The Best Way to Study for the Executive Assessment: 7 Strategies for Success

Preparing for the Executive Assessment (EA) is a serious undertaking, so you’ll need to follow a solid study strategy to ensure that you get your desired EA score. The good news is that if you have a well-structured, organized, and well-thought-out study plan, there is no reason why you can’t hit your target EA score.

How to study for the Executive Assessment

This article will walk through the components of a great EA study plan. The proposed study plan is broken into two key parts: the learning phase and the practice phase. This two-phase strategy is the ideal way to study for the EA.

Here are the topics we’ll cover:

Let’s begin by discussing the two phases of your study plan in detail.

The Two Main Phases of EA Preparation

The learning and practice-test phases are two separate phases of your EA study plan. The first part (the learning phase) entails studying and practicing EA quantitative, verbal, and Integrated Reasoning topics. The second part (the practice-test phase) comprises taking full-length practice tests to put your skills to the test.

These two phases must be kept distinct. After taking a practice exam to establish a baseline score, don’t take any more practice tests until you’ve completed the entire learning phase of your study plan.

We recommend waiting because, if you take practice tests too soon, you won’t be able to make much sense of them. Think about it: is it helpful to see that you are getting questions wrong because you have not learned the content on which those questions are based? For example, let’s say you take a practice exam before learning exponents and incorrectly answer four questions dealing with exponents. What exactly does that mean? What you already knew: you aren’t very good at exponents. Such a result is not surprising, considering you haven’t studied exponents yet!


Avoid taking practice tests during the learning phase of your EA preparation.

Let’s now discuss some more details of the first phase of your EA preparation: the learning phase.

Phase 1: The Learning Phase

You’ve researched the schools you want to attend and set a goal score. To get your baseline score, you’ve finished your first full-length, official Executive Assessment practice test under realistic testing conditions. Great — you’re ready to dive into your EA prep!

So, you might be wondering, “Now what?” To begin, consider that EA quantitative, verbal, and IR questions span many topics. You may be thinking that because you will take the EA exam, you don’t have to study as much as you would have to for the GMAT exam. Honestly, the difference is minimal! Sure, there are fewer questions on the EA than on the GMAT, but except for Geometry, all GMAT topics are fair game. So, getting a great EA score will take time and effort.

Regarding how you should study for your EA, it’s impossible to predict which topics will appear on any exam. As a result, you need to follow a thorough study approach that allows you to be super prepared for anything that comes your way on test day. In other words, learning random EA topics with no organization or structure is not a productive or efficient study strategy.

On the other hand, a topical strategy is a highly effective way to master the many topics and concepts you’ll need to know to succeed on the EA. Let’s take a closer look at this strategy.

Strategy #1: Use a Topic-by-Topic Approach

We know that there is a ton you have to learn to succeed on the EA. In order to learn so much information, it’s most practical to study one topic at a time, and then move to the next topic once you’ve mastered the previous one.

If you’re wondering why, consider this: do you think it would be beneficial to move from Reading Comprehension questions to Sentence Correction questions before mastering either of those topics? I think you know the answer ….

Would jumping from Exponent questions to Quadratic questions to Probability questions before knowing those topics be beneficial? Again, I think you know the answer ….

If you are constantly jumping from one topic to the next before gaining mastery, you won’t be able to gain traction in any one quantitative or verbal topic.

Thus, the structure of your EA study plan should be to master one topic at a time, and then practice questions only on that topic before moving on to the next. Start with the fundamentals and work your way up to more advanced concepts using this strategy.


Don’t try to learn advanced topics before mastering the fundamentals.

The TTP Topical Study Plan

Let’s look at an example of a topical study plan. The study plan in the TTP EA Course begins with a chapter on Essential EA Quant Skills, such as fraction and decimal rules, basics of exponents and roots, PEMDAS, etc. We present individual lessons on each of these mini-topics, followed by 3+ practice questions to ensure immediate mastery. Then, at the end of the chapter, students are presented with a number of chapter tests.

Each subsequent chapter in the TTP course follows a similar structure; chapter tests totaling 100+ questions from each chapter again serve as a checkpoint to ensure mastery.

Following each chapter test, students are presented with detailed metrics that allow them to easily see their strengths and weaknesses based on the data from each test, fill in knowledge gaps, and ensure that they fix any weak areas. Once they have practiced and reviewed all questions from a particular chapter, students move on to the next topic in the study plan.

Executive Assessment strategies


To make your EA prep more structured, efficient, and effective, take a topic-by-topic approach.

Now that you have a basic structure for your study plan, let’s talk about some additional study strategies you should utilize to master each new EA topic.

Strategy #2: Alternate Between Quantitative and Verbal Study

While some separation of quant and verbal study is beneficial in EA preparation, I don’t recommend studying EA quant and verbal at entirely different periods of your prep. For example, I would not study only EA quant for two months and only EA verbal for the next two months. Having such wide gaps between seeing quant or verbal topics will make it more difficult to remember what you’ve learned. For example, let’s say you studied quant for the first two months of your prep and then exclusively studied verbal for the next two months. Can you imagine how much quant knowledge you’d forget by month four?

On the other hand, alternating between quant and verbal will actually help you with your retention. When dealing with many concepts in a single topic, it’s vital to give our brains a break. Consider spending a whole semester taking only math classes. Even if you enjoy math, dedicating hours each day to it would most certainly result in boredom and burnout.

Alternating quant and verbal topics within your study plan is key for avoiding those issues. For example, the TTP study plan is broken up into missions, and each mission consists of a quant part and a verbal part. So, let’s say you begin a particular mission by studying Linear equations. Next, you’d complete the verbal component of that mission, which would be a chapter on Sentence Correction. You’d then jump back to a quant chapter, perhaps Roots and Exponents. This process continues throughout the entire TTP study plan.


Alternate between learning a quant topic and learning a verbal topic in order to boost your knowledge, abilities, and retention.

Next, let’s discuss why it’s important to take notes.

Strategy #3: Take Notes While Learning

Taking notes as you discover new topics is critical when you’re in the learning phase of your EA prep. Students frequently read about concepts or watch videos without doing anything to reinforce what they’ve learned. Passive learning is not effective.

Taking notes as you explore new concepts is one approach to becoming a more active participant in your learning. Putting a concept into your own words enables you to think about its meaning and thus will help with retention. So, be sure to engage your brain by taking meaningful notes on the key concepts provided when reading a lesson or viewing a video.

Taking notes can help you remember more information and provide you with a summarized record of what you have just learned. Additionally, taking notes will aid in creating flashcards, which we will discuss next.


Taking notes makes you a more active learner and provides you with reference material for later review.

Strategy #4: Use Flashcards to Study Strategically

Making and reviewing flashcards that highlight key topics is an excellent way to make your EA study more efficient. Some students prefer traditional paper flashcards, while others prefer digital flashcards. Use whatever is most convenient for you.

Flashcards are helpful because you can use them practically everywhere. If you ride public transportation to and from work, study your flashcards during that time. Take out your flashcards and give yourself a 2-minute quiz while waiting in line at the grocery store. You’ll find multiple opportunities to fit in “quick-hit” flashcard study sessions throughout your day, and those study minutes add up! By fitting in 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there, you can add 20 minutes to your daily study time. You’d get an extra 2+ hours of EA study time in a week!

When using your flashcards, shuffle the deck or randomize your cards to keep yourself on your toes. Looking at your flashcards in a random order will make your brain work more to recall the material, and your retention will improve.

As you progress through your EA study plan, the number of flashcards you have will grow. So, to keep your flashcard studying efficient, divide your cards into two piles, one for topics you’ve mastered and another for concepts you haven’t. You’ll naturally want to check the “not mastered” pile more frequently than the “mastered” pile. However, as we’ll see next, you won’t want to forget what you’ve already learned, so regularly check your “mastered” pile. If you’re stuck on what to put on your flashcards, check out the TTP EA quant equation guide for some ideas.


Shuffle the deck before each use to make your flashcard review tougher.

Next, let’s discuss the important strategy of taking a look back at what you’ve learned.

Strategy #5: Take a Look Back at What You’ve Learned

As you progress through the learning phase of your EA study plan, you must regularly return to topics you’ve already covered. As we’ve already discussed, you don’t want to stray so far from a topic that you forget about it. Because there is so much information to learn for the EA, if you don’t review previous topics frequently, you risk losing knowledge as you advance through your study plan.

Consider learning a foreign language: even if you become proficient, it won’t take long to forget words if you don’t hear and speak the language regularly. Prep for the Executive Assessment is no different. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to study a topic only once and remember it on test day.

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to study a topic only once and remember it on test day.

So, as part of your EA study plan, include periodic review tests on previously studied topics. It would be best if you completed these tests in addition to fitting in flashcard reviews. Review tests will show you where you are strong and what areas still need to be improved.

The TTP Periodic Review Process

Let’s consider an example of periodic review. In the TTP study plan, when students progress from one quant or verbal chapter to the next, they begin with a review quiz that contains 10 questions based on several of the previous chapters they’ve studied. Thus, even as students learn new information, they can ensure that they don’t forget concepts and strategies from past topics.

Executive Assessment topics

For example, if a TTP student completes the Number Properties chapter on day 75, it’s not as if she will not see another Number Properties question until months later. Rather, on days 85, 100, 127, and so on, she may encounter Number Properties questions in mixed-problem review tests.

The TTP study plan also contains more extensive, 40-question review tests that cover material from numerous previous chapters and include representative question types. These tests give a strategic review of previously studied concepts and plenty of timed practice.

Executive Assessment review test

Returning to previously taught EA topics at frequent, strategic intervals trains your brain to recognize important past concepts. So, make sure periodic review, both with flashcards and quizzes, is a regular part of your prep.


Returning to previously taught EA topics at frequent, strategic intervals trains your brain to recognize important past concepts.

Reviewing your error log is another opportunity to evaluate earlier topics on a frequent basis. Let’s talk about that strategy now.

Strategy #6: Examine Your Error Log Weekly

While it’s critical to go over each EA question you answered incorrectly, it’s also crucial to keep track of those wrong answers and why you chose them. However, tracking errors is just half the battle. You also have to review those errors regularly to break your bad habits.

For example, there is a built-in error log in the TTP course that we recommend that students review once a week. In the error log, our students reread the solutions to the questions they answered incorrectly, and then return to their study materials or notes to review any concepts that may have slipped through the cracks.

Best Executive Assessment prep course

Doing a weekly “check-in” with your error log ensures that you’re never faced with an overwhelming number of topics that need to be improved. Consider how much work you’d have to do if you studied and practiced for the EA for three months before checking your error log. Your list of issues might be so extensive that you’d be tempted to throw in the towel with your studying.

If you don’t correct your mistakes frequently, your issues will worsen until you get to a point at which they may be virtually unfixable. Checking in with your error log on a weekly basis guarantees that knowledge gaps and bad behaviors don’t fester and grow.


Checking in with your error log on a weekly basis guarantees that knowledge gaps and bad behaviors don’t fester and grow.

The learning part of your preparation will be complete once you’ve properly studied and practiced each EA topic, revisited previous topics in mixed sets, and reviewed and fixed your weak areas. At that point, you’ll be ready to go on to the second (and final) step of your EA preparation: taking full-length practice exams in the practice-test phase.

Phase 2: The Practice-Test Phase

In the final part of your study plan, you’ll take the remaining four full-length, official EA practice exams. (The website offers four practice exams, but you’ll have already taken one to set your baseline EA score at the start of your study plan.) Let’s talk about how to complete the remaining practice exams.

Strategy #7: Spread Out Your Practice Tests

Completing the official EA practice tests will help you get comfortable with the test-taking process, build stamina, fine-tune your pacing, and pinpoint any lingering weak areas. However, this technique of using the practice exams to help with any remaining weak areas works only after you’ve completed the learning phase of your study plan.

Make sure your practice examinations are spaced apart, with around seven days between them. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you have to complete all three practice tests in one week. You’ll have more time between practice tests to review and correct your weak areas if you spread them out. You’ll also give yourself a few days to clear your mind before your next practice test, which is essential for performing at your best.

Executive Assessment Practice Test

The TTP study plan gives students step-by-step guidance so they’re making the most of their practice test results by doing all of the necessary review. We generally recommend leaving around 7 days between tests.


Make sure your practice examinations are spaced apart, with around seven days between them.

Of course, if you’re not hitting your target score on full-length practice exams, you may need more time to study. There is no “standard” time frame for finishing EA preparation because every student learns at a different pace. However, as a general rule of thumb, the greater the gap between your baseline and target scores, the more time you’ll need to prepare for the EA effectively.


As a general rule, the greater the gap between your baseline and target scores, the more time you’ll need to prepare for the EA.

In Conclusion

This article has covered the two main phases of preparing for the Executive Assessment: the learning phase and the practice-test phase. We presented 7 strategies, 6 to utilize during the learning phase and 1 strategy to utilize in the practice-test phase:

  • Phase 1: The Learning Phase
    • Strategy #1: Use a Topic-by-Topic Approach
    • Strategy #2: Alternate Between Quantitative and Verbal Study
    • Strategy #3: Take Notes While Learning
    • Strategy #4: Use Flashcards to Study Strategically
    • Strategy #5: Take a Look Back at What You’ve Learned
    • Strategy #6: Examine Your Error Log Weekly
  • Phase 2: The Practice-Test Phase
    • Strategy #7: Spread Out Your Practice Tests

If you follow the advice in this article and employ these 7 Executive Assessment strategies, your studying will be efficient and effective, leading to your best score possible!

What’s Next?

You now have the tools for preparing for the Executive Assessment. Learn more about the format, structure, and types of questions asked on the EA with our complete guide to the EA. There, you’ll find answers to questions such as “How difficult is the Executive Assessment?” and “How long do I need to study for the Executive Assessment?” 

Learn some facts about EA scores that might surprise you in this article: What is a good score for the Executive Assessment?

Happy studying!

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