CFA CFA General How Your Work and Education Background Correlates to Your CFA Exam Performance

How Your Work and Education Background Correlates to Your CFA Exam Performance

  • This topic has 6 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated Mar-17 by christine.
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    • Zee Tan
      How Your Work and Education Background Correlates to Your CFA Exam Performance

      If you don’t have a finance-related background, are you disadvantaged when it comes to the CFA exams? In the December 2012 exams, we set out to find some clues to shed some light on just that. In our…

      Read the full story here

    • Up

      Another explanation could be:

      1) The CFA exam has nothing to do with real world work experience or education. That is in order to pass the CFA exam, you need to enter the “CFA make-believe” world where real life experience does not apply.


      2) Those who have real world work, where the average entry level job requires 60+ hours of work, have less time to study.

      I always advise CFA candidates to be prepared to memorize laundry lists of things that have nothing to do with what you learned on the job. Also I suggest to be prepared to modify your education to fit the CFA view of the world. That is the key to passing.

    • Up

      This is super interesting. Work experience clearly helps a lot, and in my case it’s in 2 ways:

      1. There are areas where the topics are really, really clear for me because I face these every day in my role;

      2. Peer pressure. Since quite a few colleagues are charterholders, and also current candidates, I have an extra bit of determination to make sure I pass (hopefully!)

    • Up

      Hi @LeoSchmidtCFA, welcome to the group!

      On your comments, I’m a bit confused. Your explanation doesn’t explain why:

      a) Groups with work experience (with or without finance education) have the highest pass rate

      b) The group with finance education but no work experience comes up last in pass rates.

    • Up

      @christine what was the sample size? And is there a significant difference when you look at individual levels?

      Do you have enough data to look at the effect of degrees other than finance-related? I think that any quantitative degree would give a candidate an advantage given the volume of formula across 3 levels.


    • Up

      I read this article and feel depressed. I fall into the finances-degree toting, no work experience candidate.

      But does that relationship only hold for the first level or is it found across all three levels? I would deduce that after a candidate passes level 1 they aren’t crippled with over-confidence that stems from having a finance related degree since they know what it takes to pass.

    • Up

      This is just for the first level, I should mention :D, as the analysis was based on the Dec 2012 exam.

      Interesting that no one asked this question before! I guess we’ll see for LII and LIII this June ­čśÇ

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