Hybrid MBA Admissions Tips: Preparing for the GMAT, GRE, or EA

As part of our admissions process, the Hybrid MBA Program requires scores from the GMAT, GRE or Executive Assessment.  These exams assess your verbal, quantitative and analytical writing skills; therefore we do not prefer one exam over the other. We recommend you choose the exam that best aligns with your strengths.

Study Materials for GRE

Which exam is right for me?

One way to decide is to take a practice exam for multiple options and compare your results. If that seems excessive,  then just take the quantitative sections for each exam. Short of that, you can consider the following differentiators for each exam to help you decide.


  • The math is considered more difficult on the GMAT than it is on the GRE. The quantitative section of the GMAT includes data sufficiency, which has proven challenging for some test takers. The data sufficiency section not only measures your ability to analyze data but it also requires you to draw conclusions using reasoning skills. Also, you may not use a calculator on this exam.
  • The verbal section is considered easier than the GRE because the questions evaluate your grammar, critical reasoning, and reading comprehension but doesn’t test your vocabulary like the GRE does.
  • The interface can be challenging because there is no going back or forward. You must answer each question before proceeding.
  • The test overall is more forgiving. You can miss several questions and still get a high score.
  • It is very hard to get a top quantitative score, but it is relatively easy to get a top verbal score due to the high percentage of math-focused test-takers.


  • The quantitative section of the GRE is said to be “easier” because it includes straight forward math problems versus the more complex quantitative plus reasoning problems you find on the GMAT. Test takers can use a calculator on this section.
  • The verbal section can be more challenging because it often incorporates vocabulary-based questions in its reading comprehension, text completion and sentence equivalence sections.
  • The interface allows you to go back and forward, making it much easier to use.

Overall the test is quite unforgiving, particularly for math: a few errors can drop your score significantly.


  • The Executive Assessment is a new exam from GMAC, the organization that administers the GMAT.
  • According to GMAC, the EA was designed with working professionals in mind, to evaluate relevant workplace skills in a convenient testing format.
  • The test is 90 minutes in duration, with 40 questions that cover integrated reasoning, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning.


Studying for GMAT

 Why do we require an admissions exam?

While other online/hybrid programs across the country waive the GMAT or GRE, we have a different view. We not only use the admissions exam as an indicator of your general intellectual ability but your capacity to succeed in an online learning environment.

  1. The GMAT/GRE/EA is required for equivalent Foster School of Business MBA programs. The Hybrid MBA Program is just as rigorous as our other MBA programs; therefore the admissions requirements for the Hybrid MBA Program are equally rigorous.
  2. The exam provides insight into your general intellectual ability as well as your capacity for independent study. A significant portion of the Hybrid MBA Program curricula will be self-directed. Successful completion of the GMAT/GRE/EA is an important indicator of your capacity to succeed in such a learning environment.
  3. Your quantitative score tells us how well you will do in the first couple quarters of the program – when quantitative courses are prominent. While a test score does not define you and your potential, we do want to ensure every student is prepared to succeed.

Want a simple plan of attack?

Here’s what we recommend:

  1. Decide on which exam to take.
  2. Take a practice exam for the exam of your choice. The most accurate predictor of performance can be found on the official GMAT or GRE websites. Use this score as your benchmark.
  3. Develop a study plan. We recommend checking out some of those test prep services, e.g., Kaplan or Princeton Review. At the very least you can attend a free introductory seminar that will give you a ton of great tips on effective study strategies as well as the exam itself.
  4. Register for your official exam (GMAT, GRE, or EA). A deadline will help you stay focused. In order to be considered, you will need to take the exam by the final application deadline so schedule your test accordingly.
  5. Begin studying.
    • Sixty days of studying is ideal. If you need to take the exam sooner than 60 days,you will need to adjust your plan and increase the number of hours you study each day.
    • We recommend you focus on your problem areas twice as much as your areas of strength. Do not ignore the parts where you feel initially confident. Many prospective students have told us how they regret not studying for the sections they thought they had already mastered.
    • Simulate the exam as many times as you can. The more you test yourself and revise your plan, the more effective your study will be. Save the official exams on the GMAT/GRE/EA sites for last.
    • Devour every article, study guide, video and workbook you can find (from a respectable source) to help improve your skills. The official sites are a good starting place.
  6. Three days before your official exam take the second simulated exam available on the official GMAT/GRE website. Compare this with your benchmark (step #2 above). See how all your studying paid off!

If you’d like more information about the Hybrid MBA, please join us for an online Info Session. The Hybrid MBA admissions team is here to help you along the way. Connect with us individually or join us for an upcoming Application Workshop for more tips on navigating the admissions process.

Read more Admissions Tips for the Hybrid MBA.

Leave a Reply