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:
||GMAC’s EA has only three sections (in a different order from the GMAT):
|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.
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.
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.
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.