This is for all those who say, “I will pass the test or I will die trying”, kinda like the Lenny who finally passed after 21 years of taking the CFA exam.
Greenman’s Jedi Wisdom - if you fail a level once, then maybe you just didn’t show the test the respect that it deserves. Maybe life got in the way, like it did for me at Level 1. Maybe you could have passed it, but you ran out of time, which is what happened to me at Level 2. There are a lot of reasons that a person fails a test once.
But if you fail a test twice, you really need to rethink your decision to pursue the holy grail that is the CFA Charter. If you couldn’t carve out enough study time the first two times you took it, what makes you think you’ll find the time the third time? If you studied the “requisite” 300 hours the first time and another 300 hours the second time, what makes you think that you’ll actually pass the third time?
And keep this in mind (especially those who fail Level 1 twice)–the test only gets harder at Level 2. Then it gets harder still at Level 3. If you have a lot of trouble at Level 1, it will be extremely difficult for you to finish the race.
For the record, I failed Level 1 once, because I was still in grad school, and wasn’t able to put in the time and effort that I needed to pass Level 1.
I also failed Level 2 once. I took L1 in December, and got my results on January 25. That only left four months to study. During those four months, Ibought a house and moved to a new city, got a new job in a new career field, and found out my wife was pregnant. Even so, I got a score band 10.
After failing Levels 1 and 2, I re-took both of them and aced them. I am now awaiting Level 3 results.
Agree. A lot of people underestimate the exam the first time around, or started studying too late. If that’s what happened, then give it another shot with proper attention and see how it goes. Also, if you were close to passing, then maybe it’s worth a try.
That conclusion doesn’t quite line up with your dragons post a year back or so.
I know this isn’t directly relevant to the point OP is making, but i think its always worthwhile to remember that…
There is a massive amount of stress created by the fact that the exam (L2 and L3) is only held once a year. It might take someone a few years to, one way or another, learn to deal with this pressure. The fact that they can’t deal with the pressure initially means they have a weakness. The fact that they learn to deal with it, even if it takes five years, is a good thing.
Also, it is possible that family / health / work issues get in the way. Maybe you get pregnant. Maybe your kid is disabled. Maybe a close relative is diagnosed with cancer. Maybe there’s an issue at work that demands your attention. If you are unlucky, these things might mean that you fail a few times. It just means you are unlucky - it doesn’t mean that you’re not cut out for the CFA charter.
and @SFA - the “once-a-year” thing is probably the single most stressful part of the exam. If it were given every quarter, you could just keep studying and taking the test until you finally passed (a la the CPA exams).
The reason i find level2 more difficult is that, the curriculum seems larger and more diverse than level3. Think about it, level3 has a lot of material but most of them are related to portfolio management and they are more integrated and easier to understand.
Whereas level2, there are a lot of mini in depth topics completely uncorrelated to each other (time series vs pension acctg vs consolidation vs alt investment…)
I had a harder time retaining memory of what i studied in level2.
Greenman72, lets leave the advice till you are a charterholder or at the least completed level 3. You shouldn’t make any comments on how people pursue the CFA exams. The examples you have given is a very small subset.
There are many people I know which have failed more than twice and still continue to write and have passed and are not Charter holders.
The CFA exam requires a bit of luck as there are a lot of materials that’s covered but not everything is tested, especially true for level 3. Additionally, there are many questions even if you have studied and understand the topics very well requires you to guess on the answer. Those guesses which majority of the candidates will also have to guess have a higher degree of determining who passes.
So don’t go and discourge other people because you feel a particular way about something.
… the first post I saw on Level II forum after I passed L1 last December was Greenman’s "Advice to people that passed today " where he pretty much makes sure everybody realizes what a piece of cake Level I is and why we shouldn’t be too happy with our success and how it’s not a good idea to go for Level II immediately.
Then he lends credence to his “authority to give advice” by saying (sic) " I got 70+ in everything in Level 1 and failed Level 2 ".
I don’t want to be acrid but I think I will agree with whystudy on this one. Everybody has their own experience and it’s very unlikely that you have enough data to judge what’s best for the average candidate.
What I’ve found is people think they are smarter than others if they are a higher level on the CFA or a charterholder. One time someone mentioned something and said “You’ll learn more about that in L3 and you’ll change your mind.” Little did he know I took entire classes on that topic – but I guess he didn’t know it before L3, so no one must’ve known.
And at the same time, people like to talk up the journey after they’ve made it. Everyone wants to be a special snowflake and braved the harsh reality, only to succeed while X% failed!
Maybe some humility will go you good in the long run. Dont make it such a big deal that you have cleared L2 and you have ‘come so far’. Your advice is not a one-size-fits-all. Doesn’t sit well with many people.
Or maybe you should wait till you get your CFA L3 results before brandishing your ‘well-intended’ advice to everyone here. What if you need to repeat the L3 exam?