CFA CFA General Dealing With Failure

Dealing With Failure

  • This topic has 16 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated May-18 by dodo.
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    • Zee Tan
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      Dealing With Failure

      I actually wanted to save this post for later, but as I’m getting quite a few enquiries similar to this in my inbox, I reckon I should post this straightaway. As the CFA is no ordinary exam, theΒ …

      Read the full story here

    • marilyn
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      Well, the mail is in my in-box (just arrived as I was reading this email) and I’m too scared to open it. Let me tell you why. Level 1 I wrote in June 2004, didn’t cut it, rewrote in December 2004 and sailed through it. 2005 I got married so no studies that year. Ever since then I have tried to pass Level 2 (2011 was the only year I threw in the towel – temporarily and didnt write) I gave it a go last year for the 6th time but then Mum died and then Dad died and my marriage nearly died too so no chance of passing. This year I wrote it for the 7th time. Can you see why I am nervous? This is the one year out of all of those that I don’t have any other external factors to “blame”, but I do know I can’t write it again. Can’t put my husband through more trauma so I have a lot hanging on this (particularly as my boss is Head of CFA in South Africa). Definitely no more rewriting. Its now either move on (to Level 3) or move out……… and I am so scared!

    • Zee Tan
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      You’ve been through a lot @marilyn – respect.

      Let us know when you’ve peeked…

    • Sophie Macon
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      *hugs* @marilyn – we really admire your never-give-up attitude! Hope all goes well..

    • Dan
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      Never thought I was going to read this… relaxing 1 month before the exam was really bad, I was so tired of studying and I just wanted it to end… I don’t think I can study for that long time… I think my next strategy is start studying later but harder..

    • Sophie Macon
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      Very wise @Dan – how early did you start previously?

    • Dan
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      @Sophie started on february 1st, I reviewed all the schweser notes and made the end of chapter questions. about 90% of them were above 70%, some being 100% correct. I relaxed for like 3 weeks… and when I made my first test from the CFA webpage, I found out that I remembered almost nothing, WTF, it was incredible, I barely remembered if I studied the topics they were asking… I started reading some of the material again and found out almost 90% of that was stored in my short time memory… I was scared after being so confident… I started doing a lot of exams, and reading the hard topics again, the first week was bad and was still scared, but about 3 days before the exam I was feeling good again, getting 70%+ in some of the tests. I was so sure I was going to pass this, I really thought it was not that hard and I was getting 70%+ in 6+ topics…

      65% average, band 10, so fucking close, but at the same time so mediocre of me, god damn this feeling sucks

    • hairyfairy
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      That’s tough luck @dan! πŸ™

    • AjFinance
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      @marilyn Admire your determination! You’ve been through a lot. And giving L2 once or twice takes a huge amount of effort, let alone 7 times. I really hope you do pass and go on to achieve the charter. If not then you should have every reason to believe that you have something much better in store for you, coz of all the hardwork you’ve put in.

      Goodluck. And once again, Hats off to you.

    • Sophie Macon
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      @Dan, don’t give up! Wait for my next post on Thurs…

    • kungpow9960
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      @Dan, I was in your shoes last year. I was on Level II…don’t know if you were taking Level I or II, but the principle applies all the same. I studied hard last year and was doing well on the practice exams, but bombed FSA on exam day (<50%) and so ended up in band 10 failing. It was incredibly demoralizing and I walked away from everything CFA for about a month. But, once you come back to it, try to take your results this year and see where you lost points and how you might fix that to pass.

      Look, you were very close to passing, like I was, and with a little more focus on certain areas, you’ll pass next year. I know that’s cold comfort now.

      For me, I saw how poorly I did on FSA and realized, “Jesus, if I just had studied harder on that, I’d have passed!” Frustrating, but encouraging simultaneously. So I structured my study plan around becoming obscenely good on FSA and Equity and Ethics. The rest, I studied, but the second time around, it’s a lot of refresh. It affords you the time to hammer on whatever sunk you this time around. I practiced FSA item sets at least two or three times a week beginning in March and was nearly automatic by exam day. I went from <50% in '12 to >70% in ’13 and passed.

      Don’t lose hope. Try not to be too discouraged and most of all, use this year’s results as the basis for your blueprint for kicking the hell out of this exam next year (or in December, if you’re on Level I).

    • Sarah
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      I dunno why but I feel good about failing terribly. Nothing annoys me as much as teetering off the wrong side. So I feel your pain @Dan and good luck for next time!

    • WesMantooth
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      My comment is around “How should you break it to your friends, family and colleagues?”
      I think the statement that “No one is going to belittle you or judge you” should be amended to say “Noone THAT HAS GONE THROUGH OR ATTEMPTED THE CFA will belittle or judge you”.
      One of my biggest fears going through this CFA process has been to have to explain to friends, colleagues and family that I failed. This fear is driven by the belief that anyone who hasn’t tried to write a level or isn’t intimitely involved with someone trying to go through this process will not understand. Even though a good chunk of people know that this is one of the toughest professional qualifications out there, I feel as though more people don’t get it. I don’t know how exactly i’d approach it but I think I’d lean towards avoidance as a general strategy, telling as few people as possible. The look of confusion or fake candor on someone’s face telling me “that’s too bad, are you going to try again?” when you know inside they are saying “wow you spent that much time on something and didn’t pass?”, would drive me nuts and is enough motivation in itself to force me to spend some crazy hours in order to avoid this fate.
      I guess my point is that, as with anything difficult in life, it is nice to have a spot like this (300hours) where people do understand what you are going through.

    • Anonymous
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      I think although some people may not know how tough the exam is, I think most of them will know how well you usually do in challenges like this, and the fact that you didn’t pass would be testament to how hard this is.

    • IshaMody
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      How useful is an Exam Score Retabulation? I am thinking to apply for that

    • Zee Tan
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      @IshaMody A retabulation doesn’t mean a reconsideration of your score, but simply a recheck to see if they’ve scored your exam right. In that sense it’s unlikely you’ll get a change in score or grade, but of course it’s up to you.

    • dodo
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      marilyn said:
      Well, the mail is in my in-box (just arrived as I was reading this email) and I’m too scared to open it. Let me tell you why. Level 1 I wrote in June 2004, didn’t cut it, rewrote in December 2004 and sailed through it. 2005 I got married so no studies that year. Ever since then I have tried to pass Level 2 (2011 was the only year I threw in the towel – temporarily and didnt write) I gave it a go last year for the 6th time but then Mum died and then Dad died and my marriage nearly died too so no chance of passing. This year I wrote it for the 7th time. Can you see why I am nervous? This is the one year out of all of those that I don’t have any other external factors to “blame”, but I do know I can’t write it again. Can’t put my husband through more trauma so I have a lot hanging on this (particularly as my boss is Head of CFA in South Africa). Definitely no more rewriting. Its now either move on (to Level 3) or move out……… and I am so scared!

      You are a hero @marilyn !

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