Fail me once, shame on........you.

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Greenman72's picture

This is for all those who say, “I will pass the test or I will die trying”, kinda like the Lenny who finally passed after 21 years of taking the CFA exam. 

———————————————-

Greenman’s Jedi Wisdom - if you fail a level once, then maybe you just didn’t show the test the respect that it deserves.  Maybe life got in the way, like it did for me at Level 1.  Maybe you could have passed it, but you ran out of time, which is what happened to me at Level 2.  There are a lot of reasons that a person fails a test once. 

But if you fail a test twice, you really need to rethink your decision to pursue the holy grail that is the CFA Charter.  If you couldn’t carve out enough study time the first two times you took it, what makes you think you’ll find the time the third time?  If you studied the “requisite” 300 hours the first time and another 300 hours the second time, what makes you think that you’ll actually pass the third time? 

And keep this in mind (especially those who fail Level 1 twice)–the test only gets harder at Level 2.  Then it gets harder still at Level 3.  If you have a lot of trouble at Level 1, it will be extremely difficult for you to finish the race. 

——————————————

For the record, I failed Level 1 once, because I was still in grad school, and wasn’t able to put in the time and effort that I needed to pass Level 1. 

I also failed Level 2 once.  I took L1 in December, and got my results on January 25.  That only left four months to study.  During those four months, Ibought a house and moved to a new city, got a new job in a new career field, and found out my wife was pregnant.  Even so, I got a score band 10. 

After failing Levels 1 and 2, I re-took both of them and aced them.  I am now awaiting Level 3 results. 



Don't mistake lack of talent for genius. --Peter Steele

Watch Peter Olinto, JD, CPA introduce you to the Elan Guides CFA Learning System
itera's picture

It’s pretty simple actually.

If you truly put in a solid effort and still failed, the CFA program may not be for you. 

If you know you slacked off, didn’t feel ready, and know you can definitely put in more time/effort, then it can make sense to continue.

L1 is actually easy. L2 is significantly harder. L3 is even harder than L2.

Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.

bchad's picture

itera wrote:

It’s pretty simple actually.

If you truly put in a solid effort and still failed, the CFA program may not be for you. 

If you know you slacked off, didn’t feel ready, and know you can definitely put in more time/effort, then it can make sense to continue.

Agree.  A lot of people underestimate the exam the first time around, or started studying too late.  If that’s what happened, then give it another shot with proper attention and see how it goes.  Also, if you were close to passing, then maybe it’s worth a try.

itera wrote:

L1 is actually easy. L2 is significantly harder. L3 is even harder than L2.

That conclusion doesn’t quite line up with your dragons post a year back or so. ;-)

You want a quote?  Haven’t I written enough already???

Greenman72's picture

In case you missed it….

itera wrote:


Don't mistake lack of talent for genius. --Peter Steele

Aether's picture

Greenman72 wrote:

In case you missed it….

itera wrote:

Fug that. No dragons bigger/better than the dragons belonging to Daenerys Targaryen. That girlie will uk you up.

Aether's picture

LOL. Good edits, mods.

NANA Hachiko's picture

Haha, i love the dragons!

but level 2 dragon looks a lot meaner than level 3.

i found level 2 slightly harder than level 3, IMHO, but not by a lot.


SFA's picture

I know this isn’t directly relevant to the point OP is making, but i think its always worthwhile to remember that…

There is a massive amount of stress created by the fact that the exam (L2 and L3) is only held once a year.  It might take someone a few years to, one way or another, learn to deal with this pressure.  The fact that they can’t deal with the pressure initially means they have a weakness.  The fact that they learn to deal with it, even if it takes five years, is a good thing.

Also, it is possible that family / health / work issues get in the way.  Maybe you get pregnant.  Maybe your kid is disabled.  Maybe a close relative is diagnosed with cancer.  Maybe there’s an issue at work that demands your attention.  If you are unlucky, these things might mean that you fail a few times.  It just means you are unlucky - it doesn’t mean that you’re not cut out for the CFA charter.

vicky_cool400's picture

best is to go after what u want

  instead of telling others what not to do and what to do

itera's picture

NANA Hachiko wrote:

Haha, i love the dragons!

but level 2 dragon looks a lot meaner than level 3.

i found level 2 slightly harder than level 3, IMHO, but not by a lot.


That’s the point! L3 dragon looks easy on the outside, but is very tough.

Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.

forzamilan2012's picture

It all comes down to - how bad do you want it.

Greenman72's picture

itera wrote:

NANA Hachiko wrote:

Haha, i love the dragons!

but level 2 dragon looks a lot meaner than level 3.

i found level 2 slightly harder than level 3, IMHO, but not by a lot.


That’s the point! L3 dragon looks easy on the outside, but is very tough.

The Red Dragon is the king of all dragons.  We discussed this in the thread that Itera originally posted it in. 

http://www.analystforum.com/forums/cfa-forums/cfa-general-discussion/91317621

and @SFA - the “once-a-year” thing is probably the single most stressful part of the exam.  If it were given every quarter, you could just keep studying and taking the test until you finally passed (a la the CPA exams). 

Don't mistake lack of talent for genius. --Peter Steele

NANA Hachiko's picture

The reason i find level2 more difficult is that, the curriculum seems larger and more diverse than level3. Think about it, level3 has a lot of material but most of them are related to portfolio management and they are more integrated and easier to understand.

Whereas level2, there are a lot of mini in depth topics completely uncorrelated to each other (time series vs pension acctg vs consolidation vs alt investment…)

I had a harder time retaining memory of what i studied in level2.

MUKHTIAR AHMED's picture

Wish you good luck for the result on july 22.

SM Lakyari

whystudy's picture

 

Greenman72, lets leave the advice till you are a charterholder or at the least completed level 3.  You shouldn’t make any comments on how people pursue the CFA exams.  The examples you have given is a very small subset.

There are many people I know which have failed more than twice and still continue to write and have passed and are not Charter holders.

The CFA exam requires a bit of luck as there are a lot of materials that’s covered but not everything is tested, especially true for level 3.  Additionally, there are many questions even if you have studied and understand the topics very well requires you to guess on the answer.  Those guesses which majority of the candidates will also have to guess have a higher degree of determining who passes.

So don’t go and discourge other people because you feel a particular way about something.

panos.kollias's picture

Greenman72 wrote:

For the record, I failed Level 1 once, because I was still in grad school, and wasn’t able to put in the time and effort that I needed to pass Level 1. 

… the first post I saw on Level II forum after I passed L1 last December was Greenman’s “Advice to people that passed today ” where he pretty much makes sure everybody realizes what a piece of cake Level I is and why we shouldn’t be too happy with our success and how it’s not a good idea to go for Level II immediately.

Then he lends credence to his “authority to give advice” by saying (sic) ” I got 70+ in everything in Level 1 and failed Level 2 “. 

I don’t want to be acrid but I think I will agree with whystudy on this one. Everybody has their own experience and it’s very unlikely that you have enough data to judge what’s best for the average candidate. 

"We're talking about a man who's satisfied Maris - something that's still on my 'to do' list."

rawraw's picture

What I’ve found is people think they are smarter than others if they are a higher level on the CFA or a charterholder.  One time someone mentioned something and said “You’ll learn more about that in L3 and you’ll change your mind.”  Little did he know I took entire classes on that topic – but I guess he didn’t know it before L3, so no one must’ve known.  

And at the same time, people like to talk up the journey after they’ve made it.  Everyone wants to be a special snowflake and braved the harsh reality, only to succeed while X% failed! 

Ivan Drago's picture

Significant component of discussions on this forum is what we call “falosometria”, probably you will understand what this means. And I find it entertaining.

born in the USSR

heyjude's picture

Maybe some humility will go you good in the long run. Dont make it such a big deal that you have cleared L2 and you have ‘come so far’.  Your advice is not a one-size-fits-all. Doesn’t sit well with many people.

Or maybe you should wait till you get your CFA L3 results before brandishing your ‘well-intended’ advice to everyone here. What if you need to repeat the L3 exam?

comp_sci_kid's picture

Clearling L1 is easier than doing a CR run in POH pre Kunark.

comp_sci_kid's picture

Majority of people fail is because they don’t have a right study regiment, just like majority don’t succeed at fintness because they don’t eat right. 

You can argue that point, but that is pretty much the truth with preparation for any activity that takes a long time. You can look at how boxers prepare for matches. They have to start training and the right time, take rest at the right time and peak just in time for the match, not earlier not later.

Traveller's picture

People can fail for any number of reasons. I breezed through level 1, and found it to be a piece of cake. Level 2, I failed not once, but twice. In addition to becoming more lazy with my studying, other things in my life started happening. My workplace was gradually turning more sour, and I was becoming more miserable. The behavior of my bosses was becoming more abusive each day, and I was desperately looking for another job. I sacrificed a week’s worth of vacation days for my third attempt at level 2, and I was almost at the height of my misery. I felt I did very poorly in the exam, having barely slept at all the previous night. My workplace was quite hostile already, with people quitting left and right. I stayed simply because did not want to quit before finding a new job.

Yet, miracles do happen, as do happy endings. I was ready to throw in the towel should I not pass. I was so certain I did not pass that I didn’t even note when the results were coming out. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the e-mail came and said I had passed. Three days later, I received a new job offer, and quit my miserable job. I dropped the resignation letter on my bosses desk 5 minutes before leaving to the airport and taking a vacation. Best week ever :)

I have a nice job now where people are treated well and my life in general is a lot happier. It’s not a coincidence that I felt pretty good about level 3 this year and am hopeful. A candidate’s personal life situation can really have a big effect.

pokhim's picture

Traveller wrote:

People can fail for any number of reasons. I breezed through level 1, and found it to be a piece of cake. Level 2, I failed not once, but twice. In addition to becoming more lazy with my studying, other things in my life started happening. My workplace was gradually turning more sour, and I was becoming more miserable. The behavior of my bosses was becoming more abusive each day, and I was desperately looking for another job. I sacrificed a week’s worth of vacation days for my third attempt at level 2, and I was almost at the height of my misery. I felt I did very poorly in the exam, having barely slept at all the previous night. My workplace was quite hostile already, with people quitting left and right. I stayed simply because did not want to quit before finding a new job.

Yet, miracles do happen, as do happy endings. I was ready to throw in the towel should I not pass. I was so certain I did not pass that I didn’t even note when the results were coming out. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the e-mail came and said I had passed. Three days later, I received a new job offer, and quit my miserable job. I dropped the resignation letter on my bosses desk 5 minutes before leaving to the airport and taking a vacation. Best week ever :)

I have a nice job now where people are treated well and my life in general is a lot happier. It’s not a coincidence that I felt pretty good about level 3 this year and am hopeful. A candidate’s personal life situation can really have a big effect.

Respect to this

pokhim's picture

Greenman72 wrote:

This is for all those who say, “I will pass the test or I will die trying”, kinda like the Lenny who finally passed after 21 years of taking the CFA exam. 

———————————————-

Greenman’s Jedi Wisdom - if you fail a level once, then maybe you just didn’t show the test the respect that it deserves.  Maybe life got in the way, like it did for me at Level 1.  Maybe you could have passed it, but you ran out of time, which is what happened to me at Level 2.  There are a lot of reasons that a person fails a test once. 

But if you fail a test twice, you really need to rethink your decision to pursue the holy grail that is the CFA Charter.  If you couldn’t carve out enough study time the first two times you took it, what makes you think you’ll find the time the third time?  If you studied the “requisite” 300 hours the first time and another 300 hours the second time, what makes you think that you’ll actually pass the third time? 

And keep this in mind (especially those who fail Level 1 twice)–the test only gets harder at Level 2.  Then it gets harder still at Level 3.  If you have a lot of trouble at Level 1, it will be extremely difficult for you to finish the race. 

——————————————

For the record, I failed Level 1 once, because I was still in grad school, and wasn’t able to put in the time and effort that I needed to pass Level 1. 

I also failed Level 2 once.  I took L1 in December, and got my results on January 25.  That only left four months to study.  During those four months, Ibought a house and moved to a new city, got a new job in a new career field, and found out my wife was pregnant.  Even so, I got a score band 10. 

After failing Levels 1 and 2, I re-took both of them and aced them.  I am now awaiting Level 3 results. 

What’s the difference between CPA and CFA?

Is it good to pursue FRM?

If i’m Indian, want to get MBA and CFA am I worthy of job?

Please help me Greenman oh wiseone! You are so wise!

Greenman72's picture

whystudy wrote:

Greenman72, lets leave the advice till you are a charterholder or at the least completed level 3.  You shouldn’t make any comments on how people pursue the CFA exams.  The examples you have given is a very small subset.

There are many people I know which have failed more than twice and still continue to write and have passed and are not Charter holders.

My point was not to try to discourage anybody, but to get them to think.  Yes, as was said earlier, maybe the reason that you didn’t pass was because you had some one-off event happen in your life close to test time (new baby, parent died, got mono, etc.).  But let’s be honest with ourselves–even thought I’ve never done a vast study of why people fail, I’ll bet my paycheck against yours that the #1 and #2 reasons that people fail is 1.) didn’t study enough, and 2.) it’s beyond their mental capacity.  And if you fail more than once, you should decide if it’s #1, #2, or if you can muster up the testicular fortitude to pass it the third time. 

I was honest about the fact that I failed Level 2, and that it was because I didn’t study enough.  I have also flatly said that I will not take Level 3 again if I fail (in another thread). 

And I don’t think that I need to pass Level 3 to give this kind of advice.  I have taken many tests, and I have passed them all.  This advice is somewhat universal to all tests, but particularly useful for one that’s only given once per year and takes so much effort to study for. 

heyjude wrote:

Maybe some humility will go you good in the long run. Dont make it such a big deal that you have cleared L2 and you have ‘come so far’.  Your advice is not a one-size-fits-all. Doesn’t sit well with many people.

Or maybe you should wait till you get your CFA L3 results before brandishing your ‘well-intended’ advice to everyone here. What if you need to repeat the L3 exam?

I love it when Level 1 Candidates come on here and pretend like they know what’s in store for them. And I find it curious that a Level 1 candidate should berate a Level 3 one about how “it’s not a big deal that you’ve cleared Level 2 and maybe Level 3.” 

@heyjude - If you’re in the 25% or so who pass Levels 1 and 2, then get to Level 3, then feel free to come back here and give me some lip.  Otherwise, keep your mouth shut. 

Don't mistake lack of talent for genius. --Peter Steele

suspense's picture

Greenman72 wrote:

whystudy wrote:

Greenman72, lets leave the advice till you are a charterholder or at the least completed level 3.  You shouldn’t make any comments on how people pursue the CFA exams.  The examples you have given is a very small subset.

There are many people I know which have failed more than twice and still continue to write and have passed and are not Charter holders.

My point was not to try to discourage anybody, but to get them to think.  Yes, as was said earlier, maybe the reason that you didn’t pass was because you had some one-off event happen in your life close to test time (new baby, parent died, got mono, etc.).  But let’s be honest with ourselves–even thought I’ve never done a vast study of why people fail, I’ll bet my paycheck against yours that the #1 and #2 reasons that people fail is 1.) didn’t study enough, and 2.) it’s beyond their mental capacity.  And if you fail more than once, you should decide if it’s #1, #2, or if you can muster up the testicular fortitude to pass it the third time. 

I was honest about the fact that I failed Level 2, and that it was because I didn’t study enough.  I have also flatly said that I will not take Level 3 again if I fail (in another thread). 

And I don’t think that I need to pass Level 3 to give this kind of advice.  I have taken many tests, and I have passed them all.  This advice is somewhat universal to all tests, but particularly useful for one that’s only given once per year and takes so much effort to study for. 

heyjude wrote:

Maybe some humility will go you good in the long run. Dont make it such a big deal that you have cleared L2 and you have ‘come so far’.  Your advice is not a one-size-fits-all. Doesn’t sit well with many people.

Or maybe you should wait till you get your CFA L3 results before brandishing your ‘well-intended’ advice to everyone here. What if you need to repeat the L3 exam?

I love it when Level 1 Candidates come on here and pretend like they know what’s in store for them. And I find it curious that a Level 1 candidate should berate a Level 3 one about how “it’s not a big deal that you’ve cleared Level 2 and maybe Level 3.” 

@heyjude - If you’re in the 25% or so who pass Levels 1 and 2, then get to Level 3, then feel free to come back here and give me some lip.  Otherwise, keep your mouth shut. 

Well am a level1 candidate from a non financial background, I’ve been enjoying this thread so far but this is the first time am posting in the thread.
@Greenman72, while I think your choice of words are harsh, many of what you have been saying are true.

NANA Hachiko's picture

I want to declare the fact that I am not DEFENDING Greenman72, but rather, i find some of the comments above quite funny…

First of all, this is a forum, people speak their mind, from their own experience, OF COURSE IT’S SUBJECTIVE! Do you truly expect people to have gathered 500 surveys and to provide you a statistically sound opinion?

Second, for those L1 candidates who think “L3 or charterholders know nothing more than others, so please keep your mouth shut”… well we do, at least in terms of the CFA exams… and if you truly do not need this information because you have acquired everything you need to know about CFA from another source, GOOD FOR YOU! Then this is probably not a thread that benefits you, and you need not to search the forum on such information because it’s just going to be a waste of time for you… much like responding to an “useless” thread.

While i think everyone studies very differently and have different backgrounds going into the CFA program, I asked for advice when i first registered for the program, and i didn’t expect each person i speak to had the “right answer”. It was obviously up to me to analyze other people’s opinions and try to apply to my own’s situation.


suspense's picture

NANA Hachiko wrote:

I want to declare the fact that I am not DEFENDING Greenman72, but rather, i find some of the comments above quite funny…

First of all, this is a forum, people speak their mind, from their own experience, OF COURSE IT’S SUBJECTIVE! Do you truly expect people to have gathered 500 surveys and to provide you a statistically sound opinion?

Second, for those L1 candidates who think “L3 or charterholders know nothing more than others, so please keep your mouth shut”… well we do, at least in terms of the CFA exams… and if you truly do not need this information because you have acquired everything you need to know about CFA from another source, GOOD FOR YOU! Then this is probably not a thread that benefits you, and you need not to search the forum on such information because it’s just going to be a waste of time for you… much like responding to an “useless” thread.

While i think everyone studies very differently and have different backgrounds going into the CFA program, I asked for advice when i first registered for the program, and i didn’t expect each person i speak to had the “right answer”. It was obviously up to me to analyze other people’s opinions and try to apply to my own’s situation.


Keep talking, am listening. Let me state that some people may not be posting but that does not mean the information is not useful to them. I’ve been following this thread since the first day it was opened.

Greenman72's picture

NANA Hachiko wrote:

First of all, this is a forum, people speak their mind, from their own experience, OF COURSE IT’S SUBJECTIVE! Do you truly expect people to have gathered 500 surveys and to provide you a statistically sound opinion?

Second, for those L1 candidates who think “L3 or charterholders know nothing more than others, so please keep your mouth shut”… well we do, at least in terms of the CFA exams…

While i think everyone studies very differently and have different backgrounds going into the CFA program, I asked for advice when i first registered for the program, and i didn’t expect each person i speak to had the “right answer”. It was obviously up to me to analyze other people’s opinions and try to apply to my own’s situation.

Thank God that there is somebody here who is not a total idiot, and can use an anonymous person’s opinion for what it’s worth. 

Don't mistake lack of talent for genius. --Peter Steele

blackomen's picture

Many of the people who are 5-10 years ahead of me on my career path have the CFA designation..  so I think it’s reasonable for me to pursue this path.

Also, my current dead-end Finance job isn’t providing much in the way of learning new skills so I’m pursuing CFA to keep my skills current.

And if you’ve read my other posts, I’m a big fan of the killing multiple birds with 1 stone approach.

Never underestimate the power of having a thick skin.

panos.kollias's picture

Greenman72 wrote:

Thank God that there is somebody here who is not a total idiot, and can use an anonymous person’s opinion for what it’s worth. 

Do you really need to call anybody that disagrees with you an idiot? What is being said to you by certain other fellows (and me), is that you come off as someone who has too high an opinion for his advice. The fact that I disagree with your advice is just a tangential circumstance.

While most people in this forum seem to appreciate input in all forms and they most likely just filter out what they don’t like, humility is appreciated and generally is a sign of a balanced person. 

"We're talking about a man who's satisfied Maris - something that's still on my 'to do' list."

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