Executive Assessment (EA) Weight in Business School Applications
The EA and U.S. National Business School Rankings
Very little information has been published about the EA, and this is reportedly intentional, as business programs have asked the GMAC not to report information in order to avoid the hyper-intense focus on individual scores that has come to be associated with the GMAT. The EA is not intended to function as the type of test where the higher you score, the better. Instead, the EA serves as a threshold indicator, meaning if you score above the threshold of the business program you hope to attend, they can be confident you are ready for the academic rigor of their program. If the score a business program suggests an applicant obtain in order to be competitive is 153 and you score a 154, you can feel confident in your standardized test score and focus on making the rest of your application as competitive as possible. In this instance, there is no need to retake the test, as a score of 155 or 156 is no better than your original 154. The only reason to retake the EA is if you do not meet the threshold score set by the business programs you most desire to attend. If the score a business program suggests an applicant obtain in order to be competitive is 153 and you score a 151, it is worth taking the EA again in order to reach or exceed the desired score.
Based on available data, many MBA programs prefer candidates to obtain a score of 150 on the EA. The most selective MBA and EMBA programs seek a score of 155 or higher. It is important to know the EA score that is desired by the business programs you most wish to attend, and applicants are encouraged to reach out to individual programs and gather more information on the specific EA scores favored by the business school program of their choice.
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.