The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) announced in May that candidates can now take the Executive Assessment (EA) online.
The EA is similar to the GMAT, but is typically aimed at Executive MBA (EMBA) candidates. BusinessBecause spoke to GMAT expert Stacey Koprince, the curriculum and content lead at Manhattan Prep, who told us all about her experience taking the test, and what you need to look out for if you’re preparing to sit the EA online.
What is the Executive Assessment (EA)?
The EA was introduced a few years ago for Executive MBA programs, but is actually accepted by a ton of specialized master’s programs, and even by some top ranked MBA programs.
If you have the choice between taking the EA and the GMAT, I’d definitely consider taking the EA. It has all the same sections, except you don’t have to write an essay. It has all the same question types except you don’t have to study most of geometry. It’s only 90 minutes long, considerably shorter than the GMAT, so basically it’s easier to get ready to take the EA than the GMAT.
So here are our top tips for taking the EA Online:
Watch the interview with Stacey Koprince
1. Use the proctors when you need them
My proctor was great. I had a bug with my whiteboard in the first few minutes of the exam, and I hit the chatbot button and called her up. She was able to reboot really quickly, and I had no issues with the whiteboard after that.
I even noticed that the timer said the same thing, when it rebooted when it came back up, so I didn’t even lose any time.
2. Know when to use the online whiteboard as opposed to the physical whiteboard
You will have access to two ways to take notes. You’re going to use the physical whiteboard for things like math, but use the online whiteboard anytime you want to type, so taking notes during the verbal or integrated reasoning sections.
The physical whiteboard has limited space so you’ll need to be erasing it as you go, so use the online whiteboard for anything you want to remain persistent during the exam. Things like your time management strategy, for example.
3. Preparation is key
I took the GMAT online exam the very first day it was available, and no one had any idea what was going on, so I was pretty nervous. When I took the EA Online, I knew what to expect, and so the whole experience was much smoother.
So know when to use physical versus online whiteboard, take your practice test under 100% official test conditions, do the official online tech check before the official test day. Basically get yourself fully prepared for what you’re going to experience before you get in there to take the test, and you’ll be a lot more comfortable during the actual exam.
4. Be ready for anything
This is sort of life advice, not just EA advice. Who knows how this pandemic is going to play out in the coming months, so you may be taking this test online, or in a testing center. Prepare both ways—the only difference is going to be how you’ll use the scratch paper.
If when the time comes, you have the choice of taking it online or in a testing center, you can choose which mode is going to be best for you. If you don’t have a choice, you’ll be okay, because you’re still going to be prepared to take it either way.
Humans really can learn to adapt to anything, so do your homework, do your practice. You will figure this out, you’ll be fine.
Good luck, happy studying!