CAT Prep Practice Executive Assessment Review: A Waste Of Time

CAT Prep has been around since at least 2004 and has earned a reputation as a solid discount-market test provider. Which is why their practice Executive Assessment is so confusing: it is horrifically designed and an irresponsible waste of time.

Read on to find out more.

The Interface

This is where it all falls apart. They advertise a free Executive Assessment that you can launch from here. After loading the exam you’re taken to a screen that looks like this:

Graphical user interface, text, application, email Description automatically generated

Which is…nothing like the actual Executive Assessment.

Most glaringly CAT Prep requires you to provide an answer before you can see the next question. And you’re not allowed to go back to previous questions. But that’s nothing like how the real EA is structured. Easily one of the most attractive things about the Executive Assessment as an entrance exam is that it allows test-takers to move back and forth between multiple questions at a time. CAT Prep hasn’t replicated this functionality.

With that this exam is more or less useless. It doesn’t give test-takers insight into what the actual exam taking experience is like.

It’s hard to move past this glaring flaw. There are many others though. You’ll see in the screenshot above that this is the first question of the first section. It’s a two-part analysis question, but that’s not how the GMAC’s Executive Assessment is set up at all. The first question on the actual EA is always a Multi-Source Reasoning question. Yet for some reason CAT Prep hasn’t replicated this functionality.

Moreover in sub-section 2 of Integrated Reasoning, CAT Prep served up yet another Multi-Source Reasoning question. But that’s in direct contradiction to how the Executive Assessment actually works. In the actual EA multi-source reasoning questions are limited to sub-section 1.

After completing all the questions in a sub-section the CAT Prep does allow candidates to review their answers:

Graphical user interface, text, application, email Description automatically generated

However the overall experience is confusing and discordant and bears little resemblance to the real thing.

You’ll see in the screenshots above that the IR section also lacks a calculator. Again, this is nothing like the real Executive Assessment – candidates are always given a basic calculator. The fact that CAT Prep has appeared to miss something so simple yet critical is astounding.

And that was just the Integrated Reasoning section. Things did not improve as the exam progressed. The Quantitative and Verbal sections also featured multiple issues in terms of the structure of the overall exam.

The exam also featured what we can only hope were glitches such as the ability to select multiple answers in the quantitative section of the exam:

Graphical user interface, application, Teams Description automatically generated

Given the seeming lack of understanding about how the EA is set up, it’s unlikely that CAT Prep’s adaptive difficulty algorithms or scoring algorithms are any good. Our testing suggested that their scoring system in particular bore no resemblance to the EA’s reality.

Honestly it’s frightening to think that there are people out there who might have tried this exam thinking that it’s an accurate analogue for what the actual Executive Assessment experience is like. We’ll give them two out of ten points for this section. They’ve gotten everything important wrong.

Interface Score: 2/10.

The Quality of the Questions

The abject disregard for how the real EA works continued when it came to evaluating the overall quality of the questions. The Verbal section featured multiple typos. And the Quantitative section served us up a geometry question – even though the Executive Assessment very explicitly does not test geometry:


Graphical user interface, application Description automatically generated

The Data Sufficiency and Integrated Reasoning question types were designed well enough. Not everyone gets them right, so credit where credit is due, we’ll award them a few points for that. But the overall lack of respect for the kinds of questions that GMAC’s EA offers was breathtaking.

Quality of Questions Score: 3/10.

The Answer Explanations

They have answer explanations but…the explanations leave a lot to be desired. Here’s an example:

There’s rarely analysis of why other answers are incorrect. And even the explanations of what is correct are often lacking.

The quantitative answer explanations were a little bitter. And the Integrated Reasoning answer explanations weren’t bad. Still, it’s hard to imagine that a test-taker cold use these answer explanations to truly improve their performance.

Answer Explanations: 4/10.

The Pricing

The first exam is free and subsequent exams cost $4.99 each. This makes them the cheapest available option. But you get what you pay for, it might be the cheapest but you may as well light your money on fire for all the value you’ll get from taking these exams.

Pricing: 10/10

Overall Comments

It’s difficult to understand why this exam exists. On the one hand CAT Prep clearly thought they could take their GMAT practice exam system and lightly modify it then slap an “Executive Assessment” sticker on it and claim to offer EA practice exams. In reality it betrays a complete lack of respect for people’s time, money, or, most importantly, education.

This is an exam so bad it casts doubt on the other products that CAT Prep offers.

Overall Score: 1/10


CAT Prep Practice Executive Assessment Review:

Interface: 2/10

Question Quality: 3/10

Answer Explanations: 4/10

Pricing: 10/10

Overall: 1/10

Final Score: 20/50

Verdict: Runaway!

Check out how CAT Prep compares with other practice Executive Assessment providers here.