CFA CFA Level 3 Amazingly Frustrated and looking for guidance

Amazingly Frustrated and looking for guidance

  • This topic has 8 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated Jun-18 by christine.
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    • mrschmidt21
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      I have taken level III three times now and I have failed it. My bands were 7, 3, 6(recent exam). It appears as though my weakness is the essay section. I practiced and felt confident going in and coming out, but I still performed poorly. The CFAI does not provide a whole lot of guidance on what I am actually doing wrong. I have very good penmenship and I feel as though I answered the questions well. Does anyone have any idea how I can figure out what I am doing wrong? I am a fighter so I will register to retake Level III again, but it would be helpful if I could get some guidance as to what I am doing wrong because I don’t want to study the same way only to fail for the fourth time.

    • justinturner
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      Do Fitch/7 city 2 day in class.  It was very valuable.  Use code off this website (300HOURS), saves you a bit, ended up 300 bucks with tax i think.  I almost find this kind of thing mandatory for a semi smooth writing experience come test day.  I am not sure though if you will have to travel a bit to take it, but it you want to make a solid 4th attempt you need to change something.  Honestly i would do Schwesers 3 day plus Fitches 2 day.  That is 5 days of grinding out questions.  If you dont pass after that, it wasnt meant to be.  Also make sure to study from Schweser’s condensed books + get a copy somehow (i can help if needed) of videos even if they are the older ones.  If you haven’t been using any of those 3 then those three should make a massive difference.

    • mrschmidt21
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      Thank you. I used Schweser study guides this most recent time and I agree I need to change things up a bit. I was considering the Schweser Windsor week also. I have not heard of Schweser’s condensed books. Are these the same as the study guides? I was thinking of using Fitch for a different perspective.

    • justinturner
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      Ya Windsor week could make sense for you, you are close by and that would be an excellent choice. I have a colleague who did that a long time ago, it used to be a huge deal and I am sure it is still good.  By condensed i meant Schweser’s study notes, probably what you have used, but they also have secret sauce which could be good for final days before exam (and even now to stay fresh and retain info).   Fitch 2 day class was great both years i did it, and really was a game changer.

    • edulima
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      Hi @mrschmidt21, did you use the CFAI materials in any of your attempts? Like, reading each chapter while highlighting, and then going through a second time while taking your notes from the highlighted stuff? And then going through exercises, before moving to the next chapter. I’d say get rid of Schweser; it’s very unreliable in my opinion (though I understand that it has worked for some!). I admire your resilience and take my hat off for your spirits. Best of luck and let me know if you have any other questions.

    • rxd
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      I used Schweser all the way and passed level 3. I did not have time for dry CFA book but that depends on how much time do you have. Solve a lot of questions in quiz format. Mix various topics. Take 10 (6 schweser, 4 CFA full tests).
      You might be grading your work leniently. Try to take help from some professional who can grade your work and pin point the weak areas. I was shocked to receive 60% from a professional grader on a test that I graded 75 myself. I was not answering what was asked and telling stories and going for esoteric answers. Grader marked my tests and said “keep it simple” and answer the actual questions…

    • WesMantooth
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      The essay portion of the exam is a beast. I have yet to find solid advice on how to tackle this obstacle other than just practice, practice, practice, and then practice more. Good luck!

    • tkt
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      One option to consider is Marc’s LevelUp Bootcamp. I went to the one in Omaha and the 4-day review was pretty helpful.

    • christine
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      The essay portion frustratingly always felt like a bit of a coin toss to me. First, the topics are usually laser-focused, meaning if you happened to skip that topic (or pay less attention), you were done for. Second, it’s a keyword game – you need to nail the right words they’re looking for.

      Attending a course would help, or a mock exam where the instructor reviews your answers. You’d be able to review your approach with the instructor and better understand what the exam is looking for. 

      I assume you’re already practicing stuff like using bullet points, key phrases etc?

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