Apologies in advance for the negative nature of this post, but I feel that failure in the CFA is not an area that’s covered enough - people don’t like talking about it, perhaps. That’s exactly why I feel that sometimes it should be addressed properly.
Besides the basic degree and professional certifications like the CFA charter, I also pursued Taekwondo, mostly as a teenager. As I progressed to more senior levels I competed in a few sparring sessions.
I wasn’t pro in any sense, mind you - just some basic fooling around with some coaching from my instructor. But one phenomenon I observed within my own sparring technique was that I would start the fight very conservatively. I would keep my distance and try to slowly work my way in.
It was only if and when my opponent landed a first proper hit on me that I would get pissed off and really aggressive. It wasn’t due to any thinking on my part, purely primal - the aggressiveness was immediate and automatic.
I felt this way again years later, when I stared at my results for my first CFA Level II exam. Failure Band 10. I got pretty annoyed and thought man, now I really gotta finish this damn thing.
It served me well - the drive I got pushed me through the next two levels and I never failed again.
In my retake, I realised I made several mistakes. I underestimated the amount of work involved the last time, and was multi-tasking doing extra freelance work & attending courses to learn a new language. So this time I really made sure I concentrated on just hitting my CFA studies. I also paid more attention to topic weightings and concentrated my efforts accordingly.
Now that the results are coming out soon - if you’re expecting your results, what are your thoughts? Have you decided on whether you would be retaking if you failed? I published a poll on my blog earlier this week and here are the results so far:
So it seems that most of you are raring to rip the exam apart no matter what! I would definitely urge you that should the worst happen and you fail, use that experience to ensure that doesn’t happen the next time. Learn from any mistakes that may have been made and utilize your emotion to drive your efforts!
Having said that - here’s to hoping you don’t have to face this decision on results day! But what you would you do?