2017 Level III retaker group

Hi everyone. I am new on AF even though i used to come by from time to time.

I casually started CFA level 1 around 5 years ago and then stopped because of other occupations and a high demanding job.

In summer 2014 i wanted to start back certifications to get back some emulation and went through FRM1 CFA2 and then FRM2 in Nov 2015. My ultimate objective was to finish with the CFA in June 2016 but unfortunately despite the hard work I put in (>300 hours) I failed band 8.

Of course i wasn’t sure to succeed but I had a feeling that was not that bad right after the exam and I am still quite angry about my failure (and feel stupid). During the first week i really wanted to quit but i know i won’t be happy from that decision. Most people tell me that because i worked hard it should be easier to pass next time and that I should take that easy but I know that’s a trap and I plan to do the full study once again and even more than this year to secure my chances for 2017.

Below was my study method for L3 2016

Started mid December:

  • Watched all IFT videos actively (taking notes) twice

  • did all IFT questions

  • did all EOCs + blue boxes but for some chapters my results were not good and didn’t have time to do a strong review

  • did 5 years of AM mocks but only once

  • did not train at all for the afternoon session

  • Quickly reviewed Ethics and spent too much time on GIPS (big big mistake)

What probably went wrong:

  • “skipped” Ethics

  • Was relying too much on the answer template from CFAI that is very long and probably my answers were not concise enough

  • started mocks too late

  • more active training than passive studying was certainly required

What I plan to do at this stage:

Start mid September:

  1. Follow Schweser or Wiley notes + do full Ethics from CFAI

  2. Review IFT videos once or start full Wiley course

  3. Do all EOCs + blue boxes from scratch

  4. as soon as 2016 AM exam is released review it and figure out what went wrong from my current score

  5. Better understand what is the answer format required for the morning

6 do at least 10 AM mocks

  1. do some afternoon mocks

I hope other retakers (veterans are also very welcome!) will participate on this thread and convey:

  1. what they did

  2. what is their study plan for next time

  3. what went wrong and why on L3 2016

I want to thank some members that have been very active during the results phase like CFAbeatmeup.

Let’s give our best once again and make it. We need to secure this congrats email for 2017.

Don’t think too much about strategy…just study…you are close to passing…will definitely pass next time…Work hard and best of luck…last but not the least don’t skip ethics…

Failed band 10 this year.

My main issue was the AM section (1 section above 70, 3 between 50-70 and the rest below 50, whereas PM 1 section below 50, 1 between 50-70 and the rest (including ethics) great than 70).

I studied primarily using the Schweser materials, used their text and practice tests and exhausted the question bank. I only referred to the CFAI text when I came across something that didn’t make sense to me. I also did the AM papers from 2013-2015 and the CFA mocks and most of the online topic tests.

My study plan for this time is to spend longer on the CFAI material and do the blue boxes. I also plan to take one of the review courses with the hope that this will help improve my approach in the AM. I will do all of the online topic tests this time and more of the past AM papers. My plan is also to start earlier so that I can get to the mock stage sooner and also to try and keep the knowledge that I have gained from this year fresh. I also have identified that there are three areas where I suffer from a weakness (I had identified these during studying and my results confirmed this), economics, equity and fixed income.

I would also say I suffered from CFA program fatigue when studying this year, which hopefully I’ll be able to overcome more productively next year.

Since I had passed L1 and L2 on my first attempts, I essentially used the same methodology for L3; going through Schweser materials, did MCQs and did the 2013-2015 AM exams (not seriously). Didn’t really focus on writing technique, just did it to get a basic idea of how AM session works. I half-heartedly looked through the BB and the EOCs from the CFAI curriculum.

Went down with a Band 10. I didn’t expect an awesome matrix, but I felt that I had did enough to pass. Clearly it wasn’t.

Self-diagnosing has led me to conclude that the main reason I failed was due to poor time management; I spent too much time on a particular question, wrote too much for some questions, and as a result, couldn’t properly complete some of the other questions.

This time, I plan to start studying from the CFAI curriculum from next month (because I later realised that Schweser was a bit too concise for my liking, for L3), go through Schweser, and do practice exams and past papers for at least 2 months. The last 2-3 weeks will be for Secret Sauce and the MCQs on the CFAI website.

I did not change my method for level III (read Schweser and do EOC’s once during the year and take 2 weeks off prior to the exam to study).

It was a close pass for me this year (3/3). Something that made the difference for me, was that I revised the blue boxes the evening before the exam (between 7 P.M. and 10 P.M., when I was very tired). Without doing so, I would have failed for sure because I concentrated too much on the theory, not practice.

Fyi, I did 3 AM mocks of the CFA Institute but my AM score was only moderate (even though on the entire test there wasn’t a calculation which I thought I couldn’t handle). I don’t believe you can have a perfect score in AM, you just have to limit the damage.

I wish you all best of luck!