I had a very similar feeling. I thought I did answer the AM session questions well, but was surprised by the way the scores went - 6 < 50%, 3 > 70%.
I found that the questions I answered first were the ones I got > 70%. All the rest was < 50%.
So need to
a. tighten up on the AM sections definitely. b. look at the guideline answers when they come out in Spring 2012 - after answering the 2011 paper then once more - and see what was lacking, in light of the new preparation - and see what is really going wrong.
What it does mean is - I need to be prepared way earlier - allowing for all distractions / trials / tribulations that I might go thro’ to be able to answer the paper as soon as it becomes available.
How did things change this year? what was ur approach? It seems that we all fell in the same mistakes u and others felt for last year too.
I failed too, Band 7 - and in spite of a lot of effort on my part - the AM has crushed me. Apparently whatever I wrote last year around - I guess I forgot all about it, and have not prepared myself to kill the AM beast.
Some people have vouched for the boot camp from Creichton University. There are multiple posts supporting that and the posts are legitimate too.
I am a newbie to L3, so would you guys want to give this a try? May be it helps…
I was searching for ways to prepare this and looks like solving old papers alone cant guarantee that. (ok, nothing can guarantee, but atleast put us a good shape)! And even worse, I live in a country where I cant attend Creichton bootcamp as well Getting a little scared about L3 on the whole
I was a L3 retaker (failed in 2011 first time, passed now; below are my scores). last year i bombed all the portfolio management questions in AM (less than 50%) this year i did better. Here is what I did to improve my AM score.
I made cheat sheets for individual and institutional IPS type questions. i broke them up by case. for individuals its a bit more complicated, for institutions its simple (bank, insurance, etc). look at all the sample CFAI exam answers and schweser exam answers and come up with a scheme to answer all the possible types of questions. I believe they are looking for phrases such as “generate a return sufficient to cover (then list all ongoing expenses that need to be met by portfolio”, or “liquidity requirement is low because risk tolerance is high and time horizon is long” etc. for liquidity needs you break them up by “immediete”, “ongoing”, “one time planned future need”, etc. come up with every possible scenario and write it out. but make sure you hit the keywords in your answers that CFAI is looking for by reverse engineering from the CFAI previous and sample exam answers. then take those cheat sheets you made, and re-write them on scrap papers 10 times over to cement these phrases and keywords in your head. its basically an if-then scheme.
there is basically no shortage of portfolio management questions you should practise.
manage time - if you dont know something IMMEDIETLY just skip it and move on. get the EASY marks first, then come back and do the harder stuff thats more involved.
A good substitute for Creighton may be that Schweser 3-day online course. I didn’t actually watch it all, but it seems to give a very nice “overall” approach. It’s more into how do you tackle the exam than anything else - there’s also a mind map book that comes with it and it’s probably the best material from Schweser (asides from practice exams). They aren’t real mind maps, but it’s much more to the point than Secret Sauce - the GIPS section alone is a huge time saver.
One thing about practice exams is that they are very valuable, but this is if you review them hard! I mean, if you miss a question, you go back to the text, read about it, maybe practice some BlueBoxes, and only come back once you’re sure that now you know that stuff. It’s probably better to do 2 practice exams like that then 4 or 5 in which you just want to see how you score. Of course, if you have the time, do lots of them.
For the guys who failed, this exam seems pretty random sometimes. Maybe a couple different questions would have made you pass while failing lots of candidates that passed… The advice I can think of is to start studying right now - the contents are still fresh in your minds. You don’t even need to re-read stuff - just by constant note reviewing and question answering (going back to the texts when needed) you’re probably gonna arrive extremely well prepared for next year. I hope you make it next year!
I still haven’t seen these oft discussed mind maps, so I can not speak on their effectiveness. I will say that I found the Secret Sauce extremely helpful in getting repitition in on what needs to be written for the Individual and Institutional cases.
preftrader , Crazyman, DoubleDip, BigML - thanks a lot guys! I am going to follow preftraders advice and also will take up the three day online course with Schweser as Crazyman and DoubleDip have suggested. Your inputs are really valuable, thanks a lot!