Disappointed with CFAI

I put a lot of effort into studying the CFA 3 curriculum this year. Unfortunately, the curriculum had limited correlation with what showed up on the exam. I am so disappointed about the way they structured the exam. Reverse cash and carry arbitrage? pffft ONLY testing swaps and completely excluding 2/3rds of the derivatives material? “thanks” One or two SOFTBALL questions on immunization? Repeatedly testing currency stuff? enough is enough TWO return calculations? Calculations in GIPS? I studied hard for level 3. When I walked into the room, I was thinking in the back of my mind “you’re going to kick yourself for not studying even harder if you don’t do well.” Instead, I walked out of the room at 5 pm feeling like I could have spent another 200 hours studying and it would not have made much difference. Why they decided to ROB people this year with a BULLCRAP test is beyond me. F*ck you too, CFAI.

Yeah - and where the hell was stuff on Attribution? Global / Micro / Macro? WTF. I felt that I could have studied 200 hours less and the outcome would have not changed.

asdffdsa Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- Instead, I > walked out of the room at 5 pm feeling like I > could have spent another 200 hours studying and it > would not have made much difference. Ah ha. My point exactly. I’m not saying I failed, I screwed up stuff, but I think I have a chance, but I COMPLETLY AGREE. The AM session was tooo loooonnnngggg

I can’t agree more. When my husband drove me to the test center, I was still trying to memorize the global/micro/macro stuff. Totally a waste of time. pimp Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Yeah - and where the hell was stuff on > Attribution? Global / Micro / Macro? WTF. I > felt that I could have studied 200 hours less and > the outcome would have not changed.

Exactly, I studied attribution for hours.

Guys this is the natures of the test. It is no different this year than recent years. I agree that it is depressing when you spend countless hours studying something they don’t ask and they put in something else of minute importance. There is simply too much material to test in such a short time span. I would actually be an advocate of a 2 day test simply because it would better represent the material and your mastery of it.

asdffdsa I couldn’t agree more I studied my but off for this exam and the exam was not very reprensentative of what they had us study and yea I feel like I could study 200+ more hours and get the same answers which means people that studied and know less then me can get by with good guessing and luck. Ethics is complete cr@p too, I could read that material a hundred more times and I would not know what all the answers were.

right, they test speed reading and those tiny tiny details buried in the book

indeed. oh well…fingers crossed next 3 months

I passed L3 in 2006, yet failed in 2005. I put in probably 400 hours in 2005 and was so pissed off after the exam. I felt like I was hit with a 2x4. During this exam, the PM was the bear. The vignettes were 2 pages. They didn’t use real currencies. It was brutal. I would jump to the next section hoping for relief…yet it was for not. Everything was Greek to me. What sucked was that I was ready. I was so prepared. People came up to me before the exam asking questions and I answered them like I was a CFA. I remembered looking up with 15 minutes to go wondering how I would study differently. I couldn’t think of anything. I failed. I failed misserably. The pass rate was 55%. I thought I did well in the AM, yet I sucked. Looking at my scores there is no way you would tell me that I would pass the next year. Yet, I passed L1 and L2 in six months with the lowest pass rates ever…37 and 32% respectively. So, I signed up again. I changed my tactics. I relied 100% on Schweser guides, classes and the the ethics book in 2005. I decided to sign up for the 5 month analysts course for $900. I needed structure. I also repurchased the schweser guides (50% discount for retakers). I also signed up for schweser again. Prior to each weekly class, I read the text books, schweser guides and did ever problem at the back of the books. I was 100% prepared before each class. I took the exams over and over and over again. I did avoid the online exams. I hate those things and didn’t think they helped. Then I designed my own flash cards and most importantly…worked out. I passed with room to spare in 2006. Hopefully you guys all pass, yet if you don’t, then know that you can still study differently and pass next year. You just need to shake it up and not get complacent.

no offense, but didn’t everyone pass in 06 (75% or something)? and 07 was the 50% year?

76% passed after 50% the year before. So, maybe I just got lucky. Rather be lucky then smart. Yet, I did go through the same thing as many in that I just had no clue how I could study any harder. How do you fight complacency and how do you shake things up? 24% did fail in 2006. I would rather fail in 2005 in a group where 45% failed then fail in 2006 in a group where 24% failed. Too depressing. Plus, you know that the following year will revert back to normal levels.

i dont recall CFAI ever stating that some Los were more imortant than others …and i dont think i saw any Q’s on there that were not in the readings …technically its all fair game …we can complain all we want but its not gonna change what happened on June 7 th . I’m positive I’m gonna fail however i have a much better idea on how to focus my studies next yr . So much discussion about exam Q’s /MPS/ and complainin about CFAI …whats the point ?? Lets go back to our lives people and worry about this crap in August

asdffdsa, I have just started a post tht addresses this same topic but takes the opposite stance. Maybe you should have alook at it : http://www.analystforum.com/phorums/read.php?13,776700

I think what I am mostly disappointed with is the fact that the questions themselves are incomprehensible. To me, they looked like questions from someone whose native language is not English. Yet, the tested materials, after the question was actually understood was very easy stuff. With all due respect to people who passed already, I think, now, luck has a lot to do with passing than hundreds of hours of studying. Follow my logic if you will… the complexity of the exam questions (not the actual materials) are now reaching impossible levels leading to much of the exam’s scores concentrated around the median score - it means the questions did not have enough spectrum of topic and knowledge to distinguish well prepared candidates from the poorly prepared candidates. In other words, if the questions (again, I’m referring to the questions) was too complex to a point where the questions became incomprehensible, everyone would end up guessing the answer, which leads to very similar scores across the board. Then, random chance would have as good a passing rate as that of a well prepared candidate. It’s a pity. I sincerely believe questions should be straight forward while the actual materials should be deep in scope and wide in breadth. I think the CFA people got it backwards. I guess tests can be written much cheaper if you use PhDs from foreign countries. Weather I passed or failed, I will not repeat this process.

i agree – i am also finished, pass or fail. i was so diappointed with the exam this year that i cannot imagine retaking it. hopefully i passed, because it would be nice to have the charter, but i don’t think it’s worth putting myself through that again.

Man, reading all these posts are depressing because of the inherent advantage underprepared candidates have with the test material. I like the idea of a 2-day test, ONLY if it would take two days to prove your level of subject matter mastery to the CFAI with robust exams, however, NOT if it meant two bogus AM sessions with poorly written questions. Can you imagine, back to back AM sessions like the one in ‘08. I still don’t understand why the CFAI resorts to this tactic when they have SO much friggin’ quality material to test us on. Where was the material on options derivative strategies, not a single calculation! Risk Mgmt was weak in scope! Talk about sampling error in developing a comprehensive exam. Weak sauces!!!

MellonC00 - best post I have read in a long time. Couldn’t agree more with you. I believe because of the lucrative nature of the CFA designation in today’s job market and the influx of people taking this exam, the CFAI has tried everything in their power to limit the amount of people that receive the charter in any given year. They have made the work experience requirements more stringent compared to several years ago and have made the exams extremely difficult over the last few years. How many other professional organizations do you know of that have 34% pass rates?? CPA, CA, P.Eng, Bar Exams, etc. are all pale in comparison to the nature of these exams. What is sad is that now it is up to chance in a lot of cases if people pass or fail, which is defeating the purpose of what the CFAI claims it instills. It is not testing the entire candidate of knowledge. It is choosing to pick the minutia and cumbersome topics that throw most people off regardless of their breadth of knowledge. Like several people have already stated: I could study another 200 hours and not get those questions. That is unacceptable. I got over 70% on all the CFAI practice exams, memorized a 1000 personal cue cards, went through the CFAI textbook questions 3 times, and studied over 300 hours for the exam. Additionally, this is my second time taking L3. I came out of the exam on Saturday bewildered. I had no idea how I did. I believe that is not fair. I could easily go a different route and do a CPA, CBV, P.Eng, etc and pass the exam with the same amount of effort. I am debating putting effort in again if I don’t pass. Its a farce.

I would also be in favor of a 2-day test. There is just not enough time to adequately test the level 3 material. Few people are really going to master all possible concepts. The luck factor plays heavily in which topics they covered relative to what you mastered. I went back through my notecards right after the test. It was so depressing to see the topics I labored over for hours on which not a single question was asked, yet something less important like reverse cash and carry is featured. I think CFA material is good and that it’s a good program, but I don’t think the testing process is a good judge of candidate knowledge or skill any more. Why would speed be emphasized over comprehensiveness? Also, I feel that an in-depth analysis of the sample size of tested material would prove to be statistically insignificant. A 2 day test would suck, but it would suck far less than repeating a level on which you are competant in reality but not in CFAI world.

Rather than a two day test - why not have a series of sections that you take _ Ethics, Portfolio Management, Fixed Income, Derivatives, etc. And if you pass certain sections and get a certain score you move on. If you don’t pass other sections, you have 6 months to make them up and pass just a version of them (Example - you didn’t pass Fixed Income, so that is the only module you would need to pass.) If you don’t pass it on the second go around. Then you need to redo the complete test again. - Instead of CRAMMING tons of data into your head only to have to redo it ALL again 1 year later. OR SOME version of this – just brainstorming - I felt like a lot of important information wasn’t tested - like Derivative Strategies or GLobal Attribution, or more on Swaps/Futures. Instead, I’m trying to remember the name of some forecasting technique where in the real world, I would have looked it up anyway. Just throwing it out there… I would love to feel more confident in my skills if I could say I was strong on all the topics.