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If you are new to the Executive Assessment (EA), in addition to wondering about the overall structure of the exam, you may have specific questions regarding the quant section of the exam. This article will provide an EA quant section breakdown, including some sample questions, and it will also enumerate the quant topics you can expect to see on the EA.
Here are the topics we’ll cover:
 The Sections of the EA
 The Quant Topics Tested on the EA
 Each Major Math Topic Has Many Subtopics
 There Is No Way to Know Which Quant Concepts Will Show Up
 An Ideal Way to Prepare for EA Quant
 An Example of Topical Learning From the TTP Study Plan
 The Two Types of EA Quant Questions
 EA Quant Section Breakdown Summary
 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
 What’s Next?
Let’s first discuss the general format of the EA.
The Sections of the EA
The Executive Assessment contains three sections: quant, verbal, and Integrated Reasoning. The quant and verbal sections consist of 14 questions each, and the IR section consists of 12 questions. Each section is scored on a scale of 1 to 20. Those scores are then equally weighted to provide a total EA score between 100 and 200. The total time of the EA is 90 minutes.
KEY FACT:
The overall EA score is equally weighted based on the quant, verbal, and IR section scores.
Next, let’s discuss the quant topics tested on the EA.
The Quant Topics Tested on the EA
Most students taking the EA are generally age 30+. However, the quant content on the EA exam is based mainly on high school math concepts. So, it’s OK if it has been a while since you have seen this math! The good news is that relearning this math is just like hopping back on a bike. Trust me, these concepts will start coming back to you in no time at all.
KEY FACT:
The EA Quant section covers many high schoollevel math concepts you once learned.
There are around 20 major quant topics tested on the Executive Assessment. Keep in mind that the only topic not tested on the EA that is tested on the GMAT is geometry.
Below is a list of the 20 major EA quant topics:
 Basic Arithmetic
 Linear and Quadratic Equations
 Number Properties
 Roots
 Exponents
 Inequalities
 Absolute Values
 General Word Problems
 Rates
 Work Problems
 Unit Conversions
 Ratios
 Percents
 Statistics
 Overlapping Sets
 Combinations and Permutations
 Probability
 Coordinate Geometry
 Sequences
 Functions
KEY FACT:
There are 20 main math topics on the EA.
Each Major Math Topic Has Many Subtopics
You may think, wow, just 20 major math topics on the EA. Not so bad! I can knock that out in a few weeks. Well, I have some bad news. Along with those 20 major math topics are hundreds of smaller subtopics. So, for example, Number Properties consists of around 20 subtopics, such as even and odd numbers, positive and negative numbers, least common multiple, greatest common factor, and divisibility, to name a few. Also, it’s important to realize that the same ideas apply to verbal as well. For example, sentence correction is a major topic; however, there are 100s of sentence correction subtopics.
TTP PRO TIP:
To Succeed on the EA, you will need to learn hundreds of math subtopics.
Given that there are so many concepts that the EA can test, it may be tempting to try to predict which math topics you’ll see on your exam, to streamline your studies. However, it’s not wise to play that game; let’s discuss why.
There Is No Way to Know Which Quant Concepts Will Show Up
One fatal mistake that EA testtakers make is trying to predict what they will see on their exams, based on official materials (such as a practice test) or past exams. However, I am here to say that making such predictions is not possible. So, don’t skip concepts that could show up on the EA. Doing so will not do you any favors.
If you doubt what I am saying, then let’s apply some logic. Would the creators of the EA, through their official materials, provide an exact road map of what you can expect to see on your Executive Assessment exam? The answer is, of course, no! There is no way they would provide you with all you need to ace the test. Thus, you cannot base your study plan on the official questions.
TTP PRO TIP:
Do not base your study plan on the official materials released by GMAC (the makers of the EA).
So, now that we know what not to do, let’s discuss how you should be studying EA quant.
An Ideal Way to Prepare for EA Quant
We know that there is a lot to learn to succeed on EA quant. Thus, you must have an efficient method to learn so much material. That method is to follow a topical study plan. The essence of a topical study plan is learning each topic one at a time, and then answering practice questions on just that topic until you achieve mastery.
Engaging in topical studying will ensure that your studying is organized and linear. Imagine trying to learn EA quant by jumping from topic to topic. Will you fare well if you jump from a rate question to a ratio question to a probability question? Furthermore, imagine doing so before you learn the concepts behind those questions. Getting through EA quant would be a nightmare!
TTP PRO TIP:
Topical learning is the ideal way to learn EA quant.
To see how topical studying functions, let’s look at the Target Test Prep study plan.
An Example of Topical Learning from the TTP Study Plan
With the TTP study plan, our students learn by focusing on just one topic at a time and practicing that topic until they have mastered it. This makes their EA prep incredibly efficient and thorough.
As an example, let’s consider the Rates chapter, which is in mission 16. The first task is to read the Rates chapter. While reading, you learn about topics such as average rates, converging rates, catchup rates, roundtrip rates, etc.
Also, in each lesson, we present several questions based on the subtopic just learned. So, if you learned about converging rate questions, you’d immediately practice a handful of questions on that topic. Following the chapter, we also have chapter tests at easy, medium, and hard difficulty levels. Those tests provide even more practice on the concepts learned in the chapter.
The TTP technique of topical learning is only one study strategy. However, it provides an ideal way to study for EA quant, including offering ample practice to solidify learning — a key to mastering EA quant.
TTP PRO TIP:
After learning an EA quant topic, practice it heavily to ensure mastery.
We’ve established a successful strategy for studying EA Quant. Now, let’s talk about the kinds of questions you can encounter on the EA quant section.
The Two Types of EA Quant Questions
There are two types of questions in the EA quant section:
1. Problem Solving
2. Data Sufficiency
About twothirds of the Quant questions are of the Problem Solving type, and the remaining onethird are of the Data Sufficiency type.
Now, let’s discuss each of these question types in more detail.
Problem Solving Questions
EA problem solving questions are also known as “multiple choice” questions. In these questions, there are five answer choices: A, B, C, D, and E. One of the five answer choices presents the correct answer.
Any of the 20 main quant topics or subtopics can appear in a Problem Solving question. For a better understanding of Executive Assessment Problem Solving questions, let’s look at a couple of sample questions. While these are not official practice questions, they are quite similar to questions you could see on your EA.
KEY FACT:
EA Problem Solving questions contain five answer choices, one of which is the correct answer.
Problem Solving Question 1
If x is 5 percent greater than y, and y is 20 percent less than z, x is what percent of z?
 72
 80
 84
 88
 92
Solution:
We can translate the information from the stem into some equations.
Since x is 5 percent greater than y:
x = 1.05y
Now, since y is 20 percent less than z:
y = 0.8z
y/0.8 = z
Lastly, we need to get a value for x/z * 100.
Since x = 1.05y and z = y/0.8, we have:
x/z * 100
1.05y/(y/0.8) * 100
1.05 * 0.8 * 100
0.84 x 100 = 84 percent
Answer: C
Let’s try one more.
Problem Solving Question 2
Francis and Harry have 60 playing cards. If Francis has 3 times as many cards as Harry, how many cards does Harry have?
 15
 18
 21
 25
 30
First, we can let F = the number of cards Francis has and H = the number of cards Harry has.
Now, let’s create two equations.
Since Francis and Harry have a total of 60 playing cards:
F + H = 60
Since Francis has 3 times as many cards as Harry:
F = 3H
Next, substitute 3H for F in the equation F + H = 60:
3H + H = 60
4H = 60
H = 15
Answer: A
Now, let’s discuss Data Sufficiency problems.
Data Sufficiency Questions
Data Sufficiency questions include an optional initial statement, a question, and two statements (one and two). A Data Sufficiency question aims to determine whether either, both, or neither of the two statements can answer the given question.
At first, you may be a bit intimidated by Data Sufficiency questions. However, with patience and practice, DS questions will become your favorite quant question type. So, let’s now review the Data Sufficiency answer choices.
Data Sufficiency Answer Choices
Data Sufficiency questions have five answer choices. The good news is that, unlike Problem Solving questions, the Data Sufficiency answer choices never change.
So, it’s a good idea to memorize those answer choices. By doing so, you’ll be able to save time on test day. The answer choices are below.
Answer A: Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
Answer B: Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
Answer C: BOTH statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question asked, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked.
Answer D: EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked.
Answer E: Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data specific to the problem are needed.
We should note that we consider both statements together only when the first two independently are insufficient. Keep this in mind as we practice a couple of questions below.
TTP PRO TIP:
It is helpful to memorize the Data Sufficiency answer choices.
Let’s now discuss the two types of Data Sufficiency questions you can expect to see.
Value Data Sufficiency Questions
A value Data Sufficiency question asks us to decide if we have enough data to provide a specific numerical answer to the question. Some examples are the following:
— What is the value of a – b?
— How many hats does Tom have?
— What is the units digit of 7^n?
— What is Cindy’s average speed?
It’s important to understand that there can be only one correct answer to a DS question. For example, let’s say a DS question asks for the value of x, and we have the following statement:
 5 < x < 8 where x is an integer.
Following the statement, we see that x can be 6 or 7. However, because we do not have a singular value for x, the statement would not be sufficient.
However, had the statement said 5 < x < 7, where x is an integer, then we would have just one value for x, which is 6. Thus, the statement would now be sufficient.
Now, let’s look at a value Data Sufficiency example question.
Value Data Sufficiency Example
If z + x + y = 2x + 2y, then what is the value of x+ y?
1) z = 10
2) x – y = 4
 Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
 Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
 BOTH statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question asked, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked.
 EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked.
 Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data specific to the problem are needed.
Solution:
First, we can simplify the given statement by subtracting x and y from left to right, and we have:
z = x + y
We see that to get the value of x + y, we just need to know z.
Statement One Alone:
z = 10
We see that since z = 10, x + y is also 10. Statement one alone is sufficient to answer the question.
Statement Two Alone:
x – y = 4
Although it may seem as if the information in statement two is sufficient, we cannot determine the value of x + y using the information above.
Answer: The answer to this Data Sufficiency question is A. Statement (1) alone is sufficient, but Statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question.
Now, let’s discuss yes/no Data Sufficiency questions.
Yes/No Data Sufficiency Questions
In a yes/no Data Sufficiency question, our job is to determine whether the statements provide us with a definitive answer of yes or a definitive answer of no.
Some examples are the following:
— Is x > y?
— Does integer x have more unique prime factors than integer y?
— Does Carla have more coins than Thomas?
— Is n negative?
TTP PRO TIP:
In a Yes/No Data Sufficiency question, we must get a definitive answer of yes or a definitive answer of no to determine sufficiency.
For example, let’s say we need to determine whether Steven’s average speed is greater than 30 mph. Then we see from one of our statements that his average speed is greater than 25 mph.
Since we could come up with answers that say “yes,” his speed is greater than 30 mph, or “no,” his speed is not greater than 30 mph, we do not have sufficiency.
However, had we determined that his speed is greater than 35 mph, we could definitively say that his speed is greater than 30 mph, which would be sufficient.
Now, let’s practice answering a yes/no Data Sufficiency question.
Yes/No Data Sufficiency Question Example
Is A > B?
1) A > C
2) C > B
 Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
 Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
 BOTH statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question asked, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked.
 EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked.
 Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data specific to the problem are needed.
Solution:
Since there is no given information, we can jump right into statement one.
Statement One Alone:
A > C
Although we know that A is greater than C, we still do not know whether A is greater than B, so statement one alone is not sufficient.
Statement Two Alone:
C > B
Although we know that C is greater than B, we still do not know whether A is greater than B. Statement two alone is not sufficient.
Statements One and Two Together:
Looking at the information from both statements, we see that A > C and C > B. Thus, we can determine that, YES, A must be greater than B.
Answer: Because we need both statements together to answer the question, the answer is C.
EA Quant Section Breakdown Summary
The EA Quant section consists of 14 questions, and you have 30 minutes to answer them.
There are two question types: traditional Problem Solving questions, which have 5 answer choices, and Data Sufficiency questions, which are unique to the GMAT and the EA. About twothirds of the Quant questions are of the Problem Solving type, and the remaining onethird are of the Data Sufficiency type. Also, remember that although Integrated Reasoning contains quant topics, IR questions are in their own section.
Problem Solving questions are akin to traditional multiplechoice questions.
Data Sufficiency questions present a stem with basic information and pose a question that the testtaker must answer. There are two additional statements presented, Statement One and Statement Two. The testtaker must evaluate whether each statement leads to a definitive answer to the question posed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How Many Questions Are on the EA Quant Section?
There are 14 questions in the EA quant section.
How Long Is the EA Quant Section?
You are given 30 minutes to complete the EA quant section.
What Type of Math Is on the Executive Assessment?
The topics are generally those you have learned in high school math classes. They include:
Basic arithmetic, linear and quadratic equations, number properties, roots, exponents, inequalities, absolute values, general word problems, rates, work, unit conversions, ratios, percents, statistics, overlapping sets, combinations and permutations, probability, coordinate geometry, sequences, and functions.
How Hard Is the Executive Assessment Quant Section?
EA quant is not a walk in the park. However, if you give yourself plenty of time to study, use a great study resource, and keep your motivation level high, there is no reason why you can’t excel in EA quant.
What’s Next?
Now that you know about the structure of the EA quant section and the types of questions asked, take a look at my article that provides some tips for preparing for the Executive Assessment.