All else being equal, 750+ gmat score + "CFA 1" vs "CFA 2" alone


how much is worth a 750+ gmat score compare to “having” the CFA 2 on a resume?

It seems to me that a 750+ gmat score is much more a proof of intelligence than passing the CFA lvl 2 exam, no? I mean anyone can pass the CFA lvl 2 if he spends 1500+ hours studying for it.

Some people will study 200 hours and get 90%+ on the exam. Others will spend 1500+ hours and barely get it. But they get the same diploma.

So i see the CFA lvl 2 as a proof of knowledge more than intelligence. In that case CFA lvl 2 + high GMAT score on a resume should be much better than CFA lvl 2 alone.

Or for instance who would you choose, all else being equal, between a “CFA 1” + 780 gmat score and “CFA 2” alone?

or ”CFA 2” + 780 gmat score and “CFA 3” alone?

This other topic explain my situation:

thanks for you help

I would take the high GMAT and get into a top MBA program. Then can still always take the CFA exams later. The GMAT scores are more time sensative whereas the CFA can be useful for decades down the road

thanks for the fast reply :slight_smile:

Considering i have no profesional experience and poor undergrad academic results, I don’t think i could get into a top MBA program even with a 800 gmat score :slight_smile: (and i stopped my studies for 3 years to play poker)

Also i am currently doing a master in a french business school.

I am thinking of taking the GMAT to help me get a first internship in finance starting january 2015. I am also a CFA lvl 2 candidate.

If the sole goal is to get an internship, I personally think more employers would value CFA level 1 or 2 completion over a high GMAT score. But that’s just my humble opinion. I’m sure other posters could tell you better than I could

For me this is not about choosing between CFA 2 and gmat. I will take the CFA lvl 2 and then focus on the GMAT. I am just trying to get a sense of the value of a high gmat score in my situation. If someone tell me a gmat score of 680 is not going to make any difference in my case, but a 760 score would have a big impact, then i know what to expect, and i can prepare myself accordingly.

Great MBA program > CFA

GMAT is a much better predictor of overall possible academic performance. You should emphasize GMAT score + Undergrad grades. As a matter of fact, i saw some job postings mentioning high SATs score.

That is IMHO.

I just want to know the added value of a very high gmat score on a resume for a first internship in finance :slight_smile: (considering that i have no profesionnal experience)

Considering that i don’t want to do a MBA, I would like to be sure that a 750+ gmat score can really make a difference.

comparing 2 candidates: “CFA 1” with 750+ gmat VS “CFA 2” is just a good way to get an idea of the added value of a 750+ gmat.

sorry if i am confusing :slight_smile:

this post explain my situation:…

$1 plus a 750 GMAT will buy you a cup of coffee, if it’s cheap coffee.

Next time you give somebody your resume, put “750 GMAT” on there and see how quickly it finds the working end of the shredder.

If you told me that you scored a 750 on the GMAT but never plan to get an MBA, some questions I would ask would include:

  • Why did you waste the $250 to take the GMAT?
  • How many hours did you waste studying for a test that you know for a fact will never do you any good, since you don’t plan to use it?
  • If you didn’t study, then you must naturally be that smart. Why then, are letting your talent go to waste when so many other would kill to have a 750 GMAT?
  • If you’re going to waste your time and money and brain, why would I want you on my team? Will you waste all of my resources too?


Is it impossible that a recruiter would think like this about a 770 gmat score?: “wow, this guy is something different. He has no professional experience and average academics, but a huge potential. If he does a good interview, I am going to hire him, form him, and make a big profit of an undervalued asset :)”

Also i may do a MBA one day. I suppose i need at least 3-4 years of professional experience.

In my (admittedly very limited) experience, they’re more likely to say, “Guy got a 750 GMAT but average academics? Sounds lazy and unmotivated to me, which is the very opposite of what I want. He’ll probably be a perpetual underachiever.”

And when you get ready to do that MBA one day, your 3-4 year-old score will be stale. I don’t know, because I’ve never been on an academic committee, but I would imagine that they’ll want a newer score, or that they’ll ding you for having old scores.


Anyone could also a achieve a 750+ score on the GMAT if they spent enough time studying for it.

By average academics i mean the fact that i am 3 years late in my studies and in a good but not top business school. Like i said i stopped my studies for 3 years to be a professional poker player. Then i realize i didn’t want to do that all my life so i got into my business school. Since then i pass the CFA lvl 1 and i will probably pass the CFA lvl 2 this year. This show at least some motivation.

You really don’t think that a 750+ gmat could help me get a few interviews?

ps: i read that gmat scores are valid 5 years.

This is almost like saying anyone can get a 140 IQ if they study hard enough.

You can’t wipe the slate clean with a GMAT score unfortunately. It can help but only marginally. I wouldn’t bother.

You can argue that you are an intelligent person that didn’t work hard in undergrad but that in itself is a ding. Show them why you’ve changed into a hard working person who’s motivated.

Another concern would be you playing poker for a living for 3 years. This is a ding. In North America, most employers will think this is the easy way out of the working life grind unless you are a top top player. Some smaller employers may like this about a candidate but not 3 years worth. Tell them why these skills are transferable to whatever field you want to move into.

I would spend your time networking and producing samples of analytical work whether it be reports or whatever you want to move into. Don’t expect to find someone who will take you on and teach you everything you need to know - that’s not happening, they have to get something from you as well.

Also brush up on your English writing/speaking skills.

Thanks for the post :slight_smile:

How would an employer know if i was a hard worker during my undergrad studies? You are not suppose to put your GPA on your resume are you?

I was thinking that a “CFA lvl 2” would show that i am now hard working and motivated, but maybe not that smart. Also it shows that i have some knowledge in finance, so they don’t have to teach me everything.

But being “smart” is critical no?? What makes you good at a profession is mostly what you learn on the job.

I read that many employers in finance ask for gmat scores. I guess this is for this very reason.

I know i need to brush up my english writing/speaking skills. Especially if i want to pass the CFA lvl 3. This is why i am going to London.

When they ask to see your transcript, they’ll know what your GPA was and they’ll know whether you worked hard.

“CFA L2 Candidate” means that you’re able to pass the entrance exam. “Passed Level 2” means you’re either smart or hard working, and have a base knowledge.

Being smart is overrated. I’d rather have a hard-working person with average intellect any day of the week. Smart people tend to rely on their brains and don’t put enough “elbow grease” into their work.

I have never heard of an employer asking for a GMAT score.

Read my post again, you’ve missed some nuances. And generally, its better to own up to your shortcomings and offer a solution than trying to hide them.

In France it really doesn’t matter what your grades are, it is all about the school you get into. To get into the best schools you have to take several competitive exams. Most of the time they don’t look at your grades. But a friend told me it is different in England and US.

Why do employers want GMAT scores?:

Considering how easy I found the CFA lvl 1 and how lazy i am i guess you have a point :slight_smile:

I never had to study consistently in my entire life. In high school i would do other things in class and study one or 2 days before each exam. At the university, i would never go to classes and study like a maniac one week each semester just to pass.

But i don’t know if my chronic procrastination and my relative intelligence are related. I think i may be ADD. I have a lot of trouble focusing on anything that i am not passionated about, unless i feel like i don’t have a choice. However i believe that in the professional world there will be enough pressure for me to work hard.