Executive Assessment Verbal Practice Tips

If you’re preparing for the Executive Assessment to apply to business schools, you may be wondering how to master the EA Verbal section.

Preparing for the other sections of the EA is relatively straightforward for most EA students. However, people often find improving their EA Verbal scores challenging. So, I’m often asked for Verbal tips for Executive Assessment preparation.

One of my best EA Verbal section tips is that effective practice is essential for successful EA Verbal section preparation. In fact, the way you practice for EA Verbal can make or break the results of your prep.

So, in this article, I’ll discuss four key Executive Assessment Verbal practice tips. By applying what I discuss in this article, you’ll be able to maximize the results of your EA Verbal prep and achieve your score goal.

Executive Assessment Verbal Practice Tips

Here are the topics we’ll cover:

Before we dive into discussing EA Verbal practice techniques, let’s go over the best way to prepare for the EA Verbal section.

How Can I Effectively Prepare for the EA Verbal Section?

The best way to prepare for the Executive Assessment Verbal section is to master one topic at a time. In other words, you work on each topic, such as Critical Reasoning Assumption questions or Reading Comprehension Detail questions, in the following way:

  • First, learn the concepts and EA Verbal strategies involved in the topic.
  • Then, answer practice questions involving the topic, to master applying the concepts and strategies.
  • Next, review your practice questions to identify issues that are causing you to miss questions, and address the issues.
  • Then, do more practice questions and address more issues until you’re getting questions involving the topic correct consistently.

Having gone through those steps for a topic, you can move on to the next topic and do the same thing. By proceeding that way through all the Verbal topics, you’ll eventually master the entire Verbal section.


To master the Verbal section of the Executive Assessment, work on one topic at a time.

We can see that practicing is a major element of EA Verbal prep. So, let’s now discuss some tips you can use to ensure that you’re actually benefiting from your practice.

Tip 1: Start Off Practicing Each EA Verbal Topic Untimed

The Executive Assessment is a timed test on which you have about two minutes to complete each Verbal question. So, people often get the impression that setting a timer and banging out practice questions in two minutes each is effective studying for EA Verbal. However, that impression is incorrect, and taking that approach has resulted in frustration for many EA test-takers who’ve wondered why their EA scores aren’t improving.

Here’s the issue. To get EA Verbal questions correct, we have to employ strategies, analyze choices, and do other things that we’re just learning to do. So, if we do all our practice timed, we don’t give ourselves time to learn to do those things. Instead we answer questions in a rush, have hit-or-miss success in getting them correct, and don’t learn much.

I’ve seen people use this approach so often without success that one of my first questions for anyone having trouble with EA Verbal is, “How much time do you typically spend on a practice question?”

So, what Verbal practice approach should we use instead?

Untimed Practice Works Much Better

What works much better is practicing each EA Verbal topic untimed at first. In other words, it’s most effective to start off taking as much time as you need to carefully answer each EA Verbal practice question.

When you practice untimed, you give yourself time to learn by doing. You can apply the concepts you’ve studied, consider every angle of the questions, and in general go through the motions that lead to success. So, by practicing untimed, you develop strong EA Verbal skills.

Untimed Practice Also Makes You Fast

It may seem counterintuitive, but untimed practice makes you fast. Why? Because what makes you fast is having strong skills. So, by developing strong skills through untimed practice, you end up being fast.

So, the best Executive Assessment Verbal study plan is to start off practicing each topic you work on untimed. Give yourself all the time you need to carefully analyze EA Verbal practice questions and get them correct. Then, once you’ve developed strong skills in a topic, you can work on answering questions at test pace.


For best results from your EA Verbal prep, start off practicing each topic untimed.

Let’s discuss another key aspect of effective EA Verbal preparation, shooting for high accuracy.

Tip 2: Shoot for High Accuracy in Your EA Verbal Practice

An aspect of EA Verbal prep that goes hand in hand with untimed practice is shooting for high accuracy. In fact, untimed practice gives you time to master EA Verbal by achieving high accuracy.

Let’s consider the difference between shooting for high accuracy, say 85 percent or higher, and shooting for “getting most questions correct.” When you shoot for getting most EA Verbal practice questions correct, you’re satisfied if you get, say, 70 percent correct. Seventy percent correct may seem pretty good.

However, if you think about it, you can get 7 out of 10 practice questions correct by getting 3 correct, 1 wrong, 2 more correct, another 1 wrong, 2 more correct, and the last 1 wrong. So, you can get 70 percent correct while never getting more than 2 or 3 questions correct in a row.

If you’re getting just 2 or 3 questions correct in a row, you’re not really in control in EA Verbal. There is a pretty good chance you’ll miss any given question. Accordingly, anything can happen on test day. So, people who have been “getting most questions correct” when practicing have trouble achieving their EA Verbal score goals.

Shooting for High Practice Accuracy Puts Your Focus Where It Needs to Be

When you shoot for high accuracy rather than to “get most questions correct,” you focus on doing what you need to do to master EA Verbal. If you miss a question, rather than be satisfied with getting most questions correct, you figure out what you need to do to get such a question correct the next time. Over time, you make fewer mistakes, achieve higher accuracy, and get EA Verbal under control. In other words, you get to a point at which you’re pretty sure you’ll get any EA Verbal question you see correct.

And there is an additional benefit to shooting for high accuracy. Shooting for high accuracy takes care of not only errors but also timing issues because the same skills that make you accurate in EA Verbal also make you fast. For example, if you’re precise in every step you take in answering a question, you’ll be accurate. Also, if you’re precise in every step you take, you’ll be fast. Similarly, if you’re good at seeing exactly what is going on in EA Verbal questions, you’ll be both accurate and fast.

So, shooting for high accuracy when practicing is a great way of boosting your EA Verbal score.


To ensure that your EA Verbal practice results in your developing strong skills, shoot for high accuracy.

Let’s now discuss something you can do to achieve high EA Verbal accuracy and develop super-strong EA Verbal skills.

Tip 3: Treat Every Verbal Answer Choice as a Question to Answer

To get EA Verbal questions correct, we must be good at seeing what is going on with the answer choices. We have to be able to analyze each choice and determine exactly what makes it incorrect or correct.

For instance, in answering a Critical Reasoning question, we need to figure out how each choice is related to the passage. In answering a Reading Comprehension question, we may need to determine whether each choice is supported by the passage. We’ll need to find failure points to eliminate incorrect choices and arrive at correct answers.

The best way to learn to do these things is to treat each Verbal answer choice as a question to answer. In other words, when we do an EA Verbal practice question, we shouldn’t be satisfied just to get it correct. Rather, we’ll get better results if we seek to articulate why each answer choice is incorrect or correct. In other words, we’ll do our best if we come up with a clear explanation for each answer choice, making analyzing each choice a goal of our practice.

Also, by practicing in this way, we’ll get more out of each Verbal practice question. That way we won’t run out of good EA Verbal Reasoning practice questions before we’re fully prepared.


For best results, when practicing EA Verbal, treat each answer choice as a question to answer.

Let’s now discuss our final tip for effective studying for EA Verbal.

Tip 4: Develop Awareness of How Well You’ve Supported Your Answers

An issue that makes mastering EA Verbal section questions challenging is that it’s easy to get the impression that you have a good reason for choosing a Verbal answer when you don’t really.

We don’t normally experience this issue in EA Quant, since it’s pretty clear whether we’ve done the work necessary for answering a Quant question. For example, if a Quant question asks how many days it takes to complete a certain task, we can easily tell that we haven’t answered the question until we’ve calculated the number of days.

However, in Verbal, whether we’ve actually done what we need to do to correctly answer a question isn’t always clear. For instance, we may just “feel good” about a choice and decide to choose it. Or we could find a choice that has wording similar to that of the passage and choose that one.

In such cases we haven’t really done what we need to in order to answer the question. We haven’t found solid, logical support for our choice. However, we may feel that we’ve done enough because there is no obvious cutoff between not having a good reason for selecting a particular choice and having done all the work necessary for truly supporting our answer. So, what can we do?

We can develop awareness of how well we have supported our Verbal answers. In other words, we can develop a sense of the difference between selecting a choice without having a good reason and having solid reasons for selecting a choice. Then, when answering Verbal practice questions, we can keep working on each question until it’s clear that we’ve found solid reasons for selecting one choice over the others.

Sticking With a Question Until You Have Good Reasons for Selecting a Choice

By being aware of whether we have solid support for our answer and sticking with each question until we have such support, we’ll develop strong Verbal skills and score high on EA Verbal.

For example, when we’re answering a Critical Reasoning Weaken question, the fact that some choices seem extreme is not a solid reason for eliminating them. Also, the fact that a choice mentions something discussed in the passage is not a good reason to choose it. In contrast, the fact that a choice clearly demonstrates that the conclusion doesn’t follow from the evidence is a good reason to choose it.

Similarly, in Reading Comprehension, the fact that an answer choice has the vibe of matching what the passage says isn’t a good reason to select it. We need to stick with each Reading Comprehension question until we’ve found clear failure points in four incorrect choices and language in the passage that supports our answer.


Key to mastering EA Verbal is learning to be aware of whether you’ve solidly supported your answer.

Let’s now wrap up with a summary of what we’ve discussed.

In Summary: What Are Some Essential Tips to Keep in Mind for EA Verbal Reasoning Practice?

We’ve seen that some key Executive Assessment Verbal practice strategies are the following:

  1. Start off practicing each Executive Assessment Verbal topic untimed.
  2. Shoot for high accuracy in your EA Verbal practice.
  3. Treat each EA Verbal answer choice as a question to answer.
  4. Develop awareness of how well you’ve supported your Verbal answers.

By applying these powerful Executive Assessment Verbal tips, you’ll maximize the results of your practice and achieve your target EA score on test day.

What’s Next?

To learn more about preparing for the Executive Assessment, see our post on the best way to study for the EA.

For ways to motivate yourself to accomplish your EA goal, check out our post on how to stay motivated when studying for the EA.

If you’re curious about the Target Test Prep EA course, you can watch this interview of a TTP EA course user.

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