The wide world of testing

Preparing for EMBA - Tests

EMBA Programs use a variety of tools to evaluate a candidate’s fit with the program, and many programs include admissions tests as one of those tools. The tests helps students better understand if they are prepared to enter the program or if they might need a refresher in certain areas before classes start.

What kind of admissions tests might programs require EMBA applicants to take?

The answer to that question varies, but a number of EMBA Programs turn to one of three options: the Graduate Records Examination (GRE), the Executive Assessment, and the Graduate Management Admission Test™ (GMAT™).

Popular options

According to the 2022 Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) Membership Program Survey, more than 28 percent of EMBA Programs either accepted or required the GRE as part of their admissions criteria, and more than 37 percent of EMBA Programs either accepted or required the GMAT™ as part of their admissions criteria.

Another one-quarter of EMBA Programs either accepted or required the Executive Assessment as part of their admissions criteria. The Graduate Management Admissions Council™ (GMAC™) administers both GMAT™ and the Executive Assessment.

Throughout the years, many business programs, including EMBA Programs, have used the GMAT™. The GMAT™ exam measures an applicant’s verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing abilities for study in a graduate business program.

Most recently, GMAC developed the Executive Assessment to specifically assess the readiness of experienced professionals. It consists of three, short 30-minute sections. The Executive Assessment measures the skills that are vital both at work and in a business program, such as higher order reasoning, critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving.

Other possibilities

Some programs have developed their own assessment tests, designed specifically to help them evaluate an EMBA applicant’s readiness for their program. A few programs also may want applicants to complete a personality test, or another diagnostic test.

Also keep in mind that international applicants to U.S.-based programs may need to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language® (TOEFL®), or another English language test option.

Test preparation

EMBA Programs typically list application requirements, including testing requirements, on their websites and in their materials. Applicants also can check with EMBA Program admissions staff for information on any tests that may be required for the admissions decision.

Tackling the tests itself may sound daunting to prospective students who haven’t taken a traditional test in some time. Preparing for the test can help remove some of the anxiety. Plan to start two to four months in advance of the test.


Free GMAT™ test preparation materials are available, as well as an explanation of test administration. Other resources include the GMAT™ Official Starter Kit and Practice Exams and other online practice packages.

Prospective students can find those resources and information about the Executive Assessment, as well as register to take either test, at or

Information about the TOEFL is available at

Information about the GRE is available at