Just curious what everyone’s journeys have been like.
It’s been a long long long road for me:
June 2010 - Failed Level 1 (Band 7)
December 2010 - Failed Level 1 (Band 9)
December 2011 - Failed Level 1 (Band 10)
December 2013 - Passed Level 1
June 2014 - Failed Level 2 (Band 5)
June 2015 - Passed Level 2
June 2016 - Failed Level 3 (Band 6)
June 2017 - Passed Level 3
For the record, the first 3 times I did Level 1, it was mainly because I wanted to register to have it on my resume that I was a candidate (stupid me). I still wrote the exams, but didn’t try all that hard.
So it’s been a long 7 years for me. I guess what I’m trying to say it, for people who failed this time, DON’T GIVE UP!!!
I definitely did a lot more practice exams/problems this year (from 2010-2016). Highly recommend doing as many as you can. I dedicated about 2 months prior to just doing questions/practice problems/exams. Last year I think I only left about 3 weeks to do problems.
Also it does seem a LITTLE easier the second time around as you should already be familiar with most of the concepts.
Oh also probably helped that I didn’t take vacation in mid-April this year for 2 weeks like I did last year.
My CFA program journey actually began in the summer of 2008. I started studying for the 08 Level I exam in August, but then within a month Lehmann was going bankrupt and all hell broke loose. I was working 14 hour days and I didn’t even sit for the exam. After the dust settled my second child was born and I decided to put the program on hold and focus on work, life and family for awhile longer. Fast forward to 2014 …
I started studying for December Level I in September 2014. Level II took me two attempts, as I wasn’t able to get strong enough in the material over the 4 months after the December pass. August 2017 Level III pass.
Started journey Dec 2015 - passed level 1, June 2016 - passed level 2, and June 2017 - passed level 3.
Lots of studying on the commute to and from work. Lots of anxiety waiting for the results. Well worth it. While I’m glad I was able to pass the first time, but if I had failed, I would’ve continued. not a quitter and I admire all of the people who kept trying until the end.
Pretty wild looking back on it now- lots of 3am wakeup calls, late nights in coffee shops, flashcards on the train/bus/can (actually a free “make your own flashcards” app that was awesome, PM me if you want to know which one.) Hard to believe it’s actually over!
Jun 2005 - Passed Level 2 - Back in those days L2 AM was also constructed responses/ Essays!
Aug 2005 - Jun 2006 : Grad student at Univ of Chicago - Financial Mathematics
Jun 2006 - Failed Level 3 (Went in underprepared - underestimated the course workload at UChicago and was right after my uni exams)
Relocation to a another country
Jun 2009 - Registered for Level 3 - Did not sit, as was terribly stretched at work with setting up a new hedge fund
Jun 2012 - Registered for Level 3 - Did not sit again
Moved back to hometown.
Jun 2016 - Failed L3 - Band 8 (AM 8/1/1 and PM 0/2/8) : Was challenged by an Analyst that was working for me. The curriculum was completely different from the previous ones that I had looked at and took me by surprise. I prepared for 8-9 days with no time for mocks.
Jun 2017 - Passed L3. Around 250 hrs of prep (including AM mocks and review)
I usually start my preparation in May. L1 & L2 were 1 & 2 weeks of work for me, as I had just completed my MBA back then. In hindsight, should have completed in 2012, but was generally demotivated then to read.