Whether you want to transition to a new industry or increase your earning potential, it is necessary to submit a competitive application when preparing to attend business school. Your prior education, current title, industry, and experience—along with your score on the Executive Assessment (EA)—will be factors that admissions teams take into account.
Business schools are not looking for a perfect score on the EA; they are gaining a more holistic understanding of how you will fit into a program and will recognize your potential for growth. However, it is still important to set aside time to properly prepare for the Executive Assessment. Some executives are ready for the EA after 15 to 20 hours of studying, while many commit up to 30 hours.
Here are a few guidelines to consider as you prepare.
Know how this graduate business school test is structured
Director of Product Management at GMAC™, Manish Dharia, emphasizes that “significant preparation is not needed for the Executive Assessment, but we do recommend that test takers re-familiarize themselves with the various question types.” This graduate business school test was designed for busy executives to evaluate school readiness, but it still requires intentional preparation.
To prepare for the EA, understanding how it evaluates your knowledge is key. Get to know the three sections: Integrated Reasoning (12 questions), Verbal Reasoning (14 questions), and Quantitative Reasoning (14 questions). There is a 30-minute allotment for each section, giving you between 2 and 2.5 minutes per question. To study effectively, it is important to know the question types and what they measure to ensure there are no surprises on test day.
How will the Executive Assessment get you ready for the next steps in your application? Read Preparing for the EMBA Interview and How a Graduate Business School Assessment Can Help to find out.
Determine which areas need more work and set aside time to study
To devise an efficient study plan for our graduate business school evaluation, you can start by consulting with official preparatory materials and trying several practice questions. After completing several, you will know what you need to learn or re-learn, and areas where you are already strong. As Dharia notes, “a Head of Marketing might be more rusty on the quantitative side than a CFO,” so budget your time wisely.
Tackle the subjects you need most work in, and devise a consistent study schedule. For EMBA student Eliza, that meant setting aside time each morning for review. “I'm more of a morning person, so studied in the mornings about an hour.” She recalls, adding that “I did it over the course of about a month.” to feel fully prepared.
Do a practice test early and consult with business schools
Emily Kort, a current student in the Wharton EMBA program, had 12 years of experience working in sales, and strategic development and partnerships. As she prepared for her application to Wharton, she started with a practice test. “I saw it as a litmus test for whether I could get back into the mindset of studying,” she explains.
Kort used the practice test to identify her strengths and areas in need of improvement. She then shared her practice score with the admissions team at Wharton and received advice for how to proceed. Both Kort and Wharton recognized the EA as a tool for identifying areas of improvement, rather than a screening tool that guarantees or denies admission. In fact, after Kort wrote the EA, she asked Wharton if she needed to write a second time, and they said no.
Are you ready to begin the application process for your dream school?
Learn more about taking the Executive Assessment.