Anyone feel like they are underestimating this?

So far I know I haven’t been studying as long / as hard as I was for level 2. I feel all I do is read which that is less time consuming then doing problems. I’m reaching my goals / schedule quicker and faster. Also I haven’t really ran into anything that was like “oh sh**, wtf just happen” yet. I’ve already gone through the material once already.

I’m more worried about the fact that I don’t have as many questions as I did when i was doing level 2… I know this test isn’t easy… only 50% pass of those who pass level 2. What the h*** is wrong with me :frowning: !!!

anyone else feel the same?

yeah, I think what you’re feeling is quite common. I feel exactly the same. Just reading the material and thinking, ‘yeah cool, got it, makes perfect sense, when is this going to get difficult’. There’s a few sections like the tax formulas and behavorial finance where its a little of WTF but other than that it’s all clear.

I think where L3 is difficult is when you have to actually construct a written answer to a quesion. After you finish a section you found straightforward, have a look at the EOC (even the schweser ones) and see if you can answer them. For the most part I can’t even though I felt the material was easy to understand. It’s this difference between understanding something to being able to recall and apply something that I think makes L3 difficult.

Yeah, I’m feeling the same although some of the CFAI EOCs are a total crap shoot. I did the asset allocation EOCs at the weekend and the 1st few i didn’t even know what they were asking. maybe a schweser vs CFAI text issue.

I had a look at the 2011 morning session past paper and, to be honest, it looks alright. the questions seemed quite focussed relative to some of the EOCs and they didn’t seem too bad on the surface. I’m quite sure that view will change once i have to sit down and have to do it for 3 hours under exam pressure.

my husband has attempted level 3 thrice and flunked. It is my 2nd attempt as well. Yes it is very deceiving. The thing is we need to understand it perfectly well and be able to recall all the nuances and actually write it down.

I think this feeling is pretty common. For me L3 material was more subtle than L2, especially because you might be asked to define it in words as opposed to filling in a bubble. I would say you have to have greater mastery of the material than in L2 as a result. The other big difference is the test. In my opinion, last year’s exam wasn’t so much brutally difficult but long. Even if you know the material well, you have to control yourself from writing a lot on things you know a lot about. Harder than it sounds and takes practice.

The difficulty of L3 lies in the need to actively recall information. L1, L2, and L3 PM are all passive recall, a MUCH easier way to answer questions. L3 AM is all about actively recalling the information without any cues in front of you - essentially, you need to know the material almost well enough to teach it. This is also why so many that pass report a mediocre performance in the AM but estimated scores in the 80s for the PM. You can’t know what will be in the AM and PM, so you need to know it all well enough to write about it in the morning, and if you know it that well, there’s a good chance you can dominate some item sets.

Knowing this, I’ve been studying with the expectation that I’ll need to write about everything I’m reading. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best!


If I watch a movie I generally don’t have trouble following the story. But that doesn’t mean I’ll remember every plot twist three months later or that I would be able to conjure up a single quote.

Given that the curriculum wasn’t written by Hollywood scriptwriters, I can only imagine it will be even harder to recall.

One of the major difference is that in PM you have an “Anchor” for your answers! In AM you dont have that!

I got killed in AM last year and ended up with a band 10. So if anything, please dont underestimate the difficulty.

Same here.

Unlike the PM session, you get no points for guessing in the AM session. You either know what they are looking for or you don’t. So no points for BS either. As someone in another thread said, the real test for Level 3 is to know how to take the test itself.

Thank goodness i’m not the only one who dislikes taxes and behavioral finance. It’s February. Need to pick up the pace. Hats off the guy/girl who has already done a fiirst pass.

I am horrified at the prospect of the AM session for my level 3 this June. How early is it recommended to start with the mock exams? It is now early Feb and I have yet to read about half the curriculum. Unlike 1 and 2, I have a demanding job and since Dec have been studying for the series exams (passed 7 and 24, pounding 66 now). I am hoping to continue the reading and active studying (mocks etc) by March 1st in earnest (3hrs weekdays, 8 hrs on weekends). My initial encounter with writing stuff out from the eoc (vol 2 and 3) has been sobering. While I knew the answers decently, my written recollection lacked the polish of the CFAI answers.