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CFA: The most difficult exam on planet earth?

Have been reading different posts/arguments on here about how ‘DIFFICULT’ the CFA qualification is, most of them are coming from CFA Charter holders or L3 candidates. I find such attitude to be silly, I also find arguing someone who says that they found CFA to be doable or okay, not THAT difficult in other words, to be even sillier!

I mean, if someone says a qualification is not insanely difficult, you can’t just argue them back and say:  You know what, you are mistaken, it is very difficult, but you just didn’t notice it lol (No offence, I am just sarcastic like that) – Or, try to imply that they don’t know what they are talking about because they are L1 candidate and then you start warning them about L2 and L3 in such a ridiculous manner.

All of this is just not true and not right. I work in an audit firm and as you may know, such professional qualifications are very popular in these firms, so I know a lot of people doing different qualifications and I have seen all kinds of attitudes during my years working there. I have also personally known people who passed  L1 and L2 on first attempt, I have known another person who passed all three levels on first attempt – and no, they were not geniuses, just normal people like anyone else I know.

So, your arguments of: Call me when you get to L3, or … let’s see when you actually start studying for L2 are just not valid. How do you know that you are not talking to someone who has the capability of clearing the three levels on first attempt? Some people have done it before and I have met some of them, so why do you directly assume that you are talking to someone who won’t be able to do it?

I think in a way, you guys are trying to market the qualification you have and the accomplishment you’ve achieved by exaggerating the difficulty, surely the more difficult the qualification is, the more worthy it is and the more you look better for getting through it, but don’t you think your attitude is just unprofessional and silly? CFA is already known to be such a challenging qualification and it is a respected designation, you don’t need to act as such, if anything, you are hurting the designation with such cynical and unprofessional attitude.

Do not say difficult, because difficult is relative! What’s difficult depends on the person himself and it differs from one to another… plus, CFA is not exactly rocket science! I think it is fine to use the word “challenging” CFA is surely and indeed going to be challenging for everyone taking it. Because:

-       Questions are challenging, they are not clear cut – Now that’s challenging!

-       You will need to devote a lot of time studying for it and you will probably not have much social life specially if you are a full time worker like me – Now that’s challenging!

-       You will need to grasp a lot of concepts, spanning through various topics, study big fat books and memorise tons formulas –  Now that’s challenging!

-       You will need to sit through a six hour exam and maintain your motivation through it  – Now that’s challenging!

-       As with all professional exams, the pass rate is low, so you will need to be better than other candidates in order to be amongst those who pass – Now that’s challenging!

-      … and so on and so forth.. I am sure some of you can come up with some other points.

Clearly what I mentioned above applies on almost every CFA candidate, it doesn’t matter whether you are very intelligent, you are a committed person, you come from finance background, you have a good memory etc… none of us has it all, surely having to accommodate ALL the challenges is going to be tiring and will require a lot of efforts, and that’s challenging, so I can safely say it is challenging without exaggeration, as it is going to be challenging for everyone. If someone says that they didn’t have to study that much for the exam, or that CFA questions are so easy, they are probably not being honest here because it simply isn’t true, you will need to do a lot of studying to cover a lot of materials in different topics, and you will need to do a lot of practice to get through tricky questions …. But the point is, once you’ve done all that stuff, you are going to pass, it is only about putting in the efforts to overcome the challenges, and if you put in these efforts, it isn’t going to be ‘difficult’ to clear the real exam.

So, don’t call it difficult and exaggerate it too, don’t assume that your experience is going to apply on everyone else, if you have failed a couple of times before you pass the exam, don’t assume that it is inevitable and ask them to get back to you after they get their results as if you are sure they are going to fail, because you did! 

That’s just illogical, we are not identical people – If you have passed this challenging exam, be positive, share useful tips, talk about your experience honestly without exaggerating and do not look down upon starters, specially that those starters may actually be capable of managing this experience in a better way, they may be capable of accomplishing what you’ve done in fewer years, so quit that arrogance and be realistic! 

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(tap, tap, tap) Can anyone hear me? 

#Testing123

What’s the most difficult exam on the other planets?

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams
http://financialexamhelp123.com/

I’m no English major, but aren’t “difficult” and “challenging” interchangeable?

MahaM wrote:
… CFA is not exactly rocket science!

Unless you’re a rocket scientist, that comment is nothing more than a useless platitude.

(Note that if I say that the CFA exam is not rocket science, it’s not a useless platitude; it’s an expert opinion: as a warhead designer for 10 years, I know rocket science first-hand.)

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams
http://financialexamhelp123.com/

CubsFanCPA wrote:
I’m no English major, but aren’t “difficult” and “challenging” interchangeable?

Pretty dang much.

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams
http://financialexamhelp123.com/

S2000magician wrote:

as a warhead designer for 10 years, I know rocket science first-hand.)

I am a brilliant genius

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

sadly. if you’re turned off by the arrogance. you should juss stick to being an auditor. cuz the industry is full of it.

I love my cheese. I got to have my cheddar.

Wait until you take levels 2 and 3…

Hey Hamilton, have a holly jolly Christmas.

S2000magician wrote:

(Note that if I say that the CFA exam is not rocket science, it’s not a useless platitude; it’s an expert opinion: as a warhead designer for 10 years, I know rocket science first-hand.)

nice!!

plumber > stripper > experience > CFA > MBA

S2000magician wrote:

CubsFanCPA wrote:
I’m no English major, but aren’t “difficult” and “challenging” interchangeable?

Pretty dang much.

Thanks Magician. After reading the post, I had the same doubt :)

Best regards,

Sooraj.

hashtag wrote:

(tap, tap, tap) Can anyone hear me? 

#Testing123

#Helloooo?Echooo!

Lol cfa hardest exam on planet.Try to pass polytechnique entry exam and you will know what difficult means

I know I haven’t taken Level 3 yet, but after taking Level 1 and 2 there is absolutely no way these are the hardest tests in the world. I took much harder tests in college.

The only thing I can think of that is very difficult is for a non-native English speaker to get through these, since there are a lot of words and it’s necessary to understand exactly what the question is asking.

There hasn’t been anything very deep yet on the tests. Each section is like an “Intro to ____”.

Granted I majored in economics, which pretty much covered quantitative methods as well, worked in corporate finance doing financial reporting & analysis, and now work in portfolio management. So I have more experience than maybe some people taking these? That’s the only thing I can think of.

Honestly not trying to brag, if anything trying to downplay passing Level 1 and 2. I’ve definitely been extremely stressed at times over the last 18 months but more due to time management.

Of course it isn’t – difficulty is subjective and any objective answer is predicated on someone having taken every possible exam, ceteris paribus.

The OP would be better served studying than telling people what to say about the exam, though.

Cory688 wrote:

I know I haven’t taken Level 3 yet, but after taking Level 1 and 2 there is absolutely no way these are the hardest tests in the world. I took much harder tests in college.

The only thing I can think of that is very difficult is for a non-native English speaker to get through these, since there are a lot of words and it’s necessary to understand exactly what the question is asking.

There hasn’t been anything very deep yet on the tests. Each section is like an “Intro to ____”.

Granted I majored in economics, which pretty much covered quantitative methods as well, worked in corporate finance doing financial reporting & analysis, and now work in portfolio management. So I have more experience than maybe some people taking these? That’s the only thing I can think of.

Honestly not trying to brag, if anything trying to downplay passing Level 1 and 2. I’ve definitely been extremely stressed at times over the last 18 months but more due to time management.

Well, the material is pretty difficult, the exams are not. I could write you an exam on some relevant test subjects that will leave you clueless. If the questions were any harder, a lot of people would not administer the examinations. Of course, STEMs are on a completely different level, coming from a computer science background, and a reader of science in general.

Corrcet me if I'm worng

…. and the responses just prove my post right - lol - Thank you all.

Level 1 behind my back, approaching level 2 all confident that I can pass that exam BUT with a lot of hard work and efforts ;)

Neryblop wrote:

sadly. if you’re turned off by the arrogance. you should juss stick to being an auditor. cuz the industry is full of it.

Audit is overly full of arrogant people, you won’t beleive how much! I’d rather go to industry ;)

MahaM wrote:

…. and the responses just prove my post right - lol - Thank you all.

Level 1 behind my back, approaching level 2 all confident that I can pass that exam BUT with a lot of hard work and efforts ;)

See if you feel the same after level 3… if you make it…

Hey Hamilton, have a holly jolly Christmas.

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

…. and the responses just prove my post right - lol - Thank you all.

Level 1 behind my back, approaching level 2 all confident that I can pass that exam BUT with a lot of hard work and efforts ;)

See if you feel the same after level 3… if you make it…

ha ha! I will make it, don’t you worry about that ;)

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

…. and the responses just prove my post right - lol - Thank you all.

Level 1 behind my back, approaching level 2 all confident that I can pass that exam BUT with a lot of hard work and efforts ;)

See if you feel the same after level 3… if you make it…

To my understanding, level 3 is less difficult than level 2.

Corrcet me if I'm worng

MrSmart wrote:

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

…. and the responses just prove my post right - lol - Thank you all.

Level 1 behind my back, approaching level 2 all confident that I can pass that exam BUT with a lot of hard work and efforts ;)

See if you feel the same after level 3… if you make it…

To my understanding, level 3 is less difficult than level 2.

Actually it is not about the level of difficulty, some people just like to put others down (just like how I explained in my post), so he just liked to send warnings around rather than sharing useful study tips ;) - But to be honest, if someone with such attitude could do it, it gives me assurance that I can too lol

MrSmart wrote:

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

…. and the responses just prove my post right - lol - Thank you all.

Level 1 behind my back, approaching level 2 all confident that I can pass that exam BUT with a lot of hard work and efforts ;)

See if you feel the same after level 3… if you make it…

To my understanding, level 3 is less difficult than level 2.

Depends on the person, but I found level 3 harder than level 2 (mainly due to the test format) and I have heard the same from many people.

Hey Hamilton, have a holly jolly Christmas.

MahaM wrote:

MrSmart wrote:

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

…. and the responses just prove my post right - lol - Thank you all.

Level 1 behind my back, approaching level 2 all confident that I can pass that exam BUT with a lot of hard work and efforts ;)

See if you feel the same after level 3… if you make it…

To my understanding, level 3 is less difficult than level 2.

Actually it is not about the level of difficulty, some people just like to put others down (just like how I explained in my post), so he just liked to send warnings around rather than sharing useful study tips ;) - But to be honest, if someone with such attitude could do it, it gives me assurance that I can too lol

Ya man levels 2 and 3 are easy! The hundreds of thousands of people that testify to their difficulty are all blowing smoke! It’s all a giant conspiracy! You should pass with ease MahaM!

Hey Hamilton, have a holly jolly Christmas.

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

MrSmart wrote:

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

…. and the responses just prove my post right - lol - Thank you all.

Level 1 behind my back, approaching level 2 all confident that I can pass that exam BUT with a lot of hard work and efforts ;)

See if you feel the same after level 3… if you make it…

To my understanding, level 3 is less difficult than level 2.

Actually it is not about the level of difficulty, some people just like to put others down (just like how I explained in my post), so he just liked to send warnings around rather than sharing useful study tips ;) - But to be honest, if someone with such attitude could do it, it gives me assurance that I can too lol

Ya man levels 2 and 3 are easy! The hundreds of thousands of people that testify to their difficulty are all blowing smoke! It’s all a giant conspiracy! You should pass with ease MahaM!

No one really said that they are easy.. did I mention that and did not notice it perhaps? All I was saying that your atittude is silly, that’s all, did you not get that? ;)

I should pass them with hard work not with ease ;)

MahaM wrote:

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

MrSmart wrote:

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

…. and the responses just prove my post right - lol - Thank you all.

Level 1 behind my back, approaching level 2 all confident that I can pass that exam BUT with a lot of hard work and efforts ;)

See if you feel the same after level 3… if you make it…

To my understanding, level 3 is less difficult than level 2.

Actually it is not about the level of difficulty, some people just like to put others down (just like how I explained in my post), so he just liked to send warnings around rather than sharing useful study tips ;) - But to be honest, if someone with such attitude could do it, it gives me assurance that I can too lol

Ya man levels 2 and 3 are easy! The hundreds of thousands of people that testify to their difficulty are all blowing smoke! It’s all a giant conspiracy! You should pass with ease MahaM!

No one really said that they are easy.. did I mention that and did not notice it perhaps? All I was saying that your atittude is silly, that’s all, did you not get that? ;)

I should pass them with hard work not with ease ;)

Quoted from OP:

MahaM wrote:

Have been reading different posts/arguments on here about how ‘DIFFICULT’ the CFA qualification is, most of them are coming from CFA Charter holders or L3 candidates. I find such attitude to be silly

MahaM wrote:

I think it is fine to use the word “challenging” CFA is surely and indeed going to be challenging for everyone taking it

So you’re saying that it IS NOT difficult, but it IS challenging? Now THAT is “silly”. Careful not to contradict yourself so blatantly on L3 (if you make it). 0 points.

Hey Hamilton, have a holly jolly Christmas.

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

MrSmart wrote:

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

…. and the responses just prove my post right - lol - Thank you all.

Level 1 behind my back, approaching level 2 all confident that I can pass that exam BUT with a lot of hard work and efforts ;)

See if you feel the same after level 3… if you make it…

To my understanding, level 3 is less difficult than level 2.

Actually it is not about the level of difficulty, some people just like to put others down (just like how I explained in my post), so he just liked to send warnings around rather than sharing useful study tips ;) - But to be honest, if someone with such attitude could do it, it gives me assurance that I can too lol

Ya man levels 2 and 3 are easy! The hundreds of thousands of people that testify to their difficulty are all blowing smoke! It’s all a giant conspiracy! You should pass with ease MahaM!

No one really said that they are easy.. did I mention that and did not notice it perhaps? All I was saying that your atittude is silly, that’s all, did you not get that? ;)

I should pass them with hard work not with ease ;)

Quoted from OP:

MahaM wrote:

Have been reading different posts/arguments on here about how ‘DIFFICULT’ the CFA qualification is, most of them are coming from CFA Charter holders or L3 candidates. I find such attitude to be silly

MahaM wrote:

I think it is fine to use the word “challenging” CFA is surely and indeed going to be challenging for everyone taking it

So you’re saying that it IS NOT difficult, but it IS challenging? Now THAT is “silly”. Careful not to contradict yourself so blatantly on L3 (if you make it). 0 points.

BTW - There is a difference between ‘not difficult’ and ‘easy’ I thought that was obvious lol
 
Yeah, because this is the important part to focus on, whether the words challenging and difficult are meant to convey different meanings or not, well done, you grasped the main point of my post, because apparently I have written this post to raise this point!
 
Don’t worry, I have gone through complicated written exams before and I know how to express myself very well, never failed once ;)

MahaM wrote:

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

MrSmart wrote:

IsThereAny wrote:

MahaM wrote:

…. and the responses just prove my post right - lol - Thank you all.

Level 1 behind my back, approaching level 2 all confident that I can pass that exam BUT with a lot of hard work and efforts ;)

See if you feel the same after level 3… if you make it…

To my understanding, level 3 is less difficult than level 2.

Actually it is not about the level of difficulty, some people just like to put others down (just like how I explained in my post), so he just liked to send warnings around rather than sharing useful study tips ;) - But to be honest, if someone with such attitude could do it, it gives me assurance that I can too lol

Ya man levels 2 and 3 are easy! The hundreds of thousands of people that testify to their difficulty are all blowing smoke! It’s all a giant conspiracy! You should pass with ease MahaM!

No one really said that they are easy.. did I mention that and did not notice it perhaps? All I was saying that your atittude is silly, that’s all, did you not get that? ;)

I should pass them with hard work not with ease ;)

Quoted from OP:

MahaM wrote:

Have been reading different posts/arguments on here about how ‘DIFFICULT’ the CFA qualification is, most of them are coming from CFA Charter holders or L3 candidates. I find such attitude to be silly

MahaM wrote:

I think it is fine to use the word “challenging” CFA is surely and indeed going to be challenging for everyone taking it

So you’re saying that it IS NOT difficult, but it IS challenging? Now THAT is “silly”. Careful not to contradict yourself so blatantly on L3 (if you make it). 0 points.

BTW - There is a difference between ‘not difficult’ and ‘easy’ I thought that was obvious lol
 
Yeah, because this is the important part to focus on, whether the words challenging and difficult are meant to convey different meanings or not, well done, you grasped the main point of my post, because apparently I have written this post to raise this point!
 
Don’t worry, I have gone through complicated written exams before and I know how to express myself very well, never failed once ;)

You’re an imbecile lol.

BTW - difficult is an antonym of easy. Therefore, not difficult is a synonym of easy. Is that broken down enough for you or do you need me to explain it further?

Hey Hamilton, have a holly jolly Christmas.

IsThereAny - you’re starting to grow on me. I wish I could be as mean as you sometimes but I don’t have it in me. So I’ll just follow your posts as you trash everyone.

MahaM - There’s no point arguing. Everything IsThereAny has done in his or her life has been the most challenging route. All other routes are simple. CFA is the hardest thing ever, whatever major he or she graduated with is the hardest, etc. Making anything he or she has done sound easy is a great insult and will be argued with until you give up.

I want to grow up to be like IsThereAny. Supreme internet confidence.

MahaM wrote:

I work in an audit firm

I’m sorry.