CFA CFA Level 2 Major stress and anxiety – cfa 2 quit ?

Major stress and anxiety – cfa 2 quit ?

  • Author
    • Up

      Hi, first post on here but could really do with some advice.

      I’m registered for CfA level 2. I used to be perfectly fine with exams but CFa level 2 is making me extremely anxious and stressed and I’m not sure what to do.

      I’ve just signed up for my 5th attempt.
      Story is

      1st attempt> half attempted it. didn’t try hard enough
      2nd attempt> came close band 9
      3rd attempt> I thought this is it, last try so I through everything I could at it. Really knew my stuff, never worked so hard for anything before. But night before the exam in the hotel room, couldn’t sleep intense headache and racing heart beat and all night long, it was horrible and never experienced it before. At the time I put it down to working to hard on the last day along with the headache , but it was probably an anxiety attack… Even though I was only half conscious through the paper, I still managed a band 9, got a < 50 on ethics which was really hard to take as it's usually my best area. So probably would have passed it if I was 100% 4th attempt > was hard to accept that I thought I would have passed on attempt 5 if I was 100% and cos of the way it went wrong on attempt 3, I thought id give it another go. a whole week before the exam, started getting the similar symptoms of headache not sleeping and anxiety, I couldn’t revise at all in the final week and after 5 days of this feeling I was so worked up that I couldn’t even attend so didn’t even go to the exam – but at the time, I still hadn’t fully appreciated it was purely an exam anxiety attack, I had a death in the family 2 months earlier so thought maybe my head was just messed up.

      So now, it’s February and Im signed up for attempt 5.. I signed up optimistically thinking I’m capable of achieving it and it’s better to aim for the highest qualification rather than working for a lesser qualification. I have already put In around a months revision. it’s February, months to the exam but I’m getting anxious and not sleeping ALREADy I don’t know what to do. My company has just paid for the exam and study course. It’s hard to accept that I couldn’t have a good shot at attempt 3 and 4… Which is kinda why I’m here on attempt 5. BUT now I’m worried I have months of feeling stressed and anxious. .. And ofcourse the thought of going through these books again is also making me sick.

      Feeling the anxiety symptoms now has just made me realize that I might work really hard and then have it all go wrong again just before hand.

      Really not sure what to do? Getting over this anxiety obstacle would be good… But I’m only experiencing it with Cfa 2 cos of the effort I’ve put it? It doesn’t come up with anything else. Surely health is the most important thing and maybe I should stop now before I damage my health?

      I’ve just been reading about meditation and yoga so have tried a bit this wkend to relax me. It’s worked a bit but the feeling in the week before the exam will be amplified to the point that I just can’t see it being enough to chill myself out.

      Don’t know what I should do? Quit ? Carry on ?

      Some comments and advise would be really appreciated.

    • Up

      Sorry to hear about that. Before suggesting anything else, I would advise you to ask yourself on why you want to become a CFA chartholder. Is it your personal choice or has it been imposed on you (by workplace, colleagues etc). If its the former, I would recommend approaching the exam in a manner which has been untried by you before. Why not try forming a study group in your locality or join an online study group. This will not only keep your readings fresh but also expose you to individuals who are undergoing similar pressure as well. If you had been studying in isolation, open up and engage in discussions.

      After passing Dec CFA L1 exam last year, I plan to sit for the Level 2 exam next year and I try not to let the process overwhelm me. Staying positive and motivated is essential. It begins with you. Good luck.

    • Up

      Well, since you came back a third time you obviously want this for some reason. You’ve spent $5K+ on test materials and exam fees at this point, so why not invest in something to help you manage the stress? Perhaps yoga classes twice a week to force you to regularly de-stress?

      Personally, I go a few weeks here and there without sufficient sleep and working longer hours, but I usually spend a day to catch up on sleep and give myself a break. This exam is a marathon so overexerting yourself months before the exam will hurt you instead of helping.

      Do something to manage the stress. Even if you pass Level II (not going to lie, it doesn’t seem like you’ve addressed the core problem), do you think you’ll get through Level 3 without learning to calm down?

    • Avatar of shreeneewasshreeneewas
        • CFA Level 1

        CFA is not your immediate concern, it is stress management and overall approach to preparation. You need to work on it first.

        Please don’t ignore the elephant in the room. If this problem is having repercussion in other aspects of your life then it must be addressed.

        As @shweta suggested, approach stress management therapy.

        I will recommend that you go for it independently (not as part of CFA classes), as unless you commit yourself to addressing the problem on its own, it won’t become part of your personality.

        And its ok to do so if it helps you to achieve bigger goal. And remember that whatever you learn during this therapy will last with you forever.

      • Avatar of Zee TanZee Tan
          • CFA Charterholder

          I agree with @fuzyfro89‌. Seems like the largest factor here is your stress / anxiety management rather than your prep. And yes, anxiety is bad for your health, but if the CFA exams give you anxiety attacks, it might be wise to address the issue rather than avoid situations that give you attacks (which might be numerous).

        • Up

          Have you taken any classes for the preparation? Normally, they teach you stress management.
          Normally, you should take at least 2 mock tests before the exam.
          This will put you into the examination mode! Remember, solving maximum question will maximize your chances of clearing the CFA course.

          Well, now what you can do is take a good sleep before the exam.

          you should allocate at least 300 hours for complete study.
          Also, It’s not about fail or pass! Give your best.

          I got this information in my classes which I took for cfa course.

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