Format of the EA (Executive Assessment)
The Executive Assessment (EA) is composed of three sections: Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The exam is 90-minutes long and consists of 40 total questions. Test takers are given 30 minutes to complete each section. There are 12 questions in the Integrated Reasoning section, 14 questions in the Verbal Reasoning section, and 14 questions in the Quantitative Reasoning section.
Integrated Reasoning (12 questions, 30 minutes): This section evaluates your ability to analyze complex problems, interpret graphics and tables, and answer multiple-choice questions. Logic and reasoning are emphasized, and the questions are intended to determine your skills evaluating information from various sources and presented in multiple formats.
Verbal Reasoning (14 questions, 30 minutes): This section assesses your ability to evaluate arguments, read comprehensive sections, and correct sentences. The questions presented here are designed to assess reading, interpreting, and editing.
Quantitative Reasoning (14 questions, 30 minutes): This section assesses your ability to solve problems and interpret data. The questions are intentionally designed to better understand how you draw conclusions and analyze data using mathematical and reasoning skills. The math in this section generally consists of basic arithmetic and some algebra.
Unlike the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), there is no essay on the EA.
Every administration of the EA uses the same structure. The Integrated Reasoning section is administered first, and test takers are given 30 minutes to answer 12 questions. The Verbal Reasoning section is completed second, and test takers are given 30 minutes to answer 14 questions. The Quantitative Reasoning section is completed last, and test takers are given 30 minutes to answer 14 questions. Total testing time is 90 minutes. The types of questions contained in each section are as follows:
Integrated Reasoning: multiple-choice questions, true/false questions, pull-down menu answer choices
Verbal Reasoning: multiple-choice questions
Quantitative Reasoning: multiple-choice questions
A calculator is provided for the Integrated Reasoning section, but a calculator is NOT allowed for the Quantitative Reasoning section.
The EA is a computerized exam and may be taken at home or at an authorized testing center. If you are taking the EA at home, the exam may be taken on both Windows and Mac personal computers or laptops. You must complete the exam in a walled room with a closed door, and no one else may enter the room while you are taking the test. Those EA exams taken at home are remote proctored, which means human proctors monitor your session through live video and audio feeds, both of which are recorded. You will need to provide proof of your identity when taking the EA at home, and you will be asked to present a valid government-issued ID with a recent, recognizable photo (typically a passport or driver’s license), which will be checked through facial recognition technology. When completing the EA at home, you will have access to an online whiteboard on which you can work through calculations, make notes, or complete scratch work, as well as a calculator for the Integrated Reasoning section. Scores take a little longer to receive when you complete the EA at home, although test takers should have their scores within seven days of completing the exam.
If you are completing the EA at a testing center, you will be asked to provide proof of your identity, which is generally done by presenting a government-issued ID with a recent, recognizable photo (typically a passport or driver’s license). At the testing center, you will be assigned a computer workstation, and you may not leave the building until your test has been completed. You will be monitored at all times, and both audio and visual feed will be recorded. Administration of the EA does NOT include scheduled breaks. If you take an unscheduled break at any time during the exam, the assessment timer will not stop. You must have permission from the proctor before taking a break. You will be provided with a calculator for the Integrated Reasoning section, and you will also be provided with note boards and markers to work out calculations during the Quantitative Reasoning section. You may not take the note boards with you when you leave the testing room. If you complete the EA at a testing center, your scores will be available online within 24 hours of your test appointment.
The EA costs $350 to take regardless of whether it is completed at home or at a testing center and included in this fee is the opportunity to send your scores to as many business programs as you like. You can select the schools to send scores to either before you take the test or after you receive your official scores. Scores are good for up to five years after taking the EA. Within a given section, test takers may review and edit responses until they have completed that particular section. The EA may be taken up to two times, and there must be at least 16 days between your first testing appointment and your second.
EA Computer Adaptation Overview
The EA is a computer-adaptive exam, meaning your performance on one section determines the level of difficulty of a subsequent section. Every test taker starts with six Integrated Reasoning questions. It is important to note that there are no penalties for wrong answers, so every question should be answered to the best of your ability. After completing the first six questions, you will be given six more Integrated Reasoning questions, and the mixture of easier, medium, or harder questions you will receive depends on how well you did completing the first six questions.
After you complete the Integrated Reasoning section, you will move to the Verbal Reasoning section, where you will receive seven questions. The mixture of easier, medium, and harder questions will depend on your performance on the entire Integrated Reasoning section. The start of a new section does not mean you have a "clean slate," as those who perform well on the Integrated Reasoning section will start with more difficult questions on the Verbal Reasoning section, just as those who perform poorly on Integrated Reasoning will begin with easier questions on the Verbal Reasoning section. The complexity of the last seven Verbal Reasoning questions will depend on your performance on the first seven Verbal Reasoning questions.
The Quantitative Reasoning section works the same way: your first seven questions will depend on your overall performance on the Integrated Reasoning section and the difficulty of your last seven questions will depend on your performance answering the first seven Quantitative Reasoning questions.
EA Format and Test Preparation
The predictability of the EA's format is helpful to student preparation. Unlike many other standardized tests, which present their sections in random order and often include unscored experimental sections, EA test-takers are able to know in advance the overall structure of the examination. This facilitates practice assessments that can rather closely duplicate the actual conditions that students will face on the day of the test. Unlike the GMAT, an exam on which the higher you score, the better, the EA serves as a threshold indicator, meaning if you score above the threshold of the business school you hope to attend, they can be confident you are prepared for the academic rigor of their program. Because of this, preparing for the EA might look different from preparing for the GMAT. Students generally spend 100-200 hours preparing for the GMAT, while the average EA test taker spends 20-30 hours preparing. The EA was intentionally designed for working professionals, and as it assesses on-the-job skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking, extensive preparation may not be especially productive, beyond targeted understanding the content of the exam and taking practice exams to gain a better understanding of the types of questions you will likely encounter.