Podcast Inside: What is the Executive Assessment?

On 21st April 2021 the GMAC hosted a podcast with Manish Dharia, Director of Product Management at GMAC, discussing the Executive Assessment. Here are key highlights:

What is Executive Assessment

It’s a standardized test used as part of the admissions process for a wide range of primarily Executive MBA programs in the United States, but also overseas. It’s also being used by an increasing number of online MBA programs, part-time MBA programs, and full-time MBA programs. It’s very similar in a lot of ways to the GMAT exam, which is the widely used entrance exam for business school, but different in distinct ways as well. In short, it’s a standardized test that a lot of students are taking right now to get into various MBA programs.

Why we decided to build the Executive Assessment

It was built because GMAC was asked for it. It’s a fairly new exam at four or five years old. Just a few years ago only a couple dozen schools were using it.

To build it the GMAC went back to the drawing board and essentially used what they already had in terms of questions on the GMAT, repackaged them, reformatted them, and made the exam a lot shorter. That’s how the Executive Assessment was born.

Executive Assessment compared to the GMAT

It’s about half as long. It’s a 90-minute exam. It’s actually less than half the questions and about half the total duration because there are no breaks. It’s a three-section exam without any breaks between the sections. Test-takers are in and then out.

How is the Executive Assessment structured?

Each of the three sections is 30 minutes long. The first section is Integrated Reasoning. It involves 12 questions across 30 minutes. It is followed by the Verbal Reasoning section for 30 minutes. That is followed by the Quantitative Reasoning section, which is also 30 minutes.

The question types are very similar to the questions that are tested on the GMAT. There are just fewer to answer. There will be 12 Integrated Reasoning questions, followed by 14 Verbal Reasoning questions, followed by 14 Quantitative Reasoning questions.

What are some significant differences between the GMAT and GRE versus the Executive Assessment?

When it comes to the Executive Assessment, it really is just trying to show the admissions officers that the candidate has what it takes and is ready. The GMAC calls it a readiness exam. It is simply trying to show that the candidate is ready for a business classroom. From that standpoint, most of the programs asking students to take the Executive Assessment are only asking for what would be considered an average score which is 150. Scores range from 100 to 200, and 150 is smack dab in the middle. It happens to be about an average score currently and most schools are just telling applicants, “Hey, we just want you to get the 150.” And that’s hard for a lot of students because so many people going to business school are overachievers and they’re used to trying to excel and they’re trying to get the highest score possible.