CFA CFA Level 1 How did it go?

How did it go?

  • This topic has 27 replies, 16 voices, and was last updated Jan-18 by jmrogers31.
  • Author
    Posts
    • RoyD
      Participant
      Up
      0
      Down

      Even after 6 months of hardcore preparations I still found it harder than I imagined for some reason. Not sure if it was genuinely harder or it’s a mental bias that I have but it sure wasn’t that easy.

      For me the first half of the morning session i.e. Ethics, Quants, Econ, FRA were tougher than the second half though I didn’t do as well as I would’ve expected in Corp. Fin. and Equity which were my strong points. I also couldn’t manage my time to well and had to end up just guessing about 10 questions because of lack of time.

      The second half of the afternoon session i.e. everything after FRA (including some parts of FRA) were tougher than the first half. There was a point when answering Economics that I was literally praying that the rest of the exam is this easy but it sadly wasn’t. Fixed Income and Derivatives was especially harder for me although I managed to complete in time. This was probably because I managed to follow the time assignments they had mentioned for every topic.

      All in all I feel let down by myself because I hadn’t expected it to be this difficult after practicing so many mocks and studying for the exam 6 months in advance. Pass or fail I think it will be on the borderline. I surely won’t fail below Band 9 nor will I score more than 5 marks above the MPS. I feel I’m somewhere between 60-70%.

      Btw opinions were mixed here in Mumbai. I literally heard people say that the exam was over hyped and it was so easy and then people say that they weren’t in the mood to even eat anything because of how bad it went. Both must’ve been exaggerating. :smiley: 

    • RoyD
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      P.S. almost everyone was discussing the paper after the exam and the proctors didn’t give two shits.

    • LincolnOShea
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      The feedback from Johannesburg was the same. Most candidates  I spoke to found the first part easier than the second. For some weird reason i felt the second more manageable. Maybe it was because of the scare i got off running out of time the first session  and realising  that it could be my last chance

    • RoyD
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      For me the second session was better and like you said I think it was because of not finishing the first session I was able to better manage my time. I realized FRA was the culprit. Realized I spent way over 36 mins.

    • Maverick
      Participant
      Up
      0
      Down

      Feedback from Abu Dhabi (which I agreed with), was that the morning session was easier than the afternoon. That said, I think a lot of mental fatigue set in after lunch.

      Likewise, there were a lot of people around discussing specific questions after both sessions, and there was not a proctor in sight as they’d all stayed in the exam hall. I was quite surprised actually at how lax security was though. The usual standard items were checked and accounted for, but there was no checking of pockets or what you were reaching for in your pockets during the exam (which in my case was just throat mints for a rapidly evolving tickle and cold).

      I found time interesting as I finished the (apparently easier) morning session in 2:48 and the harder session in 2:24…
      An epic failure in the sleep department the night before didn’t help, and Red Bull can only mask the effects of tiredness to a limited degree.

      N.B. One guy managed only 25 minutes of the morning session before getting up, handing his papers to a proctor and leaving, never to be seen again.

    • Zee Tan
      Keymaster
      Up
      3
      Down

      Hey all! Glad to know y’all made it!

      Just a reminder to please refrain from discussing specific questions in the forum – almost certain to get all of us in trouble. 🙂

    • wm247
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down

      I must say that the test was indeed not what I have imagined from doing all the mocks from KS, CFAI, and my seniors.

      I’m proud with my time management as I could finish much earlier than my time allocation; I still had like 30-40 minutes after writing down all my answers, plenty of time to recheck and recalculate my answer sheet. Still, I cannot get rid this uneasy feeling that CFAI really went all the way to bamboozle the test takers, with all the red herrings they provided on the mocks before.

    • jessmat
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      The morning session was manageable. I found the afternoon session slightly more difficult. Also, I hadn’t anticipated how tired I would be during the afternoon session! I actually put my head down at around 3.30 and took a nap till about 3.45. As a result, I finished the paper at 4.59, to be precise. Completed the morning session by 11.45. 

      There was one unlucky guy at the exam center. He had carried his passport and exam ticket, however his passport fell somewhere and then could not be found. He wasn’t allowed to give the exam! Apparently, he was laughing about this, after he realized that he would not be attempting the exam! Bad luck, but good attitude I guess! 

      Other than that, pleasant experience. 🙂 

    • RoyD
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      Damn! I find it hard to believe how so many people actually managed to finish on time or way before time.
      Anyways any idea on which week of Jan the results will be out? My birthday is on the 22nd of Jan. Hope it comes out after that. It would be awkward for me to celebrate anything knowing I failed (that is IF I fail).

    • wm247
      Participant
      Up
      2
      Down
      RoyD said:
      Damn! I find it hard to believe how so many people actually managed to finish on time or way before time.
      Anyways any idea on which week of Jan the results will be out? My birthday is on the 22nd of Jan. Hope it comes out after that. It would be awkward for me to celebrate anything knowing I failed (that is IF I fail).

      If I’m not mistaken, it’ll be on Tuesday, 3rd week of Jan15. That gives us January 19th, 9AM EST for the results to be out then, and that also translates to 9PM, Jakarta time. 😀

    • wm247
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down
      wm247 said:
      RoyD said:
      Damn! I find it hard to believe how so many people actually managed to finish on time or way before time.
      Anyways any idea on which week of Jan the results will be out? My birthday is on the 22nd of Jan. Hope it comes out after that. It would be awkward for me to celebrate anything knowing I failed (that is IF I fail).

      If I’m not mistaken, it’ll be on Tuesday, 3rd week of Jan15. That gives us January 19th, 9AM EST for the results to be out then, and that also translates to 9PM, Jakarta time. 😀

      Oops, I mean January 20th. My bad. :#

    • tingwuwang
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      feedback from sydney was that the first paper was much harder than the second paper, myself included. Although i thought that in the first paper the economics (which is my weakest topic) was actually not as terrible to me as i thought, while fixed income and quant kind of got to me. all in all, i’m just glad that it’s over and i think i did reasonably well. my timing this time was right on track with all my other mock exam timings where the first exam i would finish right in the nick of time (i.e. 10mins to go for checking) and the second exam i finished just a little late (45mins before pens down) which i wasn’t beating myself up too much about it.
      hopefully this year’s pass grades don’t go over 60% or so. probably looking at 75-80% on the exam?
      i think we shouldn’t beat ourselves up so badly, we all clearly put in so much effort into this exam, whether or not we pass or fail it was a good experience (this might be the relief talking, just got my actuarial exemptions haha)

    • RoyD
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down
      wm247 said:
      wm247 said:
      RoyD said:
      Damn! I find it hard to believe how so many people actually managed to finish on time or way before time.
      Anyways any idea on which week of Jan the results will be out? My birthday is on the 22nd of Jan. Hope it comes out after that. It would be awkward for me to celebrate anything knowing I failed (that is IF I fail).

      If I’m not mistaken, it’ll be on Tuesday, 3rd week of Jan15. That gives us January 19th, 9AM EST for the results to be out then, and that also translates to 9PM, Jakarta time. 😀

      Oops, I mean January 20th. My bad. :#

      Wow! Couldn’t be a better or worse moment depending on whether I pass or fail.

    • ec_test
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      Hi all,

      I agree with most of you that felt the second part was harder than the first one. I felt the second part had a greater emphasis on problems that required math. I found myself spending over 5 minutes in some of those calculations – I’m sure there were shortcuts to solve them but don’t know them, so I fell behind and had to rush to finish.

      I felt my heart pumping at a faster rate when I realized I still had 20 questions left and 45 minutes only. I’m sure a heart attack feels similar, hahahahaha. It felt like I’d faint a little bit! No joke. 

      I managed to finish my tests on time but the afternoon one was a struggle. I packed my lunch and made sure I had lots of protein and veggies. I am sure that made the afternoon session bearable!

      As to what score I expect, it is honestly hard to tell. I feel a lot of the questions were framed to make test-takers fall for traps so I guess passing depends on how many questions you didn’t know and how many questions you knew but fell for a trap. If I fell for too many traps it is pretty much game over… and restart, hahahaha! (Already making plans for the June CFA Level 1, lol.)

      Today I feel like someone beat me up with a bat. My body is sore, I have a headache, and my back is in pain. I never thought the stress of this test would affect me physically in such a negative way. Anyway, it is over for now, yay!

      I guess my thoughts on this is that whether you pass or not, I am sure all of you that prepared for the test gained a great amount of good knowledge and will help you sharpen your skills even if you decide not to pursue the program ( I do encourage everyone to continue the program though).

      Good luck to all and hope you get good news in January.

    • Maverick
      Participant
      Up
      2
      Down

      I have to agree with a few guys. In all honesty I felt that Quant, which was a bad subject for me during the “learning” phase actually went pretty well during the exam, whereas F.I, which is a subject I’m normally pretty comfortable with had all of the harder bits dug out by the CFAI for this exam and the parts which I scored 100% on the EOC’s a month back completely thrown out of the window.

      A lesson in up to date material:
      I was talking to a guy who had flown in all the way from Lebanon and he stated that he only had the Kaplan books from 2008 and in that, bond durations and suchlike were covered in a minimalist way and were stated that it would not be tested… of course we know that it is tested nowadays and is in the LOS. The poor guy probably lost a good few marks there.

    • jak5189
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      I thought the exam was a tough nugget yet quite fair. There were three-four questions that seemed to be completely out of left field that just stumped me; for those, I picked B and moved on. I finished with more than enough time on both sections so I never had a time issue. It wasn’t truly a tricky exam to me, if anything it was fairly straight forward but there were questions designed to make you think a little on how to answer, which is never bad :). I have always felt good about FRA and feel just as good walking out of that exam, and same for Ethics. If anything, they might be my saving grace :). I would say the same for Corp. Fin, Equity, and Port. Fin. But quant this time around was pretty tough for while FI was sorta tough but I think I eked it out. Derivatives and AI have always been a shot in the dark for me as I had been focusing on the low-hanging fruit. 

      My speculation is that the minimum passing score will be between 68-70%, inclusive. I don’t see the minimum passing score surpassing 70% or going below 68%. I am crossing my fingers I get at least a 70% 🙂

    • RoyD
      Participant
      Up
      2
      Down

      haha don’t say that man. I’m banking on it to be below 65%. I know I’ve scored more than 60% but not so sure about 70%. God I just can’t wait for more than a month let alone start studying now for Level 2 with all this uncertainty.

    • googs1484
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      How do you feel the actual questions matched up with schweser formatting/ difficulty?

    • edmundbp83
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down

      I feel that Schweser was on par with difficulty, although I think they place more emphasis on calculations and problem oriented questions than the actual exam. Felt the actual examine was much more geared towards conceptual questions.

    • jak5189
      Participant
      Up
      5
      Down

      I would recommend Elan Guides, their mock exams are tough as heck and are a lot similar to what I saw on the actual exam. 

    • RoyD
      Participant
      Up
      2
      Down

      Well all I’m going to say about that is after the exam I don’t think I’m going to touch KS notes anymore. Going for the actual CFAI material from now.

    • simply_complex2
      Participant
      Up
      1
      Down

      i agree with @jak5189. i used elan guides and i found their mocks were probably the hardest of the three mock providers for me (elan, KS, and CFAI). they probably dont cover everything in their study notes, but they did a great job of picking and choosing what to include in their materials, and i found that they included stuff in their practice exams/ questions that weren’t covered in their notes so it evened out. all in all i was glad i went with elan rather than CFAI because it prioritized what was important and helped me not get bogged down by details that weren’t important that may be covered in the CFAI materials. i rather spend my time studying something that can help me feel comfortable with 90% of the material that may be tested on the exam rather spending my time with details that may only consist of 10% of the exam

    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down

      Do all countries receive the same sets of questions?

    • jmsatchwell
      Participant
      Up
      4
      Down

      I feel like I could go either way. There were a ton of questions that I felt were very easy however I can’t get the questions that I got wrong out of my head. If I fail this round I’ll be out for blood in June.

    • Pranav
      Participant
      Up
      2
      Down

      @Jennifer‌ yes, same paper worldwide

    • Pranav
      Participant
      Up
      2
      Down

      @edmundbp83‌ might wanna edit your last comment…treading too close to the ethics…

    • jak5189
      Participant
      Up
      3
      Down

      @jmsatchwell, I feel the same as you. I would come across a question that I had to think really hard and either got it (or so I think) or just guessed and moved on; then I would run into like five really easy questions. I am still wrapping my head on some those questions I found difficult. My only source of comfort is that those easy questions = easy points.

    • jmrogers31
      Participant
      Up
      2
      Down

      I felt the afternoon went really well.  I also felt the morning didn’t go that well.  Where I was at, they hosted a dinner afterwards and almost everyone said the morning was much easier.  I felt the morning was much harder.  Not sure if that’s good or bad.  I think it’s going to be close which isn’t a fun feeling.  A weird thing is that as more time passes, the more my confidence wanes.  I felt pretty good on Saturday, then felt like it was 50/50 after a couple days, now I feel like I might as well keep reviewing the material to get ready for June.  I hope that’s just nerves that are hurting my confidence.  

Viewing 27 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.