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The Fear

Less than a week to go and the fear is setting in. All I can think about are the things I’m not sure on…yet if I read up on them nothing goes in. I’ve had the same thing for the past two exams and finished above 90th percentile on each so I’m trying to maintain some perspective this time. 

Nevertheless my question is…have any of you ever actually felt confident about one of these tests? I started studying in October and have done 400/500 hours I think. Yet I feel like I have no chance. 

Thats what CFA does to you, right? 

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Mate, today I woke up bright and early and proceeded to take my sweet time doing things until I finally got around to studying 5 hours later. The panic and anxiety I felt today is unprecedented so far!
This mug describes the CFA Program perfectly to me now.
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/599241218/chartered-financial-analyst-ex...

In fact, the first attempt at LII I put in over 300 hours and failed… that came as a shock.
The second attempt I put in just 150 hours and passed, but when I left that particular exam I felt content (not confident), knowing that I had done my very best and could be satisfied whatever the outcome.
I don’t think I’m there yet with LIII, haha.

my fear is that I’m focusing on the wrong type of content and going to deep in the woods.

I feel confident but I can also feel fear and anxiety. Edingburgfirsttimer, I think you will do really well based on your prior results. It means you are detail-oriented and hardworking. But it also means that you are a perfectionist and such a trait does not go well, at least from emotional perspective, against such a big exam as CFA.

Edinburghfirsttimer wrote:

Less than a week to go and the fear is setting in. All I can think about are the things I’m not sure on…yet if I read up on them nothing goes in. I’ve had the same thing for the past two exams and finished above 90th percentile on each so I’m trying to maintain some perspective this time. 

Nevertheless my question is…have any of you ever actually felt confident about one of these tests? I started studying in October and have done 400/500 hours I think. Yet I feel like I have no chance. 

Thats what CFA does to you, right? 

I don’t know what it is about LVL3 but I’m way more nervous than before LVL1 and LVL2. I have studied way more for LVL3 than for the two previous exams but it doesn’t seem to help with the stress. 

It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

I’ve followed Meldrum’s advice since L1 and it’s served me well - he recommends splitting the readings into 3 groups to see what to focus on:

1) scoring 70%+

2) scoring between 50%-70%

3) scoring sub 50%

Focus on improving Group 2. You clearly understand the concepts, and continued review/practice will translate to the highest increase in overall score. No need to work on Group 1 anymore, you’re there. For Group 3 - let it go. These are concepts that don’t come to you easily, and at this point it’s not worth the time or cognitive effort.

No law against waiting, people do it all the time.

Not sure it helps but… I feel great!  

Y’all got this - don’t let anxiety get the best of you on test day.  If you happen to blank on a question then just move on and there’s a good chance it’ll pop back into your brain a few minutes later. 

The dream is now a reality

I studied the same amount of time by now as for Level II, and I’m significantly less prepared.

Have given up on GIPS and Trading, have huge holes in the concepts of Equity and AA, and I only did 7 AM exams, and only once (and I had like15 of them piled up…).

My writing is illegible and not neat.

I’m not feeling that bad. If I pass, I’ll apply for the charter, if I fail I’ll drink over it and take the exam again next year. Life will go on. I will still do the things I like.

I failed level 2 once. When I studied for it the second time, I thought to myself “wth was I thinking taking the exam last year with such a wobbly conceptual understanding?”. There’s really no rush for me personally to pass level 3.

So if I fail level 3 this year, I’ll know there were 50% better candidates than me who understood the concepts better, worked harder, or are smarter. I can’t control intelligence, but I can control effort. It’ll just mean I’ll have to focus on areas that made me fail this year.

I do hope I pass though. I worked harder for lvl 3 than for lvl 2, and I worked A LOT for lvl 2.

Good on you, Tactics. For me (also passed L II on my 2nd attempt), I’m leaning towards giving up completely if I fail L III only because I’ve neglected friends, family, dating, bonding with colleagues, and much more besides, for 3 years going on 4 years now.
Although I probably could eke out another year of study, it would be at tremendous cost to my relationships and probably my psyche.
But on the other hand, it’d be easier to pass on my 2nd attempt so what the hell…

Yeah I feel if I pass I need enormous luck (areas I neglected should not come up + graders can read my writing well :-)) and I know I can make a much better job with preparation (like I did for L2), but it’s an extreme time commitment in the last weeks.

Even if the topics don’t change much, and I would have to mostly review and refine my understanding, you cannot skip these last 4-5 killing weeks of doing practice.

I really think a lot of it comes down to what content you find easier. When I failed L2 band 10 first time round I went in knowing I was underprepared having only done L1 the Dec before. Resat L2 the following year and still felt a bit shaky but left the exam knowing I had given a good account of what I had leant. L3 seems to have just clicked for me a lot more than L2…could be because I work in asset allocation on the buy side so don’t do all the FR&A balance sheet stuff that was in L2 but I am getting much better mock scores then I ever managed for L2. View might be different after 5pm on Saturday though!

i always feel excited when i sit down for the tests.  lots of brilliant minds and a great deal of preparation goes into just being there in the room.  you are one of a very few individuals capable of getting this far.  I know many more people who started the curriculum and gave up then i know actual charterholders.  good luck Saturday.  luck shines on the well prepared.

Hunter

"excluding the effects of the significant events described above....'

assurgent wrote:

i always feel excited when i sit down for the tests.  lots of brilliant minds and a great deal of preparation goes into just being there in the room.  you are one of a very few individuals capable of getting this far.  I know many more people who started the curriculum and gave up then i know actual charterholders.  good luck Saturday.  luck shines on the well prepared.

Hunter

I think referring to the crop of people sitting for the CFA exams as “brilliant minds” is a bit overkill.

Regardless, best thing to focus on right now is picking up points in weaker areas and making sure you don’t go 2/12 in Ethics. That’s how you’ll pass - then you can reflect on the journey later