Answering the AM

Wondering how people are answering the AM, in particular IPS. In schweser the “Exam Response” is very short and to the point, without supporting assumptions. I would think supporting assumptions would give you partial credit if you do get the question wrong, as the grader would be able to see the logic behind your answer. I have never taken any type of AM exam until this past weekend, and found myself explaining things in detail. On one hand, this could help me get partial credit, but I fear it could also cost me points as well if I make an incorrect assumption/statement. How are you guys approaching AM?

Firstly, I don’t there will be any major questions in the morning session where you will need to make any assumptions. Everything you need to correctly answer the questions will be provided. Secondly, you will not get any extra credit for creating a ‘pretty’ answer. I will be keeping my answers very specific and in point form. BTW. I am talking from experience because I wrote this exam last year. I did pretty well in the morning session but really got killed in the PM.


Agree with clueless. Keep it short and to-the-point. Writing more will not get your more points, don’t risk writing the wrong answer. Plus, writing more will waste time too.

I highly recommend working the 2006 - 2008 real CFA exams (in timed conditions) to understand the exam. The CFA provides the past exams as well as the guideline answers, so if you want to know what it’s like, why go anywhere else?

Good point frisian. I think I will do so. I think the 06 may deviate a bit in terms of material, but I will def. look at 07/08.

I also wanted to add one more point. Do not get discouraged if you are unable to replicate the CFA guideline answers. The guideline answers are very detailed and you are not expected to reproduce them on the exam.

How about something along these lines; Beghavioral Finance Question, the guideline answer is heuristic driven bias, but you answer representativeness (a subset of herusitic driven bais). I would imagine you’d get full credit right?

I’m going for short, simple bullet points. They’ll get full credit if they’re right, and if you spend too much time writing you may run out. If you have time left over, go back and write more if you feel the need.

I’ve heard that writing too much actually penalizes you because they won’t try to extract your response out of a paragraph full of answers. So if you list 4 different points, and #3 was the one they were looking for, you risk losing points for trying to scattershoot and hit the answer.