A 7 minute read

What is Executive Assessment and how is it different from GMAT?

GMAT is considered the gold standard as far as the standardized test score requirement for admission in executive MBA programs is concerned. However, in March 2016, GMAC, the architects of GMAT, unveiled ‘Executive Assessment’ – a test to specifically assess candidates who intend to enroll in Executive MBA programs.

The test is shorter in duration – 90 minutes and requires little to no preparation. This test is a boon for busy working professionals looking for a way to demonstrate their EMBA readiness to admission officers but without the hassle of rigorous preparation that the GMAT demands.

In this article, we’ll shed some light on Executive Assessment through the following questions:

Executive Assessment is for seasoned professionals

executive mba executive mba programs
According to the statement made on the GMAC website, Executive Assessment is explicitly targeted at EMBA aspirants:

  • who are “seasoned” professionals with several years of experience in their respective jobs
  • who don’t have enough time to prepare for the standardized tests required for admissions in Executive MBA programs

Little Preparation Required

Since the Executive Assessment is specifically designed to evaluate the skills you have already acquired during your career.  Extensive preparation is not necessary to score well to get into executive MBA programs.


The GMAC thus recommends that the best way to prepare for the test is to “Review practice questions to familiarize yourself with question formats and refresh your skills.”

If you are short on time and want to ace the GMAT, a fool-proof study plan can help. Learn how to create your personalized study plan.

In fact, GMAC advocates very little practice for the Executive Assessment Test.  On the other end of the spectrum is the very well-documented fact that GMAT requires anywhere around two to three months of rigorous prep work.

executive assessment vs gmat

Executive Assessment Test Fee – US $350 – Valid for 5 years

The EA is a relatively short-duration test, taking only 90 minutes of the test-taker’s time, as compared to GMAT, which is a 3-hour 7-minute long test.

On top of it, EA has a total of 40 questions while GMAT tests a total of 80 questions (including 1 AWA essay).  EA comes at a comparatively higher price tag of $350 whereas GMAT will cost you $250. However, unlike GMAT, you don’t have to pay any rescheduling fee (if rescheduled 48 hours before the test) or for extra score reports being sent for various executive MBA programs.

Also, the Executive Assessment Score is valid for a period of 5 years from the test date, which is the same as that for GMAT.

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Wondering how much does it actually cost to take the GMAT? Learn about all the costs associated with taking the GMAT.

Three Sections in Executive Assessment (EA)

Three sections – Integrated Reasoning (IR), Verbal (V), and Quant (Q) – are common to both EA and GMAT, with an additional section – Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), being exclusive to the GMAT. EA tests a total of 40 questions: 12 IR, 14V, 14Q, which is less than half the number of questions tested on the GMAT.

The type of questions for both the tests, however, remain identical. Let’s have a look at them.

  1. Quant
    • Data Sufficiency
    • Problem Solving
  2. Verbal
    • Sentence Correction
    • Critical Reasoning
    • Reading Comprehension
  3. Integrated Reasoning
    • Multi-source Reasoning
    • Graphics Interpretation
    • Two-part Analysis
    • Table Analysis


Scoring System of Executive Assessment vs GMAT

In the EA, the total score ranges from 100 to 200 whereas the number for GMAT is 200 to 800

Score Range Executive Assessment  GMAT
Quant 0-20 0-60
Verbal 0-20 0-60
IR 0-20 1-8
AWA n/a 1-6
Total Score: 100-200 (IR + Q + V) 200-800 (Q + V)


To arrive at the total score, all the three sections in the EA are weighted equally (0-20)

Do you know the GMAT is now 30 minutes shorter? Learn more about the GMAT and its format in the article.

Multistage (computer) Adaptive Testing on Executive Assessment

Executive Assessment is section adaptive, unlike the GMAT which is question adaptive. In the GMAT, the difficulty level of the succeeding question is determined by a candidate’s answer to the preceding question. However, in the EA, the Verbal and Quant sections are further divided into 2 subsections each. Each sub-section consists of 7 questions that are released in a set.

How you perform in the previous sub-section determines the level of questions you will see in the subsequent subsection.

Test-takers can review and change answers in the Executive Assessment

Another important feature exclusive to the EA is that you can change the answer choice(s) by going back. It works this way:

  • Flag any question(s) in a subsection if you want to review it later
  • At the end of that subsection, a review screen will appear
  • This review screen consists of all the 7 questions
  • Select any flagged question that you want to review or change

Remember, however, that no additional time is given to review and/or change answer choice(s).  Reviewing time is taken away from the subsequent subsection, which means that you will have less time left to complete the next group of 7 questions.

Confused about how the GMAT Computer Adaptive test works? Read this article to learn more.

What is a good Executive Assessment (EA) score?

Since Executive Assessment is a relatively new test (started in March 2016), there is not enough data to pinpoint a good EA score. However, for top Business Schools like Wharton, Columbia, Booth, etc. 150 or above is a good Executive Assessment score.

35 leading Business Schools accept Executive Assessment

35 leading business schools across the globe accept Executive Assessment for admission to their executive MBA programs. Below is the list of those business schools and executive MBA programs for which they accept the EA.

Business School Executive MBA Programs
University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA for Executives
China European International Business School (CEIBS) Global EMBA – Single Module Track
Global EMBA – Double Module Track
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Executive MBA Program: Chicago, London, Hong Kong
Columbia Business School The Executive MBA Program
Concordia University John Molson Executive MBA
Cornell University Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management Cornell Executive MBA Metro NY
Cornell Executive MBA Americas
Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership
Duke University Fuqua School of Business Global Executive
Weekend Executive
ESADE Business School Executive MBA
The University of Hong Kong Executive MBA Program
IESE Business School Executive MBA
INSEAD The Global Executive MBA Program
Executive Master in Finance
Iowa State University Ivy College of Business Professional MBA
University of Iowa Tippie College of Business Executive MBA
The Lisbon MBA Católica|Nova The Lisbon MBA Executive
London Business School Executive MBA Program
EMBA-Global Americas and Europe
Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy
Maastricht University School of Business and Economics MaastrichtMBA
MIT Sloan School of Management Sloan Fellows Program
Monash Business School Executive MBA
University of Oklahoma Gene Rainbolt Graduate School of Business Professional MBA
Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business Executive MBA
Rutgers Business School Executive MBA
Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business Executive MBA
Seattle University Albers School of Business and Economics Leadership Executive MBA
Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business Executive MBA
Professional MBA
Tsinghua-INSEAD Executive MBA
UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive MBA
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Lee Business School Executive MBA
University of Virginia Darden School of Business MBA for Executives
Global MBA for Executives
University of Virginia Darden School of Business & McIntire School of Commerce M.S. in Business Analytics
University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce M.S. in the Management of IT
Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management Executive MBA
Global Executive MBA – Americas
Vlerick Business School Executive MBA
Online MBA
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania MBA Program for Executives, Philadelphia & San Francisco
WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business) Global Executive MBA
Executive MBA Bucharest
Professional MBA
Yale School of Management Yale MBA for Executives


Your dream Business School not on the list? Is Harvard your dream Business School? Learn the 7 steps to get into Harvard Business School.

Limitations of Executive Assessment

  1. There is not enough data to pinpoint a good score for EMBA programs.
  2. Unlike GMAT, Admission committees don’t have a clear idea on which EA score gives a good indication of academic readiness.

Should I take the GMAT or the Executive Assessment?

Q – If I have not decided on which EMBA program to apply, then which test should I take, GMAT or EA?

At this point, you should first decide on which business school’s EMBA program you want to apply to. Check which standardized test the B school accepts. If you feel you don’t have adequate time to prepare, then take the Executive Assessment.

Q – If I am yet to decide whether I want to pursue a full-time MBA program or EMBA program, which test should I take?

At this point, it’s better to take the GMAT, as it is accepted for all types of MBA programs.

Q – If I have taken the GMAT already, then should I take Executive Assessment for EMBA programs?

If you have taken the GMAT are happy with your score, then no need to take Executive Assessment.

To get into Executive MBA programs of leading Business Schools, you can take the executive assessment if:

  1. You are a seasoned professional willing to join one of the best executive MBA programs
  2. You feel you don’t have adequate time to prepare for the GMAT
  3. Want to demonstrate your academic readiness for executive MBA programs
  4. Your target executive MBA programs accept the ‘Executive Assessment’ test

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