Belated exam


So I am one of those candidates that took the exam today (15th June) in karachi, Pakistan. For those who don’t know, the exam got cancelled and was rescheduled for today due to security conditions.

In this post, I am going to reflect on the exam. I know it’s already history for you guys but I am going to vent anyways. Imo, the exam was very fair and I would have considered myself a sure pass had it not been for Alternative investments and Portfolio management.

In alternatives, what was supposed to be tested did NOT come at all and they say the focus of level 2 is “valuation”. Regarding portfolio, I could not even deduce the answers using logic/brain. I did not know what the fk they were talking about. Here’s my assessment for each section

Ethics…once a bitch, always a bitch. Most of the questions were inter-dependent and too many standards were integrated into just one question

Quant…It was one of my strongest areas and was hoping it would be harder so I would benefit relatively but all questions were like, what is 2+2?

Economics…Even though I don’t like economics but was pleasantly surprised by it.

Corporate finance…You are gold if you know the formulas but otherwise fucked. Thanksfully, I remembered the formulas.

Accounting…Not formula intensive but you need to identify/analyze “LINKS” between different items. Too much room for careless errors.

Equity…Same as accounting, one could have easily lost marks by being careless. Needed to be super attentive/alert.

Fixed Income…Did not study it properly so no comments.

Derivatives… VERY formula intensive

Alternative investments…What I studied did not come at all even though I spent ages on this topic.

Portfolio management…What was that? Chinese, Latin or some alien stuff. I hope level 3 portfolio management is not like level 2 portfolio management. I was not even sure what I have seen on the exam was actually from the curriculum. Even my educated guesses were effectively just pure random guesses.

Overall, I think I scored between 65%-75%. I hope the MPS is below 65% even in the worse case scenario.

Mods, even though I tried my best to not violate code & standards and still vent out my feelings. If anything is in violation of code and standards, then please delete it. Thanks


I am curious how you manage to estimate your score (65%-75%) with such precision and confidence?

How many questions did you answer randomly? How many educated guess? What do you think is your score for questions you are “sure” about? (80%? 90%?)

Personally i answered 18 questions randomly (8 for PM…), made a few more educated guess (maybe 10), and i estimate my score on questions i am sure about between 75% and 90%.

Therefore i estimated my score as (18*0,33 + 10*0,5 + 92*0,75)*100 / 120 = 66,6%

and (18*0,33 + 10*0,5 + 92*0,90)*100 / 120 = 78,12 %

Like you i hope MPS is below 65% :slight_smile:

I read it was estimated to be between 58% and 63% in 2012 and 66% and 67% in 2013 (using average score estimates from bands). Also a majority of retaker estimate that it was harder this year, (surely due to PM i suppose) so a mps below 65% seems very credible to me.

Therefore i feel like i have more chances to pass than to fail ( maybe 70 - 30)

However i read about people who answered randomly to only 5 questions and don’t feel confident about passing so i wonder if my estimates are optimistics.

Well, we all have different methods for estimating our score so there is not a right or wrong approach. What I did was to calculate scores using different approaches and under different scenarios (pessimistic, normal, optimistic), like we studied in corporate finance. I used different approaches and see what’s the range of my estimates, the lower the range, the higher the confidence I will have in my estimates.

And I interpret my performance as " I have a 95% chance of scoring between 65%-75% ( I know there are no valid statistical procedures behind this, it’s just what I feel is appropriate)

One popular approach used here at analyst forum is the 40/60/80 rule, which says use 40% for sections about which you feel you will get less than 50, 60% for sections in which you will get 50-70 and 80% for those in which you will get more than 70. Multiply it by the section weight and sum them. Using this approach, my score is coming out at 68%.

I think my score for questions which I am really sure about is 90% and am very sure about 75 questions.

Same here. If only porftfolio management and AI had gone better, I would have assured myself of getting higher than 70%. Coming out of the exam hall today, I knew I am at borderline. And everybody I talked to felt the same except for some prodigies, nerds and braggers. If the MPS is higher than 65%, then the “guesses” will come into play and will be the deciding factor.

If a person randomly answered just 5 questions, then it suggests that he is “sure” about the remaining 115 questions. And if you can’t be sure of passing with those estimates, then it is clear that your estimating ability is not reliable at all.

Performance benchmarks in online forums are biased indicators. Selection bias is huge here. Those who performed well are more likely to report their performance. And secondly, people tend to over-estimate their performance in general.

Good to hear that you were finally able to take the exam.

Best of luck on the results!

Thanks for the report, must’ve been great to have another week to do final review!

Counterbalanced by the aprehension that you might have been studying in vain if they ended up cancelling the exam altogether.

Wonder how many brushed up a little more on certain topics based on discussions on these forums.

juss wonder…

Those guys got more time to study

I know. It’s annoying. Two of the questions that came out of our exam could be answered by Level 1 candidates.

But if you got AK47 wielding terrorists running around, it could be a distraction to study time.

From what I understand, people there are immune to such distractions. It is apparently very common from what I was told by a friend who was there for a good part of his life growing up.

People got so much pressurized from the cancellation of the exam and they only started to recover when they got to know that CFAI has re-arranged exam … the negative effect outweighs the extra time they got for preparation … the worry of cancelling a test that took your year’s saving (yes year’s saving) under intense socio-economic pressure can only be felt by someone who is from them.

They were very luck in fact to have that exam re-scheduled , given the fact that karachi was indeed attacked.

I guess the CFA exam center would be immune to terrorist attacks coz the proctors would prohibit the terrorists from bringing their AK47’s into the test center in the first place and only allow Texas Instrument calcs and HB pencils. Sorry, shouldn’t joke about it…if only terrorists would do the CFA and be productive people in life, things would be so much better.

Based on FinKid’s remarks seems like that CFAI didn’t changed the exam.

I should not make a joke but your comment made me imagine proctors saying things like “Bringing an AK47 is a violation of CFA rules”

ummm seems the cfai didnt change the exam!!

passing rate in karachi centre might be over 90% now lol

CFAI might have asked new questions of similar difficulty…who knows??

Well most of people would not be able to get a hand on questions anyway. I doubt it will change alot the pass rate

It is interesting to see that you encountered the same difficulties as the others on AI and PM. I think CFAI changed the exams but maintained the same level of difficulties.

I also believe that the exams are different in Asia vs. US, but no one knows…