Executive Assessment (EA) Sections Overview
EA Sections: Overview
The EA is made up of three subsections, including Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. Unlike the GMAT, there is no essay on the EA. The Integrated Reasoning section measures your ability to evaluate data from multiple sources and in multiple formats. Verbal Reasoning assesses your reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction skills, and Quantitative Reasoning measures your ability to solve problems and reason quantitatively.
Let's break them down further to get a better understanding of what to expect from each section.
Number of Questions
You are given 90 minutes to complete the EA, and there are no scheduled breaks. If you receive permission from your in-person or online proctor to take a break, the assessment clock will not be stopped, and the break will be subtracted from the overall 90 minutes.
The EA is completed in the same order every time: Test takers start with Integrated Reasoning, then complete Verbal Reasoning, and then finish with Quantitative Reasoning. 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 easy, medium, and difficult 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 – Integrated Reasoning (IR)
The goal of the Integrated Reasoning section is to measure your ability to comprehend and evaluate multiple types of information: textual, tabular, graphic, visual, quantitative, and verbal. Put another way, you are asked to use both quantitative and verbal reasoning to solve problems. The IR section consists of 12 questions that must be completed over 30 minutes. This section differs from the Quantitative and Verbal sections in two ways. First, IR consists of both quantitative and verbal reasoning. And second, the IR prompts use four different response formats instead of the more traditional multiple-choice format you will find on the Quantitative and Verbal sections.
The four types of questions used in the Integrated Reasoning section are Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, Two-Part Analysis, and Multi-Source Reasoning.
Table Analysis will present you with a data table and statements about the table. You will then use the provided information to determine whether the data is accurate or not.
The Graphics Interpretation section will present you with data, only this time it will be in a graphic format. You will complete sentences and/or statements by filling in blank spaces and using drop-down menus based on the information provided in the graphic.
In Two-Part Analysis questions, you will be presented with verbal and quantitative analysis questions, and you will be expected to draw two conclusions from one piece of information. In order to get credit for the question, you must accurately address both parts of the two-part question.
Multi-Source Reasoning uses more than one piece of information to help inform the correct answer. You are expected to draw logical conclusions about the information presented using only the given sources.
In a nutshell, IR questions assess your ability to apply, infer, evaluate, recognize, and strategize information from multiple sources.
EA – Verbal Reasoning (VR)
The Verbal Reasoning (VR) section of the EA exam tests your ability to read and comprehend published material, use reason and logic to assess arguments, and correct sentences to express content effectively in standard written English. The Verbal Reasoning (VR) section asks 14 multiple-choice questions, which need to be completed in 30 minutes.
There are three types of questions in the VR Section: Reading Comprehension (RC), Critical Reasoning (CR), and Sentence Correction (SC).
Reading Comprehension (RC)
You are given a passage to read and then prompted to answer questions about the content and structure of the passage, as well as what you comprehended from the text. Reading Comprehension questions are intermingled with Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction questions in the Verbal section.
Although it may look like the easiest part of the Verbal section, the time constraints make this part very challenging. The topics of the passages are rather dry, coming from Natural Science (Astronomy, Physics, Biology, etc.), Social Science (Philosophy, History, etc.), Business (Business History, Marketing, Economic Theory, etc.), and other assorted topics. The passages presented to you are written in a typical EA style, which is to say that it may not be very enjoyable. Even a passage on a topic of business, which may interest you, and which you plan to study in business school, may not be easy for you. You will need a careful approach to succeed at these questions, as overlooking even a single word can result in answering the question incorrectly.
The questions may ask you to suggest a title for the passage, state the central idea, or identify the author's primary purpose in writing a part of a sentence or a paragraph; understand a specific detail from the passage, or cite a fact used in the passage; understand the implied meaning of the information presented by the author, or identify the intended meaning of a word or a phrase used figuratively in the passage; to reason and evaluate arguments.
Sentence Correction (SC)
Sentence Correction is one of the three types of questions in the EA Verbal Reasoning section. EA Sentence Correction questions examine your understanding of grammar, style, and overall sentence structure in standard written English. Sentence Correction practice is a very important part of EA Verbal Reasoning success.
EA Sentence Correction sentences most commonly include errors that are based on the intended meaning and certain grammar topics. The EA focuses on the following concepts: Subject-Verb Agreement, Intended Meaning, Pronoun Reference and Agreement, Verb Tenses, Modifiers, Parallelism, Idiom, Comparison, Rhetorical Construction, Redundancy, Concision, and Conjunctions & Mood. This section tests your ability to spot mistakes in logic, as well as in meaning, grammar, and style in sentences.
Critical Reasoning (CR)
Critical Reasoning (CR) is one of the three types of questions that make up the Verbal Reasoning section of the EA. A CR question comprises a logic-based argument, which is a short passage of 2-5 lines, and a specific instruction followed by five options. Of the given options, only one of them is correct.
In most CR questions, the author of the argument presents a point of view (known as a conclusion) and supports it with evidence (known as a premise or premises). The argument may contain background information, and even counter-premise(s); however, the sole purpose of the argument is to advocate for the conclusion, which is supported by at least one premise.
Critical Reasoning practice is a very important part of Verbal Reasoning success. Knowing that there are 14 questions in the Verbal Reasoning section to be completed in 30 minutes mean on average, each question should be done in a little under 2 ½ minutes; however, in this case, it does not make sense to allocate equal time for all questions. You must instead make sure that compared to SC questions, you allot more time for CR questions, as they demand deep thinking.
EA – Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
The Quantitative Reasoning section of the EA exam tests your skill on two types of questions based on quantitative aptitude or, loosely speaking, mathematical proficiency.
There are 14 questions in the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) section, and you are given 30 minutes to complete all questions. The proficiency in mathematics in this section of the EA is expected to be up to the secondary or the high school level; you will not be asked questions based on higher-level mathematics and there is no geometry. The EA places more emphasis on how you analyze data and apply logic to solve the questions rather than on performing labored math. The questions will be a mix of easy, intermediate, and hard difficulty levels.
The EA frames questions based on concepts from Arithmetic and Elementary Algebra, including but not limited to:
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There are two types of questions test takers will face in the Quantitative Reasoning section: Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency.
Problem Solving (PS)
Problem Solving (PS) questions may not be new to you, as you likely encountered these types of questions in your high school or college days. The format is as follows: There is a question stem followed by options, out of which only one option is correct or is the best option that answers the question correctly.
PS questions measure your skill to solve numerical problems, interpret graphical data, and assess information. These questions present you with five options, and no option is phrased as "None of these". Unlike algebraic expressions, most of the numeric options are presented in ascending order from option A through E, although they may occasionally be presented in descending order if there is a specific purpose to do so. In general, PS questions comprise 2/3 of the questions in the Quantitative Reasoning section.
Data Sufficiency (DS)
For most test takers, Data Sufficiency (DS) questions may present a new format or type of question. The DS format is very unique to certain standardized exams. The format is as follows: There is a question stem followed by two statements, labeled Statement (1) and Statement (2). These statements contain additional information that must be considered when arriving at an answer.
Your task is to use the additional information from each statement alone to answer the question. If neither of the statements alone helps you answer the question, you must use the information from both of the statements together. There may be questions that cannot be answered even after combining the additional information given in both the statements. Each DS question is followed by five standard answer options presented in a fixed order. Data sufficiency questions comprise roughly 1/3 of the Quantitative Reasoning questions.