CFA CFA Level 3 Anyone else really intimidated by the essay paper?

Anyone else really intimidated by the essay paper?

  • This topic has 10 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated Apr-20 by ruflem.
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  • kalalah
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    I find myself putting off practicing essays, I really don’t know how to go around doing it. I just find it hard to get started, but of course the longer I wait the worse it gets…

    Anyone have any advice on how to get started?

    edg94
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    artyeasel
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    It really is a case of just do it, or just get started. It gets a lot less intimidating once you’ve done one paper and gone through the model answers – just try and not be rattled if your score is not what you’d like it to be.

    Sophie Macon
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    @kalalah – just make sure you jot down your answers in brief bullet points, the term ‘essay’ is a misnomer really. If you think about it, ‘essay’ questions are just really like vignettes except you just have to show your workings/calculations/definitions to arrive at an answer yourself (rather than select one). Time management is key from experience

    kalalah
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    Hi everyone, thanks for the advice. I’ve gone ahead and done one essay, Kaplan mock 1. And…. Apart from the standard answer questions, I struggle to even closely match the example answers. I know they say that this is only one version of the answer, not expected to be as detailed, bla bla bla – but what if my answer is not the same? What points do I allocate?

    At this rate my essay paper was either 65% or like 15%, depending on how strict I want to be with grading.  πŸ™

    kalalah
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    @jasdev wanted to ask you in the other thread but this might be more appropriate. How are your experiences in the essay mocks so far?

    Sophie Macon
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    kalalah said:
    Hi everyone, thanks for the advice. I’ve gone ahead and done one essay, Kaplan mock 1. And…. Apart from the standard answer questions, I struggle to even closely match the example answers. I know they say that this is only one version of the answer, not expected to be as detailed, bla bla bla – but what if my answer is not the same? What points do I allocate?

    At this rate my essay paper was either 65% or like 15%, depending on how strict I want to be with grading.  πŸ™


    @kalalah
    , I remember not focusing on assigning a score when I was doing L3 practice papers, for the reasons you mentioned. I focused more on ensuring that I understood the model answers, checking to see that my answer had the gist of it, especially showing the right workings (for calculation-based) or definitions if needed. Focusing on the scores may be counterproductive for this level as there are probably a few correct answers.

    jasdev
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    I’ve done 2015 and 2016 AM mocks and as I’ve covered just a handful of the curriculum to date, there were only about 3 questions I could answer per paper; the process was confidence boosting as I could see where my shortcomings are but also spot that I possess the knowledge, at least – I’m just lacking in the ability to write in the way the Institute wants you to answer.

    I think that by doing a ton of these, I’ll hopefully subconsciously learn the “correct” way to answer through reviewing the model answers.

    Like Sophie above, I don’t really score my papers, it’s better to focus on improving my own answers really.

    kalalah
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    jasdev said:
    I’m just lacking in the ability to write in the way the Institute wants you to answer.
    I think that by doing a ton of these, I’ll hopefully subconsciously learn the “correct” way to answer through reviewing the model answers.

    Like Sophie above, I don’t really score my papers, it’s better to focus on improving my own answers really.

    My worries exactly, they only provide model answers, but there’s no way we can write that much during the exam! What would be really useful is if we could have an ‘example paper’ where real-life answers and real-life grading is applied.

    I’m just assuming the ‘realistic answer’ is a shortened version of the model answer. Good tip on the not scoring, I agree that it probably does more harm than good at least the way I’m doing it…

    justing
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    You fear what you don’t know – with each additional essay paper you complete you will gain confidence and familiarity with the format.

    Know that every additional practice paper contributes to your knowledge and ability regardless of how well or badly you do in the individual papers.

    ruflem
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    I recently listened to the Rich Roll podcast interviewing David Goggins – if you need motivation and want to change your mindset, there are some gems in there.
    Good luck!

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