5 Executive Assessment Test Prep Strategies to Help You Prepare Effectively
Posted on
23
Sep 2021

5 EA Test Prep Strategies to Help You Prepare Effectively

By: Apex GMAT 
Contributer: Altea Sulollari
Date: September 23, 2021

Let’s set the scene: you are a working professional looking to get into an Executive MBA program in order to give you a competitive edge to advance your career. That sure seems like a good plan, but there is one step that you’re missing: you need to take an Executive Assessment exam before getting admitted to a top EMBA program.

The executive assessment is similar in structure to the GMAT exam and it aims to test similar skills but also those that you have acquired during your career. As such, there is no need to extensively prepare for the exam, however, there are a few strategies that can help you get the score you’re aiming for, and we are here to tell you all about them.

The Executive Assessment (EA) Exam – Explained

The Executive Assessment exam is an admissions exam designed for working professionals who are aiming to get into different Executive MBA (EMBA) programs. The exam tests on-the-job skills like problem-solving and critical thinking. It is usually done over a shorter period of time as it includes fewer sections than the GMAT exam, and that is why you do not necessarily need to spend an extensive period of time preparing for this exam.

The EA is similar in structure to the GMAT exam. However, it only features 3 main sections (the Verbal section, the Quantitative Reasoning section, and the Integrated Reasoning section), as opposed to the GMAT which also contains an additional AWA section. When it comes to the question difficulty, the Executive Assessment is regarded as an easier exam than the GMAT, as it is not item-adaptive, meaning that it does not get easier or harder depending on the previous question. Rather, the Executive Assessment exam is section-adaptive, thus it changes after a block of questions. 

The Executive Assessment contains a total of 40 questions that are to be completed within a 90-minute time frame. There are 12 questions in the Integrated Reasoning section, and 14 questions on the Quantitative Reasoning and in the Verbal section respectively. The score ranges from 100-200 points. Keep in mind that a 150+ score is considered a good enough score that can get you into a top program.  

This exam has a shorter time duration as it contains fewer sections and it is often regarded as an easier exam compared to the GMAT. 

5+ EA Test Prep Strategies 

Here are the best strategies to help you with your EA test prep:

Provide yourself with enough time to practice and create a schedule!

Refrain from leaving the bulk of your prep to the last 2 weeks. Instead, create a schedule and try to follow it rigorously so you can work a bit every day. It is true that you do not need as much preparation before you take the Executive Assessment exam as you would when taking the GMAT exam. However, it is a good idea to be prepared for everything that will be coming your way so you know what to expect on test day. That is why you need to set time aside for your EA prep. You’d also want to dedicate short periods of time to your prep instead of a full 2-3 hours at a time. That way, you won’t feel overwhelmed and you’ll be able to see progress in a shorter period of time.

Practice a lot!

The more practice you get before you take the actual exam, the more familiar you’ll get with the structure of the exam and the question types. That will make you feel more confident come test day. Practice will also help you get a feel of what the actual Executive Assessment will be like on test day. You won’t know what to expect until you practice with mock tests and see for yourself.

Pro tip: Apart from the books, guides, and mock exams, you can also try to include prep videos into your routine. EA prep videos are a great method that will help you cover more material in a shorter period of time, and you also won’t get bored from reading all the time.

Stay focused!

Try to stay focused on your schedule and avoid distractions that will draw your attention away from the exam prep. Keeping yourself focused will help you get more done and in a shorter period of time. That is why you should refrain from using your phone during your EA prep time. You can also create To-Do lists with small tasks to complete each day. In that way, you’ll know what you have to do each day in order to see progress during your preparation, and you’ll be more focused and motivated to work harder.

Time yourself!

The Executive Assessment is a timed exam. Therefore, the best way to go about preparing for it successfully is to practice under a time constraint. That will help you gauge how well you’ll perform under time pressure and will help you get used to the timing consideration.

Pro tip: ApexGMAT’s tutors suggest practicing without time constraints in the beginning. Once you’re more familiar with the test structure and the question types, you can introduce the concept of time in your test prep. That way, you will be able to focus on mastering the concepts before including the added level of time into the mix.

Try EA tutoring

Hire an EA private tutor to help you with your preparation. A specialized tutor will help you focus on what is important and will help you get the most out of your prep. They will also know how to tailor the experience to your own specific needs so you’ll be able to master the exam and use your time strategically.

If you are interested in hiring a private tutor to help you with your Executive Assessment test prep, you can schedule a time to discuss your goals with a top-scoring EA instructor here!

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executive assessment test
Posted on
03
Jun 2021

All You Need To Know About The Executive Assessment Online

by: Apex GMAT
Contributor: Uerda Muça
Date: 3rd June 2021

As a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic almost every exam has to now be taken online, including the Executive Assessment. Since this was an unprecedented situation, it has taken some time to adjust to these changes. When introducing something new, it is understandable that many questions might arise. So, in this article, you will find all there is to know about the Executive Assessment Online Exam. 

What is the EA Online?

The Executive Assessment Online is an online and remote proctored version of the Executive Assessment. This interim solution was developed to assist both test-takers and schools during the closure of the test centers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The new online format intends to assist those applicants who are working on meeting their upcoming application deadlines. 

What important information should you know about EA Online?

How long is the EA Online?

The timing for the Executive Assessment Online hasn’t changed; it is still 90 minutes, 30 minutes per section. Apart from the 90 minutes, we suggest setting aside 15 minutes before the exam starts for the check-in process. During this process, you will be asked to show a valid government-issued ID that has a recognizable and recent photo (e.g. passport or driver’s license). Also, your identity will be verified via facial recognition technology, meaning that you will have to show your face on the camera of the device you’re using. 

What is the structure of the Online EA?

The format of the Executive Assessment Online has remained the same as the structure of the Executive Assessment exam delivered in test centers. The exam includes 3 main sections: Quantitative Reasoning (14 questions), Verbal (14 questions), and Integrated Reasoning (12 questions). Besides the number of questions per section not changing, the types of questions you should expect in each section haven’t changed either. 

How is the Executive Assessment Online scored?

The scoring algorithm and the scoring scale used in the test center-based version are used for the Section Score and Total Score in the online version of the Executive Assessment. The total scale of the exam ranges from 100 to 200 while the scale for each section varies from 0 to 20. Even though the IR section has fewer questions than the other two sections, they are weighted all the same when determining your total score. 

When is the Executive Assessment Online available?

Since it is an online version of the Executive Assessment, appointments are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An appointment can be scheduled up to 24 hours before an available testing window. 

Who can take the Executive Assessment Online?

If you’re wondering if there are any requirements you have to fulfill in order to take the Executive Assessment Online, the answer is no; it’s open to all test takers. However, due to regulatory and local data privacy rules, the Executive Assessment Online is NOT available in these locations:

  • Cuba 
  • Iran
  • Mainland China
  • North Korea
  • Sudan

Who will protect the exam’s integrity?

As mentioned, the Executive Assessment Online is a remote proctored exam. Just like in the Executive Assessment taken in a test center, human proctors are going to monitor you (your session and your workspace). The only difference is that the whole process is supported by AI technology. Something else to keep in mind is that your assessment (audio feeds and live video) is going to be recorded. 

Quick tip. Don’t forget to ask proctors for help if you encounter any issues. Just click on the chat link within the OnVUE application or wave your hand to speak to the proctor.

How often can I take the Executive Assessment Online?

You can take the Executive Assessment Online up to two times. However, a really important clarification to make here is that these two attempts provided by the online version of the exam are independent of any attempts completed in a Test Center. Also, if you happen to go through some technical issues and are required to take the test again, it doesn’t count as an extra attempt. 

As per your second online attempt, it can be scheduled before or after your first online test. Keep in mind that there should be at least 16 days between the two appointments, meaning the second appointment has to be scheduled at least 16 days after your first attempt. 

How much does the Executive Assessment online cost?

The registration fee for the Executive Assessment Online is $350 (USD) and you don’t have to worry about costs associated with rescheduling since free unlimited reschedules are included in this price and also you will get your scores without any extra cost. However, if you decide to cancel your appointment, a $100 (USD) cancellation fee applies.

Important!  No appointment changes can be made within 24 hours of a scheduled appointment time.

Since it was first introduced in March 2016, the format of the Executive Assessment has not changed, and adapting to the new online version might take some time. However, now that you know what to expect in terms of the format, scoring, and availability of the exam, the process of adaptation is going to get smoother. 

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5 Takeaways from a Successful EA Journey
Posted on
25
Feb 2021

5 Takeaways from a Successful EA Journey

By: Apex GMAT
Contributor: Uerda Muca
Date: 25th February, 2021

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.

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executive assessment prep for success
Posted on
03
Dec 2020

Can Executive Assessment Tutoring Help You Succeed

By: Apex GMAT
Contributor: Altea Sulollari
Date: 3rd December 2020

As a seasoned professional hoping to gain admission to a respected Executive MBA program, you’ll probably opt to sit for the Executive Assessment exam. The EA is a new exam that tests the skills business professionals have acquired over the course of a career. As such, it’s shorter than the GMAT and contains fewer questions.

Nevertheless, the EA exam has the power to determine your future. It’s important to focus on proper preparation if you want to get into a top EMBA program. Executive Assessment tutoring can help. This article explains the benefits of EA tutoring and helps you decide if  private tutoring is right for you.

The Executive Assessment: Overview

The Executive Assessment exam is similar in content to the GMAT. However, there are a few notable differences.

To begin with, the EA includes 3 main sections: Quantitative Reasoning (14 questions), Verbal (14 questions), and Integrated Reasoning (12 questions). Unlike the GMAT, the EA does not include an Analytical Writing Assessment. 

  • The EA quantitative section is easier than the quantitative section on the GMAT. For one, the EA doesn’t contain as many geometry problems in the Integrated Reasoning section. 
  • The EA is also shorter in duration than the GMAT. It includes a total of 40 questions, with a 90-minute time limit. 

It’s good to keep in mind that the EA exam is section-adaptive, meaning that the difficulty level changes after test-takers complete specific groups of questions. The GMAT, on the other hand, is item-adaptive. The difficulty level changes after every question, making the test more difficult. 

How Can EA Tutoring Help You Succeed?

Let’s discuss the 3 main reasons to consider EA tutoring:

Find the study methods that work for you

An adept instructor will teach you the best strategies to get the score you’re aiming for. Years of experience, both with students and in the field, provides elite instructors with the expertise necessary to customize a preparation approach that maximizes your natural strengths and meets your needs.

Get the most out of your time

Above all, hiring a private tutor can save you time. Your tutor will keep you focused on mastering what’s most important. They’ll tackle your weaknesses head-on with personalized strategies, rather than relying on a “one-size-fits-all” approach to learning. With the help of a high quality private tutor, you can make significant progress without wasting significant time.

A private tutor can help you land a spot in a top EMBA program

An excellent Executive Assessment performance can score you a spot in any of the top EMBA programs out there, opening countless doors along the way. The right instructor will get you there with training that sets you up to achieve your personal best, assuring that your time and effort pay off. Top EA tutors know what these programs are looking for when it comes to scores, skills, and qualifications. Use their expertise to polish your application and resume!

Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about hiring a quality Executive Assessment instructor: EA Team

Still deciding? Schedule a free consultation with one of Apex EA instructors to discuss your options and career goals today. 

Visit our Executive Assessment tutoring page for more information.

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