We have been fielding many inquiries about the new abridged version of the GMAT that has burst on to the standardized testing scene. It’s called the Executive Assessment, and it has actually been on the scene for about four years. Only recently, however, has it been gaining some traction.
The Executive Assessment vs. the GMAT—Who Should Take the EA?
The Executive Assessment is designed for seasoned professionals applying to Executive MBA programs. Most people who take the exam have been in the workplace for 10+ years and can’t afford to take time off for a lengthy bout of online GMAT test prep. Though the number of MBA programs that accept this test has been growing, the Executive Assessment is not universally recognized and is not a blanket substitute for the GMAT. You should check with the individual MBA programs to which you are applying—especially executive programs—before committing to the exam. Some regular MBA programs may also accept the Executive Assessment from older, more experienced business school aspirants.
An Abridged Version of a Tried-and-True Exam?
Though the test makers (the Graduate Management Admissions Council, or GMAC) have billed this exam as having been specially designed for an older test-taker, in content the Executive Assessment is really not that different from the regular GMAT. In many ways, it’s a slightly easier and definitely shorter version of the GMAT. Before embarking on your online GMAT test prep journey, here’s a high-level breakdown of the EA as compared to the GMAT.
Executive Assessment vs. the GMAT
|Exam Length||1.5 Hours||3 Hours|
|Quantitative Section||30 mins. – 14 Qs||65 mins. – 31 Qs|
|Verbal Section||30 mins. – 14 Qs||62 mins. – 36 Qs|
|Integrated Reasoning||30 mins. – 12 Qs||30 mins. – 12 Qs|
|AWA (Essay)||No essay||30 mins. – 1 Essay Prompt|
|Adaptivity||Block Adaptive||Question Adaptive|
|Length of Preparation||4-6 weeks||10-14 weeks|
Summary of Differences
As is apparent above, the Executive Assessment is mercifully shorter than the GMAT, coming in at only about half its length. It’s also important to note that, while the GMAT is a “question adaptive” exam, the Executive Assessment is adaptive only in groups of questions. This means that the computer algorithm adjusts the difficulty of questions based in “blocks” and is consequently a bit less precise in judging the tester’s abilities than is the GMAT, which evaluates the tester’s performance question by question.
Another notable difference between the two exams is the content of the Quantitative sections. As most Executive Assessment takers are older and more removed from their high school math classes, the Quant sections on the Executive Assessment contain fewer of the more challenging questions that may be seen on the quantitative section of the GMAT. Concepts such as combinatorics and probability are less frequently seen, and geometry (with the possible exception of coordinate geometry) is not seen at all on the Executive Assessment. Distribution of question types between Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency is about the same for both tests.
As for the Verbal sections, the content is virtually identical between the two tests, and the distribution of question-types—reading comprehension, sentence corrections, and critical reasoning—is the same.
The Integrated Reasoning Section is identical to that of the GMAT, and the Executive Assessment has no essay at all compared to the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) on the GMAT.
The Executive Assessment vs. the GMAT—So Which Test Should I Take?
As mentioned above, the Executive Assessment is not simply an easier alternative to the GMAT. You should start by assessing which of your desired MBA programs will accept the EA and if you fit the profile to submit the exam. At Inspirica Pros, our test experts can help you make that decision; give us a call today!