Schweser: For The Exam answers

Too many times I have been thinking if the answers provided by Schweser “For the exam” are sufficient to get full points. Some sentences are as short as 2 to 3 words.


  • Single-state, long time horizon


  • Return requirement is X%
  • To preserve real purchasing power
  • To cater for living expenses

Frankly, are you going to be writting as short as these sentences during the exam with no references to subject whatsoever (the question did reference though)?

Please share your views. thanks!

On the exam I will write as consise as possible to finish everything on time.

then i go back and maybe add some extra stuff, or even draw some nice pictures and smiley faces and the phrase “Pass me, or ELSE!”

universal rule is concise = better

Imagine if you were a CFA grader and your exam was #124 of 125 they had to grade that day. Wouldn’t they be more favorably disposed if you were as concise as possible? Simple common sense.

I think Schweser has some insight here into what factors are likely to affect the decision on whether to award partial or full credit.

So don’t be afraid to keep your answers as short as possible.

Yup dapoopa. But how “concise” is concise?

What is the return requirement for Alan (subject)?

  • Return requirement is X%
  • To preserve real purchasing power
  • To cater for living expenses

Is the above sufficient? Do we need to elaborate on the subject?

  • Alan has a return requirement of X% to cover his living expenses.
  • Due to high lnflationary pressures and desire to ensure his portfolio is not ravaged by inflation, the return should be sufficient to preserve the real purchasing power.

I seriously gonna use pencil for the exam.

lol you definitely need to use a pencil for an exam … I dont think you have other options :slight_smile:


You are encouraged to use pen for AM.

Nothing mentioned on the use of pencil, but havent come across and Black & White that restrict it.

I was also concerned about “for the exam” answers given by schweser. I’m gonna do exactly that way because of few reasons: 1. Schweser won’t misguide you 2. My handwriting is very poor and gets bad as I write more. Well that’s a weird relationship but then it’s true. 3. I’m a slow writer. There’s a good chance I’ll miss a few points if I keep writing long answers.

my buddy last year used bullet points and schweser reccomended guideline answers and passed

thats what im going to do this year

Morning exam must be completed in pen.

Taken from the CFAI website:

4. Writing Instruments: You must bring your own writing instruments on exam day; testing personnel will not provide these to candidates. You must dispose of any packaging before entering the testing room. You must bring No. 2 or HB pencils and Level III candidates (June exam only) must also bring pens (with blue or black ink) for the essay portion of the exam. Pencil sharpeners will not be provided at the test center.

So no pencil for AM? For real?

I am going to bring blue and black pen to underline in separate colours so i can find back the correct numbers more easily. no need to scan through the text for the correct number again.

e-mail the institute; pencil IS ACCEPTABLE for AM; they just recommend pen becuase I suppose the led from pencil can smudge/smear more easily? and i suppose it’s more legible, all else being equal.

pencil obviously for PM.

regarding grading, i think luck has a bit to do with it. e.g., you give the correct answer, but it’s not worded as concisely or whatever as the answer key. lenient graders will give you full credit, but maybe strict ones will give you only partial. thoughts?

You can email CFAI if you want, but they are very specific on the website:

Completing Your Essay Book

Essay Answers for Level III AM Session It is your responsibility to complete the essay book correctly to ensure all information is accurately recorded during grading and your results are correctly reported back to you. When completing your essay book:

  • _ Use blue or black ink _
  • Write your CANDIDATE NUMBER and SEAT NUMBER on the front cover of your exam book
  • Sign the candidate pledge inside the front cover. Do not remove the candidate pledge card
  • Essay answers must be written in English
  • Each essay question consists of one or more parts (A, B, C, etc.). Some parts direct you to write your answer in a template. Instructions in bold print immediately following the question direct you to the page number of each template. Answer all other questions on the lined page(s) following the question. For these questions, label each part of your answer clearly (A, B, C, or i, ii, iii, etc.)
  • Answers on question pages will not be graded. You may make marks and notes on the question pages

the pencil iisue has been debated ad nauseam; a search will discover that pencil is acceptable. for those who are worried, then, just use an erasable pen


commodities (lease rates, all that crap) - will prob punt this one

GIPS - havent read yet

FI - getting there but just confusing to me

SS17 - need to spend more time here