Preparing for a business school admissions exam can be cumbersome and tedious, especially if you are a non-native English speaker and have a strong desire for making your time manageable. In this case, you need to consider the Executive Assessment test, which is in most of the cases considered to be the “mini GMAT”. EA test is designed to fit into your flexible schedule and career which will help you study more efficiently and productively. Even though this might sound relieving, coming up with a study plan is vital in all cases. You need to determine for yourself, how much time you can set aside each day for the EA exam. Now the thing is to decide how to design a plan that actually works.
The paramount thing that you should consider is keeping track of your study habits and not studying less than intended. As you have already noticed EA prep does not require strenuous effort. Having some useful tips in front of you will even make the experience more manageable. You need to have specific goals for each day to become more accountable for your daily actions.
EA Tips for test preparation
In order to do this more effectively, we offer nine tips for the EA test preparation that will help you address your lowest and weakest points. Even though every individual taking the exam has different expectations, you should gain greater focus by prioritizing your day along with EA preparation. Sticking to a daily routine is an integral part of life; the most difficult thing is adhering to it, avoiding procrastination, and maintaining motivation. Therefore, after learning all the exam basics, such as the timing, the sections, and the preparation materials, it is worth creating a checklist by using our recommended tips.
1. Visualize success and the value you will get in the end
The thought of success can create happiness! Once we attain something that seemed hard initially, the suspense wears off, and the excitement rapidly comes in. By taking time every day to imagine achieving your goal you can stay motivated and on the right path. When we experience happiness our brain releases serotonin, the hormone responsible for happiness. By keeping the picture of accomplishment in our mind’s eye each time, the happiness never fades away.
Hence, if every day contains even a tiny drop of happiness, even the most complex struggles seem to be a joy. Whether the EA exam is a struggle, as a busy professional, happiness and motivation are something that one undoubtedly needs. Do your best to look at the bigger picture and think of the steps that will expedite reaching the top.
2. Review the EA sections
As EA might imply uncertainty and confusion in your head you should definitely review all three sections daily. You need to make sure that the question types and the overall formulation are a piece of cake at the end. Whether you have a private EA tutor or are studying on your own, be sure to focus on up-to-date EA materials, as the exam slightly differs from other standardized tests for your MBA application. Since there are three sections on the exam, integrated reasoning, verbal and quantitative – each lasting 30 minutes – you need to pay strong attention to those three sections only.
As you might have discerned there is no writing section on the EA exam. Hence, instead of looking at other exam questions and wasting your time on learning things that will not pop up on the exam, choose wisely between your study materials. The section review phase of your day may involve doing quizzes or even allocating some time daily to practice an entire test with a timer in order to keep pace with timing and question types. You can consider this form of revision as stretching your brain muscles before the main exercise. Doing a simple EA section review or a short quiz each time will make you more cautious about time management and remind you about the type of questions that might pop up afterward.
3. Set a time limit for each day
As it is said, time is the only non-redeemable commodity, so proper allocation is a fundamental key to success. Hence, determining how much time you exactly need to allocate each day will foster productivity and make you avoid EA burnout.
Try to study every day at the same time by finding the right spot in the day when your brain picks up and retains the most out of the bunch of materials and information, which rapidly sinks in. You can even think of studying some time for weekday preparation and extending on the weekends. Try to pick the time that is the most convenient for you and does not overwhelm you with more stress during the day. Just know that EA preparation takes around 4-8 weeks for most people which includes 1.5-hour study sessions each day to cover all the necessary material.
As the hour allocation differs from person to person, you can wake up early and study before going to work or have some time for a late evening preparation. Whichever applies to you, stick to a routine as even though EA has an advantageous time allocation strategy, find the best time and choice for you to study. Ensure the limit you set for yourself is reasonable because procrastinating one day and doubling the hours the next day does not seem plausible. It does not matter how many months you have on your hands; the significant thing is precise allocation. Remember that time is the most expensive investment you are making. Never forget that your study-life balance should be of utmost importance.
4. Do not forget to reward yourself
It is no secret that having overcome the EA exam releases all the weight from your shoulders. However, during the process, it is essential to think of the rewards. Sometimes your body just needs to do nothing and forget about everything you have learned. Even though this might sound counter-intuitive, there are times when you need to prepare without studying. Therefore, not having small rewards in front of you every day will drain your energy.
Breaks ease your mind allowing better integration and memorization of concepts. These rewards rejuvenate your broken concentration. You can try something like the Pomodoro Technique. This technique helps break down time into intervals with short breaks. Learn to use a timer. For example, during a 1.5-hour study session, you can set a timer to study for 45 minutes then rest for 10 minutes and get to work again for another 45 minutes. You can think of something ‘non-EA related’ during that 10 minutes that will make you regain focus. For example, by grabbing a quick snack, meditating, or walking around the house.
Even though the EA exam by itself and the preparation as well is pretty short, you incorporate it into your busy schedule, which can sometimes be depleting. For avoiding such grinds on your body and mind, even taking a break for one day can sometimes be the best action. Whichever works best for you, make use of it; even those brief respites retain your stamina.
Finally, never forget about the grandiose reward; your final score. Always remind yourself of the one thing you are putting arduous effort into. Remember possible competition; maybe your friends are also preparing, think about the bragging rights after you have a successful finish!
5. Forget about the target score, only focus on improvement
EA preparation practices do generate plight both in physical and mental states if you give yourself the opulence of time to study more than necessary. It is crucial to remind oneself of the improvement phases. We agree that everything you are going through is for the final score, but focusing too much on it deteriorates the mental support you could get by concentrating on what you are gaining from that experience. All successful practices dictate that you should focus on one thing at a time, which improves every day until the exam day.
For instance, you can first focus on flashcards and memorization tactics and then move to the actual study session where you delve into each question type and execute some of your analyzing skills. When the exam day comes, you will utilize all the knowledge and effort to get the highest EA score possible. Keeping daily track of your improvements relieves some of the weight. Even the tiniest advantage acquired can be a game changer. For instance, finishing each section a minute earlier than before will eventually contribute to achieving more significant results on the exam day.
6. Give yourself a pep talk
You probably already receive a lot of support from the people surrounding you. However, self-encouragement is of the utmost importance and the only thing that maximizes your effectiveness to the fullest. Look around, see what others are doing at your age and inspire yourself. Choose wisely between the tradeoffs. Such as choosing to study instead of partying. Giving a short talk to yourself every day will make you more enthusiastic about reaching your objectives.
A recent scientific study has shown that talking to yourself dwindles anxiety and stress while boosting performance. This is no less true for exam and test prep. Give yourself motivational and instructional speeches and reiterate the same order daily. Both methods promote positivity as motivational talks cheer you up and keep up the eagerness to study and strive for more, while self-instructional talk directs detail-orientation and accentuates what exactly you need to do for that particular day. For example, start every day by loudly stating what should be done for the day. It helps with thinking about the mechanisms of every individual task and visualizing methods to complete them correspondingly.
7. Be your own critic
Of course, you need all the encouragement and self-support to reach your goals, but especially during EA exam preparation, you need to criticize yourself. Remember that you can only take the EA exam two times, so criticize appropriately. If you need a 150+ EA score you should put the above of modest effort. Give yourself credit on what you are doing right, but also consider aspects of the EA problems that you need to elaborate on and master additional skills.
The EA is not the only requirement in applying to an MBA program. Even though more than 100 schools globally currently accept the EA exam results, remember that besides nailing on the exam, top graduate schools do not come easy, which is why learning to grow from the beginning will come in handy even after taking the EA and being admitted to the desired university. The dominant thing is separating the action from the person because you are criticizing your actions and not you as a person; you should not humiliate yourself, detect the triggers of low performance and failure and make yourself accountable for such actions. Ultimately, the ability to discern your flaws and work on personal evolution is an inherent quality for capacitating your abilities and aptitudes and pulling it off in life.
8. Strategy is important
As you already might know from applying to an undergraduate program, preparing for a test that measures your critical, analytical, and problem-solving abilities is bothersome. So it is crucial to come up with a plan that develops an EA test strategy. Your organization efficiency and strategizing skills will be the first and foremost things to aid in your success and aim. You need to think like you are taking the test in 12 hours for example and try to obtain a unique approach which will involve having a non-traditional mindset.
Which sections would you work on the most? How fast can you adapt yourself with the exam pace? In order to have the answers to these questions you must spend decent time on your strategy review and have a clear mindset on what you are working on. Once familiarizing yourself with the format and question types, you need to dig into the real preparation, while strategizing the process and fitting it into your assessment priorities and expectations.
9. Be confident and remember that everything is in your hands
Have you ever thought about the law of attraction? It is basically a belief that everything you imagine is accomplishable. As positive thoughts bring in positive outcomes you should believe in yourself. Of course, maintaining a solid focus on your weaknesses is important, but you should intuitively know that you are the one who is capable of transforming weaknesses into strengths. Sometimes during practice tests and even the exam, you can trust your gut feeling, because if you have studied enough your instincts may sometimes subconsciously rationalize your final decision.
The EA exam is designed in a way that you do not have time. This means sometimes bailing on the questions can be the most useful option. However, instead of bailing try to use your gut feeling. So whenever your consciousness hesitates, the subconscious mind comes into play by literally forcing you to choose the correct answer. Just make sure to dedicate enough of yourself to setting up a study and practice plan for executing some of the most significant strategies. The thing is to never doubt confidence and face the situation with your head up.
Final Thoughts on EA Tips
We do understand that the EA preparation may bring in some trepidation. However, make sure to follow our recommendations. Create a daily checklist and think of other tips that may be useful to you. EA prep will help you use time more productively and make you become strategic. Of course, physical preparation is essential, but the mental direction is just as important, as you need to have the mental focus on your goal and the determination of how you will reach it.
Whether you have an EA private tutor or not, you are your tutor, and it is on you to maintain motivation during the entire process and ace the exam. We suggest you develop an EA strategy along with these nine tips to attain greater productivity, address your weaker points, and eventually manifest superb performance. Make studying for the EA a daily habit, and keep yourself posted on the EA advice, techniques, and instructions APEX always provides you with as concentrating only on the score will not amplify the methods and techniques you use to approach each question. Building up more practice is something that will retain your track and focus and make you avoid EA anxiety.