Inspirational story: Passed CFA III on 150h despite needy GF

Like many on here I was just informed that my first Saturdays in June will henceforth be enjoyed outside of sweaty exam halls. I have not spent too much time on AF until now, since it used to make me too nervous how much time some people on here dedicate to prep. Now that its finally over, I feel it would serve the community if I shared my personal experience as an inspirational story.

It is widely reported that family, friends and hobbies must take a backseat during any serious CFA prep phase. And boy did I have to learn about this the hard way! I was in a long-term relationship during L1 and L2 with a really understanding partner, so that I never really got to appreciate what emotional support and personal freedom really meant. I began seeing a new girl about 2 years ago. In principle, a really smart and academically dedicated girl, but as a former fashion model also quite high-maintenance and attention-seeking. I told her about the rigor of the program well in advance and expected her to be - if not supporting - to be at least accepting of the time constraints placed on me. However, it turned out that she would make my life a living hell. I was really busy at work until April, so really didn’t manage to open a single book before about 5th of April. I knew back then that if there was to be any chance that I pass, I would really have to scale down the GF time by a large degree. I told her about the sheer impossibility of passing this thing - even without any social commitments - and kindly but firmly asked her for her understanding and support. I even showed her all the past AF forum entries on the subject to underline that my time demands were very reasonable indeed. In my understanding a reasonable solution would have entailed seeing each other one night per week max until three weeks before the exam and thereafter complete isolation until after the exam. Although it took about two weekends of intense disputes until I got this plan “approve”, I eventually never managed to secure anything close to this schedule. Most weekends of studying started with her making demands for dinner, drinks etc and ended with her leaving on Sunday late afternoons. I realise that I was really weak in many instances, but in most cases I just thought giving into her demands would eventually get me back to the desk sooner than fighting it through. In the end, I only received the last weekend before the exam “off” and even that only after hours of quarreling about sleepover. As a consequence of me being firm on the last weekend, i had a huge fight with her lasting until the very night before the exam. So I really went through an emotional hell in the two month leading up to the exam, with me either being guilt-tripped or being on the edge because of not being able to study. What made things a lot worse was the fact that I had planned “around” a normal relationship, without all the drama and escalations. Even then, my two month study plan was very ambitious (at lease for the standards of AF). I thought I would need at least about 250-350 hours. I ended up doing about 150 hours in total. And this is without accounting for the drama that often went with the study sessions. In fact, the only really productive sessions where the ones I managed to do as all nighters after I had met her or we had talked on the phone. I have to add that I was a level 3 retaker, but the year before was a very half-hearted attempt with me getting only a week off of work and even then having my firm call me at all times of the day… so I failed band 2 after showing up for the experience only. Total study time was about 50-80h. Now, I’m not sure how much I have to thank my intelligence, luck or the constant agressiveness that resulted from me having to fight over every single hour of studying, but I got this thing over the finish line! I passed with the skin of my theeth though, my 40/60/80 score is 60.7% and I had a terrible AM with 5<50%, but I made it. Well, this definitely wasn’t how I planned to do it, but it shows that it can work out even in very difficult personal cirumstances. I know that many on here have had similar troubles and might still have them. I guess the bottom line is that if you can’t fight it, use it as a source of energy. While the fighting with my girl was both time-consuming and emotionally draining, it kept me alert and made me use the few hours I had wisely. I would like to hear how others on here have dealt with this kind of set-up.


Or else you’ll end up like pokhim.


Congrats on passing though!

Yep, you need to re-evaluate this relationship. Pretty selfish of her, just sayin

Define “needy”, and please provide vivid descriptions and pictures preferred.

+1 to what he said. Especially the pics part haha

This is heading for disaster. Get out now.

You are not married yet, save yourself.



I did it on a similar timeline with a borderline pass as well, but I have a understanding wife - and she had her motivation - not to go through the same thing another year! We did have our share of tiffs, over the time I expected to be left alone - but that’s to be expected if you ask to disappear for 2 months. Plus, I have a 15 month old daughter, and she kept knocking on the door whenever she saw papa disappearing in a room, which made it more difficult.

Luckily my girlfriend now my wife was very understanding during the last month of CFA preparation. She probably doesn’t care as much about you as you think she does if she’s so “needy” when you are trying to accomplish your career goals. My suggestion is dump her to the curb and upgrade to someone better and more understanding.

Dude its called life. Grow a pair. I love these woe is me posts look how cool I am. Plenty of us go through way more than a girlfriend.

1). Well done on passing the exam with such little studying

2). Be careful. Personally, my motto (driven by the need to work hard and get ahead) is that you need to find the right mix of attractive/crazy/ability for your lady friend to be neglected. Say you take a job where you’re working until all hours of the night. Sounds like she will gladly/easily be able to get the d elsewhere.

My girlfriend stood by me through all three tests, for that I commend her. It certainly wasn’t easy, but I couldn’t imagine dealing with this sort of nonsense. Best of luck.

Dude, that’s brutal! I would drop her so quickly if I were you…

My girlfriend, now fiancee, realized quickly that she could help me out a tonne - she cleaned the house, made me meals and did my laundry (typically we share in all of these). She forced me to stick to my study schedule because she knew that if “we” failed then we would be in the same situation next June and neither of us wanted that.

Same here, I don’t understand people who want a long-term relationship with someone who will not be supportive. If she is like this now, imagine in 20 years ! You are gonna get walked over or divorced.

Thanks everyone for contributing! Firstly, I didn’t post this for relationship advice, although your unanimous advice in this regard is duly noted. I guess going for a high-maintenance model-type drama queen was a lifestyle choice I made a while ago - consider it an exogenous factor to a more general discussion on dealing with CFA prep under severe time constraints. Also, to rjwool15’s point, this is not meant to be another whiney-look-how-cool-I-am post, although I get where you’re coming from, rather it was really meant as an inspiriation for the candidates throwing in the towel too early.

True. But still dump her.

Is she a freak in the sack?

Pics or it didn’t happen.