Failed with band 10

First let me introduce myself.

I am currently a 32 year old engineer doing a part-time MBA program in the evenings (4 more classes and I will be done). I want a career in finance and I was/am hoping that passing the CFA exams will help separate me from other MBAs, especially since my professional background isn’t in finance.

Well, I didn’t pass this June. I failed with a band 10 with a poor score in ethics (50>70). I have no idea what happned here…I consistenty scored in the 80-85 range on ethics on practice exams.

I won’t lie, I put in around 250 of solid studying for this exam.

For those that have passed all three exams, am I wasting my time if I continue? Or should I be able to pass considering that I was so close on my first attempt?

Keep in mind, I do not have a finance/accounting background or undergraduate degree, but I have had some of these classes in my MBA program and done well in them.

Please be honest and straight forward with your responses.


Hi LongBoarder

We’re in the same boat. I have a finance/econ/bus background and studied for 3.5 months while working full time in the banking industry.

Look at my thread (Failed with band 10, now what?)

I was really disappointed not to pass, as I never failed any exam in my life. And that was harsh.

But we are SO close that I think we both should keep trying and not being discouraged.

I have faith in you. Good luck.

Ethics is VERY important in Level 1. As you may know, not only does it make up for a decent chunk of the exam, it can push you from FAIL to PASS if you do well on that section while your score is borderline. I’d say, for a band 10, you were probably a couple of Ethics questions away from passing.

Ethics is more about reading between the fine lines. Some people can pick out the subtle points better than others. It is a matter of reading comprehension and practice. Do as many ethics questions as possible (mock exams, practice exams, Qbank) whatever it is.

If you really want to get the CFA (may not be necessary depending on your career route), take the exam again. A lot of people fail at least once.

Let me ask you, how did you approach your study?

If you got band 10 you’ll almost certainly pass if you take it again. And since L1 is offered in Dec, you could take L2 next June and be sitting as L3 candidate this time next year. Go for it in Dec.

You talked a lot about yourself without stating much helpful information regarding your question.

What were you scores for each topic area? You should also have kept track of you topic scores in all practice / mock exams you did (only adds a few minutes to the end of each test), what were your scores on these practice exams?

Try and look at this process rationally, not emotionally. You can pass this exam through methodical studying–improving on the areas you were weak. Generally speaking, writing practice exams under ‘test day’ conditions will give a good idea where you are at. Also, in my opinion, if you were scoring “80-85” on ethics in practice exams and scored 50-70 on the actual exam, its fairly safe to say you got in the high end of that range–SO, ethics is not going to be the place to make up marks. For one, becuase your mark was likely reasonable, and two, the nature of the ethics section questions make them hard to ace

Just my two cents