EA Exam 2022
Posted on
04
May 2022

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

Table of Contents

  • About the EA Exam
    • 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
    • Additional Costs Worth Considering 
  • EA History & Background
    • EA Changes Over Years
    • Online EA Test in the face of COVID-19

About The EA Exam

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:

      • Reading comprehension
      • 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. 

Additional Costs Worth Considering
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

 

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EA as a returning student
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 

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EA Stress
Posted on
25
Nov 2021

How To Keep Your Sanity While Preparing For The EA

EA Stress

Experiencing too much anxiety over the EA exam might cause a negative impact on your mental health and make it difficult for you to keep your sanity. Moreover, it might even make it more challenging to concentrate when studying and disrupt your sleep schedule. However, with the correct test stress and anxiety-busting tactics, as well as an effective studying schedule, your EA exam preparation may become much simpler.

Here are 7 tips we recommend in order to make your EA exam preparation stress-free and effective.

1. Take an EA Preparation Course

Everyone’s EA experience is different. Some people can get a high score based on everything they already know, without opening an EA book. But, for most students, a preparation course or one-on-one prep time with an EA personal tutor is necessary for two reasons. First, it puts you in the right direction in terms of exam content, strategies, solution paths, and tactics to tackle problems, by helping you structure a concrete and designated studying plan. Secondly, it makes you feel much more confident and emotionally calm, as you work with a trustworthy and experienced professional who knows the ins and outs of the exam and preparation for it and can assist you with anything necessary throughout the process. Apex GMAT, for example, offers complimentary consultation calls for interested individuals, looking for structured and personalized EA preparation. 

2. Create an Effective EA Study Schedule

Don’t wait for the perfect time to take the EA. This moment may never reveal itself! Life will always throw you curveballs and can end up curtailing well-thought-out plans. Situations may arise which could interfere with your EA preparation. During your EA prep, you should take the extra effort to harmonize any unexpected situations with your study schedule.

One effective method you could try is to divide your studying schedule into multiple time frames throughout the day so that you can concentrate in smaller doses rather than studying for 5-7 hours straight and losing your ever so vital focus. Study the materials during the weekdays and devote some part of your weekend to practice tests where necessary. Those, in turn, will help you to assess your progress and help you to understand your main strengths and weaknesses.

3. Control Your Emotions

At some point, the EA will stress you out, making you feel disappointed and frustrated. This is natural! Whether it is an unsatisfactory score on a practice test or the feeling of giving up, the EA can make it easy to have an emotional breakdown. However, it is important to be able to take control of your emotions, and have a “never a failure, always a lesson” attitude. Every time you make a mistake, try to dive deep into that specific concept and figure out why you made that particular mistake, and learn from it. This is exactly how you make progress. Whenever you feel like you can’t go on anymore, remember your goals and aspirations, and that this test is a key to the completion of those. With the proper frame of mind, you will find yourself studying again in no time.

4. Maintain a Connection to Your Support Team

The people you communicate with during your EA preparation process are very important and can hugely affect your frame of mind. Try not to isolate yourself too much from them, spending your whole time in your room cracking all those EA books and practice tests. Instead, spend time with the people whose presence is pleasing to you, who support and believe in you – whether it’s your family, your best friend, or the new acquaintance that has no idea what the EA even is. Constant communication with the people you love will positively affect your overall mentality and help you stay positive when preparing for the test.

5. Get Some Rest and Good Sleep

Another essential thing to remember is to arrange your sleeping schedule. When you need to get up at a certain time, subtract half an hour from the number of hours you wish to sleep. This time becomes the designated moment for turning off the lights. The extra half-hour is crucial, as we frequently overlook the time it takes to get ready for bed, set the alarm clock, and so on. This being said, be cautious as to what you are eating or drinking as an unhealthy diet can negatively affect your sleep schedule. Although the effects of caffeine may differ from person to person, try to avoid all sources of caffeine after 3 p.m. and modify accordingly. Aside from coffee, caffeine is found in a variety of foods and drinks, including tea, chocolate, and carbonated beverages. However, there are benefits to caffeine products when consumed thoughtfully. 

6. Celebrate Your Big and Little Achievements

Your EA preparation process aims to help you reach your goals! Reward yourself a little – take a moment and celebrate your achievements – whether it is seeing progress on practice test scores or a new reading tactic that you finally mastered. It will help you feel more positive and confident about your overall knowledge and skills and be brave enough to challenge yourself with tougher concepts. As you progress down your EA journey, be sure to celebrate your short- and long-term accomplishments. These moments of celebration will undoubtedly assist you in keeping yourself on top of your game.

7. Doing Things You Love

Nothing can ever make you happier than doing what you love. Whether it’s singing, dancing to your new favorite pop song, or watching movies, you should devote some time to distracting yourself from studying by doing the things you enjoy. Not only will this help you not to feel pressured and overwhelmed by all those EA materials, but it will also make you feel much more energetic, full of life, and HAPPY. These are absolutely necessary for you to perform as well as possible on your EA test.

 

Contributor: Nemrout Safarian

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EA Prep Calendar
Posted on
23
Nov 2021

How To Create The Perfect EA Prep Calendar?

Congratulations, you have decided to continue with your education! Deciding to attend business school is a big step. It will open up doors to further opportunities for you, both intellectually and professionally. Having an EMBA under your belt can help you earn that promotion or pay raise in your professional career. Regardless of why you are deciding to attend business school, one large hurdle stands in your way, the Executive Assessment. 

For many, the EA can seem like a daunting task. Especially for those individuals who are returning to school years after completing their undergrad. But the task of successfully studying for and taking the EA is doable. As long as you are driven, determined, and willing to set a strict study schedule, your business school dreams are within your grasp. 

Here at Apex GMAT, we have created the perfect EA prep calendar for future EA test takers. By following the simple steps we have laid out, you can get the most out of your EA preparation and ace your exam! 

Steps to your Perfect EA Prep Calendar

First, grab a calendar, yearly planner, or your phone. You will need to mark the dates and times necessary for studying. 

1. Figure out when you want to take the EA

So, you want to go to business school. Once you have figured out what type of program you want to attend, you need to find the perfect business school program for you. For most business schools an EA entrance exam is required. Some schools offer EA waivers, however, these are rare and are usually offered on a case-by-case basis. Once you have found the programs you are applying to, check out their application deadlines. Based on these deadlines, you can figure out when you need to take the EA.

It would be suggested to take the EA well before the admissions deadlines. Often, your EA scores last at least 5-years, meaning you could technically take the EA a few years before you apply to business school. However, here at Apex, we suggest you take the EA a couple of months before the admissions deadline. This is because, if you happen to get a score lower than expected, you will have time to retake the test and aim for a higher score. 

Count back 3 months from the test date. THIS is the day you will begin your official EA test prep. 

2. Take a free practice test

Before you even begin studying for the EA, you need to take a practice exam. By taking a practice exam, you will know right away where your strengths and weaknesses are. It will also give you a baseline to know how to study and which parts of the exam require the most effort from you. By keeping track of your score, you will also see your progress as you go along your EA prep journey. 

Determine strengths and weaknesses

3. Capitalizing on when you can best prep 

Are you a morning bird? A night owl? Do you find your brain works best during the afternoon? Knowing this about yourself can help you set your daily study schedule. If you find that your brain works best bright and early, then try to carve out an hour or two each morning to study before heading off to work or going to class. If you enjoy studying late at night, then find time after work or after dinner where you can spend two hours preparing. Once you have decided what time of day you want to study, it is important to keep a daily schedule. It is best to find a rhythm that you work best with so that your mind and body are prepared to study each day. 

Are you a Morning Bird? A Night Owl? 

4. Create An EA Study Plan

Great. You have decided on your test date, you have counted backward by 3 months, and you have determined what time of day you wish to study. Pull out your calendar, yearly planner, or phone and write down the content you want to cover during each week.

Week 1 – EA Basics

Put aside 1 or 2 hours each day in either the morning or the night where you study for the EA. During this first week, you will get acquainted with the EA Test Basics. 

    • Become familiar with the EA format and content. Prepare yourself for what you are about to encounter during the next 3 months and on the day of your EA exam. This includes getting comfortable with the EA structure, sections, timing, and scoring.
    • Analyze the results from your EA practice test. As you are in the process of reviewing the results of your practice test, it would be helpful to ask yourself some questions to better understand the difficulties you encountered. When analyzing the solutions of some questions you got wrong or maybe you weren’t totally confident about, take note of any patterns. What section/s did you find most challenging? Which types of questions within each section were you struggling most with? Also, don’t forget to ask yourself questions about the “bigger picture” like: Were you able to finish every section? Did you feel anxious? How did you feel at the end of the test?

Week 2 – EA Integrated Reasoning Section

Great, it’s week two! During your first week, you have overviewed what to expect on the EA overall. Now it is time to get a little bit more specific. Keeping your same daily schedule (whether you study in the AM or PM), change your study content to familiarize yourself with the EA Integrated reasoning section. Read about which types of Integrated Reasoning questions and content that you are most likely to come across during your 3 months of preparation, mock tests, and the EA test.

    • Review EA questions. Before diving deeper into preparing for this section, take some time to read about the types of questions the logical reasoning section asks. Make flashcards with the different EA question types so that you are prepared when you encounter the graphics, tables, and multi-source reasoning associated with the Integrated Reasoning section. If you found that during the practice test the Integrated Reasoning section was easy-breezy, consider studying exceptionally difficult problems.
      The EA is computer adaptive meaning as you answer successive questions correctly, you will be given increasingly harder questions to answer. Additionally, when you encounter a moderate or ‘easy’ question where answering quickly can save you time for a more difficult section.
    • Learn the underlying EA concepts related to each topic. In this section, you will come across information presented in multiple formats. Learning how to pick up on patterns and analyze the data can be fundamental to finding the solution to the problems. In order to not get stuck during the exam and waste your precious time, learning about the most frequently used EA concepts is helpful.

Week 3 – EA Verbal Section

It’s week three! Bearing in mind how you have been studying for the past two weeks, be sure to maintain your same study schedule for this week. During this week it is time to get acquainted with the EA Verbal section. A great way to start working with the Verbal section is to become familiar with the overall structure of this section. This section is 30-minutes long and is broken down into 3 sections. Questions test your ability to analyze arguments and understand, edit and read written English. 

    • Learn how to tackle each type of question. There are three types of questions in the Verbal section (Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction) and their purpose is to test certain skills. This means that for each of them you have to use particular strategies.
      • Tip. It’s more effective to concentrate on one area at a time. So, while preparing for this section, choose one subsection and stick with it for a couple of days. For example, your third week could look something like this: Monday & Tuesday Reading Comprehension, Wednesday & Thursday Critical Reasoning, and Friday & Saturday Sentence Correction, with Sunday being a rest day. 

Week 4 – EA Quantitative Section and Monthly check-in

    • Review your EA Math. Before diving deeper into preparing for this section, take some time to brush up on some of the formulas, definitions, and topics of the Maths section. Make flashcards with the necessary formulas so you can memorize which formula should be used for which problem(s). If you found that during the practice test the quantitative section was easy-breezy, consider studying exceptionally difficult problems given that the EA is a computer adaptive test.
    • Learn the underlying EA concepts related to each topic (percents, ratios, exponents, statistics, etc). In this section, you will come across some specific wording that can be fundamental to finding the solution to the problems. In order to not get stuck during the exam and waste your precious time, learning about the most frequently used concepts is helpful.

By the end of the week, it will have been a month since you started studying. If you have stuck to your study schedule, you have most definitely made progress. Now it is time to put that progress to the test! 

    • Take your second practice test. As the saying goes “Practice makes perfect.” The more you get yourself exposed to EA  practice exams, the more likely you are to achieve your desired score.
    • Review your results. While looking at the answer explanations, pay attention to the solutions of the questions you got incorrectly.
    • Practice the type of questions you are having difficulties with. Identify the questions where you are spending more time than you should. Read some articles that recommend tips, strategies, and tactics that can assist in solving them faster. 

Week 5 – EA Integrated Reasoning Section Review

It is week five, and you now have two practice tests under your belt. You should be seeing progress in your ability to take the exam. Time to refine your reviewing and fortify your strengths while strengthening your weaknesses in the Integrated Reasoning section. 

    • Practice and enhance your knowledge of tables and graphics, multi-source reasoning, and two-part analyses. Now that you are familiar with these terms it’s a good time to start reading some strategies on how to tackle these EA types of questions. After doing that, practicing what you just learned by solving problems focused particularly on these types of questions is extremely beneficial to your progress. 

Week 6 – EA Verbal Section Review

    • Practice and enhance your knowledge of EA Verbal questions. You can find articles about tips specifically about these types of questions and while practicing you be sure to make use of them. Another practical thing to do is read about articles related to common mistakes and how to avoid them. 

Week 7 – EA Quantitative Section

    • Make yourself acquainted with the EA Quantitative section. This is the step that, as you have seen so far, applies to every EA section. You can’t anticipate doing well on a task without knowing what is expected from you.
    • Review EA Data Sufficiency and Problem-Solving questions. This is something that might come in handy when encountering a tough question on test day. 

When it comes to the EA Quantitative section make sure to practice. practice. practice. Working on answering multiple questions in a day. This will help you master your timing and get used to the structure you may see on the EA. 

Week 8 – Monthly Progress Check

    • Time for another EA practice test! After studying for almost every section, taking some mock tests will assist in keeping track of your progress.
    • Review your results. This time try to identify the topics you are still not comfortable with. Solely taking EA mock tests without analyzing the explanations to questions is not going to be much help.
    • Practice the type of questions you are struggling with. After analyzing these practice tests and understanding the patterns of your weaknesses, working more on the questions you find challenging leads to score improvements.

Week 9 – Review your Weaknesses, Solidify your Strengths

You have been spending a lot of your time preparing for the EA. It is an arduous journey, but you’re not alone! During week 9, it is best to spend time reviewing the parts of the exam that you are most struggling with. Whether it is Verbal or Quantitative, spend a few hours a day reviewing those parts of the exam that you are most worried about. 

At the same time solidify your strengths. If you are a powerhouse on the logical section, that doesn’t mean you should no longer study that portion. Switch between your strengths and weaknesses during this week in both the Verbal and Quantitative sections. If you know of someone else who is taking the EA, get together with them and swap tips and tricks on how they are tackling studying. Finding a study buddy is especially helpful as you can both be emotional support from one another! 

Week 10 – Time and Stress Management

Some other significant factors to consider while working on preparing for the EA  test are time and stress management. A good start is reading a handful of blogs and articles that suggest many tips and strategies that can help you improve your time and stress management skills.

Week 11 – Review and Relax 

During the last week don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself. Instead, try to take care of your mind and body as much as you can. One last brief review focused primarily on the sections or type of questions you struggled most with is going to be enough. Finally, the most important tip, don’t forget to enjoy your EA preparation journey.

 

We at the Apex team hope that you find this EA study plan helpful. If you want to discuss your progress and possibly have some 1 on 1 preparation sessions with us, we would be happy to help, set up a complimentary consultation call with an EA instructor.

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio

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EA procrastination
Posted on
18
Nov 2021

5 EA Study Habits To Incorporate Now To Avoid Procrastination

You have everything prepared. Your desk is neat and tidy, your books are placed perfectly within reach, your computer is on, and your flashcards are written. Perhaps you have brewed a fresh cup of coffee and have just settled in with every intention to study for the next few hours. But lo and behold, 3 hours later, you find yourself glued to your phone, having wandered down the youtube rabbit hole and watching your fifth 20-minute video on how paint dries! 

You can’t help but be frustrated with what just happened. And it happens more often than people would like to think. Whether it is spending hours cleaning your room or gazing wistfully out the window, procrastination is every student’s worst nightmare and biggest foe. When studying for the EA, you will encounter opportunities to procrastinate around every corner.

So how do you overcome these distractions?

We have 5 tips and tricks which you can incorporate into your study schedule to avoid EA procrastination. Whether you are just starting out, or you are already months deep into your study schedule, these habits can be incorporated now and follow you throughout your EA journey and into your professional future. 

1. Acknowledge when you procrastinate

Maybe you are staring out the window because it is a beautiful day, or you are maddeningly vacuuming your home because it’s been needing to get done. Regardless, you’re procrastinating. And the first step in overcoming procrastination is to admit when you are procrastinating. If you find yourself in the middle of a cleaning session, there is no need to stop in the middle of your task. Rather, re-evaluate why you are cleaning. Is it to avoid studying or is it because you’ve been meaning to vacuum for a while. Regardless, finish what you are doing. Finish vacuuming, finish staring out the window, finish cooking or cleaning. While completing your task, however, begin thinking about your study schedule. What will you be studying and for how long? Once you complete your procrastination task, sit down and begin studying. You should have spent the last hour(s) mentally preparing for the studying session, and by the time you are ready to begin your body and mind should be fully primed. 

2. Create a list and a reward system 

Yes, this may sound cliche, but lists (and rewards) help! Before sitting down to study, write out what you are planning on doing during the session. Create a list with high-priority and low-priority tasks. Establish a rewards system. What do you crave most when studying? Do you want to take a walk? Clean? Chat with a friend? After completing a high-priority task, reward yourself with a cleaning session, or a quick walk around the block. This will keep you on your toes and create a rhythm which your body adapts to. 

3. Free yourself of perfectionism 

It’s important to expect the best for and from yourself. However, striving for perfectionism on a daily basis can lead to stress and anxiety. Be realistic in what you can accomplish while studying for the EA. Not every day will be a perfect study day. But studying every day, whether perfect or not, will bring you one step closer to achieving your EA goals. Also, recognize that you may not find the perfect time to study every day. Some days are more full than others. On days where studying is difficult to sit down and accomplish, find time in between the chaos to review old concepts. Whether it is flipping through vocab flashcards or attempting a couple of math problems, any form of studying is worth doing (whether perfect or not). 

4. Improve your surroundings

The age of technology is full of distractions. We suggest putting away unnecessary technology. If necessary, put your phone in another room, set it to silent, and close all unnecessary tabs on your computer. If you study better with music, we suggest listening to music which is calm and without lyrics. Lo-Fi study beats, for example, are opportune for the studying brain to zero in and focus on the task at hand. Additionally, make sure your desk and study center is free of clutter. This removes visual distractions and forces you to focus on the studying materials lying directly in front of you. If you live with multiple people, let them know that you have blocked out a certain number of hours for studying and ask them to not distract you during this time. 

5. Forgive yourself

Shoulda, coulda, woulda. We hear this a lot. But what is in the past is already behind you! So don’t fret about trying to fix what has already passed. Instead, train your focus on the task that lies in front of you, and trust that you will make the best decisions for your study schedule going forward. 

Your EA score and future business school opportunities are dependent on how hard you are willing to work for it. EA procrastination is a normal part of studying. Developing habits now which can help you manage your procrastination will make a world of difference during your EA journey.

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio

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Posted on
25
Feb 2021

5 Takeaways from a Successful EA Journey

Each client that contacts us is in a different stage of their Executive Assessment prep, but a universal constant is that each is striving for a great 165+ EA score. The threshold difficulty standing in their way is the lack of a proper mindset, which in turn can lead to a poor performance, whether due attitude, inefficient solving mechanisms, misplaced focus, or myriad other issues. No matter what, mindset leads the way to performance.

To adjust one’s way of perceiving problems requires much more intricate work than cramming a bunch of material, facts, and figures. Taking the time to understand this and elevate your approach to the test is challenging but ultimately rewarding come test day. Here are five takeaways that anyone scoring 150 or better on the Executive Assessment comes to realize along their EA journey. These insights that help test takers thrive help top performers continue to excel in their EMBA/grad school programs and in their post-EMBA careers, long after the Executive Assessment is a distant memory. 

It Is Not What You Know… It’s What You Do With It

The EA is a psychometric exam. It expects you to be knowledgeable in a core group of secondary school concepts. It’s not a knowledge test, but it uses this universe of information as a baseline that everyone reasonably has been exposed to long before they thought about the Executive Assessment. The exam tests not so much your knowledge but your creative application of that knowledge.

In the process of preparing for your EA it is vital to maximize your performance, which necessitates deep understanding of seemingly straightforward concepts so that you can be flexible in how you navigate them. For instance, in the Integrated Reasoning section there is a high chance that you will come across an unfamiliar graph you need to use. In such a case the ability to draw conclusions from known graphs and apply them to the new situation is much more valuable than having seen the specific graph before.

This holds true well beyond the exam. The amount of information you will be exposed to within the 2 years of a top tier EMBA program is staggering. In order to thrive in this demanding environment you must be selective, actively deciding what information you take on to master, and use universal thinking tools (heuristics and mental models) to be adaptable as new concepts and information come your way.

For the Executive Assessment, the core concepts are indeed essential. But it is also important to notice what concepts and information you can derive from fundamental knowledge and how to do so, hence not needing to memorize it. Knowing how to successfully apply your knowledge will result in efficiency which will afford you the ability and time to excel in the EA, explore what your EMBA has to offer, and be a thought leader in your chosen career. 

Prioritization is Crucial 

On the Executive Assessment there are harsh penalties for unanswered questions, so it is vital to complete each section in the time allotted. Therefore, proper time and process management is critical when sitting the exam. Essentially, each problem represents a decision where you must weigh the likelihood of obtaining a correct answer, your time commitment to that problem, ancillary considerations like stress and focus management, and how this problem fits into your larger strategy for the section and the exam. Ultimately, you must decide how much time it is worth expending on each problem as part of your core process.

This mental cost benefit analysis must be deeply embedded in your thought process to achieve an elite EA score. With the proper calibration, this sense will certainly be useful in business school and beyond. In the professional world, there will always be time constraints – be it stringent deadlines or time zone differences. Being able to prioritize focus and make decisions quickly and accurately while navigating uncertainty and incomplete information is a huge strength. Similarly, actively choosing to abandon a low value or less important task so that you can fully devote to solving an issue of importance is not a sign of weakness or incapability, but rather an asset in a world that will always ask more of you than you can give. Time is scarce in the workplace, and just like on the Executive Assessment, you should prioritize what adds the most value to your bottom line. 

Every Problem Has Multiple Solution Paths

 A common theme in our client’s feedback is their fascination with a core principle that we teach; that every EA problem has multiple solution paths and that sensitivity to how you solve the problem is more important than simply arriving at the correct answer. Let’s take a means and averages problem from the Quant section as an example. Many would be tempted to solve this mathematically straightaway, but this problem can be solved more efficiently using a scenario or a graph rather than processing equations, delivering greater clarity and freeing up valuable time for other, more challenging problems.

Wresting yourself away from the paradigm that a problem has a single “correct” solution path is essential to conquering the Executive Assessment but is also valuable in life. Very few things are clear cut and unambiguous, and training yourself to recognize multiple ways to get to the same destination is important, especially if you can recognize them before committing to any specific path. Seeking answers beyond the ordinary and obvious will provide you with innovative ways of overcoming obstacles and drive progress, and make you a thought leader among your peers and in your graduate program and organization.

Focusing on the structure of the EA helps you compare solution paths and choose the best for the current challenge, resulting in not only a correct answer, but a timely one. Moreover, thinking of a problem from multiple perspectives means that you take into consideration unlikely or unnoticed features of a problem, and when applied to a business setting, this added vision can drive great insight into stakeholders interests and uncover innovative solutions to intractable problems.

In Order to Succeed First Know Yourself

The Executive Assessment is not an exam where you can get 100% of the problems correct. In fact, your score will not depend on the number of questions that you get correct, but rather by the difficulty level of the ones that you do get correct. Since the EA is computer adaptive, it increases in difficulty until it matches a candidate’s capabilities, and the aim as a test taker is to get to the most difficult problems that you can handle, and then get most of those correct. In this way, the Executive Assessment drives you to perform at your best rather than spending a lot of time testing fundamentals.

Ultimately, this means that you must decide how to allocate your time and energy to produce the best performance. This means understanding your strengths and weaknesses, evaluating each problem in light of those, and then deciding which problems make sense to handle, which make sense to invest extra time in, and which (few) problems you might want to walk away from right off the bat in order to preserve your valuable time for higher value problems. Don’t simply put your head down and try to get everything right – at least not at first.

During your EA preparation you should be conscious of how you perform and how you have progressed from where you began. If you struggle to finish a practice exam in a timely manner, this is a sign that your time management skills require polishing, and that you’re not making timing decisions well. If you perform well on Sentence Correction but not on the Reading Comprehension, then that means that you can spend less time on SC questions and reallocate that time towards Reading Comp, thereby increasing your score and building confidence in your Executive Assessment allocation decisions along the way.

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and the workload you handle best will help you excel in your career. Furthermore, knowing your capabilities can aid you when setting work boundaries and defining your professional skill set on the other side of business school. Successful professionals know how to focus on what they do best, and remove those tasks that impinge upon their productivity and value.

In this way, they don’t find themselves taking on too much, and are able to have work life balance, all while placing them in a position to continue to achieve because of that balance. Overworking is counterproductive because it drives burnout and reduces focus and efficiency. In much the same way that athletes require proper rest for peak performance, those working in intellectually rigorous fields requiring creativity need mental breaks for better focus, clarity and job performance. In this sense, being aware of your own limitations will guide you towards a healthy work-life balance and in turn increase productivity. 

5% Talent and 95% Hard Work

Being naturally intuitive with numbers or extremely well-read can provide a great footing for your EA preparation. Without further development, however, natural talent can only take you so far. The Executive Assessment begins testing you the moment you can no longer trust your intuition and talent, and then need to rely upon knowing what you don’t know, and navigating towards deeper insights. The EA tests a range of skills such as critical assessment of data, ability to reason and analytical thinking. This means that being knowledgeable and skillful with fundamentals, or being a strong student only lays the foundation for success. It’s persistence, determination, and having a comprehensive study plan and clear understanding of this exam’s architecture that defines those who score 165 or better.

The good news is that the skills necessary to get a 165+ EA score can be cultivated and enhanced with hard work, perseverance and determination. Moreover, these same skills can help you get the most out of your EMBA program and career and enhance your skill set. For example, in business school you may come across an exceptional mathematician pursuing a concentration in Marketing because she has identified a weak point, and wants to focus on how to conduct research, to write and communicate clearly and effectively and to understand and implement data in the decision making process. Similarly, someone with average mathematical Mathematical ability might excel in Finance courses because of the skills he has developed – analytical thinking, problem solving, and constructing mental models.

Conclusion

The most important thing is to put in the hard work (effortful learning, not just a lot of prep time) to grow those top-level skills, regardless of how naturally gifted you are in a given subject. Marketing isn’t all creativity nor is finance all math, and in this way professional challenges are similar to the Executive Assessment itself, which is neither about Math nor English grammar. Compensating your weaknesses and enhancing your strengths in your chosen concentration will be a vital part of your EMBA experience, and it should start with your EA preparation.

Your Executive Assessment journey can be pleasant and enriching rather than an arduous, distasteful experience that you dread having to go through. With the proper mindset, guidance and support you can grow through your EA experience to acquire valuable skills that will help you for years to come.

Schedule a call with one of our experienced Executive Assessment consultants at +41 41 534 98 78, +44 (0) 79 4361 2406 or +1 (917) 819-5945  and get a head start on the road to achieving your goal.

If you enjoyed this EA journey article, learn more about the EA exam in this overview.

 

Contributor: Uerda Muca
Date: 25th February, 2021

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