Are Past Level III Essay Exams Relevant for June 2020 Exam?

CFA Institute has been releasing its Level III essay exams for many years. This is really good practice material and can give you a sense of the difficulty level of actual exam questions. It can also help you practice and improve your writing technique and timing.

The 2020 LIII curriculum has changed substantially, and many questions from the past papers are from readings which are no longer part of the 2020 curriculum. To help you identify questions that are still relevant, I have created a document that shows the relevance of every question since the 2012 exam.

· Questions highlighted in green are based on readings that are still part of the 2020 curriculum.

· Questions highlighted in yellow indicate that the question is partially relevant.

· Questions with no highlights are based on readings that are no longer part of the 2020 curriculum.

My advice is that after you complete a study session, you review examples from the curriculum and do the practice problems provided. However, the I feel that the solutions given in the curriculum are long and intended to ‘teach’ the concepts. The solutions are not structured in the way you should respond on the actual exam. That is why it is important to practice answering questions in an exam-like format.

After completing the curriculum’s practice problems, I advise that you use my ‘relevance document’ to find the relevant questions from past papers and practice those.

Try and work on different question banks or mock exams sold by the CFA Prep Providers. I recommend you leave the mock exams till the final 2 months.

The LIII essay exam is a new testing format for you. Besides having the knowledge, you have to make sure that you master the response format so that your responses and timing are good enough to pass the exam.

Best of luck in your exam preparation!

Arif Irfanullah, CFA

1 Like

Extremely useful. Thanks!

wow you added a lot more no’s this time.

I miss being in the CFA program.

Should I place a special request for you to the Institute. You could restart the Program

This can not be correct. Fixed Income has not changed from 2019 to 2020 but past Fixed Income essay questions that were relevant for last year’s exam are no longer relevant for 2020 exam???

He did not mark any FI questions in green light (relevant for 2020)?

how great would it be if CFAI would implement “trap door question” policy for lvl3 exams by asking some basic questions like how to calculate sharpe or CAPM and if you would answer incorrectly…BAM! Back to lvl1 you go!

FRM it is!

OMG that would be like literally pure evil!

I’m thinking about it but somehow I feel apprehension about another year of studying.

I’m also legit thinking about signing up- I would feel waaaay less pressure to pass and the curriculum is way more interesting than CFA IMO. If it wasn’t like $1,100 i prob would’ve already signed up for May 2020 but that price is keeping me from doing it

At my firm, in both asset management and investment banking, I saw hiring managers prioritize candidates who have an an MBA or a CFA. I never heard anyone talk about FRM. Maybe that’s changing, but probably not fast enough to materially benefit your career. The CFA and MBA are the gold standard, if you have one then you owe it to yourself to monetize it by throwing yourself into your job, changing jobs, or moving somewhere where the job market for your career is better. I doubt this strategy would fail, but if it did then you can keep piling on the degrees.

Schweser provides a list which includes many more questions. Who’s more accurate, IFT or Schweser?

Wow - very helpful. Thanks for putting this together!

I’m in the final stages of preparation now

My take is that may exam was very straight forward…not 2 page calculations…i followed kaplan and diid all EOC questions from CFAI website…but i spent 35 days 10 hours a day…hope that helps