GMAT vs EA – The Differences Between These Exams

GMAT vs EA: What are they?

The Executive Assessment (EA) and the GMAT are both admissions exams designed for MBA or EMBA programs. Both are accepted among most MBA programs, with the GMAT being the gold standard of MBA admissions since its release in 1953. In 2016 GMAC, the company that created the GMAT, released the EA. The EA is specifically tailored towards those applying for Executive MBA (EMBA) programs and those who have spent around a decade in the professional business world. Even though the EA is specifically tailored towards EMBA programs it is being more widely used for MBA program admissions. 

Who takes the EA?

The EA is an exam specifically tailored towards experienced professionals. The EA is shorter, with stringent math sections, and is often considered an easier test. It is meant for those who do not have the time to prepare for the standardized tests for MBA programs. In fact, the GMAC specifies that extensive preparation is not meant for the EA and that the EA is meant for those who have acquired skills and knowledge through work experience. This differs from the GMAT in which we recommend a three-month study plan.

GMAT vs EA: Test Structure 

The structure of the EA is simpler than the GMAT, with only three sections instead of four. Both tests have Quantitative, Verbal, and Integrated reasoning sections, but the GMAT has an additional section, the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). The EA also only has 40 questions, compared to the GMAT’s 80. But both have drastically different times with the GMAT taking 3 hours and 7 minutes and the EA taking only 90 minutes. 

All three of the EA’s sections take under fifteen minutes, with the GMAT taking over 30 minutes each on both Verbal and Quantitative sections.

Number of Questions: The EA has 40 questions: 12 Integrated Reasoning, 14 Verbal, and 14 Quantitative. On the other hand, the GMAT has 80 questions: 12 Integrated Reasoning, 36 Verbal, 31 Quantitative questions, and 1 question in the AWA section. 

Time of Each Section: The EA has 30 minutes on each section. Whereas the GMAT has 30 minutes on the Integrated Reasoning, 65 on the Verbal, and 62 on the Quantitative. It gives you 30 minutes for the AWA. 

Types of Questions: The two exams have the same types of questions for every section. 

  • IR: Graphics and Table Analysis, Two-Part Analysis, Multi-Source Reasoning
  • V: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correlation
  • Q: Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving
  • AWA: The GMAT’s AWA tests your argument analysis skills. 

GMAT vs EA: Scoring 

The EA and GMAT score differently. With the GMAT being a more rigorous test, the scoring ranges from 200-800 while the EA ranges from 100 to 200. In the EA you can score up to a 20 on each section, while GMAT scoring is broken down as follows:

Quant: 0-60
Verbal: 0-60
IR: 1-8
AWA: 1-6

When it comes to the scores of the EA and GMAT remember that a good EA score is about 150 or above, while a good GMAT score is 650 or above. In the EA all the sections are weighted equally, while in the GMAT that is not the case. In the GMAT your AWA score is not weighted as heavily as your Quant or Verbal score. So when studying for both tests you must decide your study habits. In the GMAT you may focus on the Integrative Reasoning section less than the Quantitative for example. It is important to keep in mind where your strengths and weaknesses lie. 

To Review

The EA and GMAT are both exams that can help you get into an MBA or EMBA, so it can be difficult to choose between. However, the GMAC designed the two exams differently for a reason. Understanding why they did so is helpful in choosing which one you would like to take. Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses within testing and your goals within admissions can help you determine which one to take.


Contributor: Lukas Duncan

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