a hair above the 10th percentile line, SHOCKED. advice needed

shocked. absolutely positively stunned, i thought there was a shot that i passed, let alone failed by a slim margin.

i had mocked as high as 48/60 in schweser. and was consistently above 50th percentile on the CFAI QBank…despite never resetting the questions to get a higher score like so many others did.

I refuse to believe that my true level of knowledge/intelligence/prep was worse than 9/10 of candidates. my practice exam scores, while not earth shattering, simply were too high for this to be the case. i consistently would get 42+/60 in schwesers.

so here are my questions to you passers:

  1. were you all ripping 50/60s in schweser right and left, and not telling us about it? lol

  2. how many points did you leave blank on the essay? i seem to remember leaving 20-25, but clearly my memory doesnt serve me, as it must have been more than that.

  3. can i get my work experience approved before registering again? i REFUSE/WILL NOT do this to myself another 5 months without knowing if im even gonna get the charter

  4. given how poorly i performed…even if i dont think it was a fair representation of where i was at…do you think its even WORTH me doing this again? or am i soooo far from passing that ill likely fail again next year?

please advise, thanks


Same here, I failed item set miserably, below 10% so band 1 but passed essay. I sent retabulation request, which will be denied probably but given my shocking result I just need a peace of mind. You should do re-tab as well and then all we can do is just study again. Sorry for your result and pain, I know how you feel! :frowning:

  1. no

  2. none

  3. yes

  4. I know a guy who got Band 2 in his first year and comfortably passed the following year…so give it another try


p.s. The SHIFT button on your keyboard doesn’t seem to be working.

im asking for a retab. again, i just have trouble beleiving i did this poorly.

i know people who scored worse than me in the CFAI mock who PASSED. not failed by a better margin than me, but PASSED.

am i taking crazy pills here? did i just choke that hard?!?!?

hahah SHIFT sublte plug there hashtag.

ive heard of IFT, maybe ill look into it

on the bright side, guys like you, 2000Magician and others make this forum less shiTTTTTy. heres to chopping it up once again in 2019

How bad do you want the charter?

Seven years ago I found out, on my honeymoon, that I completely bombed a part of the CPA. Was in utter shock. Didn’t know what to do. I worked harder and got trough it. You can pass this, but how bad do you want it?

A mix of failure and dedication isn’t so bad in the end.

Tommy, how can you consistently get above 50% percentile if you don’t reset the QBank questions? don’t you have to reset them to practice them a 2nd, 3rd, 4th time?

I was band 4 last year and passed comfortably this year. I did CFAI QBank and CFAI online tests 3 maybe 4 times and 10 years of past AM exams 3 times. I did not use study provider, only CFAI. make sure to also do all blue box examples.

Note, I took and passed level 1 in 2003, so it’s been a long journey. Don’t quit now, you are almost there.

Tommy, i know this is very hard. I am sorry man.

To answer a couple of your questions - I wasn’t even scoring a fair 60% on any mock exams (Schweser/CFAI). I even did poorly on a IFT mock which really killed my confidence.

In the essay session, i left some 10 marks blank, and wrote nonsense for another 8-10 marks.

That being said, my PM went really good, and my result justifies it.

Good luck for whatever you decide.

TJ man it will be fine, we’ll come back and smash this BS and be done forever. I know you know how much easier L2 was the second time, we’ll be fine man.

I didn’t use Schweser or Wiley myself - don’t think they’re particularly good for level 3, at least Wiley. Gotta remember real motivated folks in this last level.

I used Bloomberg which has an adaptive course online which asks you questions all the time. I thought it really helped me. Also did LevelUp bootcamp only (No videos for me as I don’ learn well from them) Read the entire CFA curriculum online didn’t skip anything. For context with the bloomberg etc. I could manage about 70th percentile on first run which I did (Before LevelUP Bootcamp)

  1. I left no points on essay. I didn’t do it in order, but would do a full question (with multiple parts etc) at a time. Wrote down time allowed next to each question as well as when I started it, so I knew when to have it done by. Couldn’t get it done in time - would come back to it later.

  2. I dont know about this one

  3. It could be. But you need to rehaul how you study and where you study from. I think Bloomberg + Adaptprep/LevelUp is a good formula, as well as doing as many AMs you can find

I passed today. After 15 years. Its worth staying with it.

I highly recommend reading the CFA text books for every level. cover to cover.

I am trying to make sense of how I failed. I am brushing up on the MPS line with half my score on the line…call it band 10. I was worried about the morning as I left one question blank due to time and could have pushed me over the line I guess but no idea how I got just above 10% mark on PM. This is utterly shocking like you I got over 70% in all CFAI TTs, 67-75% in previous AM exams (4 of them) all done under timed condition, and did everything in shcweser premium package including 80%+ in all the Qbanks and their exam book. I was sure I will pass when I saw the 56% passing rate but when I opened the email and saw “regret” felt like I had just gotten punch in the face and stomach a the same time. To give you more background it was my 3rd attempt at this level, first one in 2009 or 2010 and second last year with 7/8 years break in between. This program has been over a decade and i am still not done … I got married this past year (I am turning 37 soon) and looking to start a family and really considering if I should throw the towel in…I never give up in anything in life but considering making an exception on this one…

I am not sure if I should go for a retab as I doubt it will change anything and I rather give the $100 to those in need vs CFAI to be honest but at the same time can not belive that I was so out to lunch in the PM specially given how well I was doing before Exam…

  1. Technically yes, I scored 80+% on the PM mock exams (although I only did about half of one of them and then checked on the questions I did).

  2. None - you need to force yourself to be strict with timing. Bring a watch and adhere to it.

  3. Yes

  4. Yes. You worked hard and I saw that. Maybe it didn’t come together on test day, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. i think you’ll be fine dude. One thing I’d mention - I notice that you are saying you did a lot of schweser mocks. They’re fine on PM to practice, but focus on the CFA material. I did the AM schweser mocks in about 2 hours each time and they were not a good representation of the time management needed on the actual AM exam. That’s the first place I would suggest making changes, just focus almost exclusively on mocking CFA AM tests.

im getting a retab. 100 bucks IDGAF ive spent more on juuls.

im not expecting to retab-into-a-pass lol. just want it for peace of mind. i was mocking higher than 2 of my friends who passed. and i dont necessarily think i over-graded myself on schhweser AMs either. thought i was strict with myself.

i will say this: one of the sections i performed WORST in was PWM and behavioral, and that as we all know tends to be heavily weighted combined.

my PM score is what perplexes me the MOST. looks like i did like 38 or so/60. would be my second lowest schweser outta the 6. weird.

  1. i didnt reset the QBank, only did it once. every question. are you suggesting i should have done the Qbanks more than once? perhaps, i never thought of that

  2. passed comfortably…how comfortably do you mean?

  3. i only did the CFAI AM mocks to 2014 i think. perhaps thats more food for thought, maybe ill do that next time. not all the previous stuff is relevant tho, which is why i was hesitant to go back to 2006

hmmm i never thought of that either. ive been a live and die with schweser guy. if anything, i remember scoring higher on the past AM mocks on CFAI (2015 in particular i think i ripped a 59 or something) than i did on schweser AMs

that all said, the real AM was super hard.

guys guys guys … n gals

send the $100 to your favorite charity, accept the results and get ready for next year

Congratulations to everyone who passed! Rex etc. : very well done to you guys! And here is another guy who failed:(

Thought I was in good shape before the exam - at least my mock scores suggested it! I marginally failed as well and most probably I got unlucky on exam day. It just was not meant to be this time and I now need to get on with it. It is what it is - I was not good enough. I am as upset and disappointed as everyone else. This is my first failure, but failure is part of growing. So I will learn my lesson from this utterly disappointing defeat and come back stronger next year. Good thing is that there won‘t be any World Cup next year. What I will also do is to make sure I sleep in two days before the exam and sleep in a hotel close to the exam venue the night before the exam.

Tough one Tommy. It’s impossible for anyone here to advise you on what may have gone wrong so I won’t try. Regarding your questions:

  1. No idea, but Schweser’s practice exams leave a lot to be desired in my opinion, especially their AM mocks.

  2. When I took the exam in 2017, I left 6 points blank, and mostly crushed the AM paper (1/2/7 in the old format). 20+ blank is a lot of points man.

  3. Yes you can get everything approved and pay dues to become a regular member anytime you wish. WHEN you pass Level III the CFA letters will immediately appear in your member profile.

  4. I think the exam just beat you this year. I wouldn’t extrapolate your results into the idea that you’re not able to pass this. If you can pass Level 2 you can definitely pass Level 3. If I have any advise to give you, its ditch Schweser and consider a review course like Level Up and study directly from the curriculum. Level III is as much of beating the exam as it is mastering the material being taught, and a course that includes advice on tackling the actual exam may help. Multiple choice mocks are just not good enough at Level 3.

All the best in the future Tommy. I know you’re really down right now but it will fade. Try to turn that feeling into motivation to crushing it next year. Good luck!

I passed this year after a band 10 last year. Last year I crushed the AM portion with all but 1 topic under 70% but totally bombed the PM section. This was 100% due to the fact that I did not use any of the CFAI text and went strictly from Schweser. This year I crushed AM once again but was also right at the 90% in the afternoon. Use the CFAI text and do the EOC questions.