I am faced with a band 7 after a band 9 one year earlier. A band 7 with more preparation and a better exam done in my opinion. I was practicing past exams before the actual exam and was scoring above 70% in both essay type and multiple choice questions. I answered all the questions. I don’t really know what to do. How to start studying again. What change should I bring about in my studying approach.
I thought this was going to be a joke motivational post in response to the Band 3 to Pass post.
Repetition amigo. Do 10+ full practice exams, time them, do them under actual exam circumstances, and review them (even the ones you got right) multiple times. This is in addition to doing the readings and answering every EoC question there is, and also reading the sauce 3-4 times and annotating it. If you fail doing this, i don’t know what to tell you.
The only add-on to the above advice would be to practice being able to answer the questions more quickly. Time management is a real issue on the exam and the ability to move through questions at a crisper pace can be a great help. I tried to get to the point that I was answering the questions about 25-35% faster than what “time/questions” would normally allow. Getting faster at the things you know well will give you more time to work and think through some of the topics that are not as much at the tip of your tongue.
WebGlider Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > How to start studying again. What change should I > bring about in my studying approach. Post your 2010 and 2011 score matrices so we can see what’s going on.
post it up, I wanna see how this is possible.
ATH Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > The only add-on to the above advice would be to > practice being able to answer the questions more > quickly. Time management is a real issue on the > exam and the ability to move through questions at > a crisper pace can be a great help. I tried to get > to the point that I was answering the questions > about 25-35% faster than what “time/questions” > would normally allow. Getting faster at the things > you know well will give you more time to work and > think through some of the topics that are not as > much at the tip of your tongue. And also make sure you take enough time to read over the questions so you understand because there’re tricks all over the place. Also make sure to check the footnotes. Very important.
compare results from those two years, try to find out patterns. AM vs AM and PM vs PM…was AM session bad in both years? Eassy better than Item sets? any particular weak subjects area? once you done that, you should have some idea where you should concentrade your firepower on for next round. I was band 10 last year and really focused on the essay the second time and did relatively well. I had a post earlier and talked about my approach which is slightly different than most others. I focused on trying to really get to know the basic blocks/tackles of materials…and not so much on practice exams. If you grasped the basic stuffs really well, then your speed will natually be qucker in answering questions and itemsets. My theory is that CFAI can find many different angles to test you, practicing exam is good for time management but can’t cover all the angles and may give you false sense of security.
sounds like you were prepared and just didn’t perform at game time. I would prepare just as hard for it next year, and also start thinking about the other things that come into the test day like getting good sleep leading up to the exam, eating right, and exercising to keep your brain fresh. Also not thinking about other areas of stress unrelated to the exam like family, friends, and work. Taking a week off work leading up to the exam, etc… There’s this book that talks about how exercise contributes to better brain function, called Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. I’m not sure what your exercise regime is like but I know mine starts to fall off the cliff when the exam date draws near. This year I made sure I kept up with it and got enough sleep every night for the week leading up to the exam.
The course is not difficult: i think you need to address the essay section not as an essay but as a reverse multiple choice. The multiple choice has a specific and unique answer which you arrive at by a series of analytical steps. The term essay is a misnomer and is misleading and implies a wider assessment of the problem. Provide the answer and the steps but not in an essay format. Ignore the term essay! The morning session is really wham bam thank you mam. Practise answering the AM as a reverse multiple choice, which means that practise for the multiple choice can also be used as practise for the AM. Both morning and afternoon sessions have the same objectives. If you think about the PM session, you invariably have more than enough time to finish: complete AM practise with a brevity and directness that will allow you complete it with more than enough time. If you are overrunning it means you are going outside of the context required to pass and there is a risk that the test takers are programmed to only assess direct answers, irrespective of how correct a more essay type answer is. In effect, think less about the problem and more about the answer, which is something that would make Einstein cringe but the CFA happy.
How exactly did you not pass? I mean, it is a difference if you made good points in am but not pm and vice versa. What topics went good and were those the same as last year? I had to retake L2 after a poor preparation but that was easy to improve next year. What helped me in L3 in general: - every weekend of first half year was learning (at least some), plus some weeks of for finalization - mapping results (i.e. was I stable in ethics or not and if no, I had to focus there) - schweser videos, even if sometimes annoying - looked on the net for every possible old exam and took it - am session has big points for IPS: I made myself a large table with all buzzwords in it so I could calculate req ret and put in the constraints from the heart (and it worked for me as I see from my exam results)
wow, I am in the exact same boat. I was a band 9 last year after passing level 1 and 2 on the first tries. This year I was a band 7. I felt better prepared going into this test, and felt better walking out. I was totally shocked with my result. Something isn’t right here. My score just doesn’t reflect how I felt I did on the test. There have been others who feel the same. I also actually thought this years exam was a bit easier than last years exam… I’m going to do a retab, and I’m getting sick of people who believe that CFAI makes absolutely ZERO errors in their grading process. We did learn about statistics correct guys?
Agreed.Analysts should be at least a bit skeptical about everything.Here on the other hand CFAI is regarded as perfect, totally objective, uninterested in anything that has anything to do with money etc etc …
pandeter Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I’m going to do a retab, and I’m > getting sick of people who believe that CFAI makes > absolutely ZERO errors in their grading process. > We did learn about statistics correct guys? I haven’t heard any AF poster claim that the CFAI doesn’t make mistakes. Can you name a single candidate that has achieved anything through the re-grading process, other than spending $100? Because instructors that have been teaching the CFA curriculum for more than a decade can’t. And if you have so little faith in the CFAI, what makes you think that the re-grading process involves anything more than taking your money and sending you another fail notification?
Word to the wise…there is no “re-grading.” If you pay the $100, they will simply ensure that they gave you a grade for the answers that you provided. I asked CFAI if they had ever reversed a score based on the $100 retabulation; the person that I spoke with said they could not remember any instance where a score was changed from fail to pass, for “at the least the last SEVERAL years.” I felt the same way leaving the test; I knew my stuff and I got crushed.
I have tried looking back at other years to see if there is the same type of discussion re the AM session - i have not noticed anywhere near as dense a set of comment strings and was wondering if anyone had access to any similar type of discussion for previous years, and by this i mean strength in depth of comments, not just isolated or incidental comment. While i think you can fail these exams through lack of preparation, i do not personally feel that the level of independent thought needed to pass these exams is wild to any extreme: there is no complicated math, you are only dealing with segments of problems and do not have to work through a complete problem and the content is at a fairly basic level and where it is not basic, it does not go. Also the fact that you have passed I and II means you have the necessary platform to pass III and anyone who passed PM by a good margin while failing AM has also demonstrated the ability to pass. The difference between AM pass and fail is not, in my opinion, an ability to think independently or to understand rather than memorise: in truth your answers are restricted to course content and dogma which means that you can only iterate within the confines of the course, meaning that analysis and synthesis is constrained to the point that you have to assume a passive and wholesale acceptance of course instruction to pass. In other words, you might have to shut off part of cerebral processing to pass. I do have issues with many aspects of the course and part of me wonders if these issues are relevant to AM passing: that is linear mental processing would just draw a line from a to b and happlily ignore the fact that there is no context for the line in the first place, while non linear thinking would wonder how the leap of faith from a to b came about in the first place, noting the fact that b was either unsupported or was in fact c, and would be forced for the sake of the exam to believe in the line that connects a to b. For example, you might notice there is no line drawn between immunised or cash matched fixed interest portfolios and the total overall portfolio constructed via MVO - immunisation ignores cash flows and rebalancing items from the equity and other asset components (because of the uncertainty over those flows) and the fact that via rebalancing it might be efficient to use rebalancing to meet quasi liabilities. Where a portfolio has a significant equity or other asset component they need to be incorporated into the entire asset liability modelling and management equation - strict immunisation and cash matching to a large extent ignores these issues. Also, the course fails in my mind to address the logistical differences between institutional and private client portfolio management. In other words the Am sessions dealing with IPS and portfolio management are severely contrained with respect to reality. Finally, the whole premise of using statistical analysis, MVO and Monte Carlo is that markets are not just efficient, but that the market and economic universe is in equilibrium and that future price movements are random and independent: once you are out of equilibrium, this framework does not hold. Having to write an exam under the presumption that monte carlo simulation is a correct approximation of the uncertainty of future returns, standard deviations and correlations is very difficult to stomach. MPT is a starting point for portfolio construction planning and management, but is depedent on a set of very strict assumptions: accepting the weaknesses of the construct out of equilibrium would be a very good start for the CFA to broadening the intellectual density of the course. I am not saying do not teach it, but we need to accept that it has weaknesses and limitations. In my opinion the course provides a very clunky frame for dealing with portfolio construction, planning and management issues principally because it is not really intended to deal with these issues: it is designed to deliver a large body of knowledge based on a constrained economic and market paradigm and it is here that i think the conflict lies between the AM section required output and the context of the AM section itself. In other words, the essay section construct may be an inappropriate format for assessing the objective of the course and the issue may be more than just the semantics of a misleading name - as i have said before, the term essay is a misnomer for what would appear to be the required output of the morning session. I must admit I am intrigued by the Am section process but am hampered in my ability to make any concrete assessment by the lack of data.
WebGlider Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I am faced with a band 7 after a band 9 one year > earlier. A band 7 with more preparation and a > better exam done in my opinion. > > I was practicing past exams before the actual exam > and was scoring above 70% in both essay type and > multiple choice questions. > > I answered all the questions. > > I don’t really know what to do. > > How to start studying again. What change should I > bring about in my studying approach. bro same story here only i went from band 10 to band 5. I think i completely burnt myself out in the last month of studying. I totally blanked out for the last half of the exam. I dont know how i should change my strategy so it doesn’t happen again
Contracan, You are right in saying that this is the first time that candidates have begun looking at course content, method of testing etc .Past “after results” threads show that the main concern then was with the setting of the Minimum Pass Score (MPS). It was taken as a given that course content, setting of exams, marking of exams were all beyond question This time around, CFAI is being confronted with the problem of many from finance and related academic backgrounds, who are already analysts, bringing their skills and experience to bear on the CFAI itself. This was bound to happen when Level 3 became, as it has in recent years, a difficult hurdle to pass. To all that you have said let me just add that having been a university level tutor ,post graduate with refereed publications ,and researcher in finance and law,I think I am in a good position to judge that the CFAI claim that this CFA course is a post-graduate course fails for the reasons you have stated. CFA cannot claim to have a post-grad testing scheme when essays have been eliminated and replaced with constructive response questions which require answers which, as you put it, are multiple choice in reverse. CFA has over the years reduced its exams to a test of memorizing phrases from the material that must be re-produced almost verbatim if one is to get a mark. The CFA claim that examiners accept a variety of answers does not seem to hold true. I would ask anyone who has gone from Band 10 to some lower band, or performed better in PM than in the AM to consider their performance against what I have said above-and then tell me if there is a better explanation for their performance.
Monk You make some interesting points too. I think to some extent, if you are not prepared for the nuances of the format, that the probability of passing is a random one, which does not seem right. I would rather see more complex questions where it would be clear as to what is a correct response than simple questions requiring “correct” answers. Unfortunately there does not appear to be any formal route to raise one’s concerns or have one’s questions addressed.