Hi all, everybody seems real helpful on these forums so I was wondering if anyone could help me out! I’m in Australia & will be doing the CFA level 1 for the first time in June. My job is not finance related. Nobody in my company has EVER failed exam & I don’t want to look like a total loser for failing CFA. Therefore, I really need to pass this exam. If anyone is wondering why I’m doing CFA it’s because I want to work for an Investment Bank in London a few years down the track. Up till now, I have done approximately 40 hours (Just started 1 month ago). I have only been working off the schweser notes. I have been doing questions after each chapter and average 85+% for the multi-choice questions. I did economics + finance at Uni a couple of years ago so have a solid foundation in this area. I have got to financial statement analysis & am having panic attacks. All I can think about now is failing. When I think about failing I get depressed. I went back to do ethics to get some confidence but found I didn’t remember anything! If anyone out there has any tips please let me know. Is my method of only doing schweser notes & not looking at the textbook going to result in me being the first failure in my company Thanks all for reading my post…
Welcome to the CFA exam study process. Keep going and don’t worry about ridiculous things like no one at my firm has ever failed. The more you stress about it the longer your odds. Head down, study hard and let the cards fall where they may.
hollingsworth Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Hi all, everybody seems real helpful on these > forums so I was wondering if anyone could help me > out! I’m in Australia & will be doing the CFA > level 1 for the first time in June. My job is not > finance related. Nobody in my company has EVER > failed exam & I don’t want to look like a total > loser for failing CFA. Therefore, I really need > to pass this exam. > > If anyone is wondering why I’m doing CFA it’s > because I want to work for an Investment Bank in > London a few years down the track. > > Up till now, I have done approximately 40 hours > (Just started 1 month ago). I have only been > working off the schweser notes. I have been doing > questions after each chapter and average 85+% for > the multi-choice questions. I did economics + > finance at Uni a couple of years ago so have a > solid foundation in this area. > > I have got to financial statement analysis & am > having panic attacks. All I can think about now is > failing. When I think about failing I get > depressed. I went back to do ethics to get some > confidence but found I didn’t remember anything! > If anyone out there has any tips please let me > know. Is my method of only doing schweser notes & > not looking at the textbook going to result in me > being the first failure in my company > > Thanks all for reading my post… Where in Australia are you?
Thanks Big Babbu for the encouragement… You’re right… need to focus. Fremantle, I’m in Melbourne.
you’re not the only one who constantly thinks about failing
Kinda like the movie The Firm. About 10x someone reminds the new guy, “Oh, and yeah, no one here has ever failed the bar exam.”
I always learned better from a good instructor than from a book. Take a class or buy the Schweser video series. It will also help you figure out whats really important and what isn’t.
If FSA is giving you the jitters, dont go join a class or do something ridiculous like that. Read the CFAI text SS 7 and SS 8 and then move on to Schweser. Its going to be a smooth sailing then. I think you’re just panicking due to the pressure of not failing. You life’s not gonna come to an end if you fail. Its just an exam. Being from econ-finance background, you have a huge advantage. About 50% of the people taking CFA these days haven’t heard the terms cash-flow and equity before (and i’m one of them). So there you go, you already are starting ahead of 50%. The material isn’t tough. Its just that there’s too much to memorise. And you can’t do a good job memorising if every 10 minutes you get distracted by aftermaths of failing. Just stay focussed mate. Set daily and weekly goals. And mate, what if nobody at your workplace has never failed? It doesn’t make everyone of them smarter than you.
what if all this is just a technique to psych you out. I find it hard to believe that no one in your firm has failed if only under 20% of people ever pass all 3 exams in one shot.
well, he said his job is not finance related. Perhaps he’s the first to take the CFA…
Yes, you’re correct Jalmy8, I’m the first person ever to sit CFA in my firm. I’m now thinking I will buy the Schweser video series. I plan to continue doing Schweser notes and when taking breaks, I will watch the Schweser videos… hopefully it breaks the studying up. I never imagined the CFA would require so much work… Even my girlfriend misses her Hollingsworth
dont worry hollingsworth…i’ll look after ur girlfriend for ya
Lol… I warn you … she is as blonde as they come
Nobody looks ‘a total loser’ for failing the Level I exam on the first attempt. A colleague of mine took (and passed) the test with three months of preparation time, so it’s doable. Also know that it’s natural to have ‘panic attacks’ and to feel like you don’t remember a single thing… Suggestions: Alter your study strategy somewhat. Spend March on *quickly* browsing through the Schweser notes. Chop it up in pieces to fit your study-plan of sitting 3 hours for 4 nights a week and 5 hours on each day over the week-end. That will give you some 90 hours of study time. Then let go of the text, regardless of what you might remember, and focus on test taking. Take a one-week break if you need it. Then you start working the software (like QBank), first the easy questions, then moving on to the more difficult ones towards the end. Whenever you bump into a problem you cannot solve, before even trying to solve it, look it up in the notes. Read the cheat sheet carefully, as many times you need to understand what is going on. That way you’ll be able to add another 60 hours or so. Finally get hold of as many practice exams as you can (plan for at least taking 3 x 240 questions). Score as you go, look up the section in advance if you feel you don’t remember. Some time under the way, take a test ‘under real test conditions’, that is do it under time pressure and without looking up anything. You now know where you’re at. That way you’ve spent another 60 hours and that sums up to some 200 hours before June, which is both doable (albeit being a bit on the tough side) and sums up to ‘enough’ study time even though many people spend as much as 300 hours on this (I spent som 330 hours or something like that). Also: find out if there is a public library or something similar where you may sit while studying.
hollingsworth Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Lol… I warn you … she is as blonde as they > come Sigh. Back in the OT days, this post would not have gone unnoticed.
40 hours in a month is not good. 250 hours recommended (-40) over the next 3 months = 70 a month you gotta step it up. Expect to do closer to 300 or 350 to make it a sure thing to pass given limited financial background. I switched jobs last fall and as a result didn’t get a chance to start studying for LI until October. I passed with 2 months studying but it was only because I studied around 400 hours for L1. This was largely due to decreased efficiency resulting from extremely long study sessions, but when you wait until months before the exam to start studying, that’s the hand you’re dealt. Basically it’s doable but you need to decide how bad you want it this time around.
And don’t forget that there is nothing shameful in rescheduling for the December exam, to say to yourself: I don’t have the necessary hours available for the June exam. Now that I know what it takes, I’ll reschedule, get what extra study material and support I need, and pass the December exam instead. That would relieve you of your ‘panic attacks’, give you plenty of time of preparing and of doing a good job. When you say that nobody at your job has ever failed the exam, that really sounds a bit strange (bizarre even) in my ears. Could it be survivorship bias? Or just one or two charterholders around? Or maybe they all took the exam in the 1960’s? The reason I find it odd is that I know of more people who have failed their first Level I attempt than I know of those who actually passed on their first try. All of them had a degree in econ & finance btw. If you decide to reschedule, you can either formally ‘withdraw’ (without a refund) and thus right now enroll for the December exam, or you can remain enrolled in the current program and take the June exam as a (admittedly expensive) test run for the December exam. The withdrawal option might have some psychological advantages, but you wont get your money back. On the other hand, if you are to sit for the December exam, that test run should rather be taken in October or November, so the value of being enrolled to the June exam for that sole purpose is very small if you ask me. Decide for yourself in the light of having to inform your colleagues and hearing their gleeful comments. Personally I get depressed from sitting in on a test where I score next to nothing, and would rather reschedule, and to say: No, I won’t be taking it until December, I decided to reschedule.
I would agree with Mr. Swan. If you on FSA now and have 98 days left. I am actually in exactly the same situation. If you take a week for each study session (I am working on the CFA text) - you can finish the course and have 2 weeks to spare for practice exams. However if you are going to try and do this you really need to want it: I keep joking with my friends that my days involve only 3 activities: work, study and sleep - (I manage to squeeze in an hour for showers and dinner !!). Personally I am trying to work though one study session during the week (2 to 3 hours per day seems to do the trick) and use the weekends to review old stuff or do another study session (12 hrs spread over saturday and sunday)