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What’s a good executive assessment (EA) score for top executive MBA?

Good executive assessment score: Chicago Booth

The Executive Assessment (EA), or the mini-GMAT as many call it, is increasingly being used by business schools for their executive MBA programs.

If you aren’t aware of it, read more about it here: Executive Assessment: Format, syllabus, exam fees, preparation

What’s a good executive assessment (EA) score for top executive MBA?

According to many experts, 150 or higher is a good executive assessment (EA) score.

As with other test scores such as the GMAT or GRE, getting a higher EA score is imperative, when you are planning to apply to the best business schools for executive MBA admissions.

Swati Suchismita got a 150 in her first EA attempt with zero preparation.

Though she had touched the threshold for what’s generally considered a good EA score, there were several reasons she wasn’t happy with it.

She had already faced multiple rejections over 5 years of applying to various programs. This was probably going to be her final attempt.

Rather than dropping the bar (as most in her position might be tempted to do), she decided to push it way higher than the earlier years. This time she was aiming for a super-elite (M7) business school.

So she decided to retake the executive assessment test for a better score.

Other than that she also focused on a range of other things to strengthen her profile for the biggest competition of her life so far.
 


How I got into Chicago Booth with Executive Assessment score

by Swati Suchismita

My expertise is in developing complex and mission critical algorithmic trading systems for top tier investment banks.

Like most technology professionals working in the finance field, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges that come with the role.

But as my experience increase, I increasingly started getting the feeling that I need to find a way to re-invent myself so I don’t fall back in the race.

An MBA seemed like the best option to learn new skills that I would be able to learn on the job, and prepare myself for senior leadership roles.

After working in the industry for close to 10 years I felt that an executive MBA is the right decision instead of a full-time MBA.

My dream was to get into an Executive MBA from an M7 business school. And Chicago Booth was right up there on the list.

Also this degree being offered from 3 locations such as Hong Kong, London and Chicago offered me added flexibility.

On a personal note, I always had this innate desire to study from a reputed institution such as Booth and having someone like Raghuram Rajan as your professor felt like the cherry on the top!

But it took me several years to build up the courage to apply to Chicago Booth. Before that I applied to several other programs, and got rejections from all of them.

My EMBA application journey

I have been following Sameer Kamat and MBA Crystal Ball team for the past couple of years and they recently helped me through my application process for the Executive MBA application for Chicago Booth.

That was the only program I applied for as it suits my specific needs based on my location, job description and ambition.

The application process can be quite exhaustive and intensive and throughout this process Vibhav helped me a lot.

From the very first call itself, Vibhav asked me a set of questions which forced me to think intensively about this MBA decision and the subsequent discussions we had were equally mind boggling.

Building my profile

My MBA application story would not be complete without me mentioning about the small or big steps that I took over the years.

Just to test the waters before taking the plunge I enrolled myself in a 1 year certification program offered by IIM Calcutta, in 2017.

It gave me a brief exposure of how the classes and curriculum would feel like.

Also having been involved in various NGOs and other activities widened my exposure and expanded my people skills.

One thing I could have done better is applying earlier than I did.

Though I have been considering this application, I did not strategize it well and applied it quite close to the third deadline after attending a guest lecture.

So, I didn’t get enough time to prepare for my Executive Assessment (EA) test.

I took my first attempt without any preparation.

I got 150, which was the cut off for my target program.

But I wasn’t very happy with this score.

In order to compensate for my not so excellent performance in Engineering I re-appeared for the EA after 2 weeks of preparation.

This time I scored 160.

So, if you are someone like me who doesn’t have a high GPA, I strongly suggest compensating with other factors such as your work experience, extra-curricular activities, strong application.

And of course, try to get a good executive assessment score of 150 or better.

Dealing with rejections

In the past (from 2011-2016), I had applied for several other courses and most of the time I did not make it through.

I did not take professional help during those applications. I did ask my mentors and colleagues to review them, but there were no red flags that came up.

The rejections were heart-breaking, more so since I had no idea what I was doing wrong and what I should work on.

What I did know what that I will leave no stone unturned and do all that it takes to get into a top business school.

So, rather than getting disappointed I invested those years in seeking clarity and investing in myself as an individual.

As a result of that this time I had a lot of things to talk about and experiences to showcase.

Doing regular meditation also helped me in achieving that balance between my personal and professional life.

On top of that, I had been talking to Sameer on and off since 2015 and was following his contents which were very helpful.

Even though I was not working formally with him, his inputs gave me immense clarity. As a professional who has interacted with thousands of applicants, he was able to identify the issue and explain in simple terms what I was missing.

That was what I was missing all these years when I was applying independently.

So, this time without wasting further time on contemplation I decided to take help from Sameer and his team right from the beginning.

Building that inter-personal relationship helped building that trust and everyone in MCB was very approachable.

The best thing about this team is they don’t hesitate calling a spade a spade and that was the kind of feedback I needed that time in order to build my application.

Honestly, I followed several education consultancies but MBA Crystal Ball is the only one that truly stands out.

What I have observed is most MBA consultants sugar-coat things while advising students and often they say things that the client wants to hear. At the end of the day, it is a business for them.

MCB consultants stand out in the industry as they prefer to provide true and grass root level insights, even if it may go against their business.

Application result and what I learnt from the experience

You probably know the answer to this by now. Yes, I got into the EMBA program at Chicago Booth!

After all the rejections, I’m elated to get an admit from the most selective and prestigious business school that wasn’t even on my radar when I first started applying.

The good thing about struggling to get what you want is that the experience teaches you many things that instant success doesn’t.

My advice to anyone reading this.

  • Don’t underestimate and short-sell yourself.
  • Don’t let rejections erode your self-confidence.
  • Start early and have a clear road-map.
  • When you’re competing on a global arena, stop shooting in the dark.
  • Above all, get a good mentor to help you avoid the pitfalls and show you the right way to channelise your application efforts. It will save you several years of trial & error and tons of frustration.

Wish you all the best!


Also read:
16 things every Chicago Booth MBA applicant should know
Executive MBA after architecture: How I cracked the Chicago Booth admissions process


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Manish Gupta
About Manish Gupta
Chief Consulting Officer at MBA Crystal Ball, ex-McKinsey, IIT & ISB topper. MG can help you get into the top B-schools. Read more about this top MBA admissions consultant. Connect with MG on Email. Or follow on Linkedin, Facebook.

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