my 2 cents

I passed, but was a border line. I would recommend anyone who takes these exams seriously to read Original CFA books, cover to cover. Try to understand the concept and think how you can apply this in real world. Forget about any prep material. Level 3 goes for conceptual understanding and it not a plug-n-chug formuala type. Though initially I started with Schewser, in last 3 months I focused on CFAI books. Essay Q# Topic Max Pts <=50% 51%-70% >70% 1 Portfolio Management - Individual 36 - * - 2 Portfolio Management - Individual 9 - - * 3 Portfolio Management - Institutional 36 - * - 4 Portfolio Management - Asset Allocation 17 - - * 5 Fixed Income Investments 13 * - - 6 Alternative Investments 11 * - - 7 Portfolio Management - Risk Management 17 * - - 8 Portfolio Management - Execution 14 * - - 9 Portfolio Management - Monitor&Rebalance 9 - * - 10 Portfolio Management – Performance Eval. 9 * - - 11 Portfolio Management 9 * - - Item Set Q# Topic Max Pts <=50% 51%-70% >70% - Alternative Investments 18 - - * - Derivatives 18 - - * - Economics 18 - * - - Equity Investments 36 - * - - Ethical & Professional Standards 36 - - * - Fixed Income Investments 36 - - * - Portfolio Management 18 - - * I had used mostly Schweser in level 1 and 2 & passed. I regret it as I dont who what I’ve missed.

I was totally opposite. I strictly stuck to CFAI texts. Started in January, took a month off work, took written notes as well, bought all the practice exams from CFAI, did all end of chater problems 3 times. I ended up with a 4 band rate. I used schweser for L1 and L2 passed on first try. I regret not sticking with it.

I didn’t realize I did AM that bad. PM saved the day. I would also recommend folks to do item sets in AM that require lengthy write ups in the last. Focus on 1-3 sentense answer Q’s first. I missed an entire set in AM. Never underestimate the ability of CFAI folks to trick you. Your first gut response to Q’s will generally be wrong.

I have been at this for a while. On my first couple of attempts, I knew from the moment I walked out of the test room that I did not study 1) enough and/or 2) the right way. But the last two times, I have no answers for my friends and former co-workers that passed long ago and wonder WTF is wrong with me. Everyone is different. Any advice from me should probably be ignored but from a confidence level, it was higher after reading the CFAI materials this year. Maybe I don’t have the time that some do but there are plenty of people with a demanding job and two young kids. I think more than anything I’m shocked with the pass rate. I was certain, as was my Schweser seminar instructor in Houston, that it would rebound at LEAST be in the 60s. I will very curious to see if enrollment begins to taper off once candidates see the trend of lower pass rates and higher fees. They have me at Level III. I can’t quit although I’m closer to it than ever. It’s not worth the time, energy and money to me given the uncertainty and the subjectivity of the grading pricess. I know, I don’t have it so I can’t truly say it’s not worth it but I promise, the day I get it (if ever), I will post the same thing. A good friend of mine that went 3 for 3 years ago feels the same way right now. Perhaps we are in the minority but it’s the way we feel. The only reason I will keep going is because I can’t quit anything.