allowed writing style on morning session

Hi all,

I asked a CFA charterholder colleague whether he thought it’s ok to use " ’ " instead of " 000 " when showing calculations. He never seen this technique so he advised I should avoid it. However I already have enough problems handling how to write clear on the morning exam, so I aim at using this technique (it’s in my back bone). So before I decide to do it… What do you think, is it a waste of points to write 50’’ instead of 50 000 000 etc. etc.?

for example, “An investor has $100 million stock portfolio and made a profit of $5 million, what is the final value?”

my reply: Stock portfolio + profit = final value, e.g. 100’’ + 5’’ = 105’’, —> Final value is 105 million

Thank you for any inputs and thoughts

edit: haha, I sum it up to 100million initially… STRESS!! haha,

Why not mln?

You can write 100mln+5mln = $105,000,000

The end result will be clear and mln should be easy to understand as million. Much faster to write than ,000,000

I’m not used to mln, but if that’s accepted I could go with that even though ’ is my big preference.

As a second option I would like to use M for thousands, e.g. 50MM to write 50 million. I prefer ’ and M as I’m used to writing these abbreviations

Everything is allowed as long as the grader knows what you want to say. Just remember that the grading teams are an international mix of charterholders. So I wouldn’t use anything that is only used in certain regions and may be unknown to others. And it should be readable even if your writing is not that great on exam day. If you use ‘’ and have to write quickly, it could look like ’ and be interpreted as thousand. M and MM should work, but may not be familiar to everyone. I think writing out ,000 is not much more work than using abbreviations. And for millions, things like mln, MM, million, … should all work. However, I would always write out your final result, including the currency (or percentage sign). It’s just one number and could make a difference.

We are probably overthinking it. Most graders don’t do this the first time, they’ve probably seen all kinds of abbreviations and know how to read them.

thanks for feedback. I think you are right that I overthink it. At the exam I will be much more conscious and focused on my writing.

My only problem is that I have some kind of “stress-dyslexi” which means I end up writing wrong letters under pressure. Once I was stressed to fill in a green card form, Even though I only had to copy and paste from my passport I tried out 10 forms before I finally got it right. But that said, I’m aware about the problem and just need to know the stuff better so I don’t need to worry about time constrain… hehe

last week now! pooh

please do not use shortcuts that are not known. I have heard and seen M used for Million. K used for 1000

but never seen ’ and ‘’ used to mean that.

In my world, M means thousand (that’s also how Bloomberg count for M). However, I won’t give it more thoughts. It’s just sad there is no list of acceptable abbreviations.


“Traditionally, M is used as the symbol for thousands and MM for millions in the business world, particularly in accounting.”

Well, we’re not in accounting :wink:

CFAI text uses M for millions.


M = M illion, because of the first letter.

M = One-Thousand because M is the roman numeral for 1,000

I would avoid using just M, although it’s unlikely the grader will be unable to dechipher your meaning I don’t think its worth the risk, the exta “illion” or “,000,000” only takes about .6 seconds to write.

WTF is ’ & "?? Never seen it.

I have not given this one thought. If the answer is $105,000,000, and 100,000,000 and 5,000,000 are the right inputs, they will likely give some credit for showing your work if you screw up do this (no real “input labels”):

100 + 5 = 100 —> Final value is $100,000,000.

I think that is an European thing :slight_smile: So, I will not use it at the exam.

CFAI should put together some sort of guideline as to what is acceptable and what is not.

There is way too much ambiguous shit about this fucking exam.

not really sure what you want to say with your post. But I take it as you intend to insult me (Original poster sounds kinda douchey?)

Just to clear the facts. I do not suffer from dyslexia as I can read without problems, and notice errors in text. However I do have some kind of writing dyslexi. I can easily write b instead of d, etc. flipping letters, especially when writing under pressure. So I’m not trying to seem douchey, I just ask whether other people were familiar with writing ’ instead of tripple zero. I seen some math geeks use it, so it’s not totally unfamiliar technique. But as I understand it’s quite uncommon, so I will avoid it and write mln or similar instead.

Then let’s write S AND P.