lower than your score.

Here are the Officially published Executive Assessment Percentiles 2021:

• 0th Percentile: 126 (the lowest score)
• 10th Percentile: 141
• 25th Percentile: 146
• 40th Percentile: 148
• 50th Percentile: 150 (the midpoint score)
• 75th Percentile: 153
• 86th Percentile: 156
• 99th Percentile: 174 (the highest score)

Moral of the Story

To make a long story short, the EA is known to be the perfect exam for busy professionals that do not have the time needed for all the hassle that comes along with the GMAT prep journey. It is an identification of your readiness and your ability to handle the program you applied to.

If you are looking for professional help to boost your EA performance, head to our official website and book your 30 minutes complimentary assessment session now!

Contributor: Lilas AL-Sammak

Posted on
04
May 2022

EA Exam 2022 – Everything You Need To Know In 5 Minutes

• What is EA used for?
• EA Structure, Sections, Timing, & Scoring
• EA Scoring & Validity
• What is a Good Score?
• How, When, & Where can I take the EA?
• EA Exam Day FAQs
• How Much Does The EA Exam Cost?
• Rescheduling & Cancellation of your EA appointment
• EA History & Background
• EA Changes Over Years
• Online EA Test in the face of COVID-19

The Executive Assessment (EA) is considered a trusted predictor of business school readiness for busy professionals wishing to earn an MBA or EMBA. The exam is crafted and administered by the General Management Admissions Council (GMAC) to measure a candidate’s higher order reasoning, critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving skills. You can also register for the EA through their official portal or browse through some EA prep sources here and find free EA prep questions here

The EA test is a multiple-choice, computer adaptive test (CAT) – this means that an algorithm selects each following question based on the test taker’s ability level and performance on previous questions. If you are new to this concept, the most important feature to understand is that, when you answer a question correctly, the following question will be even more challenging. Conversely, if you answer a question incorrectly, it will give you an easier one next.

What Is The EA Exam Used For?

The Executive Assessment is primarily used for admissions to nearly 100 institutions, universities, and MBA and EMBA programs worldwide which offer business and management disciplines. Keep in mind that many business schools screen applicants based on a range of criteria, but EA scores are among the most important screening metrics used. Others include undergraduate GPA, work and other relevant experience, application essays, recommendation letters, and personal interviews.

Strong EA results are necessary, but certainly not sufficient to gain admission to the best MBA/EMBA and business-oriented grad schools programs like Masters of Finance (MFin), Masters of Accounting (MAcct), Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Juris Doctor & Masters of Business Administration (JD-MBA) and PhDs in all these disciplines. Remember,  that while the EA is important, it’s certainly not a measure of who you are as a person and is one part of a many-faceted application.

An investment of time and resources into the right EA preparation program or plan will result in a higher score on the test, which has a direct correlation with your admissions success and will have a positive impact on your business school experience and future professional career.

EA Structure, Sections, Timing, & Scoring

The EA test consists of three sections with categorized problems aiming to assess a different skill set. Each part differs in terms of score range and the number and types of problems:

1. Integrated Reasoning (IR) 12 questions | 30 minutes | scored from 0 to 20
There are four types of questions on the Integrated Reasoning section:

• Multi-source reasoning
• Graphic interpretation
• Two-part analysis
• Table analysis

2. Quantitative 14 questions | 30 minutes | scored from 0 to 20
There are two types of problems on the Quantitative section:

• Data sufficiency
• Problem solving

3. Verbal 14 questions | 30 minutes | scored from 0 to 20
There are three types of questions on the Verbal section:

• Critical reasoning
• Sentence correction

There are several other factors worth mentioning:

• The Executive Assessment is meant for busy professionals. Many of whom have already been working professionally for around 7 years.
• The total score of the EA ranges from 100 to 200
• Despite the official scoring guides, the maximum you can score on EA is 174 and the minimum being 126.
• The total time to take the EA test is 90 minutes.
• As the total time of the EA is 90 minutes, test takers are not given any breaks.
• All three sections are weighted equally towards your overall score.

EA Scoring & Validity

You’ll get your unofficial score when you complete your exam. You and your designated schools will receive your official EA score within 24 hours of the exam, and it will be valid for the following five years. In order to determine what score will be good for you, you should consider both the average (mean) EA score and the range of scores of applicants admitted to your desired university.

If you find yourself lost in the translation of the EA scores into percentiles, this article explains it in a meticulous way.

What is a Good EA Score?

What is a good Executive Assessment score, and how can I get one? We are frequently asked this question, but the answer varies depending on who we speak with. Here at Apex, we want to help our clients obtain their goal EA scores because this is where they can truly compete for top programs and be eligible for MBA and EMBA scholarships. However a “good EA score” is determined by the applicant’s MBA program’s requirements; some programs demand a score above 150, while others require a score above 155. Selecting the programs you wish to attend and examining their MBA and EMBA class profile will supply you with this knowledge and equip you with a solid foundation from which to begin your EA preparation.

In case you are wondering what a 155 EA score can do for you, here is all you need to know!

How, When, & Where Can I Take The EA Exam?

How?

We recommend registering two to three months before your desired exam date. The scheduling can be done online (applicant needs to open an account) or through a phone call (applicant needs to call the EA Customer Service in their region). For more information visit gmac.com/executive-assessment.

Where?

You can take the EA at one of 600+ test centers worldwide or online in the comfort of your own home. You can search for a testing location near you here. The test is administered on a computer, via a platform used worldwide: Pearson VUE. The EA is available only at designated Pearson VUE test centers, thus assuring each candidate the exact same experience as all other test takers around the world.

When?

You can take the EA test almost anytime you want, depending on the availability of dates into the test center(s) you have chosen. However, there are some requirements regarding re-taking the exam. You can retake the exam as soon as you’d like, however you may only take the exam up to two times.

EA Exam Day FAQs

Here are the top 3 questions that clients ask us about exam day information:

1. What should I do if I fall sick on the exam day?

If you do not feel well come exam day you will have to make the decision as to whether or not you can take the test and perform at your best. Most people will not be able to do this, so it will be best to cancel. If you do so on the day of the exam, you will incur a loss of your full \$350 exam fee. If you cancel the exam up to 24 hours in advance you will receive only a \$250 refund. However, rescheduling the exam between 24-48 hours will only incur a fee of \$75 while rescheduling the appointment more than 48 hours out does not incur a fee.

2. What can I bring with me to the test center?

You are allowed in the test center with the following:

• EA approved identification
• Appointment confirmation letter or email you received from Pearson VUE
• Prescription eyeglasses
• Light sweater or light non-outerwear jacket
• Comfort items only if they were pre-approved as an accommodation received in advance

Any additional personal belongings that you bring with you such as your cell phone, bag, snacks, and earphones will need to be stored in one of the provided lockers. Any cell phone use throughout the test time is prohibited.
The test center will provide you with everything that you need in order to take the test including scratch paper and a pencil.

3. What can I expect at the test center?

A usual test center is typically quite small. Once you arrive you will have to provide the administrator with the relevant documents and while these are being processed you will be asked to wait in the waiting area. In this area, you can still access all your personal belongings up until you are called into the testing room.

Once in the room, you will be allocated an individual exam station where you will find a computer.

Here is the full list of the EA Exam Day FAQs

4. How Much Does The EA Test Cost?

The cost to sit the EA exam is \$350. This includes sending your results to up to five schools of your choice. There are no fees for sending your scores to any additional school.

Rescheduling & Cancellation of your EA appointment
Regular Rescheduling fees:

• No Fee if requested more than 48 hours prior to appointment
• \$75 if requested 24 to 48 hours prior to appointment (Temporarily waived)
• \$10 to reschedule the assessment by phone
• Regular Cancellation fees:
• \$100 to cancel up to 24 hours before the appointment
• \$10 to cancel the assessment by phone.

Apart from the test fee, there are other costs that you may want to consider. GMAC advises people preparing for the exam to utilize the EA Official Guide (as do we) alongside other learning aids as additional materials. Please note that the Official Guide is a great resource for problems, but the explanations leave something to be desired, so using only the Official Guide is not recommended.

A large percentage of test takers who wish to score in the 90th percentile or higher (157+) on the EA invest in private EA preparation as a personalized means to achieving long-term career success. Our firm, Apex , specializes in offering private, customized EA preparation and admissions consulting. We focus on individual learning and a holistic coaching environment where we tackle not only the fundamentals but the underlying structure and complexity of the EA.

We do this not just to get you a good score, but to prepare you for your MBA/EMBA program and career beyond by focusing on universal critical thinking skills, cognitive heuristics, emotional and behavioral aspects of learning and high stakes performance, and other learning techniques that can be applied widely over the course of a lifetime. We take pride in exactly this personalized approach as a means for every candidate to utilize their strengths better, focus on their weaknesses, and overcome test anxiety through an exclusively designed EA curriculum.

A lot of people try to save money on the EA preparation process. When you consider that a top EMBA can lead to millions of dollars of extra earnings over the course of a lifetime, it makes sense to invest in EA preparation. Learn more about this subject with our instructors Mike and Jaymes, here: Why is Test Prep so Expensive?

EA History & Background

In March of 2016, the Executive Assessment made its debut in the standardized test world. It was a novel test designed for working professionals who wished to undertake an EMBA. The creators of the EA, the GMAC, wished to create an exam which tested the real-world skills working professionals have gained throughout their careers.

As the EA is a newish test on the testing market, it is only accepted at a handful of schools. This list, however, is constantly expanding. Because of this, be sure to double check the official EA site to keep up-to-date on which schools accept the EA.

Online EA Test

The Executive Assessment is available online. However, it is encouraged by the GMAC that those who feel safe to do so, take the EA at a test center.
In terms of content, the EA online has the same structure and content as the test taken at a test center.
Registering for the EA online is the same process as registering to take the exam in person. Just be sure to select the ‘online’ (at home) option when selecting your test location.
Interested test takers are able to take the EA at any home location so long as they have the necessary technology to do so. However, test takers in Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and South Sudan are not able to take the EA online.

That’s it! Thanks for sticking with us to the end of this EA test crash course! If you are looking for a more comprehensive version diving deeper into what the EA has in store for you, feel free to check out our website for more information

Posted on
03
May 2022

If you’re thinking about taking the GMAT or have already registered for a testing date, you undoubtedly have a ton of questions swirling around in your mind. In this blog post, we’ll answer some of the GMAT FAQs in 2022.

1. What does GMAT stand for?

The GMAT stands for General Management Admission Test. The GMAT is a standardized test that measures your analytical, writing, quantitative, and verbal skills. The GMAT is used by business schools to help decide which applicants to admit into their programs.

2. Who conducts the GMAT exam?

The administrator of the GMAT is the General Management Admission Council (GMAC).

3. Why is the GMAT exam required for MBA?

The exam is considered to be a predictor of academic success for MBA programs and business careers. The GMAT tests reasoning and problem-solving skills, and critical thinking. It is also a measure of verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills.

4. When can I register for the GMAT 2022?

You can register for the GMAT between 6 months to 24 hours before the exam. However, we recommend you register 3 months in advance.

5. How do I register for the GMAT 2022?

To register online you will need to:

• Create an account on the mba.com website.
• Book a date.
• Pay the application fee of \$250.

You can also register through fax, phone, or mailThe registration process can take 15 to 30 minutes.

6. How much does the GMAT cost?

The GMAT costs \$250, approximately 230 euros and 190 pounds. The price may differ by country.

7. Where to take the GMAT?

You can find the nearest testing center on the mba.com website or take the exam online.

8. Can the GMAT exam be taken online?

Yes, the GMAT exam can be taken online. The GMAC has decided to make the online GMAT a permanent option, after it was introduced at the beginning of the pandemic, along with in-person exams.

9. When is the GMAT exam held in 2022?

GMAT is available almost all year round. Testing dates are available 6 months in advance. You can book an available slot in the nearest testing center, appointments are usually available 6 days a week in most countries. If you are taking the GMAT online, you can take the exam 7 days a week.

We recommend registering 3 months in advance or no more than 3 weeks ahead.

10. How to reschedule my GMAT exam?

You can reschedule your GMAT online or by phone up to 24 hours prior to the exam. Note that if you cancel by phone, you will be charged an additional fee of \$10. A rescheduling fee applies if you decide to reschedule your exam:

• 14 days to 24 hours prior to the exam: \$150
• 15 to 60 days prior to the exam: \$100
• 60 days prior to the exam: \$50

11. How often can I take the GMAT?

You can take the GMAT 5 times in a 12-months period. However, you can’t take it more than once in a 16-day period. However, we recommend not to retake the exam in less than 3 months. It’s unlikely that your score would improve drastically in a short period of time.

12. Are GMAT and GRE similar?

The main difference between GMAT and GRE is that the GMAT is designed specifically for business schools, while the GRE is accepted by a series of master’s programs. The GRE keeps your options open in case you haven’t made up your mind about your master’s degree. However, keep in mind that not all business schools accept GRE. Also, make sure you contact your admissions office and check which exam they prefer.

13. How long should I study for the GMAT?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The GMAT journey is unique to everyone, and you’re the only one to know what’s right for you. However, on average candidates spend 3-6 months preparing for the GMAT. We recommend a 3-month GMAT study plan, which can be shrunk or stretched according to your schedule.

14. Can GMAT be cracked without a private tutor?

When you start preparing for the GMAT, you need to establish some goals and a study plan. Achieving the score you’re aiming for is not an easy mission. The GMAT prep requires perfect preparation and continuous motivation and dedication. If you find yourself falling behind and you aren’t anywhere near where you planned to be, you might consider hiring a GMAT tutor. Having someone by your side step-by-step can make the prep journey easier on academic and social aspects.

Before hiring a GMAT tutor do your research to find the best tutor for you. At Apex we offer personalized tutoring according to each candidate’s needs. We provide a free complimentary consultation call for your questions about GMAT private tutoring.

15. Can I use a calculator on the GMAT?

You are not allowed to bring in your own calculator. However, you will be provided with a calculator only during the Integrated Reasoning section. During the Quantitative section, you won’t be able to use a calculator, but you will be given a note board and markers to do calculations.

16. Can I skip questions on the GMAT exam?

No, you need to provide an answer before moving to the next questions. The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test (CAT) which means that the questions’ difficulty adapts to your skill level. As you progress, the difficulty of the next question is based on your performance on the previous one. Therefore, you can’t skip a question.

17. Are GMAT questions repeated?

Yes, and no. GMAT questions don’t repeat but the concepts and the patterns do. Often elements of some questions will be reused to formulate a new one, but not the same question.

18. How does the GMAT scoring work?

The way GMAT scoring works can be complicated since it’s a CAT. The GMAT is scored on a scale from 200 to 800, with 800 being a perfect score. Each section of the GMAT is scored individually.

The overall 800-score is done by a confidential algorithm by the GMAC.

19. Are the GMAT results instant?

Right after the exam, you will have an unofficial report with the scores of your Quant, Verbal and Integrated Reasoning section. You have up to two minutes to accept or cancel them. If you don’t make a decision your score will be automatically canceled.

In case you accept the results, you and the schools you have chosen to send the reports to will receive an official report up to 20 days after the exam. The official report will also include the Analytical Assessment score and your GMAT percentile ranking.

In case you cancel your results, they won’t show up on your score report.

20. What GMAT score do I need?

There is no “passing” score on the GMAT. To know what score you’re aiming for, you need to check the class profile and the admission requirements of the programs you’re looking at. Your score goal may differ depending on your school(s) needs.

21. Can I cancel my GMAT score?

You can cancel your GMAT score immediately after the exam at no cost. The score can be canceled up to 72 hours after the exam for a fee. If you cancel your score, it will not be shown on your score reports. If you cancel your score and want to reinstate it, you can do so online or by phone for a fee of \$50. An additional \$10 fee applies if you cancel by phone.

22. For how many years is the GMAT valid?

Your GMAT score is valid for 5 years after you take the exam.

23. Can the GMAT be waived?

Few schools in the US have policies for waving the GMAT, those are usually significant professional work experience, degrees, or high achievements. The applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Other schools accept the GRE instead of the GMAT.

If you have questions that we haven’t answered, book a 30-minute complimentary consultation call with one of our top GMAT instructors or check our article on GMAT Test Days FAQs.

Posted on
17
Mar 2022

Top 5 EA Memorization Techniques

We here at Apex always tell our clients to find what works for them and stick to it. Believe it or not, there is little need to struggle when trying to memorize certain test-taking techniques. Often a simpler solution path is always readily available. Our tutors at Apex are professionals when it comes to helping EA test takers. We teach our clients tips which suit their mental and cognitive abilities. This type of teaching is called Cognitive Empathy. How it works is that we do not force clients into a ‘one-size-fits-all’ box of EA test-prep steps and solution paths. Instead, we work with and support our clients by tailoring our approach so that they have a toolkit of skills which fit their personal needs and capabilities. Here we list four EA memorization techniques which all of our clients learn.

On the EA, some question types have the same responses. On the Data Sufficiency portion, for example, answers are presented in the same way. These are:

1. Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient
2. Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient
3. Both statements TOGETHER are sufficient, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient
4. EACH statement ALONE is sufficient
5. Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient

To make the test easier, you can memorize these statements since their order and wording stay the same. We suggest memorizing them in a more simple form. For example:

1. Only Statement 1
2. Only Statement 2
3. Only Both Statements together
4. Each statement alone

This as a memorization technique will help you cut down on the time you spend on the test. You won’t need to reread the answers each time you encounter them.

2. Practice vocabulary during the day

This may sound like a fairly simple and obvious trick but trust us. This EA memorization technique helps! The vocabulary section of the EA can be tricky especially if you find your English language skills are subpar. Often people stick to flashcards to help them memorize terms and concepts. While this tactic can be useful, we found that to really engrain the meaning of complex words it is best to use them throughout the day.

We suggest deciding on a handful of words that you consider exceptionally difficult to memorize and commit to using them throughout the day. This will help you learn to structure the word within a sentence while learning how to use the word properly. In addition to using daily vocabulary, we suggest keeping a notebook of the most difficult terms you have come across and reviewing them as your vocabulary grows!

3. Use Acronyms and Mnemonics

Being out of school for a while means you are likely struggling with remembering math concepts and equations? The EA quantitative portion may appear overwhelming to test-takers. We understand this, which is why we teach our clients how to avoid using math on the EA altogether! But sometimes, the best solution path is the most direct and obvious one. Here are some tricks to remembering some basic math equations and formulas:

• Simple Interest Formula
• Interest = principal x rate x time
• I = prt
• Remember the equation as: I am Pretty!
• Distance Formula
• Distance = rate x time
• D = rt
• This equation can be remembered as the word: dirt
• Linear Equation
• Y = mx + b
• B for begin / M for move
• To graph a line, begin at the B-value and move according to the m-value (slope)
• Multiplying Binomials
• (x – a)(x + b)
• Remember FOIL for the order:
• First
• Outside
• Inside
• Last
• Order of Operations
• When answering an equation which looks something like this: 7 x (4 / 6) + 2 = remember: PEMDAS or Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally
• Parentheses
• Exponents
• Multiplication
• Division
• Subtraction

4. Applying visual meanings to things

This trick is most useful if you plan on taking the EA online. During your studying, look at what is around you and apply meaning to objects. For example, when working on a certain type of math problem, work out the solution while staring at the radiator in your room. Then, while taking the exam (if you are taking the EA online), look at the radiator if you come in contact with a similar type of problem. This visual trick helps your brain remember since you will be correlating that which you have recently studied with the image of the radiator. If you are taking the EA onsite, consider studying while wearing the same pieces of clothes or jewelry which you will wear during your test. Perhaps play with a bracelet or watch while memorizing words, or wear a comfy sweater which you associate with certain mnemonic devices. We teach our clients this trick and it definitely helps them during the test!

5. Apply the knowledge you are learning often

Reading things from a textbook and taking notes is one thing. But it is a completely different thing to practically apply the information you are learning. Completing one or two practice questions won’t automatically make you a whiz at that particular type of problem (even if you got the correct answer). Instead, make sure to practice in different locations and use different mediums (such as at a restaurant, while riding the train into work, or while cooking dinner). Doing this will challenge your brain to think strategically in various situations and under different circumstances. You can do this type of learning with the quantitative and qualitative portions of the exam.

Final Thoughts

However straightforward these EA memorization techniques may seem, they nonetheless require work and dedication. As I am sure you know, hard work does pay off in the long run! The amount of work you put into your studying can dictate where you end up attending school, plus it can help with your future job search. While you are not your EA score, your test score does play a large role in your overall application to your dream school! If you are looking for extra support while preparing for the EA, we here at Apex offer bespoke one-on-one tutoring with high-achieving clients. You can schedule a complimentary, 30-minute consultation call with one of our tutors to learn more!

Contributor: Dana Coggio

Posted on
08
Mar 2022

How To Study For The EA As A Returning Student!

Been a while since you attended university? In regular circumstances, the EA can be a daunting undertaking. But the thought of taking the EA as a returning student can be downright frightening. We here at Apex work often with clients who have spent years outside of an academic setting. Our experts have compiled tips and tricks for returning students to make sure they are on the studying path of ‘least resistance’. Take a look at our 5 suggestions to make your return to high-caliber EA studying as easy and productive as possible.

1- Take an EA practice test

This may sound straightforward, but we cannot emphasize enough how important it is that you take a practice test before you begin studying for the EA. This test gives you a baseline understanding of where your strengths and where your weaknesses lie. Though you may use math skills on a daily basis, your quantitative knowledge – as it pertains to test-taking – are of a different ilk. By taking a practice test right out of the gate, you can be certain to accurately assess your current skills level and knowledge. From there, you can build your EA study schedule and timeline and figure out which parts of the EA deserve the majority of your dedication.

2- Find the school and EA score that suits you

What are your goals? It may sound like a perfectly simple question, but unpacking the answer could take time. It is important that you are honest with yourself as to what your goals are and if they are achievable. Achievable being the key term. A mere desire to attend a top B-school and earn an EA score of 165+ is a difficult challenge, especially if your time out of school has been full of non-business-related opportunities. Perhaps your goal is simply to earn an EMBA, and your dream isn’t to attend Harvard or INSEAD. Decide on which schools you want to attend and the EA score needed for admission. Our advice is to find the average EA score of the most recently accepted class and aim for a score of 10+ points over the average.

3- Get a consistent EA schedule

You are no doubt busy. Working full-time, having a family, living a 9-5 life for a decade or so can truly make you forget the rigors of school. Wanting to earn an EMBA will throw you back into the world of late-night studying and early morning cramming. The EA is your first step into that world. So be sure to create an EA schedule that works with your timeline and personal life. We have created a 3-month timeline template which you can adjust to fit your personal needs. Once you have created a schedule, be sure to Stick. To. It. This may sound like a ‘no-brainer’ but we find our clients have a difficult time with this. We get it, your personal life is always changing, but your EA journey is a short – though intense – one. If your goal is to earn an EMBA, the EA is a necessary stepping stone on that journey.

4- Learn the EA basics

So you have taken a practice test, have decided on which school(s) you wish to attend, and come up with a consistent EA schedule which works for you. From here, you should unwrap the basics of the EA. Become comfortable with the layout of the test, and the different types of questions you will be confronted with. But the ‘basics’ go beyond a basic understanding of the test structure. You also need to get comfortable with skills you learned during high school, yes, that’s right…HIGHSCHOOL. The quantitative, qualitative, and analytical skills learned during high school play a massive role in your success on the EA. While this may sound astounding, remember how much you have grown intellectually since your time in high school. The skills you gained have just developed and grown since those years, you may just have to unlock your potential.

5- Utilize the proper resources and Find Help!

Not all EA prep books are made the same – nor are all EA tutors. You need to look on the market and see which books are structured best for you. With so many on the market, it might be difficult to discern which are best for you. We suggest looking for books which offer numerous solution paths to the same question. This gives you the chance to find the strategies which work for you and your skillset. Additionally, private EA tutors are ideal for students who are taking the EA as returning students. Our Apex tutors are professionals in working with our clients’ strengths and weaknesses. We also have a unique way of teaching the exam where we show our clients how to consider testing questions from a test-maker’s point of view, not a test-taker.

If you are considering taking the EA as a returning student and are interested in getting help on the EA, we offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls with one of our top EA scoring instructors. You can learn more about our program by visiting www.apexgmat.com

6- Be proud of yourself!

If you have decided to return to school and earn an EMBA after years out of academics, you should be incredibly proud of yourself. Such a decision is not an easy one to make, and yet your commitment to achieving your goals is inspiring. During your EA journey, remember to stick with a structured schedule and find help if you need it. Most people don’t go down the EA journey alone, and neither should you!

Contributor: Dana Coggio

Posted on
22
Feb 2022

GMAT Scores & Percentiles

When applying to business school, the GMAT is often an inevitability. Most top-tier business schools require students to take the exam. While many programs claim that they do not have a GMAT minimum for admissions, it is important to aim for a score that lands you in a top GMAT percentile. Achieving a top score may not guarantee admission, however, it will offer you a better shot at getting into the school of your dreams.

GMAT Percentile Rankings

Below is a chart of recent GMAT percentiles (Collected between 2018-2020). When looking at potential MBA programs, take a look at previous admissions statistics. Knowing the average GMAT score of previously admitted students can give you a baseline to aim for. Striving for the average, means you have a better likelihood of getting a score above or around this. Giving you a higher chance at admissions.

GMAT Percentiles Interpretation

Interpreting the GMAT percentiles requires knowing how the GMAT is scored. The total score comprises the Verbal and Quantitative sections. These two scores show the admissions committee your higher-order reasoning skills. These scores are able to predict a student’s successes in graduate school. The scores range from 200 to 800, with the majority of test-takers (about two-thirds) testing between 400 and 600. When comparing your score to other test-takers, it is important to look at percentile rankings.

When reading a percentile ranking chart find your score on the chart. Let us assume you scored a 650 on the exam. This lands you in the 72nd percentile. Meaning your score is higher than 72% of test-takers. Those scoring an 800, for example, are in the 99th percentile. This means that they achieved a score higher than 99% of all test takers. Important to remember is that percentile rankings change each year. This is because as more and more students take the exam, the total scores achieved change and your percentile ranking changes with it.

Contributor: Dana Coggio

Posted on
17
Feb 2022

How Long Should You Study For The GMAT

So you want to go to business school. An MBA is an elite degree which not everyone can successfully achieve. The fact that you want to go on this journey means that you are a high achiever and willing to better yourself academically and professionally. We here at ApexGMAT are in the business of helping people achieve an elite GMAT score. We often work with clients who are unsure where to begin their preparation and for how long to study for the GMAT. For those GMAT test-takers we recommend the following:

• Be aware of your personal and private schedule

Before figuring out how long you should study for the GMAT, we recommend getting acquainted with the exam and learning the best practices for studying

Before you can know how long to study for the GMAT, you need to know your ultimate goal. Why do you want to earn an MBA and What impact will your MBA have on your future goals professionally and personally. Your GMAT and MBA goals can have a huge impact on your GMAT prep. For example, if you are hoping to attend a top business school, work at a top consultancy firm, and make 6-figures a year, then your GMAT prep plan will look different from someone who is earning an MBA to achieve a promotion at their current place of work.

For starters, if you want to earn a top MBA there is a good chance that you are aiming for a 700+ GMAT score. This will mean more hours spent studying and perhaps hiring a private GMAT tutor to get you closer to your goal. Regardless of what your goals are, you still need to establish a GMAT prep plan that works with your professional and personal schedule.

Do you have a family? Are you currently a student? Are you working full-time? Whatever is happening in your life outside of your GMAT prep will hugely impact how much time you can devote to your GMAT study plan. We recommend a 3-month study plan, however, you may need to expand or shrink this plan depending on what is happening in your life. If you are busy beyond a 9-5 work schedule, then it would be best to begin studying for the GMAT beyond 3-months. This will give you more hours to commit yourself to the GMAT study process. If you are a student, or only working part-time, then you likely have more time to commit to studying for the GMAT. Reflect on where your life is at the moment and establish your prep schedule around that.

Step one to structuring your GMAT prep plan is to figure out what day you will take the exam. Do not schedule the exam towards the end of the application deadline to your MBA program of choice. Rather, give yourself at least a few weeks of flexibility where you can retake the exam if necessary. Once you establish what day you want to take the exam, you then count back by three months. Of course, give or take a month or two depending on how busy your life is at the moment. After counting backwards from the date of your exam, you can establish your plan structure. Grab a calendar and write in the weeks, days, and hours that you plan on studying.

So, you know how long to study for the GMAT. You have your test day. You have structured your plan. Now, you need to execute your plan. Your GMAT test day will come whether you are ready or not. It is important that you stick to your study plan if you want to succeed on test day. Regardless of your study plan, be sure to make time for stress-relief and personal activities. Studying for the GMAT should not take up 100% of your time, in fact, if you allow the GMAT study process to consume you, it will most likely hinder your ability to excel on the test.

So, how long should you study for the GMAT?

While 3 months is a good benchmark for most test-takers, it is not perfect for everyone. Consider your other responsibilities and what is expected of you during this time. Make room for your GMAT studying but don’t let the process consume you. Be ready to make mistakes and be prepared for needing a retake. Consider everything that can ‘go wrong’ during the GMAT process and prepare for these scenarios. The GMAT study process from beginning to end should last as long as you need it to. If you are interested in professional help during your GMAT prep, we offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls with a top-scoring instructor.

Contributor: Dana Coggio

Posted on
15
Feb 2022

1. Introducing the GMAT

When beginning your GMAT journey, the first step you need to do is figure out why you are taking the GMAT and what your future MBA goals are. If you are hoping to attend a top-tier Business School, like Harvard, this will make your GMAT preparation different compared to a goal of attending a part-time, online MBA program. Keep in mind that effort will still need to be given no matter which program you decide to apply to. Regardless of your ultimate goal, it is important to have your final goal in mind before laying out your GMAT preparation plan. So, once you have established why you are taking the exam, next is creating a plan of how to prepare for the GMAT.

2. Know the GMAT inside and out

One of the first things you want to do is to get comfortable with the GMAT exam and its structures. The GMAT is split up into four sections:

1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) → to measure your critical thinking and communication skills
2. Integrated Reasoning → to measure your data analysis skills
3. Quantitative Reasoning → to measure your ability to draw conclusions from present data
4. Verbal Reasoning → to measure your reading, evaluation, and correction skills in standard English

By splitting up the GMAT into its four main sections, you can begin your preparation process more fluidly. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses in each of these sections and dedicate yourself to strengthening your weaknesses and solidifying your strengths. In order to know where you stand with the GMAT, we always suggest taking a practice exam before beginning to prepare. This will give you a baseline knowledge of where you stand with each section of the exam.

3. Lay out a 3-month GMAT study plan

Ideally, you give yourself 3-months to study for the exam. We have created a 3-month study plan which can be used by most test-takers when beginning their GMAT journey. Ultimately, giving yourself 3-months means you have room to get to know every aspect of the exam. Give yourself less than 3-months and you will be hindering your chances of success. We suggest finding the date of your GMAT exam (giving yourself an extra week or two for a retake – just in case) and counting backwards by 3 months. Then, mark your calendar in the following way:

During your study plan, it is important that you make time for stress relief. Do not let the GMAT preparation process consume you. Being stressed will do you no favors in the long run and could even negatively impact your overall GMAT score

4. It’s okay to ask for help

Believe it or not, we expect successful GMAT test takers to have asked for help during their journey. Whether it is from their friends or family or even hiring a private GMAT tutor, many people who achieve a 700+ GMAT score do so because they have had some sort of help. Even asking a previous GMAT test taker how to prepare for the GMAT can be a huge help! A private GMAT tutor, for example, can help you achieve GMAT success by working with you in a myriad of ways.

Whether it is by helping you to strengthen your weaknesses or fortifying your strengths, a good GMAT tutor will be able to recognize where you need help and how best to help you. Make sure that, if you need help you don’t wait until the last minute to ask for it. Be ready to ask for help as soon as you begin your studies.

5. Be confident and remember your goal

It is common practice for people who take the GMAT to question their rationale for undertaking such a journey. The GMAT is not supposed to be an easy exam (if it was easy, then everyone would do it!). But you are one of those select few who choose to go down this difficult path. We suggest surrounding yourself with a strong support network. Stress reduction is also hugely important during this journey, be careful not to get burned out too soon as this can ultimately hinder your GMAT exam process.

Final Thoughts

We here at Apex know the difficulty of figuring out how to prepare for the GMAT exam. We work with clients from a variety of different backgrounds and tutor them to GMAT success. Whether you are about to begin your GMAT journey or are already two months in, we are in the business of helping anyone who wants to achieve an elite GMAT score. We offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls with one of our top-scoring instructors.

Contributor: Dana Coggio

Posted on
10
Feb 2022

1. It’s harder than the GRE

One of the most common GMAT myths is that it is presumably more difficult than the GRE.

In their essence, the two exams are different when it comes to their test design, structure, and scoring system. Therefore, their level of difficulty would vary depending on a person’s individual traits. It is only natural that different people will find different things easy. The important question you can ask yourself is which exam would be easier and more suitable for you

The GRE contains three sections – Analytical Writing, Quantitative, and Verbal section. The GMAT, on the other hand, contains four sections – Analytical Writing Assessment, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and an Integrated Reasoning section.

GMAT Verbal vs GRE Verbal

While the GMAT mostly tests people’s grammar and reasoning, the GRE focuses on vocabulary. If you are knowledgeable of complex words, you’ll find the GRE easier. Once again, the level of difficulty is a rather subjective issue. The GMAT Verbal section is 65 minutes while the GRE Verbal section comprises two 30-minute sections.

GMAT Quantitative vs GRE Quantitative

The two tests contain the same math content: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, ‘Real-life’ problems. The difference comes from the way the math is tested.

The GMAT is not designed to examine your ability to calculate complex mathematical operations but rather your critical thinking and logical approach to problems. To compare, the GRE tests your basic mathematical skills and understanding of concepts. Keep in mind that the GMAT is MBA-program specific. Given the MBA’s quantitative focus, there is more emphasis on that portion of the exam. The GRE, on the other hand, is meant for a plethora of graduate programs, from art history to engineering

2. Expertise in math and English is necessary

Being a proficient English speaker and having great mathematical skills will surely help you score high on the GMAT. Nevertheless, the latter are not requirements. Don’t forget that the GMAT is not designed to test your mastery in these fields but to examine your critical thinking skills.

Since the exam is entirely in English, you need to have a good understanding of how the grammar of this language works. You should also be fluent enough not to be hindered when trying to understand what you are being asked or what a certain paragraph means. You need to be able to express yourself well when presenting an argument. Other than that, English language proficiency is not required when taking the GMAT.

When it comes to math, it is advisable to have an understanding of basic mathematical concepts like probability, combinatorics, equations, basic statistics, and manipulations with powers and roots. Still, many of the problems are high-school-level math and don’t require expertise. If you have the right approach, you can solve problems with ease

3. You need to spend a year to prepare

Dedicating a whole year to prepare for an exam seems like a daunting task for many. Luckily, it is also not necessary. This is just another misconception related to GMAT preparation. While the time one will need to master their skills is strongly individual, many candidates have achieved good results for a relatively short period of time.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), for example, offers an 8-week study timeline for successful performance. According to the GMAC, people who performed well on the exam spent on average 3-6 months to prepare. The results of their 2016 self-reported Prospective Student Survey state that, in general, people who study more, get better results. Candidates who spent 80 hours or more preparing said they scored 600 or higher.

Spending a long time studying won’t necessarily guarantee you a high score. Numerous factors can affect your performance. Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, being productive, and effectively managing your time are some of them.

4. Drilling problems is the best way to prepare

Taking a diagnostic test to figure out our strengths and weaknesses and set a baseline for measuring your progress is crucial if you are a beginner. Continuously solving practice test after practice test though, won’t do you any good and is just one of the many GMAT myths for successful preparation among test-solvers.

By drilling on GMAT problems you will lose hours of your spare time that you can otherwise use more constructively. Attempting problem after problem, without shaking things up, will most likely lead to very little improvement in the long run.

Instead, spending time identifying strengths and weaknesses should be a part of your study plan. It is a good idea to take a look at answer explanations and eliminate unhelpful or time-consuming approaches and solution pathways. An excellent GMAT preparation also includes establishing a time management strategy and finding the right work-rest balance.

5. A 700 score is required for a top program

Debunking one of the most well-known GMAT myths is crucial for reducing anxiety among applicants. According to the official GMAC Benchmarking Tool, the mean GMAT score is 568.21, and only about 10% of the test-takers score above 700 each year.

Truth to be told, although a 700 score may be helpful for being accepted to top programs worldwide, it is not necessary. Business schools consider a variety of factors when evaluating applicants.

While the GMAT score is an important part of the admissions procedures for graduate schools, as it allows an objective comparison between individuals, it is certainly not the only important factor to be considered. A strong application can still be reviewed even if the candidate doesn’t have a 700+ GMAT score.

Another aspect of examining GMAT results that should be taken into account is that a given score might be suitable for one business school but unsuitable for another. Thus, depending on your goals, you might need to take a look at the average GMAT scores your dream school accepts.

Naturally, this whole process can be much easier if you have someone who can guide you along the way, like a one on one GMAT tutor. Here at Apex, we give every potential client the opportunity of a 30-minute complimentary consultation call with a 770+ scoring instructor.

Contributor: Reneta Georgieva

Posted on
08
Feb 2022

One on One GMAT Tutoring – Clients’ Perspective

For many people self-prepping for the GMAT for months on end leads to middling results. This can be discouraging and frustrating. Oftentimes, people preparing for the GMAT do not consider using a one-on-one GMAT tutor until it’s too late. Seeing improvement in your self-prep skills and score, when studying with a private GMAT tutor a few weeks before the exam, can be even more frustrating because you realize all the time previously wasted.

The right time to seek out a One-on-One GMAT tutor

Before we get into the ‘whys’ of seeking the help of a GMAT expert, it is important to note the ‘when’, as in when is the right time to seek one out

The earlier you seek help, the greater impact it will have when trying to reach your goals.

Even for those unfamiliar with the test or who need a refresher on their basic mathematics, enlisting a tutor to help structure that review and tie it into a larger preparation agenda will save you time in the long run and headaches along the way. Seeking the advice of an experienced tutor on how to get started is integral to setting you on the right GMAT preparation path.

One-on-one GMAT tutors have years of experience with the test and know the GMAT inside and out. They will be able to pinpoint where you are struggling and how to overcome these pain points in the most efficient and beneficial way possible.

How does the teacher’s experience add to their ability to pinpoint and add efficiency?

A seasoned GMAT tutor has seen hundreds of clients and experienced every possible difficulty with the exam. Beginning your preparation by struggling with the GMAT for the first time is going to be far less efficient than availing yourself to the experience and expertise of someone who has done it many times before. An analogy to this point is learning how to swim. If you wanted to learn to swim, you might just jump into the lake, but wouldn’t you learn faster, with fewer mistakes and less danger, by finding a friend who knows how to swim? Even better, wouldn’t you try to find your friend who was on the swim team, or was a lifeguard? It’s not that someone can’t learn to swim or succeed on the GMAT on their own, but there are many pitfalls along the way.

Apex GMAT offers a complimentary consultation call and an assessment session at a discounted rate for exactly this purpose. Start prepping for the GMAT on the right foot and you will be thankful that you avoided all the wasted effort and time at the beginning.

Why seek the assistance of a One-on-One GMAT tutor?

Here is what some Apex clients had to say about working with a one on one GMAT tutors which will give insight into how they can really be the difference between an ok GMAT score and an exceptional one:

Alex N: “My tutor helped me learn how to think about the problems, not just how to solve them. This meant that any problem put in front of me could be solved if I just used the appropriate approach.”

Justin: “Finding the underlying questions hidden within the actual question was an invaluable skill that I learnt from my instructor. It helped me think about what the question was really asking me to solve. This made me more time efficient and more accurate.”

Amy: “Having someone to ask you pivot questions and help you reframe your approach to tackling each question was something that I was not doing in self-prep and really helped me achieve a big jump in my score. I left my sessions with a more strategic outlook on the test.”

Alex L: “My tutor showed me how to use multiple solution paths and find the right one for me for each question type. With my toolbox equipped with these solution paths I was able to tackle anything that the test threw at me, even questions that were framed in a way that I hadn’t seen before.”

Olga: “I learnt how to self prep for success, I set up the way I approached my self prep differently and also used the skills that I learnt in the sessions to help me during my own preparation time. This helped me test my understanding of the concepts that I had learnt during sessions and practice them more. I really had to let go of old habits and adapt to new ones which was challenging at first but with the guidance and encouragement that I received from my tutor, it was well worth it in the end.”

Antione: “The lessons were tailored to me and my style of learning. Every lesson was focused on helping me with my specific needs and I could tell that my tutor put a lot of time into planning for each session to ensure that I would be challenged and successful within it and outside of it.”

Chloe: “My tutor was willing to spend more than an hour on the phone with me, trying to get to know me so that he could give me the best responses to my questions as well as prepare our lessons in a way that would be most beneficial to my learning style and ultimate success.”

Kyle: “My tutor not only helped me achieve a great GMAT score and a place at my top MBA program but also just prepared me for what to expect at business school in general.  After months of self-prepping without much progress, I know that I would not be in business school or getting through my lessons as successfully if I had not had this one-on-one GMAT tutoring experience.”

Amanda: “I was really confident with my math skills going into the first test but I did not do as well as I thought I would and so working with my tutor really helped me brush up on all my skills and shine on my next test day. He was able to help me unlock my true potential and this helped boost my confidence for the test day. With a full time job, having a one on one GMAT tutor really helped me work on exactly what I needed for success without having to spend extra time on skills that I was already good at.”

Finally, a really important aspect to consider is this: Are all one-on-one GMAT tutors created equal?

The answer to this is NO! Shop around before choosing the tutor that you think will be a good fit for your learning style, goals, and budget. Keep in mind that learning from a student who has just taken the GMAT and has turned to teaching it as a “side gig,” will probably not serve you as well as learning from an experienced instructor who has not only scored well on the test but has vast amounts of teaching experience and MBA program knowledge. Check out this article about to find out all the questions to ask before committing to a service.

You can also find all the tutors referred to in this article at: Apex GMAT Team Page. Schedule a call to speak to them and take the first step to GMAT success.