As we mentioned in last week’s application launch post, we have a standardized test requirement in our Executive MBA application process. We accept a number of  tests — Executive Assessment (EA), GMAT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT — and we offer test waivers in select circumstances. You can even submit an older or expired standardized test score, but you will need your full score breakdown to do so. In other words, you have options. 

We are even hosting a webinar on 3 September all about the Executive Assessment — so make sure to tune in! 

Every year, it seems like we get more questions about standardized tests than almost any other topic, so we thought we would share some additional insights about our test practices.

Curious about our waiver process? Many applicants actually start their application process by submitting a test waiver, and there is no harm in doing so. This is a relatively quick and easy way to get clarity on whether you will need to take a standardized test to apply to Darden. See our Application FAQs and our standardized test waiver request blog post for more details about our waiver request process. You can find a link to our waiver request form from our FAQs as well in our application

Explore the Executive Assessment. If you will need to take a standardized test to apply to our Executive MBA program, we encourage you to learn more about the Executive Assessment (EA). Of course, we also accept the GMAT, GRE, MCAT and LSAT, and you will only need to take one of these tests to apply to Darden. Applicants have many reasons for their test selection, and we encourage you to choose the test that best aligns with your strengths and application plans. 

However, here are a few reasons why you might want to consider the EA

Chances are, like many candidates considering an Executive MBA, you are less familiar with this test. Much of this is due to the EA’s relative recency. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) launched the EA in 2016. By comparison, the GMAT arrived in 1953, and the GRE dates from 1936. 

The EA is quickly gaining traction with a number of schools, and at the time of this post, it is accepted by over 130 programs at 65 graduate business schools, including a host of top Executive MBA programs. 

In addition, the EA is a 40-question, 90-minute test and requires, on average, around 20 hours of preparation. It’s a test of readiness, not aptitude, and it was created expressly with candidates like you in mind. GMAC worked closely with several top Executive MBA programs to design the test. Their goal? Measuring the skills and knowledge of experienced professionals. 

Lastly, at around 20 hours of prep time, studying for the EA is a fair approximation of the amount of work a student in an Executive MBA program will manage during a busier week. Wondering how you might be able to balance your many commitments and school? Try studying for a standardized test. This will allow you to dip a toe in the water of school-related time management, and, on a micro-scale, help the other people in your life understand what participating in an Executive MBA program might look like for you (and them). 

For an even deeper dive into the EA, join Director of Admissions Brett Twitty and the GMAC’s Eric Chambers for a webinar about the Executive Assessment:

Executive Assessment Overview Webinar
Wednesday, 4 September | 1:30 p.m. EDT

And, as always, even if you’re unable to attend the live session, go ahead and register. We will email a link to a recording of the webinar to all registrants. 

In advance of the webinar, check out our podcast with Manish Dharia, director of product development with GMAC. This conversation charts the history of the EA and its current use by graduate programs. 

We look forward to seeing you online!