In 2016, China’s Ministry of Education implemented a requirement for Chinese Nationals from Mainland China who wish to enrol in an Executive MBA programme (EMBA): All applicants must undertake and pass a National Entrance Exam in order to qualify for a place in an EMBA programme in China. This regulation also applies to the Tsinghua-INSEAD Executive MBA (TIEMBA) programme, which takes place partly in Tsinghua University in Beijing and Shenzhen.

Registration for the Entrance Exam opens in October and is conducted in December every year. You will need to obtain a Conditional Letter of Acceptance from the school of your choice first before you are able to register for the Entrance Exam. It is advisable to start your EMBA application early to ensure that you are in time to enrol for the following year’s intake.

What exactly is the format of the National Entrance Exam and how can applicants prepare for it? Here are some information about the exam structure and preparation tips from our TIEMBA participants.

About The Exam

The exam is conducted in Chinese and is a 3-hour written paper (non-computer based) consisting of four sections. Total marks add up to 200.

Section Scope Structure Format Total Marks
1 English Reading Comprehension 2 articles, 5 questions for each article Multiple Choice 25
2 Logic Data Reasoning and Interpretation 10 questions Multiple Choice 35
3 Management Case Analysis Choose 2 out of 3 topics Essay 80
4 Business Judgement Analysis Choose 2 out of 3 topics Essay 80


5 Preparation Tips

1. Manage and allocate your time wisely during the exam. It is advisable to spend at most an hour for Section 1 and Section 2, as Section 3 and Section 4 would require more time for analysis.

2. Prepare for Section 1 and Section 2 by practising GMAT sample tests.

3. For Section 3 and Section 4, familiarise yourself with basic business analytical frameworks such as SWOT, Portal’s Five Forces or PEST, and follow up on recent political and economic news to understand what is happening in China and the rest of the world.

4. Practice hand-writing as all answers need to be hand-written. For Section 3 and 4, 600 to 1000 words are required for each topic so getting used to writing fast with a pen will help save time.

5. Reach out to alumni who have previously taken the test. Our recruitment team will be happy to provide you with more information and connect you to TIEMBA alumni for more insights.


If you would like to discuss your profile or the Chinese National Entrance Exam in more detail, please get in touch with us.  

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