heartbroken.....I am sure I failed, again. Do I have a chance at all?

Hi folks,

I am heartbroken. I literally have not seen a TV program, gone out to eat or even seen friends for six months. I studied every waking moment I could. I read every page in every CFA book and did their two mock tests (on which I scored 77%).

I got to this test and was just perplexed. On the afternoon session, at the end, there were 14 questions I simply didn’t know and 37 that I had slated as “review” meaning I wasn’t sure of the answer completely.

I’m starting to wonder now if I am kidding myself. I have a liberal arts education and have never had an econ or accounting class but figured if I studied hard, I would make it. But every single person I have met taking this test has studied Bus Admin, or Finance or Econ or has an MBA or two of those things just listed.

I scored Band 8 after my first attempt a year and half ago. I had studied hard but nothing like this time. My greatest fear is that I get Band 8 again after literally having studied, conservatively, 1200 - 1500 hours.

I am a smart guy - I grew up poor and severely disadvantaged but made it to one of the country’s best universities on nearly a full-scholarship and have done well professionally.

But I am just devastated by this. I think I did well on FRA and Ethics (probably got above 70%) but was blown away by Econ and Quants. Fixed Income went really well in the morning (I think I only had one answer wrong) but then in the afternoon, I was thrown and got a lot wrong.

Could you folks give me an honest answer as to what percentage of the curriculum you have seen before in your studies? EVERY SINGLE thing is new for me and it’s a steep mountain to climb.

Nevertheless, what has me really concerned, is I don’t see what I could have done differently. I really, really prepared a lot and I did well on the mock tests.

But there were quite a few questions, I thought, that required more knowledge - or at least experience - than is just in the books. I remembered quite a few questions and got home and went through the books and even with them open, I was having trouble answering ~10 questions.

Many thanks.

PS Please don’t post any sarcastic remarks about how you breezed through this or that I am an idiot. I am engaging in plenty of self-flaggelation. Don’t need any help in that regard. Instead, either some constructive feedback or simply hearing from others that they thought this was pretty difficult too (only getting two hours of sleep didn’t help. I was horribly nervous)

I’m pretty sure I failed. The morning session was terrible for me. Econ and Quantitative section screwed me over big time.

Then, in the afternoon session, I was breezing through the test and had finished 85 questions throught an hour and a half. AND THEN IT HAPPENED. Fixed Income completely threw me away. I had never seen these questions.

Well, now I’m heartbroken and deflated and have no idea what to do with myself.

Thank you gunner21. I had the same feeling in the afternoon. I was so happy (except for Quants) and was breezing along and then got to Fixed Income (which I thought I had done really well on in the morning) and was just stunned by the difficulty of the questions. That said, like I wrote, I had 14 questions on the test I didn’t know at all and 37 I was unsure of…I know a woman who said she just circled at least 20% of the questions with a random answer.

Thought the second half of the test was much harder than the first, I think most candidates did too. If you had trouble with a lot of quant and econ questions then chances are so did everyone else.

I didn’t do very well in Econ or Quant on the second half either and I also felt very prepared. Before you make any assumptions I’d just wait it out

But for what it’s worth, I struggled on those sections too

Thank you Mosstastic. I appreciate the support.

I just go questions after questions. I don’t even count how many questions I wasn’t sure.

Does anyone know someone who passed this test without any prior knowledge and just used the books??? I know a few liberal arts grads with CFAs but they took the test many years ago when it wasn’t nearly as difficult and the competition wasn’t as stiff. Does anyone know someone in my shoes who has passed? (i.e. no accounting classes, no quant classes, no econ, etc?).

I really don’t know how I could have prepared any better. Thanks

I counted. I left any question that I was unsure of in the first go (including the ones where I had reducedthe answer to two options)

In the afternoon session, I had left alone 30 questions. In the morning, 40+…

That’s close to my experience gunner21. Could you share with me your background, how much you prepared, etc?

I felt the exam was much harder than any practice test I took, 5 Schweser and both CFA’s. Without getting into details I had the exact same experience with fixed income, felt I nailed it in the morning and then there were problems I’ve never seen before in the afternoon. I felt 50/50 going into the exam so I wasn’t too upset that I failed.

Bachelor’s in Finance and started studying in January.

I feel the same way… It was difficult and I had to guess “not smart guessing” kinda wild a** type guessing at least 30 questions… I feel the disappointment as well I failed at band 10 last year and wanted to try again, but this time I have no hope of passing:((((. And I have bachelors degree in econometrics, and MBA with finance concentration and 4 years of work experience in investments… All I can say you are not alone.

Thanks Goz. I’m sorry for you and gunner21 too and the others writing supportive messages. It gives me some comfort. This test is already superfricking hard but without any kind of formal education in these subjects, I’m starting to wonder if it’s literally impossible. The only thing making me feel better is that I couldn’t have done anything differently, i.e. I can’t say I didn’t study enough or didn’t study properly, etc.

I wouldn’t fall into despair just yet. Relax, take some time to get your mind off other things for now, and wait until the actual results come in. then decide what you should do.

It seems you really put it a solid effort this round. If the worst happens again, then you may need to reconsider if this is for you. nothing to be ashamed of, but anyone who’s further in the program will tell you, it only gets much harder from here. no joke. Relatively, L1 is not that difficult. If you must insist on passing these tests at any cost, then it may be a long painful journey, with debatable benefits.

Don’t freak out yet, there will be plenty of time after you get your results email to beat yourself up and question your ability or the sanity of going after the charter. Until then you really don’t know where you stand. It sounds like you put in more effort in getting ready for this than most L1 candidates so just stay strong and keep the faith.

You’re done. Wait for the e-mail. If you pass, then great, roll on. If you fail, you should probably stop wasting your time. Level 2 is an order of magnitude harder and if takes you more than three attempts at level 1, including giving your all, you’re highly unlikely to ever finish. You’re already in an very very long shot position where you stand today.

Best of luck though, I honestly hope you get through (from a guy that failed along the way).

u r not alone out there! believe me lots and lots including myself with u in this shitty nightmare

About my background I have BA in commerce, CMA holder ( Managerial Accounting Certificate ), CertIFR ( ACCA IFRS certificate for basic level ) and certified credit analyst. have 3 yrs working experience in one of HSBC subsidiary companies and 8 months now as Credit Analyst ( not got into real work yet just finished the credit course while ago )

I had my first attempt in Dec’13 whereby I scored band 6. This time I had plenty of time studying within waiting time for Project’s exit cases in my credit course I got 3 weeks fully dedicated to studying then another week before the exam. I gave it my best shot but still I almost knew nothing in Quant, Fixed Income and Econ for Afternoon session and Fixed Income for morning session as well.

It would take a mircale for me to pass but I dun know it may actually happen! With that being said, I may actual fail as well. I dun know about u but for me what I really did wrong this year is that I took itself study It would be much better if I just got into a learning course and prepared better beforing registering the exam. If I fail this time I am not giving up! I refuse to live the rest of my life knowing I wanted to be CFA charterholder so much but I just couldn’t do it! I dun care how tough L2 is! I will do it and so shall u! Despite the fact we may fail this round too but I learned a lot about what I avoid next time and learned that I really wanna be CFA charterhold too and dun wanna live as a heartbroken till I die! I will be CFA CHARTERHOLDER ONE DAY! BELIEVE THAT!

Thank you Mohab for your inspirational message! I truly wish you well and perhaps I will be in the trenches fighting with you. You will get there!! You will become a CFA charterholder!

I took the Level 2 exam this June after needing 3 tries to pass Level 1 (failed Band 8, then Band 10, then passed).

What got me over the hump the 3rd try was that I reviewed 6 mocks on the 3rd attempt. Get more mocks.

With so many people doing terribly, I wonder if the MPS will be lower.