Am I on the right track for passing Level 3 after two previous failed attempts?


I failed Level 3 twice in 2011 and 2012; and after a 4 year hiatus, I have changed my approach and feel more confident. Here are some of the things I have done this time around that I “think” will help me get over the hump. Would you please be kind enough to give me a “thumbs up” or “a few extra pointers” for the balance of this week?

PS: I only found about this great forum by chance last week…so it’s a little too late; but no harm in trying: and I am comfortable with Ethics and GIPS but plan to revisit them for a third time prior to the exam.

  1. Read the actual CFA curriculum twice and even identified two of the items on the Errata document along with a few spelling errors;

  2. Did 1,200 practice questions from the Schweser QBank scoring on average 70%. (200 per each of the 6 volumes from the CFAI)

  3. Did two AM practice tests from Schweser Vol. 1.

  4. Did the AM tests from 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 CFAI exams (scoring 44% up to 66% over the years in order); with the 2014 and 2015 under a strict 3-hour limit.

  5. Did PM exams 1, 2 and 3 in Schweser Vol. 1 plus the Schweser Mock Exam in early May (scoring 55% to 74% over time).

  6. Made a Word doc of answer explanations from the 1,200 answers from the QBank for anything I didn’t get right the first time.

  7. Did a designed approach to the EOC chapters in the CFAI curriculum based on the type of questions (item set like or a good candiate for the AM section).

  8. So far, I have over 320 hours into the studying; at an average of 2.25 hours per day since end of December 2015…

  9. Now going back to clarify what I have missed in the written and afternoon sections (again) and re-writing specific written questions based on comfort with certain topics (like Fixed Income or Executing and Monitoring).

Do you think I’m on the right track? I didn’t do any of the above the last two times so I know why I failed; but I’m hoping this is in line with some of your experience thus far.

PSS: I only opened the actual Schweser curriculum ONCE to clarify the contingent immunization example for changing the YTM and determining if the dollar-safety margin is zero.

I have never read one sentence from the original CFA books for level 1 or 2 and also not 3, only schweser

I passed 1 & 2 with 70% above in all topics, and I scored 84 and 83% on the CFA online mocks now for L3 (AM and PM).

I think there is no right or wrong way to prepare. If you can answer the LOS then you will pass.

I passed. Third time was the charm for me.

For some reason, the Level 3 curriculum between 2012 and 2016 became much more readable…and interesting too.

Definitely glad I scored >70% on Ethics in 2012 and 2016.

I hope someone reads the above and gets some value…read the CFAI curriculum if you have failed twice. And write “slow and pretty, slow and pretty” on the exam…if the graders can’t read your writing, you get no points.

I did a lot of erasing in the AM because I kept falling back in my habit of poor penmanship…and answer the questions on the page indicated. (in the rush of things, I bet some people did not follow that rule).


Last 3 attempt s Failed, hovering Band 9. Pretty sure CFA institute penalizes on zero Ethics score. This time I spent some time on Ethics. Read CFA books only. I never read Schweser books. I know I missed lot of personal life. But leaving last exam Level-3 will haunt you forever. I left my PhD for some personal reasons. I feel the pain now. You know the CFA material well, all you need is just closing the account. Good luck 2017 exam. DON’T STOP.