Writing essay questions with abbreviated words?

To anyone that knows: Are we allowed to write these essay questions using abbreviated words in order to save time? I understand our answers should be concise and bullet points however can we use abbreviations? Schweser has just stated that you should write to where the exam grader can understand what you are trying to say.

Common abbreviations I use:

b/c (for becuase)

inc. (for increase)

Govt. (for government)


Is this kosher? Or must we write out every word?

It’s probably OK.

Does it really save time?

It is allowed. From CFA website:

  • Common abbreviations and symbols are acceptable, but when in doubt, write it out.


So if there is a question like “stated the appropriate return measure”, could I write “this is the TWRR” instead of “this is the time weighted rate of return”?

I think TWRR would be fine as that is used repeatedly in the curriculum…isn’t there a list of abbreviations and acronyms etc on the CFAI site? I would imagine anything on that list is definitely fair game to use.


Just looked and TWRR isn’t on it actually, but I still think anything abbreviated in the curriculum would be ok to use.

Thanks S666. Well, I guess I will have to use Time Weighted Rate of Return then :frowning:

As S2000 has pointed out, why leave anything to chance when we’re talking at most saving yourself… what… 30 seconds total on the entire AM paper?

I think anything that is explicitly abbreviated in the actual question is fair game…if they have used it, I assume it’s safe for us to use it.

Totally agree, however I’m not sure I would introduce my own set of abbreviations as our OP did. “Inc.”? That has more than one meaning, and the first one that springs to mind is not “increase”. Haha.

i wrote my AM not caring to write out abbreviations in full. I used inc, dec, wrt, LT, ST, avg, along with all the abbreviations i saw in the textbook like mwrr, twrr, etc.

that may explain why i did so terribly in the morning section

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Within context, it should be pretty clear. If your answer is along the line of “his young age would imply his risk tolerance should be inc.” Graders would (hopefully) understand that you didn’t mean his risk should be incorporated.

but i agree, write it out in full if you have the time