If you didn’t pass today, I’m sorry. I’ve gotten two of those “We regret to inform you” e-mails, and I know that they suck.
My intent with this thread is not to be a “hater” or a “Negative Nelly”, but I really want to save some of you from even more heartache in the future. I’m not trying to discourage anybody. But I think most people (including myself) underestimate how long and lonely a road is the CFA exam. This ain’t the SAT or the Series 7.
If you have a Bachelor’s degree in Finance or Accounting, then you should be able to pass Level 1 with only a couple months of study. (Of course, if your Bachelor’s is in Art Appreciation, it will take longer, because you’re having to learn all the stuff that we learned in undergad. I’m assuming 90% of the people taking the test have an undergrad in finance/accounting.)
If you _ legitimately _ study for 6 months or more and still don’t pass, then I seriously doubt that you will ever pass Levels 2 or 3. Level 1 is cake. Level 1 is the application for admission. The real “meat and potatoes” start at Level 2. The time commitment and the difficulty levels shoot through the roof at the higher levels.
And if you didn’t really put in the time and effort to pass Level 1–what do you plan to change in June? Do you think you can do it all over again (plus another 100 or so hours) for Level 2? Do you think you can do it a third time for Level 3? Maybe you can, but you really need to take a hard look at yourself and how committed you are to the exam.
Before you jump right in and re-register for Level 1, read some of the posts from those who are studying for Level 3 and see how much it has consumed their life. You start fighting with your spouses all the time, because you spend so much time studying. You don’t get to see your kids. You get stressed out easily. You stop working out and start eating a bunch of unhealthy crap. You can’t enjoy any time off–if you’re lucky enough to get any time off. You start drinking waaay too much to try and relax. You can’t focus on anything but the test, and you start wondering if you’re getting enough study time in. You focus too much on the test and not enough on your job, so your job performance suffers. You take vacation days off–then spend the whole time studying.
All in all–there are worse things in the world than failing the CFA Level 1. What could be worse? Well, passing Level 1, then taking Level 2 three times and failing three times is worse. Or passing on the third time, then failing Level 3 three times. Or passing the exam at the expense of your job and your family.
Anyhow, if you do decide to keep pursuing the CFA Charter, good luck to you. And if you think it’s just not for you, that’s okay too. Giving up 1000 hours of your free time is not a decision to take lightly.