How many times have you taken level 3

Just curious as to how many are first-timers and how many have taken the exam before. If you have taken level 3 multiple times, would love to know any helpful tips you may have,

Doubt you’ll get a lot of people to raise their hands to this Q – but be advised that I know plenty of very smart people who have sat for LIII more than once. Tips? Take good notes, make your own flashcards, and practice as many AM Sessions that you can get your hands on…you’ll have a clear advantage over the competition.


retaker, i believe i failed because i didn’t use the curriculum books enough and also lack of morning exam practice.

breezing through morning exam papers and checking the answers you will fail. I believe you have to fully do the questions and memorize the process/structure/method/key words/answer/eat sleep cfa repeat.

Taking it for the second time, passed the others first try on each. I did 6 mock AM’s last time and the AM’s were what killed me, so I’m gonna work harder at that. Would’ve passed if it was just the PM, no doubt. There was a post on reddit with some good suggestions, check it out:

Almost everyone who fails LIII says/thinks that. (Take that as a lesson, freshmen.)


B-b-but muh score matrix

I am certain you are right. No shame in not passing the first time. I was just hoping to hear where to focus. Thanks for your feedback!


Thanks will do!

I am an idiot who failed twice. Both times not enough AM practice and ran out of time on the exam days. Don’t let this happen to you!

I passed on the Level 1 (December) and Level 2 (June) on first attempts. Level 3 is a different game.

Attempting L3 for the second time this year. While I was very conversant with the material, I think the format of the AM exam threw me off. I just spent the week before the exam practising mocks. Therefore, I hadn’t spent enough time working out how to write the answers and found myself rambling on for certain questions, and getting fixated for too long on questiosn which didn’t carry a lot of marks.


I failed last year in Level III. Main point: Not enough time. Why? I was writing too much and was running out of time. And my killer mistake which all of you can avoid: I wrote a calculation just below the question, and when I flipped over the page it said: Please write your answer here. That cost me 8 minutes to rewrite it. Together I run out of time.

L3 CFA exam = Darwinism at its finest

retaker. failed by quite a bit last year. heres why:

  1. treated it like L2, got overcocky when plugging and chugging formulas led to 45+/60s on MC. little did i know that: A) 75% on the MC is no longer considered a “good score” (altho its not bad, and certainly passable) and B) the essay section, while involving calculations, is super QUALITATIVE

  2. didnt read the material more than once. they say that re reading is a waste of time, and youre better off re-doing practice problems. that is BULLSH&&&T. SO MUCH of the essay section is just straight up REGURITATION of lists that you read in schweser. the CFAI throws us a massive bone by truncating the material at L3 into 60% (in terms of pages/volume) of what it was at L2. this is because were expected to know it and recite it in pressurized situations.

  3. i only did 3 timed 180 point mocks. all the other essays i did were Ad-Hoc (as in, if it was a 24 point question, i would give myself 24 minutes to solve it, then peek at answers). this, more than anything else, is why i failed. you need to do essays in 3 hour chunks. NEED to. left 38/180 points blank on gameday because of this idiotic strategy

This thread gives me anxiety. *slowly backs out of the room*

Taking it for the 2nd time this year. Just came up short last year by 2-3%. AM sucked and somewhat surprisingly didn’t do as well as I thought I would on the PM. In hindsight, I don’t believe that I did a good enough job testing/practicing against the material. Hopefully fixed that this year.

As such, my only advice to anyone is to do a lot of mocks, especially AM but don’t forget PM. I only did 3 AM mocks last year but did 8 this year. Also did way more PM mocks as only did the 2 provided last year and CFA online stuff. This year did 10 total CFA mocks (2015-2019, 2/yr) and the CFA online stuff.

Feel good about the PM, shooting for 75-80%. AM, well hope to get about 60%.

First time taker here but know what I am up against…Read schweser detailed read twice

2013-2018 CFA Institute AM Mocks, 2016-2018 CFA Insitiute Mocks again but semi open book memorizing the exact answers they provide for common questions and writing them out. 6 Full Length Schweser practice tests Over like 300 flash cards

Not confident I will pass but going in hot 3 weeks off work and been at it all day everyday Should have started with mocks mid april but started mid may big mistakes been cranking out everyday though last mock done yesterday and reviewing like crazy.

Hoping to go into Saturday with my highest score yet

Most of the people fail not because they don’t know the material but because they couldn’t race against time. So:

  1. From the beginning you have to keep pace and write as if you are short of time. Handwriting does not really matter here. Graders will try their best to understand and grade the questions

  2. Don’t get stuck with one question. Solve as much as you can and move on. You can still get partial credits.

I had to leave last whole question due to lack of time and I knew the answers. Fortunately, I passed it though

All the Best!

Failed the first time due to not understanding how to answer the essay questions. Thought it was simple with bullet points, I can’t say I really justified my answers well enough.

I raced straight to the answer and left out the points in between, this let me down and I scored below 50% for AM. Band 10 overall.

Second time, was very similar. Didn’t realise where I was going wrong, thought my knowledge was lacking so I worked harder to understand the material. Knew the content, didn’t know how to answer the question. Band 10 again

Third time (this year) I had a much better idea of how to answer the essay questions. Trouble is this year my knowledge wasn’t there. Expecting band 10 again and feel devastated.

4th the charm? Potentially, trying to think about it at this moment in time but you can’t delay the inevitable. Cannot bear the thought of stopping at Level 2, nor resitting this exam.

Could you elaborate on this? What did you do differently in your preparation to get the grip on how to answer the questions?

Clearly my problem too, I also run out of time due to not proper time management.