• GuideMe Test-Prep Expert

Executive Assessment: What Is It & How Is It Different from the GMAT?

Updated: Jan 20

Here in this article, we try demystifying various aspects of the GMAC Executive Assessment Exam: what are its differences with the GMAT exam, what Math and English topics are covered, is it adaptive like GMAT, how is it scored, which schools accept the EA scores, and what about Executive Assessment Online exam?

Students sometimes mistake Executive Assessment as just a GMAT-lite exam, or some assume it to be the one with having adaptiveness and difficulty of its older counterpart GMAT exam- the answer lies in the middle of the two extremes.

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Differences Between Executive Assessment vs. GMAT

Between GMAT & Executive Assessment, the range of Quant and Verbal topics on these two B-school admissions tests are largely the same. Although certain challenging math concepts are less frequent on the Executive Assessment, the GMAT and the EA have a similar range of Quant concepts. The question formats are the same as well; the tests share a comparable mix of Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency.

And for Verbal, the mix will be exactly the same. Both the EA and the GMAT have comparable proportions of Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Correction questions.

There are certain differences though - on the Executive Assessment, Sentence Correction does not have Ambiguous Pronoun errors, while Critical Reasoning does not have the Boldface question types mostly.

Moreover, the IR sections are exactly the same between these two tests.

What are the Math topics in the Executive Assessment?

Executive Assessment Math Review

Although the following list is not comprehensive - GMAC has done a fair job of detailing the Math topics asked in EA.

Section 1.0, “Arithmetic,” includes the following topics:

  1. Properties of Integers

  2. Fractions

  3. Decimals

  4. Real Numbers

  5. Ratio and Proportion

  6. Percents

  7. Powers and Roots of Numbers

  8. Descriptive Statistics

  9. Sets

  10. Counting Methods

  11. Discrete Probability

Section 2.0, “Algebra,” does not extend beyond what is usually covered in a first-year high school course. The topics included are as follows:

  1. Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

  2. Equations

  3. Solving Linear Equations with One Unknown

  4. Solving Two Linear Equations with Two Unknowns

  5. Solving Equations by Factoring

  6. Solving Quadratic Equations

  7. Exponents

  8. Inequalities

  9. Absolute Value

  10. Functions

Complete details can be found at this link: https://www.gmac.com/-/media/files/gmac/executive-assessment/executive-assessment-math-review-82016.pdf

Is Executive Assessment Adaptive like GMAT?

Each section of the Executive Assessment is presented in two panels, with half of that section’s problems in each panel. For example, the first section, Integrated Reasoning (IR), consists of two panels of 6 problems each, for a total of 12 problems. Within any one panel, you can move around and address the problems in any order you like. We at GuideMe always recommend answering them all; there’s no penalty for incorrect answers. The first panel of the IR section will include easier, medium, and harder problems.

After you submit your first IR panel, you’ll get the second IR panel of six problems. The mix of problems you see will depend upon how you did on the first panel. If you answered everything correctly, the problems in your second panel will be significantly harder. If you missed every problem, your second panel will be significantly easier. Most likely, you’ll fall somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.

After you finish the two IR panels, you’ll go straight into the Verbal section. This time, your panels will have seven problems each. In addition, the level of difficulty in your first Verbal panel will not be a mix of easier, medium, and harder. Instead, the mix of problems in your first panel will be determined by your performance in the IR section. In other words, you don’t start off with a “clean slate”—if you do well on IR, you’ll start higher on Verbal; if you don’t do well on IR, you’ll start lower on Verbal. Then, your second panel of seven Verbal problems will be based on how you did on the first Verbal panel.

Quant will work the same way as Verbal: Your first-panel difficulty is determined by your IR performance, and your second panel is determined by your performance during the first Quant panel.

Have a look at the Executive Assessment Adaptive Scoring Diagram below. (Source: Manhattan Prep):

How hard is the Executive Assessment compared to GMAT?

The EA is not only shorter than the GMAT but it is also designed to be taken with minimum preparation. This means that the test will be more straightforward and easier than the GMAT.

There is another aspect of the EA that is easier too: its math content. On the EA, you see fewer of the harder math topics from the GMAT. For example, probability, statistics, and combinatorics are less common on the Executive Assessment.

How to Prepare for the Executive Assessment

To get your best score on the EA, you’ll want to get familiar with the test and give yourself time to practice the concepts. It is important to do mock tests to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

At GuideMe, we believe in focussing on an EA-centric approach and not just treating it like a GMAT-lite prep. To begin with, a lot of emphasis is placed on learning the basics, and once the fundamentals are in place then doing a good mix of GMAT & EA-specific questions. We recommend official GMAT practice from MBA.com and practicing from GuideMe's course books.

If you are switching from GMAT prep to EA prep, remember that you need to devote more time to prepare for the Integrated Reasoning section, as it will count towards your total EA score.


What is the scoring scale for the GMAC-EA?

Each of the three individual sections is scored on a scale of 0 to 20. You will also receive an overall scaled score in the range of 100 to 200, with a minimum possible score of 120 and a maximum possible score of 174.

The score is calculated by adding up the three section scores and then adding 120 to that total. For example, if you score a 10 in each section, you’ll score 10 + 10 + 10 + 120 = 150 overall.

The official scale for the Total score is 100 to 200 but in practice, the scoring range appears to top out at 174 because 18 + 18 + 18 + 120 = 174.

There is no “passing” or “good” score on the EA – each Executive MBA program assesses the EA score in conjunction with other factors in the candidate application to make admission decisions. More competitive programs require higher scores.

All the scores are available immediately after the test and the official score report is made available within 24 hours. You can take the test twice. You can retake the test after 24 hours of the first attempt. GMAC doesn't allow any score cancellation.

Which Business Schools accept the GMAT Executive Assessment?

A growing number of schools worldwide are relying on the Executive Assessment to gain insights into their Executive MBA applicants.

Find the list of Schools and Programs currently accepting the Executive Assessment below.

* Executive Assessment requirements may differ by program. Please refer to individual program websites for further information.

What is the Executive Assessment Online exam?

The Executive Assessment Online is a remote proctored version of the test center-based assessment designed to help candidates meet their application goals – from the comfort of their own home. This permanent solution gives candidates peace of mind knowing they have the convenience and flexibility of two options to plan their testing strategy.

Executive Assessment online appointments are available around the clock and testing dates will be made available on a rolling basis.

  • Executive Assessment Online Structure:

  • The Executive Assessment Online has the same structure as the current test center Executive Assessment.

  • Executive Assessment Online Scoring:

  • The Executive Assessment Online also uses the same scoring algorithm and score scale for the Section Scores and Total Score as the test center-based version. This consistency across the online and test center formats enables comparability.

  • The total scale ranges from 100 to 200, and the scale for each section of the assessment is 0 to 20. All three sections are equally weighted in determining candidates' total.

  • Executive Assessment Online results are valid for five (5) years.

  • Sending Results to Schools

  • The ability to manage which programs receive candidates' Executive Assessment Online results can be accessed by logging into the Executive Assessment site. With the Executive Assessment Online, candidates still have the option to send their results to as many programs as they want, and they can make their selections before they take the assessment, or after they take the assessment and receive their results.

  • Official results will be delivered to candidates' My Account Dashboard under My Results within 7 business days of completing their assessment.

  • Availability of the Executive Assessment Online

  • To increase flexibility, appointment times are available around the clock and candidates can schedule an appointment up to 24 hours before an available testing window.

  • The Executive Assessment Online can be taken on both Windows and Mac personal computers and laptops. Learn more about specific system requirements here.

  • Managing an Executive Assessment Online Appointment

  • The Executive Assessment Online registration is $350 USD and includes free unlimited reschedules and score sending.

  • Rescheduling or Cancelling the Assessment

  • Rescheduling

  • Candidates can reschedule their Executive Assessment up until your scheduled appointment time at no cost to you.

  • Cancellations

  • All cancellations must be completed at least 24 hours before the scheduled online appointment. A USD $100 cancellation fee applies for all cancellations 24 hours or more from the appointment time. Candidates can log into their Executive Assessment My Account dashboard and click on My Appointments to cancel or reschedule their appointment.

  • Retesting

  • The Executive Assessment Online can be taken up to two times. These two attempts are independent of any attempts completed in a Test Center, as well as any additional attempts required as a result of a verified technical issue.

  • Scheduling Your 2nd Online Attempt

  • The Executive Assessment Online allows you to schedule your 2nd attempt before or after your 1st appointment, meaning you can have two upcoming appointments at one time. For candidates looking to take each appointment in succession, be aware that your 2nd appointment must be scheduled 16 days after the date of your 1st appointment.


Are you looking for the Best Executive Assessment Classes in the Middle East?

Worry not, with our included study plans, GuideMe's trainers will be able to train for the Math, Verbal, and Integrated Reasoning content in a time frame that works around your schedule.


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