CFA 3 is hard

I’ve read for almost a month. I found each book is hard. I mean they are hard to understand, e.g. behavior finance, fixed-income portfolio mgt. I feel they are very abstract, compared to L2. Each LOS i need read at least twice to get some sense. Anyone feel the same way? how do u overcome it? I study an hour then I want to sleep. This did not occur in previous levels? really need some advices. thank u.

There is so much qualitative involved. I used to do 1000+ questions for L1 and L2. But I got a feeling that will not work for L3 as there are so many concepts and points to remember. Not sure whether may i heading for the right direction.

Totally agree that Lvl 3 is very hard. The material is really dense and almost every LOS is chockfull of stuff to memorize , gotchas at every step.I feel I am beginning again , after reading the text through completely ( except Book 1)

i feel that as a native english speaker, i will have a distinct advantage over test takers who do not use english as their native language, since htis test is much more definitional, conceptual, and qualitative does anyone have the L1, L2, L3 pass rates by country? i wonder what the breakdown is like around the world and if pass rates jump in L3 for the US, london, and other english speaking countries

Went through the stuff in record time - a lot easier than L2. Only tax-section, performance stuff and GIPS sucks… As non-native speaker no problems - language As easy as L1 + 2 because its all simple US English. Reading UK newspaper like Economist or Guardian is quite tough for non-natives, but not CFA LOS.

June 2009 Exam Results by Country/Region By country/region, the pass rates for the Level I, Level II, and Level III exams combined are: United States: 47 percent of the 29,021 total exam candidates Canada: 47 percent of the 8,229 total exam candidates Europe: 50 percent of the 17,860 total exam candidates Asia and Pacific Asia: 42 percent of the 41,832 total exam candidates Central and South America: 42 percent of the 1,689 total exam candidates Africa/Middle East: 33 percent of the 5,480 total exam candidates ---------------- June 2010 Exam Results by Region By region, the pass rates for the Level I, Level II, and Level III exams combined are: The Americas: 43 percent of the 40,830 total exam candidates Europe, Middle East, and Africa: 42 percent of the 25,311 total exam candidates Asia and Pacific Asia: 40 percent of the 45,590 total exam candidates

From this thread:,1091158 Candidates Passing Level Three CFA Exam in Selected Countries, Territories Number who % of level 3 test-takers passed level 3 who passed United States 3,720 69% Canada 964 59% United Kingdom 746 82% Hong Kong 409 47% Singapore 294 49% Germany 284 77% Switzerland 257 76% Korea 182 43% Australia 174 77% South Africa 160 59% Mainland China 153 62% The Netherlands 97 74% India 96 72% France 94 68% Spain 77 65% Japan 75 44% Malaysia 64 45%

I believe these figures are from 2004.

What did you expect? This is the last exam that separates the charterholders and the candidates.

Take a look at the score breakdowns from last year – even those passing (myself included) looked ugly as sin. LIII is by far the hardest of the 3, IMO.

statistics look good for me since I am in The Netherlands 74%. but i am asian so drop back to 47%of Hong Kong . :frowning:

is it the content that makes it hard or the exam?..somehow i feel that if L2 content was examined in L3 style…i would be sleeping with the fishes and they would be having a picknick…i am not a big fan of the qualitatitve/memorisation drivel of the curriculum in L3…but then again maybe i am biased because i have less motivation to do L3 than i did L1…feel that this exam is practically useless for me but at the same time its all i got…grr


regardless of its toughness, it is something you gotta do. It is your first time, of course it seems hard to get in…to the material.

Dont mentally get destroyed


I find the material more challenging as I am not able to leverage my “quant” skills and my accounting experience. The material is much “softer” and almost to the point subjectivity. Not to mention the added curve ball of essay questions. Fingers crossed but I am nervous.