CFAI answer vs. Schweser "For the Exam" answer

Schweser’s answers seem a whole heck of alot shorter than the CFAI answer. I’m afraid of writing only the Schweser answer.

I’m just going to stick to the key bullet points and hit the key words they will be looking for - eg in IPS - time horizon: “long term, multi-stage, 20 years to retirement, 20-30 years retired”, etc The graders have a list of key words for each answer so they look for those first. The last thing they want to do is go searching through lines of scribble searching for the key words.

yeah, i remember JoeyDVivre’s comments a while ago (where the hell is he, anyway??) He has graded these things and said they are looking for the specific key words that form the answer. The way null explains above would get full credit (assuming that it’s the correct answer of course…)

Guideline answers are longer than what is expected from a candidate writing under the time constraint of the exam.

I am sure you have seen this pimp, but for those who haven’t… Tips for Taking the Level III Essay Exams The Level III essay exam is given in the morning session and has a maximum score of 180 points. The essay exam typically has 12–15 questions, and questions may have multiple parts. The points for each question and each question part are given in the exam. The following are some general tips for Level III candidates on the essay exam: * The published guideline answers on past essay exams are more complete and better written than actual exam answers that receive full credit. * Answers are graded only on content. They are not graded for language and style. * Use short phrases and bullet points to save time, but be sure your meaning is clear. * Handwriting is rarely so poor that the answer cannot be graded. * Points are awarded for direct answers to a question. * No points are awarded for general knowledge that is not responsive to the question. * Do not spend too much time writing an answer. This is particularly tempting when you know the topic well. Formulate a direct response to the command words, and use the amount of time allotted. * No one has ever received a perfect score on any level of the CFA exam. Even though it is not by design, you should expect to encounter questions that you will not be able to answer correctly. There is a great deal of material to master, and exam questions are challenging. Standard setters (at Levels I and II) and the Board of Governors (at all three levels) take account of exam difficulty in setting Minimum Passing Scores. Find out more about how the MPS is established (PDF). The following are common reasons that graders give for poor candidate performance on the essay portion of the Level III: * Not responsive to command word list (list, define, etc.) * Answered a question they wish they had been asked instead of the question that was asked. * No work shown on a calculation question and the answer is incorrect. * Hedged on questions that asked for a recommendation and justification (recommended A, but justified B). * Neglected to answer part of the question (especially if a several part question). Note that you can still answer part E, even if you do not know the answer to part D. * Content area experts spent too much time on their area of expertise, leaving too little time for weak areas.

I falied last year because of the AM written exam. Didn’t have enough time, and I wrote too much. I’ll be going with the schweser style this year