2014 AM CFAI Exam

Hi guys

Did the 2014 CFAI morning exam yesterday and went through the answer guidelines.

Very confused as to how we should be answering these essay questions. The guideline provides paragraphs of text, I’ve had conflicting views that you can have a bullet point or two.

What exactly are they looking for? I struggle to see how you can recall and write textbook clarity in 3-6 minutes in exam conditions.

I like how Kaplan answers provide guidance on 1 point for including x, 2 points for x and y etc At least you can see if you’ve got a rough idea…


forgot to add, are they just looking for key words etc.

I think the guideline answers are providing extra information for our understanding. I don’t think they are expecting full paragraphs. I usually write only a couple sentences. When reading the answers, I see if 1) I get the key points they are looking for and 2) if there are any keys or explanations that I feel they’d be looking for. I don’t expect to write them full on pages of information. Doing that would cause you to run out of time for sure.


did you get guidance from study providers about that?

For example - if its 3 minutes, would it be - one mark for correct choice, 2 marks for two bullet points?

Be very sharp and to the point. If the question says 3 minutes, make sure that the answer you’re about to write won’t take more than 3 minutes. Short, sharp sentences should do you fine, depending on the command word used in the question.

These aren’t essay questions, so don’t write essays. Bullet form answers should be fine as long as you have got the point across. I’d strongly suggest that you practice writing short answers. I didn’t do so in my first attempt and got really overwhelmed as I couldn’t manage my time.

I have not gotten guidance, but I was a University teacher and/or TA for 6 years. I graded it how I would have graded it back then. And I’m the case you mentioned, yeah I give myself 1 point for the right choice and allocate remaining points among the reasons. (And I 0 myself if I make the wrong initial choice). And for the calculations, I tend to grade them like Kaplan suggests, by giving points to certain milestones in the problem. I also tend to 0 beyond the point of a mistake, as an extra layer of conservatism in my grading.

it all depends on the keyword of the question (and minutes allocated to it):

Explain/justify means you have to say 1 or 2 sentences backing up your choice (and not just restating case facts)

State/determine means you have to say it outright/circle the right choice.

Calculate means you find a number and show the steps.

Discuss seems to be the one that requires whole paragraphs since you have to state and explain everything.