My only study experience in the CFA program has come from preparing for the Level I exam. How can one compare this to GMAT preparation. How many hours do people study for the GMAT? How does this exam compare to the Level I exam? If anyone can give me a general feel I would appreciate it.
Completely different tests. The GMAT is kind of an iq test which makes it an entirely different beast to study for. You can’t compare the GMAT to any levels of the CFA. Required study time is entirely dependent on you. What score are you aiming for? While not a reliable indicator a lot of people look back to the SAT as a baseline of GMAT performance because both exams include relatively similar material. Some gifted people can study 50 hours for the GMAT and score a 750+ while others may study for months just to crack 600. It definitely helps to be a good natural test taker. General Consensus - The GMAT is much harder than it appears.
I put in much more time for Level 1 than I did for the GMAT. For the GMAT, I just used the book of past questions from GMAC and a Kaplan guide. I probably prepped for about 40 hours.
Chuckrox8 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Completely different tests. The GMAT is kind of > an iq test which makes it an entirely different > beast to study for. You can’t compare the GMAT to > any levels of the CFA. > > Required study time is entirely dependent on you. > What score are you aiming for? While not a > reliable indicator a lot of people look back to > the SAT as a baseline of GMAT performance because > both exams include relatively similar material. > Some gifted people can study 50 hours for the GMAT > and score a 750+ while others may study for months > just to crack 600. It definitely helps to be a > good natural test taker. Chuck’s response is accurate. The tests are very unrelated. The only thing that may help is if you are a good natural test-taker. A strong grasp of high school math concepts (algebra, geometry, basic deductive reasoning/logic) will aid you in the math section.
I agree with Chuck’s assessment as well. I tried to edit my response to mention that, but couldn’t.
The largest difference between the GMAT and CFA1 is that CFA1 is pass-or-fail, while GMAT is a graded exam with no set passing grade. If you take CFA1 with only 40 hours of studying, you will almost certainly fail. If you take GMAT with only 40 hours of studying, you definately will not fail – because you can’t fail. However, you may fail to get a score that’s good enough to get into the schools you are interested in attending. You could probably come up with a GMAT score that approximately equates the two. Like, “Passing CFA1 takes about as much prep as cracking 670 on the GMAT”. But even then it would be a very rough approximation that would not be relevant for many candidates – because CFA1 is a finance exam, and GMAT is a math and english test.
having studied for both i’d give you an advice: treat the gmat as if it were a cfa level exam. that is, apply the same effort and attention to detail, and practice the hell outta of the stuff. if you do, you’ll ace it. take a look at “manhattan gmat”. get the whole set of books if you can
GMAT and CFA L1 have different end games. GMAT is for business school (which I am sure you know) but in this economy, your work experience counts more than anything. The GMAT score is a general filter for those applying to the MBA programs. If youre going to get a MBA from, let’s say, Cornell with 3 years in middle or back office, don’t count on, in all likelihood, of career-switching to investment banking or private equity. Don’t believe me? Speak to the average Cornellian. CFA is for portfolio management.
Come on dude, Cornell is all about the Hospitality MBA.
Thanks guys. I am interviewing again with a company that has very good “ties” with a top MBA school. Does anyone know how important these “ties” can be and how it affects the kind of scores you need to get into the program. Since pacmandefense mentioned the importance of “work history,” I’m guessing this company’s ties would benefit me. What if they have these great connections and I score a 650 instead of the 700+ avg listed for these top programs? Also, my major and minor GPAs for undergrad are 3.8, but I switched majors a few times so my overall GPA is about 3.5. Will this hurt me?
Maybe an MBA forum would be a better place to field these questions. In any case, I would assume that you should have at least have test scores and grades within the 25/75 percentiles to be a competitive candidate at any business school.
Check gmatclub.com. The quality of your work experience will certainly come into play during the app process, but I would say that your GMAT score would need to be strong under any scenario. i.e. Working for Goldman Sachs or a Mckinsey of the world doesn’t automatically lower the bar for your GMAT score as you illustrated. Bschools will still want to see that you have the natural ability to score strongly on the GMAT. They’ll immediately focus in on the 650 score and then everything else. Treat them as separate admissions criteria. Letters of recommendation are extremely important for top mba admission. If you can get your superiors to write stellar recs from a top tier shop then that will go a long way. A 3.5 isn’t going to “kill” your chances, but you need to score a 700+ to compensate. Unless you have a 3.8+ in a difficult major, i.e. hard sciences, mathematics, etc… you will need a 700+ to get into a top 5 program. I would rank the admission criteria in the following manner: 1) Work Experience (how long, how many jobs, leadership, career field, etc…) 2) Demographic (if you’re an Indian working in IT forget HBS unless you are a superstar) 3) GPA 3) GMAT 4) Essays 5) Recommendation Letters My $.02. I’ll be taking the GMAT this summer and applying for 2012 R1 admission this fall.
robber07 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Thanks guys. I am interviewing again with a > company that has very good “ties” with a top MBA > school. Does anyone know how important these > “ties” can be and how it affects the kind of > scores you need to get into the program. > > Since pacmandefense mentioned the importance of > “work history,” I’m guessing this company’s ties > would benefit me. What if they have these great > connections and I score a 650 instead of the 700+ > avg listed for these top programs? you are misinterpreting what i am saying. Your job responsibilities matter more than the company name. Those “connections” are extremely rare and you will be pitted against other people of the same work experience background. The prestige of working in Blackstone middle office will not help you. In fact, if you don’t know exactly what companies recruit at the target schools for what positions and how exactly your work experience makes u a perfect fit into those positions, i’d advise against going to business school. If you miss the 25%-75% GMAT median cutoff of a school, you are evaluated based on other areas (e.g under represented minority, outstanding work experience, impressive leadership positions, etc). The GMAT is just one filter in the admissions process. You need to be outstanding in those other areas for them to overlook a 650 GMAT score.