Final Preparations for the GMAT/CFA

About five months ago I decided to do what I thought was a foolish thing to do: take the GMAT and CFA  back to back. Five months later, I can confirm that that was a stupid mistake. It’s kind of like saying I figured out that the stove is hot after touching it. One’s brain has only so much capacity and there isn’t much overlap between both tests besides elementary statistics, and the GMAT doesn’t even have that much if any.

Anyways, as we enter the home stretch, I just want to rehash what to do and more importantly, what not to do during the last week. The most important fact for both tests is that the studying should be done by now. Cramming at this point can only have minimal success, unless you go to a week-long boot camp or something.

For the GMAT, the four things that you could improve is:

1) Fundamentals: Right triangles, inscribed angles, things that you will forget after you take the GMAT because nobody uses it in real life

2) GMAT-specific strategy: No other tests have data sufficiency type questions

3) Anxiety: GMAT is the only computer adaptive test that I know of – which means if you are doing well, you should be feeling pretty bad as the questions get harder

4) Dealing with complexity: Take simple tasks/questions and obfuscate them with words. How else are you going to make simple algebra and grammar challenging?

For the CFA, I recommend you just taking the mock exam and studying every question you get wrong. What I noticed is that every question I got wrong on this mock exam was the same type of question I got wrong on the last CFA exam, which means I didn’t focus on my weak areas.

I would continue to do practice questions for both exam up until the test day, similar to warming up your body before a marathon, you can still run a little a few days before.

Good luck everyone…

One thought on “Final Preparations for the GMAT/CFA

  1. Michael Field

    I think it is normal to avoid weak areas. People gravitate towards their strengths. It is the same in physical fitness as academics. It is why Crossfit type programs hurt so good.


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