Getting a great quant score on the Executive Assessment (EA) is essential to show business schools that you are ready for the rigors of their programs. So, if you are struggling with EA Quant or just wondering how to improve your EA Quant score, we’ve got you covered. This article will discuss 6 tips that you can implement to increase your EA Quant score.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Tip #1: EA Quant Is Not Just a Math Test
- Tip #2: Take A Topic-by-Topic Approach
- Tip #3: Build a Strong Foundation First
- Tip #4: Regularly Review What You’ve Learned
- Tip #5: Avoid Careless Mistakes
- Tip #6: Use One Resource to Prep for EA Quant
- What’s Next?
Tip #1: EA Quant Is Not Just a Math Test
Even if you have a strong math background, it’s important to realize that the math problems you solved in high school or college are of a different flavor from what you will see on the Executive Assessment. Understanding these differences is a good first step toward improving your EA Quant score. For example, EA Quant involves logical reasoning in addition to math concepts. Therefore, raising your score requires developing abilities specifically related to the EA Quant game.
EA Quant involves logical reasoning in addition to math concepts.
Yes, you must understand various fundamental math concepts such as the difference of squares, patterns in units digits, divisibility, algebraic translations, Venn diagrams, and permutations and combinations. It will be challenging to raise your EA Quant score without a firm grasp of the underlying math.
However, you must go well beyond simple proficiency in employing those concepts. To master EA Quant, you need to hone your analytical reasoning abilities so that you can successfully navigate the layers of EA Quant questions.
TTP PRO TIP:
You’ll need to be armed with a combination of solid math knowledge and analytical reasoning skills to improve your EA Quant score.
So, how do you hone your analytical skills? Learn to think like the test-maker!
Think Like the Test-Maker
The fact that the underlying concepts tested in many EA Quant questions are of high school level does not mean that the questions themselves are super straightforward.
Every quant question on the EA has a distinct “EA flair.” Thus, to succeed in the Quant section of the Executive Assessment, you must begin to think like the test-maker. Furthermore, you must become acquainted with the peculiarities of EA Quant questions. Doing so will allow you to spot traps and bull your way through roadblocks.
For example, try the following very simple EA Quant question:
The price of a particular stock has fallen by 50%. By what percent must the price of the stock increase to return to the original price?
If you picked (A), you fell for a trap answer choice that only looks logical. Presenting an opportunity to make a common mistake in logic makes for a good EA quant question and adds an “EA flair” to the question.
An EA test-taker might select choice (A) after concluding that, if something decreases by 50%, and then increases by 50%, it will be back at its original value. However, this logic is specious.
A simple way to solve this problem is to pick an easy number to use for the original price of the stock, such as $100. After the 50% decrease, the stock’s value becomes $50. Thus, the price of the stock must increase by $50, or increase 100% in value, in order to return to its original price. So, answer choice (C), 100%, is the correct answer.
TTP PRO TIP:
Learn to think like the test-maker and understand the “EA flair” in each quant question.
Tip #2: Take A Topic-by-Topic Approach
When you take a topic-by-topic approach to your EA Quant prep, you:
- Work through EA Quant questions one topic at a time.
- Learn how to decipher the logic of EA Quant questions.
- Learn multiple approaches for getting correct answers.
Work Through Topics One at a Time
Because the EA can throw so many questions at you from so many topics, it’s ideal to learn each EA Quant topic one at a time. By doing so, you can become proficient at answering each question type. This will keep your learning efficient and organized.
The secret to using this topical study strategy is to first learn everything there is to know about a specific quant topic, and then practice that topic until you have achieved mastery of it.
For example, let’s say that you are studying quadratic equations. First, you will learn everything there is to know about quadratic equations, including factoring, foiling, the zero product property, the quadratic identities, the difference of squares, etc. You’ll then practice more than 100 questions focusing just on quadratic equations. Break these into sets of 15 questions each. After completing each problem set, spend ample time reviewing your wrong answers to identify any knowledge or skill gaps. Move on to the next quantitative topic after you have studied, practiced, and reviewed quadratic equations.
TTP PRO TIP:
Put yourself in a position to master each EA Quant topic by working through the topics one at a time.
Tip #3: Build a Strong Foundation First
Students frequently neglect the foundations in favor of focusing their study efforts on difficult EA math problems, such as those involving complex formulas and concepts. However, it’s never wise to run before you walk.
You must acquire the knowledge and abilities necessary for EA Quant in a sequential, organized fashion. If you start and finish with the most advanced concepts, it will be hard for you to learn EA Quant successfully.
If you start and finish with the most advanced concepts, it will be hard for you to learn EA Quant successfully.
For example, if you are learning about quadratic equations, it would make sense for you to first become familiar with the more fundamental concepts of FOILing and factoring quadratic equations before moving on to questions about the difference of squares or quadratic identities.
Now, you may be wondering, how can I ensure that I don’t forget all of these quant concepts I’ll be learning while studying?
Tip #4: Regularly Review What You’ve Learned
There is a lot to learn for EA Quant. Thus, if you do not engage in weekly review sessions, there is a high likelihood that you will begin to forget past material.
If you do not engage in weekly review sessions, there is a high likelihood that you will begin to forget past material.
There are two simple things you can do for review:
- Take strategic notes and review them frequently.
- Make flashcards and review them often.
Let’s discuss each of these review strategies.
Take Strategic Notes
Taking notes will enable you to actively participate in your Executive Assessment preparation and provide a vehicle for easily reviewing past topics.
Being an active participant, rather than a passive one, during your study is critical. Think about all the times you have read a page of an article or a book only to realize that you have no recollection of what you just read!
By making notes while you read, you will stop this wasteful practice. In addition, taking notes will require you to think more deeply about what an idea or principle means, and thus improve your knowledge and memory of that concept.
TTP PRO TIP:
Avoid being a victim of mindless reading; take notes as you study.
Put Quant Concepts on Flashcards
After taking notes, think about making flashcards so you can quickly and frequently review EA Quant concepts.
Flashcards are practical, since you can use them virtually anywhere. Take your flashcards out and study while on a lunch break at work or sitting in the waiting room at the dentist’s office.
While some students favor traditional paper flashcards, others prefer digital ones. Regardless of the format you decide on, review your flashcards periodically. Then, before each use, shuffle the deck for a challenge.
Your pile of flashcards will grow as you move forward with your study plan. Divide your flashcards into two piles: one for EA Quant topics you have mastered and another for EA Quant topics you have not. This will help you keep organized and focused on what’s important.
TTP PRO TIP:
Separate your flashcards into one pile for EA Quant concepts you’ve mastered and another pile for concepts you haven’t mastered.
Now, let’s discuss the importance of avoiding careless mistakes.
Tip #5: Avoid Careless Mistakes
Careless errors can crush an EA Quant score. As a result, you must make every effort to keep them from happening. Let’s review how careless errors can be detrimental.
Careless Errors Suck Up Precious Time
Time is wasted on careless errors. For example, suppose you complete a math problem and discover that your answer is not listed because you’ve made a careless mistake. To come up with the correct answer, you either need to rework the problem or guess and move on.
Neither situation is ideal. Either you waste time trying to come up with the correct answer or risk getting the question wrong because of a guess.
TTP PRO TIP:
Avoiding careless errors will reduce the number of questions you have to either redo or guess on in the EA Quant section.
So, let’s discuss how to reduce careless errors.
Work Slowly and Carefully
Working deliberately and meticulously is one way to avoid making careless errors. Yes, I understand that the EA is a timed exam. However, find a pace that allows you to move quickly without carelessly rushing.
TTP PRO TIP:
Working deliberately and meticulously is one way to avoid making careless errors
Become Aware of the Types of Errors You Make
Increasing your awareness of the types of errors you make is another way to reduce careless mistakes. Do you, for instance, frequently make mistakes when adding or subtracting? Do you often solve for the wrong variable in linear equations? These are just a couple of examples, but I think you get the point. Be aware of the reasons for your incorrect answers, and then address your issues.
TTP PRO TIP:
To improve your EA quant score, learn about what types of errors you make, so you can keep them from happening in the future.
Tip #6: Use One Resource to Prep for EA Quant
Using a variety of EA Quant preparation resources is a mistake I frequently see students make. Although most test prep courses cover some of the same material, they do so differently. In addition, combining several study strategies could make mastering EA Quant difficult. Thus, find a resource that provides one-stop shopping for learning EA Quant.
Furthermore, think about changing resources if your current study tools are ineffective. Are your current materials detailed enough? Do they provide a study plan? Do the explanations of the practice problems seem clear to you? If the answer is no to any of those questions, then maybe getting new materials is a good idea.
Nearly all online self-study courses provide free or low-cost trials. Try some out, and find a course that works for you. However, be sure to choose a course that you can stick with until the end.
TTP PRO TIP:
If your current prep materials are not working for you, consider making a switch.
Increasing Your EA Quant Score: Key Takeaways
Here is a summary of some high-value EA Quant tips to help you increase your quantitative EA score.
- EA Quant is not just a math test; it’s also a reasoning test.
- Learn to think like the test-maker.
- Take a topic-by-topic approach when studying for the EA.
- Build a strong math foundation first.
- Regularly review what you have learned.
- Take notes and make flashcards when you study.
- Avoid careless mistakes.
- Work slowly and carefully.
- Become aware of the types of errors you tend to make.
- Use one resource to prep for the EA.
Put these ideas into practice, and you’ll have a high probability of seeing a significant increase in your EA Quant Score.
Now that you have some great ideas for increasing your EA quant score, check out these EA sample questions.