CFA CFA Level 3 Essay and Itemsets

Essay and Itemsets

  • This topic has 11 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated Aug-17 by Zee Tan.
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    • vincentt
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      Hi all, I was just looking at the topics and study sessions for CFA Level 3 2014 and i couldn’t figure out which will be tested in the item sets and which will be in the essay section. Does that mean it will randomly appear in either?

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hi @vincentt, welcome back! My understanding is that all topics can be tested in either format.

    • Zee Tan
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      @vincentt we’ve got an analysis on how often topics show up in item sets and essays in page 25/26 of our CFA Analysis Report – I think you have a copy?

      In general CFAI doesn’t officially allocate topics, but from the analysis you can see that there are patterns to exploit.

    • vincentt
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      @sophie @zee page 25/26 seems to be L2 instead of L3 i’m not sure if I’ve got the latest copy.

      There are 18 study sessions do we actually know which study sessions belongs to any of the following topics?
      Alternative Investments
      Derivatives
      Equity Investments
      Fixed Income
      Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning

      Is that how L3 is broken down into?

    • Zee Tan
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      @vincentt I’ll include an extract from the 3rd edition here to answer your question:

      Not all topics are created equal.
      Individual Portfolio Management, including Behavioural Finance and IPS, has consistently been the highest-weighted topic for Level III in the past 3 years.

      Topics are not represented equally in the essay or item-set format.
      When revising topics for Level III, it is also key to understand which format (item set vs essay) the topic is likely to be tested in. Some topics such as PM Individual, PM Institutional and Derivatives are often concentrated in the essay paper, whereas topics such as Ethics and Alternative Investments typically are found in the item-set paper.

      If you’ve got the second edition (which I think you do), we’ve significantly rewritten the guide to include more information and also solve candidate problems in a much more intuitive way. All data from 2012 and 2013 analyses are still included in the latest edition. There is also a section where we’ve collected advice from 2013 L3 candidates on how to best attack the essay section. This is detailed in Section 7. You can get the report here: http://go.300hours.com/analysisreport

    • vincentt
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      @zee i’ve only got the 300_hours_analysis_report_2012 and the 300_hours_analysis_report_dec_2012, so i’m not sure if that’s the second version?

      Are the topics listed in the graph above the official topics breakdown?

    • Zee Tan
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      Yep you’ve got the second edition. The 3rd one was released about Sept 2013.

      The topics listed are as per results statement. We’re not sure why, but the results statement and study sessions don’t exactly match. But if you have a look through the study sessions you should be able to tell which study sessions belong to which topic group (e.g. Behavioural Finance and PWM is PM Individual, and Portfolio Management for Institutional Investors is PM Institutional, and so on).

    • vincentt
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      Thanks for the info, I guess after going through it I should be able to know.

    • jimmyg
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      @zee useful chart, thanks!

    • Zee Tan
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      np @jimmyg. Keep the L3 questions coming 🙂

    • BeanCounter
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      That’s an excellent chart, thanks @zee. Thank god all the ethics questions are item sets so far (but hopefully that doesn’t mean we’ll get them as essays this year!).

    • Zee Tan
      Keymaster
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