What are your weaknesses?

I fear ethics, gips and forwards/swaps/option strategies.

And taxes, and finding that damn first year return.

GIPS, anything with currency or swaps. I hate this shit, I’m a retaker and I feel less confident than last year.

What went wrong last year

Honestly, I got cocky. If you can’t explain this stuff to a Joe off the streets then you don’t know it. I thought I could get by bc MPS is low, non native English speakers take it, I passed level II with three months of study blah blah blah. This year I just didn’t put in the time, I’m burned out and I set myself up for a 2019 retake.

The part about explaining stuff is very true. That’s why I wish I had a study buddy… Also, I feel like there is a lot of luck involved in the exam so you can never be sure about a pass or fail…

Asset allocation seems to be somewhat volatile for me. Sometimes I crush it, sometimes it crushes me. That’s been my big focus so far this week.

Other than that, I’m fairly comfortable with everything, although I fear ethics. Both Level 1 and Level 2 I was scoring in the 80s and 90s on Ethics, and I was 50-70 on Level 2 and <50 on Level 2, so I know not to trust in Ethics to provide any needed points.

Hopefully that’s enough to pass and end this little journey.

I’m just praying that my brain doesn’t freeze and desert me when I need it the most. I feel better prepared for the AM session than I was the previous 2 times, so just hoping that they don’t throw any curveballs in it!

I mean, L3 in general has very few formulas compared to the other levels…that is why it feels harder, because its not true just flat out memorization; you have to really get what the material is asking for. As a L3 second goer though, re taking the last 10 years of AM papers (almost 2 times) and doing the mocks + topic tests several times over, I can tell you there are patterns and this isn’t rocket science…that being said nothing ever will feel 100p. You just have to focus on relaxing and being ready to go Saturday AM. We can all sit here and focus on the “hard” stuff or what we dont know…but thats not going to get a pass…trust me last year the doubt creeped in early after the first question and then just snowballed as I got owned by poor time management. It’s all about controlling what you can actually control (pace and putting your absolute best effort forward every question no matter what happens on the others). I’ve seen alot of posts of people angry about the questions in the Mocks , or poor pacing, or “feeling” shaky on stuff. You what that means? You didnt study enough. At this point your only going to put your mind in a bad spot stressing about all the stuff you dont know.

GIPs, swaps and all the crap about alpha beta separation and stratified sampling etc.

Probably GIPS and Ethics. I feel these always have volatile results.

Surprisingly derivatives is very straight forward to me this year. For L2, I just couldn’t get my brain to understand swap valuations and ended up <50 in derivatives.

I agree on stratified sampling/optimization, sometimes I just can’t make up which one would be better in a given scenario.

Time is my issue. I practice 5 AM mocks and I always ALWAYS run out of time and have one topic left to do.

In terms of topics, I am 50/50 in Risk Mgmt and Asset Allocation. Sometime I crush it and other times it crush me.

My Mandarin’s pretty weak.

Honestly, time seems to be the least of my worry. I’ve done 3 AM mocks and was able to finish all of them with 10-15 mins left. I also feel that I am writing a good amount, not a novel, but not necessarily bullet points either.

What do you think is causing you to run out of time? Is it taking too long to think/formulate the answer? or simply the writing?

So i’m a retaker as well. I think it’s important to THINK before you WRITE. Last year I kinda got caught into the weeds with the first question as well. Tried to pull it together but then I didn’t do that hot in the afternoon either due to probably tricky questions or whatever it may be.

It’s so much about pace in AM. People get caught up trying to get every point and waste time. You loose to the time you DONT have at the end to answer questions all those 1-2 extra points you get for the perfect answer. I really focused on pace this year and have done substantially higher scoring even though I missed some questions or did not full credit.

Off the top of my head, probably the tax formulas (memorizing & applying to situations) and capital market expectations (interaction of interest rates, inflation, economic policy etc).

econ, gips, and I always seem to blank when it asks me about MVO. Also i find the implementation shortfall component equations to be very hard to memorize