Overview of Executive Assessment (EA) Preparation Methods
Don't Take the EA without Preparation
The EA is too difficult an exam to attempt without substantial preparation. Having strong verbal and quantitative skills will not ensure high scores. In order to maximize results, the test-taker must also be familiar with the specific methods of assessing these skills on the EA, and must be able to demonstrate their abilities under a particular set of circumstances. All of this requires meticulous preparation strategies that use credible sources of information.
Methods of Preparing for the EA
Students taking the EA have many options when it comes to preparing for the test. From least expensive to most expensive, these include official and unofficial books, software, online instruction, prep courses, and private tutoring. The primary advantages of professional instruction are structure, accountability, detailed knowledge of common preparation issues, teaching differentiation according to individual EA strengths and weaknesses, and regular assessment and feedback. Private tutoring generally offers the highest degree of customized instruction as well as maximum efficiency of learning, but is also the costliest available method of preparing for the EA.
Evidence of the Effectiveness of EA Prep
Some standardized tests (such as the SAT) have been the subject of numerous peer-reviewed studies that clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of coaching, but EA preparation has not been extensively researched. The emergence and success of a number of new test prep companies in the 21st century suggests that the market has rendered a favorable verdict on the quality of professional EA prep. Some companies claim high average score gains and/or offer guarantees of score improvements, but test-takers should review these carefully and with an appropriate degree of skepticism before making any decisions. Reviews of EA prep courses are published in many reputable newspapers and magazines, which can provide objective information that is useful to consumers.
EA Prep and Graduate Business Study
Though the EA does not directly test business knowledge or skill, EA prep can help develop a number of abilities that are highly relevant to graduate business study. The quantitative reasoning skills learned through EA prep are eminently helpful to the statistical analyses, charts and diagrams, and multi-step problem solving that students will encounter as graduate business students. Advanced learning is much more difficult without highly developed reading comprehension abilities, and EA prep helps students improve in this area as well.
Choosing the Right EA Prep
EA prep can have a significant impact on business school admissions prospects, and choosing the right EA prep is therefore extremely important. Students who receive high scores will have numerous options for graduate business training, while lower-scoring students will not be as well-positioned to succeed. Test-takers should explore all of their choices in EA prep, and make decisions that accommodate their individual goals, preferred learning styles, and personalities. Average EA scores and score ranges for accepted students are easy to find on most business school websites or by contacting the Admission office, and this allows applicants to precisely target the ultimate goal of their EA prep. Professional EA tutors are usually costly, but lucrative employment after graduation is likely to be well worth the investment. Self-study methods require a high amount of self-discipline and organizational skill, and are thus recommended only for certain types of students.