Most Frustrating Part of Studying for CFA Exam

What is your the most frustrating part of taking CFA exams?

I find that the wide range of topics can be quite frustrating, especially as many of them are very loosely related. With the the it takes to cover the topics (especially in Level II), my memory of the topics that I started on is lacking by the time I get to overall review.

For me, it was nothing about the material.

It was the fact that the weather starts getting nice right around the same time you have to lock yourself indoors to study.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be coming up on my first study-free memorial day weekend in years.

Forgetting a lot of what I read.

What’s this hacksaw talk. Pound that exam like a prison btch, fools

The most frustrating part was having to wait until everyone else was done to be able to leave.

For me it was also not about the material. When it gets warm spring evening and your colleagues or friends go out and hang out, you have to stay at office or go home to prepare the exam. You get so excited to go out but can’t.

I would say most frustrating part of the exam is the moment when you read an email of “Your exam result” from CFA institute with the word starting stating “We regret to inform you that…”

Oh poor boy! And you should tell your mom and your friends that you failed it AGAIN!

Who cares for friends. You paid for this study and have wasted your own time. What your friends have with this? And your mum? Lol!

But if you got some bonuses in a form of free working hours or even exam paid by your employer, this is the only what could be a problematic, especially if you need reimburse the cost of failed exam.

It was playing whack a mole with the different subjects. Specifically with Level II. You get one book down, then realize you have forgotten most of another book. Go back and review that, then realize you have forgotten the other. Rinse, repeat.

Only through several total reviews did I really start to click. Oh, that and notecards.

And yeah - I also hated waiting for others to finish. That was infuriating. Thankfully on Level III PM I rocked it and was able to leave 45 mins early. Loved that.

I thought you can leave the exam early. I recall doing this when I took the exams some years ago.

That was changed last year. Now we have to wait until the time is up before we can leave.

Thus, if you finish in the early phase you should sit like a statue. Otherwise, you risk a PCP.

Forgetting material (like you guys already mentioned) Not being able to have a cup of water during the exam without sacrificing 20 goats and doing ritual laps. For both level 1 and 2 I’ve noticed people going to the bathroom 2 mins prior to the exam start, and not being allowed to get back in while they read out the rules etc. Or people forgetting to bring a calculator to the exam. It’s only a thousand bucks, and 12 months of your life.

The most frustrating part of studying for all CFA exams was misclicking answers in Q-Bank and not being able to change them and having it eat away at your soul to the point where you go on to bomb the rest of the topic test/quiz because you’re just that hot headed. Also, being so drowsy that you failed to see the “least” in front of “likely” so perfectly placed at the end of the sentence before it wrapped around to the second line. Oh, and who can forget any ethics guideline response that noted that your incorrect selection was “too ethical”.


I went to the bathroom 2 minutes before the exam, and some dude pulled down his pants and exploded his @ss in the sink. That wasn’t great.

I went to the bathroom after I squirted some lemon in my eyes when I was squirting it in my iced tea right before I walked into the exam center. I went to the sink without my glasses on and immersed my eyes in the sink, and to my horror, it was full of shit!

Image result for standing up clapping gif

You scared the shit out of me, I hope never to see the sentence like this…

Watching everyone else from your Level 1 study class either skip a test or fail. There were 28 people who finished my Level 1 class in Dec 2015. Most of them had never failed a college or high school class. I had to talk one of them off the ledge as he realized he was running out of time and would probably fail (he did). I saw another two at lunch break of Level 2 looking despondent, after being good students at the class.

Ultimately, probably 3 or 4 other people from my class will make it. Still, I didn’t have anyone from class to celebrate with last fall when scores came out.

Walking out of the exam center with the feeling in your gut that you just got owned. Then waiting for 2 months for the results. Also, all the dream about the CFA material and exam day disasters… Not missing those!