For better or worse, your Executive Assessment (EA) score will likely have an impact on both your business school eligibility and your long-term professional path. The higher your EA score, the more options you will have for your MBA, whether you plan to apply to an executive program or a traditional program. Furthermore, the more prestigious the program you attend, the better your career arc will likely be.
Of course, while all that should be motivation enough, we can all on occasion be prone to losing sight of the broader picture and losing interest in studying. So, this article will present several ways to sustain a high level of motivation throughout your EA prep.
Here are the topics we’ll cover:
- Enjoy What You’re Doing
- EA Skills Are Important in Many Ways
- Invest in Yourself
- Block Out the Noise
- Tangible Strategies to Boost Motivation
- How Anxiety Can Result in Low Motivation
- Avoid Burnout
- Discipline Can Carry You When You Are Not Motivated
- Key Takeaways
- What’s Next?
Let’s first discuss the importance of enjoying what you’re doing.
Enjoy What You’re Doing
One of the best ways to stay motivated is to enjoy what you’re doing, whether it’s your job, schoolwork, or EA preparation. Remember, working hard and ultimately reaching your goals is nearly impossible if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing.
Finding enjoyment while studying can significantly increase your motivation to put in the required study time and greatly increase your chances of succeeding on the EA. If that enjoyment is hard to come by, remember that the skills you gain will be useful in business school classes and in everyday life. So, rather than seeing EA preparation as a chore, consider it an opportunity to advance your profession and personal skills.
TTP PRO TIP:
One of the most effective ways to stay motivated is to enjoy the process.
EA Skills Are Important In Many Ways
Your EA skills extend beyond the test. They enhance your life academically, professionally, and personally. Knowing how EA skills benefit your life should help you get motivated for your preparation. You can develop more decisive reasoning and decision-making skills, for instance, by practicing Critical Reasoning questions. Those skills ultimately make you “the smartest person in the room.”
You’ll appreciate reviewing grammar and usage rules in preparation for answering Sentence Correction questions if you consider the fact that almost all employment activities today entail writing. Emails, texts, reports, blogs, and chats — imagine how much more powerful your writing is when you are confident and able to express your thoughts eloquently and succinctly.
The ability to read, comprehend, and interpret written material is the foundation of successful communication. The Reading Comprehension (RC) questions on the EA will give you practice with passages that may be information-dense, archaic, or highly technical. As a result, your ability to understand the myriad of reports, briefings, abstracts, articles, and other documents you encounter daily will be enhanced by preparing for the EA’s challenging RC section.
There are also numerous advantages to improving your EA quant score. Your quantitative proficiency enhances your data-driven decision-making abilities, which are essential in business and daily life. A universe of opportunities can become available to you if your quantitative reasoning and math abilities are strong.
So, why not embrace and relish the EA preparation process? Doing so will bring a high level of motivation that keeps you on the path to EA success.
A universe of opportunities can become available to you if your quantitative reasoning and math abilities are strong.
Invest in Yourself
Whenever we talk about investments, we generally refer to stocks, real estate, and businesses. However, we should never forget that one of the best investments we can make is in ourselves.
You are investing in yourself by studying for the EA. You are investing in your knowledge, skills, and abilities. The time and effort spent are, above all else, an investment in your future. Unfortunately, this is something many people never get the opportunity to do. So, believe it or not, you are one of the lucky few.
We’ve already discussed how your EA prep can enhance your math and verbal skills. However, getting a high EA score can also help you attend the best EMBA or MBA program, which will likely lead to a better job (or a higher position in your current job) and increase your earning potential throughout your career.
A great EA score can lead to a top EMBA or MBA program, which can lead to a great job, ultimately increasing your earning potential.
Block Out the Noise
You may come across a tiny but outspoken group of your peers who are disenchanted with the EA prep process. Some of these individuals may even be quite successful in their careers, so they will wonder why they must take the EA as a requirement for admission to an MBA/EMBA program. The majority of these students struggle to prepare for the Executive Assessment effectively, so they generally spin the test in a negative light.
Don’t let these naysayers influence how you perceive the EA exam, and certainly do not get caught up in their negativity. In fact, use your drive to excel as a competitive advantage. If the competition lacks the desire to study while you do not, you will have a higher chance of doing well on the EA. This should serve as motivation to keep climbing the EA ladder.
TTP PRO TIP:
Don’t let others’ negativity influence your desire to work hard to succeed on the EA.
Now that we’ve discussed the psychological factors affecting motivation, let’s talk about some practical methods for boosting your motivation.
Tangible Strategies to Boost Motivation
There are several tactics you can use to stay motivated throughout your EA preparation. Let’s begin with your prep resources.
1) Use Quality Study Resources
One of the major mistakes I see from EA test-takers is that they severely underestimate the rigors of the exam. Many move to the EA after prepping for the GMAT and assume they will breeze through EA studying. However, the EA is not an easy exam. Although it’s slightly shorter than the GMAT, pretty much anything tested on the GMAT (except for Geometry) can also be tested on the EA.
So, it’s not surprising that we at TTP regularly encounter students who are nearly ready to give up on the EA. These students often jump around between prep materials rather than stick to one robust resource. This way of studying is a recipe for failure. Without having an organized and detailed study plan, it isn’t easy to succeed on the EA. Take a step back and think about this idea further: how many things can you accomplish in life without a plan?
So, ensure that you have study materials that provide a clear road map showing where you are and where you want to go. For example, the TTP EA course has specific missions on an easy-to-follow calendar, so our students know exactly what to do and when to do it. This calendar provides detailed guidance and, most of all, keeps our students motivated to move toward their EA score goals.
TTP PRO TIP:
Having an organized and detailed study plan helps keep you focused and motivated as you prepare for the EA.
2) Join a Study Group or Be Active on Forums
If you are currently studying for your EA, I’d be willing to bet that you do not know anyone else studying for the exam. If you are lucky, you have a friend or coworker studying for the EA.
Thus, your EA studying is likely a lonely endeavor. Those feelings of loneliness and isolation could lead to a lack of motivation to study. So, to keep your motivation up, you need to converse with other EA test-takers.
If you live in a big city, try joining or starting an EA Meetup group. If you cannot find enough EA test-takers, join a more common GMAT study group. Since those exams are similar, there is nothing wrong with studying alongside GMAT students.
If you prefer to do something online, try joining a WhatsApp or Discord group. Again, if you cannot find one for the EA, join one related to the GMAT. If you have trouble finding such a group, reach out to other students through GMAT Club or the GMAT subreddit. By interacting with other test-takers with similar goals, you’ll likely remain motivated to keep pushing toward your EA score goal.
TTP PRO TIP:
Interacting with like-minded test-takers can help you keep motivated when studying for the EA.
3) Create a Study Calendar
The amount of EA study time I generally recommend is at least 18 hours per week. One great way to break up those hours is to study for 2 hours each weekday and 4 hours each day on the weekend.
While studying for 18 or more hours per week sounds straightforward, it is not always so easy. So, to ensure you can put in that type of study time, I recommend creating a study calendar to keep yourself on track. Since you are studying for the EA, there is a good chance that you already have a pretty demanding job, so you will have to be disciplined and resourceful when scheduling your study time. The key is to create a schedule that fits well into your life.
Also, if you are committed to your weekly study schedule, reward yourself for that commitment. Allow yourself a cheat day once in a while by skipping a study day in favor of something enjoyable and relaxing. Do anything that will give your mind a break from your EA studying.
TTP PRO TIP:
Reward yourself for sticking to your study schedule by indulging in a cheat day.
4) Make the EA a Priority in Your Life
Like anything else you’d like to succeed in, you need to make sure that the EA is a top priority in your life. In other words, you cannot let too much time go by without doing some EA studying. It’s okay to take a day off now and then, but avoid letting one day develop into two, two into four, and so on.
If I am being 100 percent honest, during your EA prep, you will likely have many opportunities to do something more enjoyable than EA studying, from happy hours to weekend trips to golf outings. However, regardless of those opportunities, you must remain focused on your EA studies and maintain a high level of motivation.
How Anxiety Can Result in Low Motivation
Anxiety can be a major barrier to success on the EA. If you have ever had anxiety, you know how debilitating it can be. Thus, if anxiety creeps in while you’re preparing for the EA, it can crush any desire you have to study. So, let’s now discuss two of the most typical EA-related anxiety triggers and how to deal with them.
1) You Are Rushing Your EA Prep
I can’t begin to tell you how many conversations I’ve had with prospective EA students looking for a 15-point score increase in less than a month. While those types of score increases don’t happen that quickly, it does not stop students from trying. However, attempting to improve 15+ points in a few weeks brings on an onslaught of anxiety and does much more harm than good. Furthermore, that anxiety can bring on a lack of motivation to study due to the almost impossible task.
So, I have some advice if you find yourself in a similar position. First, sit down and think about how long it will take to achieve your EA score. Then, move your test date. At the end of the day, if your EA score is holding you back from acceptance, then it’s better to push your EA test date, study hard, and take the EA when you are truly ready to do so.
TTP PRO TIP:
Don’t rush your EA prep. Give yourself as much time as you need to reach your target score.
2) You Are Looking for Immediate Success
One myth about the EA is that you can expect a score of 160+ on test day with focused study for a few weeks. For most EA test-takers, this kind of “instant success” is simply impossible.
Thus, you cannot expect a 20-point increase in your EA score in a month of studying. You are setting yourself up for failure by thinking that such a score increase is possible. The risk in thinking it is possible is that the moment you don’t see your 20-point score increase, you may become demotivated and lose your desire to study. So, rather than put yourself in that position, give yourself plenty of time to prep for the EA, and do not expect a massive score increase overnight.
TTP PRO TIP:
Don’t set yourself up for failure with unrealistic expectations of overnight success.
Now, let’s discuss a few other key points to keep in mind to keep your motivation high when you’re studying for the EA.
When it comes to studying for the EA, burnout is a real possibility. I realize you wanted to be done with your EA prep yesterday. However, if you study for 8 to 10 hours a day, I promise that you will begin to feel the effects of burnout, leading to a lack of motivation to study.
I mean, sure, MAYBE, in a vacuum, you could study for 8 to 10 hours a day. However, I have news for you; you are not in a vacuum! You have work responsibilities, family responsibilities, and many stressors to deal with. So, rather than pushing through 8-hour study sessions, shoot for 1- to 2-hour bursts. Then, as you improve your EA skills, you can gradually increase the length of your study sessions.
TTP PRO TIP:
To avoid burnout, initially limit your study sessions to about 1 to 2 hours.
Discipline Can Carry You When You Are Not Motivated
Undoubtedly, there will be times when you lack the motivation to study. But if you have self-control, even on a “bad day,” you won’t skip your EA study session. Remember, discipline is even more important than motivation on tough days.
If you have been studying for the EA for some time now, I think you can easily recall the feeling of not wanting to study on a particular day. You also may try to convince yourself that taking a single day off does not matter. It matters!
Even though studying is the last thing you want to do when you lack motivation, force yourself to do it. I promise your future self will thank you for having had such discipline.
TTP PRO TIP:
If motivation is waning, be disciplined and get the job done!
In this blog, we’ve looked at a number of tips and tools for understanding and overcoming issues with our motivation to stay the course in our EA preparation. When you’re feeling demotivated, remember the following:
- Enjoy what you’re doing
- EA skills are important in many ways.
- Invest in yourself.
- Block out the noise.
- Use quality study resources.
- Join a study group or be active on forums.
- Create a study calendar.
- Make the EA a priority in your life.
- Don’t rush your EA prep.
- Don’t expect immediate success.
- Avoid burnout
- Discipline can carry you when you are not motivated.
One of the easiest ways to keep your motivation high is to feel that you have a handle on the task of preparing for your EA. Take a look at this blog that outlines 7 strategies for organizing your efforts, and thus optimizing the time and energy you invest in your EA prep.