CFA CFA Level 3 Accumulating tips for L3 essay questions

Accumulating tips for L3 essay questions

  • This topic has 8 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated Aug-19 by artyeasel.
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    • excelmonkey
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      From my research, so far I have these pointers below. If anyone else has any to add, please do:

      • Don’t adopt a ‘university essay’ approach, bullet points, phrases and to-the-point works best
      • Pen or pencil works, whichever you personally think works best for you

      Questions I have – if anyone has answers (or additional questions), please add:

      • Do examiners penalize you for crappy handwriting? Under the time pressure I’m not sure how good my writing will be, and it tends to get lousier the less sure I am about what I’m writing 🙂
      • How are they graded – are they looking for simply ‘the answer’ and anything else will not work, or does understanding of the subject, even if the answer is ultimately wrong, merit some points?
    • artyeasel
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      • Sometimes the actual area to fill in your answers aren’t clear, so make sure you are writing your answers on the answer sheet rather than on the questions, because those won’t be graded. There can be separate answer forms, for example, if you need to fill in answers in a table, there will be a blank table provided for you marked ‘answer sheet’ or something similar.
      • Make sure you kill it in the PM session, because the essay can go either way.
      • I’m not sure about handwriting, mine was pretty bad, although my result wasn’t that great either I don’t think I was penalized.
      • Graders just look for key words in the answers, I think.
    • hairyfairy
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      artyeasel said:
      • Sometimes the actual area to fill in your answers aren’t clear, so make sure you are writing your answers on the answer sheet rather than on the questions, because those won’t be graded. There can be separate answer forms, for example, if you need to fill in answers in a table, there will be a blank table provided for you marked ‘answer sheet’ or something similar.

      Definitely this. I think I lost out on a whole section because I filled in a table in the QUESTION rather than on the answer sheet.

      Also fill out your answers as you go rather than waiting for the end to fill out everything all at once. writing takes up a lot more time than you think!

    • justing
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      – Make sure you try out the CFA institute issued past exams and model answers.
      – note as much of your calculations down as possible
      – spend time in proportion to the number of points allocated to the question. Don’t spend 30 minutes on a question worth only two points. I think the actual exam even states the number of minutes you should be allocating to this – treat this as your max, with reading time included.

    • excelmonkey
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      Thanks guys, this is useful! Attempted one practice exam last weekend but had huge problems trying to grade it because it’s open to opinion.

    • itsalwayslupus
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      A day or so before the exam, run through the entire syllabus focusing on memorizing definitions. Essays usually have a few definition-style questions and if you happen to memorize it before the exam you’ll get a few easy points.

    • artyeasel
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      @excelmonkey just curious, why are you on L3 practice exams so early in the game?

    • excelmonkey
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      artyeasel said:
      @excelmonkey just curious, why are you on L3 practice exams so early in the game?

      I took quite a few tries to get L2, so jumping ahead of the game here for L3. Work may also mean that I may not have as much time as needed for January and february to study.

      Thanks for all the tips so far everyone!

    • artyeasel
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      L3 is more conceptual and less memorizey. Depending on what you’re good at you may find it easier. Good luck!

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