How to Prepare for the Executive Assessment

The Wharton MBA Program for Executives accepts three tests for admission: the GMAT, GRE, and Executive Assessment (EA). Applicants who will have at least eight years of full-time work experience accrued by the start of the program can choose to take the EA, which is designed specifically for experienced professionals. 

What is the Executive Assessment (EA)?

The EA is an examination which evaluates the data-driven skills professionals use every day that are critical both at work and in graduate business programs. The assessment consists of three sections: Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning, for a total of 40 questions. The total score ranges from 100 to 200, and all three sections are equally weighted in determining your total. We recommend reviewing the Wharton MBA Program for Executives’ median test scores to get an idea of what score range to aim for. The EA is completed within 90 minutes. Although it is a shorter exam, the EA is not an easier test that you can take with little or no preparation. The more you study, the better you will do. Read below for more information on how to do your best on the EA:

1. Choose a Study Strategy. Determine whether you will self study, complete an online course, attend an in-person class, or hire a tutor. Depending on your progress and personal study habits, you can utilize any of these options to make sure you’re as prepared as possible. The Executive Assessment Official Prep is the most widely used product for EA success. These prep materials allow you to get familiar with the assessment and question formats, so you can study with assurance knowing what the Executive Assessment is really like.

2. Decide When to Start Studying. While the time required to prepare for the EA differs from person to person, two to three months seems to be the average recommendation from our current students and alumni. The time depends on an applicant’s quantitative background and comfort with the principles on the test. You may want to first take a practice exam to see how you score, and use this information to determine how many hours you think you will need to prepare for the real exam. Current students have told us that studying for the EA, GMAT, or GRE helped get them back into “school mode” and prepare for the rigor of the Wharton curriculum.

3. Create a Study Plan. Think about how many hours you can realistically carve out of a day or week to study uninterrupted. If you have children, can you study after they go to bed? Do you have commuting time on a train or a longer lunch break to study? If you take an in-person course or hire a tutor, when will that fit into your schedule? Come up with a study plan that works for you. If you are struggling to create a plan, the Executive Assessment offers a free, self-guided study planner to help you prepare for the exam. This resource provides you with access tips & tools from Executive Assessment exam creators, the ability to track your progress as you learn, and assistance with developing your test day strategy. It also helps test-takers pinpoint their exam strengths and focus areas as they work through the Executive Assessment Official Prep.

4. Decide Where to Take the EA. The Executive Assessment is delivered year-round both online* (at-home) and at more than 600 test centers around the world.

If you choose to take the EA online at home, be sure that you can find a quiet place to take the exam uninterrupted and with minimal distractions. There are no breaks during the 90-minute Executive Assessment, so plan accordingly. You can register for an online Executive Assessment appointment up to 24 hours before an available testing window, and appointment dates are available on a rolling basis.

If you choose to take the EA at a test center, familiarize yourself with the route to your test center location, making sure to account for travel time and potential traffic delays. Plan to arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment to allow plenty of time for the check-in process. Bring a valid photo ID and double check that your name exactly matches your Executive Assessment registration. Prior to test day, be sure to review the list of items that you can and cannot bring into the test center.

*The Executive Assessment Online is available online in most locations except for Belarus, Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Sudan, and South Sudan due to regulatory and local data privacy rules.

5. Make a Test Day Strategy. Time management is key when taking the EA. A benefit of taking practice EA exams while studying is that the format and structure of the practice exam is identical to the real exam. This allows test-takers to spend more time on the questions and less time getting comfortable with the exam format. Current students and alumni who have taken the EA recommend moving on if you get stumped on a question and returning to the question if you have time. This will allow you to complete more questions throughout the 90-minutes instead of fixating on one question. Finally, ensure you will be able to concentrate and dedicate your full attention to the exam. If you choose to take the EA at a test center, you may want to bring headphones to block out any noise in the room which may be distracting. If you choose to take the EA online at home, ensure all members of your household are aware that you will be unavailable for the entirety of the 90-minute exam.

Applicants to the Wharton MBA Program for Executives self-report their exam scores within the application, so it is imperative that applicants take the exam and receive their score prior to the application deadline. It can take up to seven days for test-takers to receive their scores after taking the online/at-home EA, so plan accordingly and give yourself a buffer in case there are delays. Remember, the Round 2 deadline for the May 2023 program start is January 18, 2023.

Learn more about study tips for the EA directly from Wharton MBA Program for Executives alumni. If you’d like feedback on your test score prior to submitting your application, please schedule a conversation with a member of the Admissions team.

We wish you the best of luck!

The Wharton MBA Program for Executives Admission Team