CFA CFA Level 1 Are absurdly low mock exam marks a natural thing for first timers?

Are absurdly low mock exam marks a natural thing for first timers?

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    • Avatar of tingwuwangtingwuwang
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        • CFA Level 2
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        Hi guys,

        For those of you CFA veterans or newbies who have done mock exams or whatnot (under full exam conditions), what were your marks for the first ever mock exam after your revision? And how long you had to study for the exam/whether or not you had other committments (i.e. work/university exams)?

        Personally, not making excuses for my horrid marks here, I was preparing for actuarial exams for the past few weeks and I got a mark of 48% on my first mock exam (while i’m sure about 10% of my marks were educated guesses). I know the blogs on 300 hours tells us to focus on the mistakes and make sure they don’t occur in the next mock exam, but you can’t really help but dwell on your marks.

        I know it’s probably a really private question to ask, but i would really appreciate the community’s contribution to this.

        So am I screwed for the December exam?

        Thanks for reading!

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        @NickQAnalyst‌ you’re fine score wise (in case it wasn’t clear!). take the CFAI mock and readjust. It’s different, but not ridiculously so. The earlier you get to it the better I guess.

      • Avatar of DigitalWizardDigitalWizard
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          • CFA Level 1
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          I was getting low 60s on some 120 question mocks, then I got a 69% on a Schweser exam, all new questions to me, I was pretty excited as that was at 3 weeks out. Then I took the free Investopedia CFA L1 “quizzer”, and scored a 47%. I was not as excited. Actually I was quite discouraged and figured it was Investopedia’s test that was the problem.  (haha).

          I then did the CFAI Mock AM session and scored a 56%, so now that we are 2 weeks out I am pretty nervous.

          I am going to do some more tests and review.

        • Avatar of NickQAnalystNickQAnalyst
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            • CFA Level 2
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            I’ve heard that there is a notable difference in the difficulty of Schweser Exams to the CFAI Mock Exam, but I’m hoping it isn’t too terribly much! 

            My first Schwester “morning” 120Q/180min exam was a tough pill to swallow, as I score a 72.5% (and created a thread based on the anxiety from that).  Since then, I’ve scored an “afternoon” of 83%, a “morning” of 84% and an “afternoon” of 84%.

            At this point, I’m honestly scared shitless about taking the CFAI-distributed mock exam and bombing it… but we’ll see how it goes when I take it next weekend!  Anyone else transitioning from Schweser to CFAI exams?

            @DigitalWizard – sounds like you did some Schwester mocks and they were significantly different from the CFAI mock?
            @simply-complex2 – I think this damned exam has taken years off of all of our lives…

          • Avatar of RoyDRoyD
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              • Undecided
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              The CFAI mock exams are annoying. The questions are all just repeated in most of the exams.

            • Avatar of hairyfairyhairyfairy
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                @tingwuwang‌  as @Maverick‌ says, bad test scores aren’t unusual. Focus on bringing them up ASAP – it’s what you are scoring right before you go into the exam that counts.

              • Avatar of tingwuwangtingwuwang
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                  • CFA Level 2
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                  hmm I guess it’s just that we’ve got a little over 2 weeks til the exam and i’m getting horrible marks that’s worrying me, if this was about a month ago, I probably wouldn’t be as worried.

                • Avatar of simply_complex2simply_complex2
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                    • CFA Level 1
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                    as the wise men of Journey once said….DONT STOP BELIEVING! though im pretty sure no one wants to hold onto to the feeling of pre-CFA jitters

                  • Avatar of WesMantoothWesMantooth
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                      • CFA Charterholder
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                      The first exams I wrote immediately after finishing that last reading
                      and EOC questions for L1 & L2 I was easily sub 50%. From what I can tell
                      this is pretty normal.
                      I think that as long as when you review the exam questions, the answers that
                      you missed make sense and it’s just a matter of refreshing the topics you
                      should be fine (fine meaning you have a lot of work to do to refresh a
                      ridiculous amount of material! but doable).
                      Cause for concern would be if you are reviewing most questions and not
                      understanding why you didn’t get the right answer. Two weeks is enough to
                      refresh half the material but not to learn half the material.

                    • Avatar of simply_complex2simply_complex2
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                        • CFA Level 1
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                        @nickqanalyst, I’ve taken schweser and the CFAI mock (along with a few other providers). i personally found the CFAI mock to be more tricky, but definitely doable. in the end i scored around the same i have been scoring with other mocks. i think the key is just don’t psych yourself out too much. based on your scores it seems you have a pretty good grasp of the materials so just have confidence. i do agree with @fabian though in that it may be beneficial to take the CFAI mock earlier if time permits. 

                      • Avatar of simply_complex2simply_complex2
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                          • CFA Level 1
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                          @ankita, i dont think they are. when i took the CFAI mock it wasn’t split up, nor was it in the “right” order

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                          Hi @tingwuwang
                          I’m working on getting my marks up from around the 55% mark as it seems that I managed to forget an awful lot from the EOC’s where I was getting 70 to 85%. Most of the issues were from Formula’s, which having written them all down, hopefully should be a case of simply studying them all again over and over until they stick.
                          Poor self test scores are not uncommon as highlighted by this 300 hours post https://300hours.com/f/cfa/level-1/t/bad-self-test-scores/#latest

                          Yes, we must focus on what we have forgotten to make sure that this is solid by exam day rather than dwelling on the errors and getting worried, but to not realize you have made errors is to not learn at all.

                        • Avatar of AnkitaAnkita
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                            • CFA Level 2
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                            @digitalwizard The CFAI AM session was not divided into sections, was it. I opened it to see one Q on the screen at a time. Not sure if I am the only one…

                          • Avatar of daedalusbloomdaedalusbloom
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                              • CFA Level 1
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                              I got terrible marks on my first mock (and I used the schewser formula sheet too, so even those scores were artificially high). I reviewed my mistakes (and guesses) and took a mock exam the next week and only did marginally better. Since then I’ve been reviewing the important sections and my weak sections and I have brought up my scores significantly. The point of the anecdote is that low scores on the first exam are fine, what matters is focusing your time well, in which case scores can be increased substantially in just a couple weeks.

                              Most important sections are Ethics, Quant, and FRA, followed by Fixed Income, Equity, Corp Fin, and Econ. If you focus on these topics your scores will significantly improve. I find that active studying has been much more helpful than passively reading and reviewing the material. For example I write out all the equations and definitions on note cards, do the EoCs from the CFA book, and the 30 question topic assessments from the CFA website.

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