I failed the June 2012 CFA level I exam with a bandscore of 5. I only had one topic that I scored above 70 percent in (Alternative Investments) and five topics that I scored below 50% in (Derivatives, FR&A, Fixed Income, PM, and QM). I’m so disappointed because I know I studied over the minimum 300 hours and even took two preparation courses for the exam and still failed. With these results, should I even bother retaking the exam and further pursuing the designation?

P.S. Congrats to all those who passed!

If I were in your shoes damn right I would retake it. You can pass it…just keep grinding. Figure out what works for you to retain the material and go with it. After three attempts maybe you look other places…but for now go for it!!

Pokerface. I’m in your exact camp. I’m so disappointed. I can’t complain though because I learned alot. But what are my realistic chances of jumping 5 bands and passing by december? I was thinking of just doing CAIA since I work for a Fund of Funds firm anyways. I’m kicking myself right now bro.

I put my heart and soul into it too. Of course the only section I scored over 70% is AI. I bombed FRA and Quants and Econ.

Look at it this way, you’ve now got a 300+ hr head start on everybody else writing in Dec

I failed Band 5 last June, and passed in Dec, so yes, retake it in Dec while you still have momentum.


i feel your grief. I’ve been sick last few days and today opened my e-mail to find that I failed as well. I’m in the 7 bandscore.

honestly, if the CFA was easy everyone and their mom, their cat, and their dogs would have one. this is the time to grit your teeth and push forward I think. At least now you know where you need to improve on and focus on those sections.

Just to put it in perspective for you.

1st attempt) I failed Band 4 directly out of undergrad with basic studying (Dec 2010)

2nd attempt) I failed Band 7 with 300 hours but only 3 practice exams (Dec 2011)

3rd attempt) I passed with about 200 hrs of revision and about 15 practice exams (June 2012)

You can do it! Just don’t give up!

daym…that’s some serious inspiration and dedication right there…HEARD THAT!

Dont give up! you now have 300 hours head start over the people who are now studying for the December test. Focus! practice alot of questions and do the CFAI text book questions.

I think re-assessing your study plans to see what you can improve on and also 62% of people who wrote the exam failed it so nothing to be ashamed of. Take a couple weeks off then go full go and kill it in December. You will be writing the Level II then same time as everyone who passed.

Even you failed this time, now you know what will be on the test. Look for the areas you are weak at and try to understand them. This should be fine then.

Pokerface, I feel the exact same way! I’m not so much bummed about failing as I am about how poorly I actually did. While I don’t have a formal education in finance or economics, I do work in finance so I thought my experience would give me at least a bit of assistance. I also spent more than 300 hours studying, wrote about 4 practice exams, and attended weekly study classes to support my efforts. To show for it I scored >70% in Ethics and AI, 51%-70% in FI, and <50% in everything else, thus a band score of 3.

I’m 33 years old, married a year, and have a demanding, stressful job (like I’m sure most do). The thought of ignoring my wife and life for another 4 months to write in December makes me sick to my stomach, but I don’t want to give up just yet. Any words of advice, study tips, or a plain ol’ kick in the butt is definitely appreciated.

How were you doing on the practice tests Charlie?

Chin up folks. I failed Level I once and just failed Level II. While it is disappointing, I was pretty much expecting it. Start early and get a good mix of family life, work and study going.

I think there’s 1 guy that failed level 2 six times, and passed on the 7th. That’s dedication

next exam is 4 months away. i’ll be hitting the books again once i get over my flu and starting with my worst section…economics.

Failed L1 this time, Band 7. Think I can pass the next time? Definitely going to start studying soon! I lost all hope when I saw the “I regret to inform you” email.

I got a band 7 as well. I think there is definitely hope for us. Just remember, we don’t need to get 100% correct, we just need enough to pass so we got a lot of play room in where we want to put our time and effort in to get to the passing score.

Best. Post. Ever.

I know someone though that studied for 4 days and passed L1 and I studied for 300+ hours. HOW IS THAT?! Luck?