1. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a GMAT assessment designed for experienced professionals and their lifestyles, which required no preparation and could be taken in 90 minutes only?

    On March 1 the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC®) launched the GMAC Executive Assessment test, a new product designed to give Executive MBA programs a new way to evaluate candidates.

    Over the past few years, EMBA programs have struggled to make standardized testing compulsory. This may be because candidates usually have more work experience, are removed from an academic classroom experience and have less time to prepare for a standardized test. However, the lack of standardized testing makes it hard for programs to protect their brand and assess the quality of their applicants. 

    In addition, the GMAT has been criticized for not taking into account a traditional business background, as it tests industry-agnostic critical reasoning and higher order thinking skills.

    That’s why the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) worked closely with top business schools to custom-build the new EMBA assessment. 

    The GMAC Executive Assessment test looks similar to the GMAT, but is NOT a mini GMAT. Rather, it’s goal is to be more convenient and relevant, as well as test for quality and readiness in the classroom as opposed to screening. It is shorter, requires less preparation and may be an easier way for EMBA candidates to succeed.


    GMAC Versus GMAT – Similarities and Differences

    GMAT GMAC’s Executive Assessment
    Test Structure The GMAT has four sections:

    1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)—Analysis of an Argument  – one writing task (30 mins)
    2. Integrated Reasoning- 12 multiple-choice questions (30 mins)
    3. Quantitative – 37 questions (75 mins)
    4. Verbal – 41 questions (75 mins)
    GMAC’s EA has only three sections (in a different order from the GMAT):

    1. Integrated Reasoning – 12 questions (30 mins)
    2. Verbal – 14 questions (30 mins)
    3. Quantitative- 14 questions (30 mins)
    • No quantitative reasoning geometry questions
    • Only some very basic geometry questions in the IR section
    • Total time: 3.5 hours
    • Total number of questions: 90 (plus an essay)
    • Two optional timed breaks.
    • No review capability
    • Total time: 90 mins
    • Total number of questions: 40
    • No breaks between sections
    • Review and edit capability
    Registration The GMAT is given all year round in most locations around the world.

    The exam is delivered on-demand at test centers around the globe.

    Same basic registration guidelines and ID are required.



    There is a rescheduling fee – If you reschedule more than 7 days in advance, you will be charged a $50 fee. If you reschedule within a week, the fee is $250  (the total test fee).


    No rescheduling fee – unless you’re less than 24 hours from your appointment.

    • Scores are valid for 5 years
    • There is a separate scaled score and percentile rank for each of the four sections. A combined Quantitative/Verbal score (called a Total score) is also given.
    • In total, you’ll get 5 different scores:
    • The AWA (scored 0-6)
    • Integrated Reasoning (1 – 8)
    • Verbal (scaled score from 0 – 60).
    • Quant (scaled score from 0 – 60).
    • Verbal and Quant total score (200 – 800).
    • Executive Assessment Scores are valid for 5 years
    • Score scale: Total scores reported on a scale of 100-200, and individual sections on scales of 0-20.
    • In total, you’ll get 4 different scores:
    • Integrated Reasoning (0-20)
    • Quantitative Reasoning (0-20)
    • Verbal Reasoning (0-20)
    • Total Score (100-200)


    of Quantitative & Verbal Sections

    Computer adaptive: your answer to a question dictates which question you’ll see next. Not computer adaptive like the GMAT;
    questions are released in groups (based on how you performed on the previous group). This is called multi-stage adaptive design. You answer the first 14 Integrative reasoning questions and based on your performance on those, you are given you first 7 verbal reasoning questions, and so on.
    • Waiting period if canceled the score: 16 days.
    • Waiting period: 24 hours
    • You can only re-test once


    The GMAC EA has many benefits for EMBA students

    Less preparation time

    With busy work lives, the EA recognizes that candidates are less likely to have the time needed for preparation that traditional GMAT candidates might have.  

    However, those who want to stand out from other applicants can benefit from preparation. Due to the overlap with GMAT content, learning from current GMAT materials is a good way to start – with greater focus on the IR which will have a more significant influence in the total score. As yet, GMAC has not rolled out any preparation materials for this assessment. However, they plan to release two practice exams by the end of the year. 

    More focus on relevant skills

    The GMAC’s EA focuses on the skills that are critical both at work and in an EMBA program: higher order reasoning, critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving.

    There is also an increased proportion of Integrated Reasoning (IR) questions, making up one-third of the assessment. Research shows that IR is most consistent with what people see in the work place and in the executive MBA classroom. In the GMAT, IR makes up a smaller proportion of the assessment and is reported separately from the total score.

    More business oriented

    The GMAC’s EA is more business-oriented and, therefore, more relevant to EMBA candidates with 10+ years’ work experience and a greater business sense than younger people considering full-time programs. Unlike the GMAT, the GMAC’s EA is for executive MBA programs only.

    GMAC’s Executive Assessment

    Shorter duration

    Designed for busy professionals, the EA includes three short 30-minute sections with a total of 40 questions instead of 90 questions and an essay in the GMAT.


    They understand that those seeking an executive MBA have busy schedules and therefore need more flexibility. The assessment can be rescheduled as many times as candidates like, with no additional fees (at least 24 hours before an appointment). The EA can be taken all year round at over 600 test centers.

    Specifically designed for experienced professionals

    The exam is more relevant to the older demographic than the GMAT. This target audience is further removed from the undergrad experience, with significant work experience and less time to prepare.

    Originally, six EMBA schools adopted GMAC’s Executive Assessment test as one of their admissions tools: London Business School, the University of Chicago,  INSEAD, CEIBS, the University of Hong Kong and Columbia University. As of early June, they have administered 1,230 tests and are expecting between 15 and 20 schools to adopt the EA by the end of 2017. Research shows that the Executive Assessment is on par with the validity of the GMAT. However, there’s no cause for concern if you are undecided, as most schools still accept either the GMAT or the new Executive Assessment.

    For more information, please visit the official website.

    Jack Oren Jackman
    CEO & Founder of examPAL. 21 years' experience in the field of test prep. Has written dozens of books and courseware, and personally taught over 4,000 students.


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    What is been the average score test takers have achieved over this past year or so?
    I have just taken this test with no preparation at all and scored 143, but I am not sure if this is good or bad as there is no score requirement from any business schools.

  2. mm Jack Oren Jackman says:

    Marcelo, as of now the GMAC didn’t publish stats on the Executive Assessment percentiles, or median and average scores.
    When searching the web I found that one person reported that LBS accepted a score of 150 in their last admission round. I would expect a higher score though since the scores are reported on a scale of 100 to 200, and when comparing to the GMAT it’s expected the average score would be around 158.

  3. John says:

    Hi Jack, how are you comparing the EA to the GMATin terms of scoring?

  4. mm Jack Oren Jackman says:

    John, at the moment it’s like comparing oranges to apples and as long as the GMAC doesn’t publish percentiles and performance stats we don’t know how to answer your question.
    With that said, the EA score range is between 100-200 and we expect it to eventually, in terms of percentiles, look like the GMAT range. However, since the GMAC has only recently started gathering stats on this exam, it’s probably not behaving the same way just yet. This is why we can hear reports that business schools are accepting quite low scores.
    As more people will take the Executive Assessment the GMAC will be able to assess the test and its scores. In the meanwhile, the best thing you can do as a student is just aim as high as you can and try to solve as many questions as possible. If you are aiming for a specific school, reach out to them and ask about the EA score they expect to accept.

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