I received this a few years ago from a friend and am happy to say I got the charter in 2010. I think it was on the forum. It is really inspiring and made a whole lot of sense to me. Good luck all!! Friends, With many of you taking days off to study before the exam, I thought I would offer a few words of encouragement & advice as one of the fortunate ones who got through last year. You will pass level 3 not because you’re smarter than the guy next to you or because you studied 500 hours. You will pass because, for that 6 hour stretch, you will refuse to cave in to the pressure of the exam. You will refuse to crumble because of CFAI’s obscure wording, their buried tricks in questions, the time pressure, or the fact that you’ll have absolutely no clue how to answer 25% of the questions. Everyone is in the same boat. Everyone will be struggling at times on Saturday. Virtually nobody will get 80% or higher. You’re not playing against the test. Your goal is to beat your average peer. That means that 55-60% right may be a comfortable passing score. Even on questions you bomb, you might get partial credit. So you can afford to tank a LOT of points and still pass. None of us overachievers are used to sitting down to a test where a score in the 60’s is enviable. You’ll feel like you’re getting crushed by certain questions. Accept that, and refuse to melt down under the pressure. Finance is a stress-filled career field. The CFAI realizes this, and I’m convinced that they WANT to weed out people who can’t cut the pressure. I wouldn’t want someone working for me who requires all the data to be organized a certain way in order to solve problems or someone who hits a roadblock and loses his mind. Hence the presence of questions that you barely understand. Plow through. Do your best. Laugh at questions if you need to - trust me, it works to break up your frustration. Laugh out loud if you have to. Do not allow a few missed questions to affect your mood or your ability to concentrate on future questions. It truly is “one at a time” here. Every point counts and if you’re in a fog when you stumble across the occasional easy question, you’ll be giving a lot of points away to your peers. Don’t be surprised if the easiest questions in each section are at the very end, as a way to screw over people who get too frustrated or can’t manage their time effectively. Don’t fall for it. Be strong on exam day and in August you’ll have a great feeling that you’re finally done with this thing. I wish I could say that knowledge is all you need to do well on Saturday. That’s part of it. But perhaps a bigger part is your mindset. Be clutch. Refuse to melt. People will wilt around you, and when you hear them sighing heavily, rubbing their heads, and slamming down their calculators, know that you have them exactly where you want them and that you’re doing a hell of a lot better than your average peer, even if that means you’re only getting half the questions right. I know it’s a cutthroat mentality, but you want everyone else to wilt. You’re going to pass Level 3 because you’ll refuse to be one of them. Good luck to all.
Thanks for sharing, this is very inspirational!
Thank you Joker and thank you Chad for your inspiring posts. Now, I know for sure I am gonna pass.
Thank you very much for this…i really needed it now…
I’m not feeling nearly as confident as I would like, but this post helps a lot. Thank you.
My two pennies worth would be to not get worked up on the essay for the return calculation part if you really are struggling or making up rubbish. If you know how to do it then do it. If not put something reasonable down and MOVE on to the next question. It is way too easy to get into an ego match with some of these questions. Do this and you will fail. Yes the return calcs are a big part of the IPS questions but they are not the only part. Make up your marks elsewhere if you are struggling or your brain just turns off.
Nice post, and having survived the 2008 exam, I was there myself. Expect adversity, especially in the morning. Expect to feel a rush of panic that you never felt while doing the old exams in your kitchen. But everyone’s in the same boat, and those who deal with the adversity better will have an edge. And during lunch, remember that the afternoon is a totally different test.
Thanks, that was pretty inspirational.
I finished in '06 and sadly this time of year is just ingrained in your head that I had to check in. Great words of wisdom from the OP. I will add that the CFA certainly helped me attain my current job and has been beneficial to my career in more ways than one. There is some gold at the end of the rainbow! Good luck all!
Thanks a lot guys. Let’s do this!!!
Great posts…and Yes, a confident Winning attitude is crucial! joker’s opening post is right on the mark! Try to get a good night’s sleep and attack this thing tomorrow with a vengeance…You’re ready to rock n roll!!!
You guys are awesome. You raise the bar on ethical and professional standards by hanging out with us at the right time!