Beacon Community Practice Executive Assessment Review: The Best Available

Beacon Community are the new kids on the block. They’ve taken an exciting approach to business school admissions and test preparation and have established a reputation as a company that delivers outcomes that few others can match.

Their practice Executive Assessment system is their first such product, and it is a winner.

The Interface

The interface is a close analogue to the interface that test-takers can expect to find on the real-life Executive Assessment.

At times it’s clear that their designers struggled between creating a system that’s easy on the eye versus one that’s more in line with the real-life Executive Assessment. Beacon’s system is, at times, too attractive in its design. But they get the important things right.

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Test-takers can easily navigate between questions within a section, and there are soothing page animations as one goes from one question to the next. You’ll see the calculator on the top right for the IR section of the exam, and a large timer that helps test-takers monitor their own progress. The interface also makes clear which stage and which section a test-taker is on.

The various integrated Reasoning question types were very well formatted. The formulas on the Quant section of the exam were large and clear.  And the Verbal sections of the exam were incredibly well designed.

It wasn’t perfect – while Beacon’s system does allow to move back and forth between the questions, it doesn’t include a summary screen that allows one to quickly jump to any question. Still on the real Executive Assessment that functionality is slow and cumbersome – and is rarely used. The Beacon team did the right thing in investing in other areas.

These minor quibbles aside, this is the best practice Executive Assessment interface available. It’s so pleasing to read that we’d want the GMAC to implement into their own exams the design elements that make Beacon’s system such a delight to use.

Interface Score: 8/10.

The Quality of the Questions

The questions were sublime. They were very evocative of the actual GMAC Executive Assessment questions, and one could imagine receiving these questions on the real exam. The tables, charts, passages, and question formats were all in-line with the way the GMAC typically works.

The Reading Comprehension section of a practice assessment is often where one can figure out how good a practice exam really is. Good Reading Comprehension passages are the right mix of interesting and engaging while also being deliberately obtuse in how they’re written. Beacon’s system flawless. The passages were well-written and indistinguishable from actual Executive Assessment packages.

The quantitative questions hit that perfect mix of tough but reasonable if one has the spark of creative reasoning that the Executive Assessment seeks to test.

We couldn’t find a single flaw with Beacon’s practice Executive Assessment questions. They’ve done an incredible job.

Quality of Questions Score: 10/10.

The Answer Explanations

Beacon offers something that no other practice Executive Assessment system we’ve reviewed does: comprehensive answer explanations! And they are a delight to read:

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In addition to helping test-takers understand why something is the right answer, Beacon’s explanations also help explain why others are the wrong answer, which is critical to helping test-takers improve their performance.

The explanations themselves are written in a clear conversational tone. The clarity of the language makes understanding even the solutions to complicated questions very easy. There is a tone of compassion in the explanations and they don’t look down upon test-takers for getting the answer wrong.

The quantitative explanations go step by step so that there’s no chance of a test-taker getting lost when reviewing the solution.

All in all Beacon Community’s Executive Assessment answer explanations offer what no one else currently does: comprehensive descriptions provided in a straightforward voice that test-takers can use to improve their performance.

Answer Explanations: 10/10.


Beacon offers a free practice exam to all. Subsequent exams cost a reasonable $15.

The existence of a free practice exam that’s true to the spirit of the real-life Executive Assessment is a gamechanger. It allows those interested in the EA to give the format a whirl and see why it’s so popular with those who have tried it.

Beacon’s system should lead to a measurable increase in the number of people who opt to take the Executive Assessment in lieu of other MBA admissions entrance exams.

Pricing: 8/10

Overall Comments

Beacon Community’s practice Executive Assessment system is the best available in the market right now. Beacon’s questions are indistinguishable from real life Executive Assessment questions, and the interface does an effective job of mimicking the GMAC’s actual EA interface.

Beacon goes a step beyond by offering excellent answer explanations that clarify key concepts and leave test-takers prepared to do better on their next exam.

The availability of a free practice exam is unique. Shockingly Beacon is the only credible exam provider that offers it.

It was inevitable that the popularity of the Executive Assessment with business school admissions teams would attract the attention of high-quality MBA preparation consultancies. The Executive Assessment ecosystem will get a big lift from Beacon Community’s entry.

Overall Score: 9/10


Beacon Community Practice Executive Assessment Review:

Interface: 8/10

Question Quality: 10/10

Answer Explanations: 10/10

Pricing: 8/10

Overall: 9/10

Final Score: 45/50

Verdict: A dream come true for anyone looking to take the Executive Assessment.

Check out how Beacon Community compares with other practice Executive Assessment providers here.