Table of Contents
- About the EA Exam
- EA Structure, Sections, Timing, & Scoring
- EA Scoring & Validity
- What is a Good Score?
- How, When, & Where can I take the EA?
- 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?
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.
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.
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.