CFA CFA Level 3 Frustrated after first practice test

Frustrated after first practice test

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    • Gracie
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      I was going to do a set of morning session questions and was able to complete only 2/3 within 3 hours. I failed last year due to the same problem – lack of time, feeling so frustrated now with a headache… I find it extremely difficult to finish so many questions with so little time. What should I do???

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
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      Hi @Gracie, welcome to the community! It’s ok now, I made the exact mistake on time management in my Level 3, but the worse part is that was my first time as I probably didn’t work hard enough on this during practice ones!

      Here’s a suggestion: everytime you start a paper, flip to the back portion to see how many essay questions are there in total. Then calculate the time you have per essay question (say it’s X minutes). And put a giant clock/watch in front of you and make sure you aim for UNDER X minutes per question. Train yourself to be disciplined and move on to the next one if time is up and come back to it later. You’ll work faster knowing that you have some questions unanswered, but at least you’re covering your grounds and attempting all questions.

      Don’t forget to check out the top Level 3 topic picks on the left hand side, there’s quite a lot of good stuff on handling IPS questions which may help speed up this part.

      Hope this helps!

    • Zee Tan
      Keymaster
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      @Gracie have a think about what is actually slowing you down. Don’t be afraid to use bullet points and get straight to the point, and resiste the temptation to write extra stuff in hopes of scoring a wild point or two.

      Have a shorter fuse to move on if you’re stuck on a particular question. I’m really quick on that, i.e. if it takes me 30 seconds too long to understand a vignette, or I feel that I’m starting to panic about this particular question, I just move on to the next one and come back to it later. Skipping it helps because once you come back to it later you’ll have more confidence having done more of the paper and you’ll be less worried about running out of time. If I stay at the troublesome question I feel that I just become more and more panicky and can’t think clearly.

    • padniaki
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      @Sophie is right, you need to time yourself. But there is a better way than equal-weighting the questions, because some (e.g., IPS) are worth way more and should take more time. So, here it is: on the exam, at each question, they give you the amount of minutes that should be allocated to each question. This is the MAXIMUM that you should spend on each question. Aim to finish each question in 70% of the time it gives you.

      Do you spend a lot of time thinking about what you’re going to say? Or are you spending all that time writing? Because chances are, you’re writing way too much or getting way too detailed.

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
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      Good point @padniaki, I forgot they did the time allocation for you. In that case it’s easier.

    • Gracie
      Participant
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      Thanks a million guys, those are all good points. And @Sophie, I am going to buy a real watch instead of using my phone to train myself on time management. Will do another test shortly and let you guys know if there’s improvement!!

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
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      Awesome @Gracie – don’t give up and keep on improving! Keep us posted then.

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