EA Quantitative Reasoning Section Score

The EA Quantitative Reasoning Section: Understanding the Score

As you are preparing to choose a business program, you are probably beginning to see statistics about minimum EA scores and averages from other students in the programs you are interested in. So, what do these scores mean?

The EA is composed of three sections (Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning), and each section is scored on a scale of 0 (low) to 20 (high). You will receive a sectional score for each of the three sections. The totals of your sectional scores will be combined with 120 and this number will represent your total, or cumulative, EA score, which will fall in a range of 100 to 200. If you receive an Integrated Reasoning score of 10, a Verbal Reasoning score of 13, and a Quantitative Reasoning score of 10, you would have combined sectional scores equaling 33; with the addition of 120, you would have a total EA score of 153. Unlike the GMAT, where percentile ranks matter, percentile ranks are not especially important on the EA. This is likely because the EA was designed 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. This is in stark contrast to the GMAT, where higher scores are always better.

While a cursory internet search reveals detailed information about average GMAT scores and percentiles for students entering MBA programs, the GMAC does not regularly publish information about EA scores. This can make it difficult to know what score you should try and obtain, although it appears that a total score of 150 may be considered "average" (although this might be more reflective of the fact that the average score on a range of 100 to 200 is 150, rather than representing the most frequently obtained score by prospective business students). It is always advisable to discuss preferred EA scores with the individual business programs you intend to apply to and set reasonable goals based on this information.

Given that individual programs do not generally report EA scores, whether they are averages or percentiles, there is very little publicly available about "standard" or "typical" EA scores at a given business program. A few programs have published some data:

  • The Wharton 2024 EMBA incoming class had a median EA score of 156.

  • Since 2020, Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia has reported an average EA score of 153.

  • The University of Chicago Booth School of Business reported a 2021 EA average score of 154.

  • Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management reported an average EA score of 151.

New York University's Stern School of Business noted that, "While a specific [EA] average is not available for the class, historically most admitted part-time MBA students score between a 147-162 on the exam." Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley notes that while applicants are typically required to submit GMAT or GRE scores, applicants with seven or more years of work experience as of the start of the fall semester may take the EA instead. While it seems that an EA score in the low-to-mid 150s is a good benchmark for being considered a competitive applicant, as always, we recommend contacting the specific MBA programs you plan on applying to and learning about their expectations regarding EA scores.

Scaled Score

Each of the three sections of the EA has a scaled score ranging from 0 (low) to 20 (high), increasing in 1-point increments. There are many factors which result in the final cumulative score you will receive. This score is based on how many questions you answer correctly, how difficult those questions were, and the total number of questions you answer.

Cumulative Score

The cumulative score is comprised of your Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning section scores, plus the addition of 120. This score will fall somewhere in the range of 100 (low) to 200 (high).

Adaptive Scoring

All three sections of the EA are computer-adaptive, which means that as you answer each question, the algorithm is calculating your score. You will start with an average question and your next question's difficulty will depend on whether you answer the previous question correctly. Over the course of the exam, the algorithm determines your competency.

Your score is therefore determined not only by whether you answer a question correctly, but also the difficulty of the questions you are answering. Answering the same number of questions correctly does not mean that two people will necessarily have the same score.

With this information in mind:

  • It is important to try to answer every question. Because the algorithm is working continuously, missing a handful of questions at the end can undesirably affect your score.

  • Do not rush through the questions. This can have the same effect of skipping many at the end of the exam, and make the algorithm think your highest possible level of proficiency is lower than it is.

  • Practice in advance so that you can get a good feel for timing and for which questions you are able to answer without losing too much time.

Those who take the EA at a test center will receive their official scores through their online dashboard within 24 hours of the completing the test. Those who complete the EA at home will receive their scores within seven (7) days of completing the exam.

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