Congrats to those who passed. I failed- Any tips please?

Congrats to all those who have cleared L-3. It would really help us if you could give us some pointers on what do u think were ur strategies that sailed u thru and how many hours do u think is sufficient ? My Band is 4. Thanks in advance.

Please share the tips before you guys vanish away from AF. Ha Ha

Brace yourself there is a storm of L2 passers coming your way… :slight_smile:

First advice, there is no secret ingredient (sauce?). Time, love and efforts mate. Like everything else in life.

poor Rahul

I am a retaker who passed 2nd time around this year. I did two things differently -

  1. Spent much more time practicing PY AM mocks. I ran out of time on the AM when I failed, so this was my biggest point of emphasis when I studied and it made a huge difference. You will start to recognize patterns in both the questions asked and suggestion solutions if you focus on this.

  2. No Schweser or other review courses. All CFAI and all EOC for practice. Painful and dry but it made a difference.

You did not study enough. THat’s just it. Don’t ask how many hours, do it UNTIL you’re good enough. Aim for 80% correct rate and learn how to answer AM

Like this answer… is there a yes button somewhere!!

band 5 here. did ok on PM (5>70%, 1<50). AM killed me all <50 except one.

I did enough studying, not enough AM mocks clearly.

(could be handwriting issues also)

@igor555- What’s this with Rahul?

do not blame handwriting issues. That is not an issue.

Ask yourself what are there high scorers in those sections? They answered the questions in the AM.

Just writing something like “0.5” is not enough and will get your 0 points, even if it is correct.

For essay responses, look at guideline answers and truncate them in the smallest possible response while conveying the answer. You’ll get complete marks and when your response does not convey that, then of course, NO

Nothing new. Overstudy and do as many past mocks as you can. I did 12, I passed.

I don’t think this gets mentioned enough but you may have just misinterpreted some of the AM questions. If you scored well on mocks, jitters may have gotten the best of you.

I’m lucky enough to have gone 3/3 so cant really speak to the complete 180 on strategies (going from schwerser to strictly CFAI material) but I couldn’t recommend only using CFAI. The material is dry and schwerser often does a better job explaining. If you felt good and scored well on mocks maybe you dont need to change your approach, just focus more on actual test day.

Thanks guys

At the expense of coming across as a horrible person, may I recommend working on your English comprehension? Not saying you can’t communicate, you’re doing quite well, but CFAI materials and test seem to be written at a high level with a great deal of nuance. That becomes a barrier to those whom English is a second language. Perhaps read directly from the CFAI texts with an eye on nuance. To be fair, the material is dense for me and I basically read 10Ks and 10Qs for a living!

What I did was underline key passages in individual and institutional portfolio management and especially in ethics to ensure I had the important stuff noted before writing my answer, filling in a blank. I think this is an overlooked point that may add some points to your score. Anyhoo, hope it helps!

It’s hard to make a recommendation without knowing your circumstances. Some of us are blessed and can lock ourselves in a cave for 6 months. Others aren’t fortunate enough and have to use 3rd party materials and cram on top of a more demanding job, family lifestyle, etc.

I went 3/3 December/June/June, but I’m 25, single, and had no obligations outside of studying and ~60 hrs./wk. working.

Agree with the comment above to ONLY use CFA study material once you get to L2 & L3, at least for the EOC’s and practice questions. There’s no other way to pick up the subtle tricks.

A few generic tips off the top of my head:

  1. Studied far more than 300 hours. Started reading in December. Finished reading around mid-April. Didn’t work hardly any practice problems throughout reading, just read through them and sought to thoroughly understand. Created zero flash cards.

  2. In mid-April, the books became irrelevant. Worked ALL the CFA website practice multiple choice problems, printing and marking up each one afterwards. Started creating flash cards.

  3. Beginning of May started the AM Essay exams. Was 45 minutes over on my first attempt. Realized this needed 100% of my focus for a while. I took the 2010 - 2015 AM Mocks, then thoroughly graded each. I then re-took ALL of them to refine the approach. Took about 6 hours total to take and review each. Surprisingly still missed some of the same problems. Created flash cards for these too.

  4. The week or so before the exam, I reviewed ALL the EOC’s and blue boxes, creating flash cards for big gaps. Also reviewed my CFA multiple choice mocks and 2010 - 2015 AM mocks. Narrowed down the flash cards I still didn’t know and studied those too. Also took this week off of work, which I highly recommend (I didn’t do this for L1 or L2 and it made a noticeable difference).

It’s different for each person, but the inevitable element is TIME. Unfortunately, we don’t all have the same amount of it freed up. My advice is to throw the 3rd party material, classes, etc. in the trash and do what works for you. You can find almost anything described in detail on this blog, without the need to sit in long classes or fork out more $.

Best of luck next year!

Just hammer AM papers. For months. You can’t start early enough. Go back 10 years for past CFAI papers if you have to.

not going to harp on PM strategies b/c chances are you’ve all done well there

obviously also know the material so its just writefest for you from start to finish (in bullet points to the best of your ability - had a few run on sentences and for some reason found myself underlining key words in my answers but couldnt be bothered to stop…)

watching videos ----- im a first time schweser user and found watching videos going over previous CFAI mocks to be particularly useful providing another perspective

exposure to mocks ----- i was mock rich…went back to 2011 CFAI, bought 7? FinQuiz mocks and bought 6 schweser mock s (the live schweser mock wasnt that useful in comparison) - all were useful at minimum if you have the time.

Do mocks, then do some more mocks. And read the CFAI answer guides.

The morning is pretty easy to pass, if you know it, you do. I fully expected to get less than 50 in the last two questions, cos I did not have enough time to remember the correct thing to write.

And then, looks like PM is make or break. Saw a Pass with five < 50 in AM, zero >70. But all >70 in PM.

Better luck next time!

Do more mocks than you even considered doing on L1 and L2.

Thanks sharky7. So the key point is as many mocks.

Thanks CFAbeatmeup. No u have not come across as a horrible person. In fact u have underscored a very imp point. “Perhaps read directly from the CFAI texts with an eye on nuance” I appreciate.