Depression-Life Sucks-Can't Believe I Screwed Up-Not Another Year Thread

A thread for those who failed and gotta spend another year preparing for the Level 3 again. Air your views, unfairness, maltreatments, pains, etc - you will not be judgeded.

Personally I am shocked and depressed. This all coming in when I am doing my GMAT now.

But makes sense - I studied for Level 1 and Level 2 in 3 weeks before the Exams and passed. For Level 3 I went in with the same strategy but realised I did extremely well in the PM section and was absolutely destroyed on the AM section. So if I do it again next year gonna focus on practicing the AM / Essays.

Life sucks - another wine please waiter

Well seems like you are definitely very bright for acing lvl 1 and 2 with only 3 weeks each time ! lvl 3 has a different format, no need to be depressed just study it a bit more and it should not be a problem for you.

If it makes you feel better, I studied for a lot longer than 3 weeks. In fact I ordered the material the day after I passed L2 and started slowly reading it in mid-August. I leisurely read the material until November then started putting pencil to paper. In essence I studied for an entire year. I think if you modify your strategy you’ll be fine in the future.

I did L1 in 2003 with 1 week, L2F in 2004 with 1 week (but in the midst of a major distressed debt transaction), L2 in 2005 with 1 week (and US Gaap was a major challenge for me then). Attempted L3F in 2006 amidst my exams at UChicago and that bombed. Registered for L3 in 2009, 2012 and I never sat. Gave L3F in 2016 after a long gap of 10 years to be at Band 8. 8 days of 8 hrs this time, with no mocks or EOC questions. Only Schweser. Sounds stupid. But that’s me. Between my Level 2 in 2005 and now, I completed my MSc Financial Mathematics, got married, worked as PM in multi-strat Funds in NY/ HK, had a kid (had another one last month). It’s been a rollercoaster all along. Taken the test in Mumbai, Chicago, Hong Kong (absent both times though) and now Chennai, India. Net-net, I am determined to complete in 2017, although a few hours ago was thinking of the June exam being my last brush with CFA.

If it makes you feel any better, i too, studied for an entire year. Did all the schweser and the CFAI AM mocks as well as the Boston. Mid to high 60’s. No improvement across the board really. Probably need to go back and review all that stuff again anyways.

But now I’m feeling like crap too honestly. It’s not a good place to be but only you can get yourself out of it. Parents are pissed/frustrated. Yes, I’m Asian. Have a tiger mom unfortunately.

So yeah, you’ll live. We all will.

If I spent 3 weeks studying I wouldn’t call that “preparing for another year”…

I know people that have failed after 6-7 months of studying. You should be proud of yourself for making it as far as you have with such little effort - I definitely couldn’t have done the same. Pull up your socks and get it done.

So for the both of us - its the Essays that F&%KED up right?

I reckon our strategy would get us through the MCQs, but the Essays not sure how to tackle it.

1 Like


Same boat. Band 4. Lets pull up our socks for 2017. 54% is a decent pass rate and if we are not there indicates we have to step up our efforts and that too early

The biggest problem I have with L3 is the ridiculous subjectivity of the exam. You could take a successful seasoned asset manager and put them in the test room and they’d almost certainly fail the exam. That hammers home the importance of studying and mocks. You have to know precisely what the CFAI wants to hear, not necessarily an objectively correct answer.

And no displeasure of mine on this forum would be complete without venting on Ethics. I will always contend that L3 Ethics is the most absurd portion of an exam I’ve ever taken. Maybe I’m just slow but I swear I could take L3 Ethics with open book and still not crack 50% (unless I had some lucky guesses). Being able to successfully navigate through L3 Ethics has ABSOLUTELY NO correlation with the ability to be an ethical asset manager.

L3 Ethics is there purely to lower scores and nothing else.

Probably and not taking mock tests. It kinda sucks now. Mocking the Mock is not a good idea in the end.

Only way to excel in the AM portion is to practice using last few years’ AM exams - at least 5 or howsoever many you can get your hands on. Practice, review, repeat.

I’m sorry are there multiple posters in this thread whining about failing with less than a month of study? Did I just read 8 days? 3 weeks? Is that a joke?

Yeah everyone feels awful for you. The fact that you got through L1 and L2 that way is super impressive, you should be thrilled about that and maybe add another day or two on for next year’s exam. LOL

I guess so!. But 53-54% has been the case across years…

I think killing L1 and L2 leads to overconfidence for L3. That has been my biggest problem and why I’m a 1 boxer. I breezed through L1 and L2 and expected to do the same in L3…hasn’t quite worked out like I’d hoped! Time constraints + overconfidence = L3 fail.

For me its because - well since my A Levels, CPAs and the CFAs - I never considered looking at reviewing and studying past year exams - if I do its simply because of figuring out topic weights and where to focus my energy.

But obviously from my Level 3 results - the AM skewed to the left side - I need to focus on the past year exams.

Not really sure how to go about this.

I’m not ashamed to admit I put in a ridiculous amount of time for L3, the most by far. I didn’t track my hours but I was probably north of 450. I wrote so many AM papers it was ridiculous and I still bombed 4 sections on it.

Agree on the first bit. Have seen friends and colleagues on the buy side finding it difficult of late. Being in the asset management practice and taking a test are 2 different things. Not sure on the Ethics part. I have seen posts that mention difficult questions get thrown out. Do not know how that is done. A practitioner might get it right where as others that do not face that issue at work might find it difficult. In theory that could hurt a seasoned professional. My 2 cents.

It took somebody about two hours to become “that charterholder.” LOL! :slight_smile:

Got > 70% on Ethics. It’s weird - bombed the PM but messed up AM - does that mean I got lucky guesses on PM or I did not write to CFA’s prescribed answers?

It means you didn’t understand how to write the morning session. It’s an extremely difficult portion of the program. Practice on the previous year’s papers as much as you can.