CFA CFA Level 3 Getting gud – the CFA Level III moaning and groaning thread

Getting gud – the CFA Level III moaning and groaning thread

  • This topic has 40 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated Apr-20 by jasdev.
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  • jasdev
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    I started a thread in the Level II subforum for blowing off a couple of years ago and now I’ve finally made it to the last stretch, I’m starting a fresh one here.

    Here’s a pinned thread by one of the site administrators for ease – https://forum.300hours.com/discussion/215/cfa-level-iii-topic-picks#latest
    Looks pretty convenient.

    Seems like people advise to start mocks early, like in January for chrissakes, and to take morning mocks under timed conditions to simulate writing by hand as fast as possible without getting carpal tunnel…
    I checked how soon I should begin studying if I want to give myself two weeks per Study Session and four weeks for revision and mocks, and I’d have to start study on 27th August! Way too soon! I might just stick with my original plan of October and aim to complete my readings a lot quicker than I have been able to in the past…

    policedog
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    Moaning and groaning, I like it!

    First time L3-er here, yet to register but will be doing it soon. 27th August – 4 more days of holiday then!

    I’ll probably try and match your October start date, but suspect will start in November for a initial study + mock look through, break for Christmas, then start again in January.

    Freddie
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    Yea Level 3 candidate aswell registered a few days ago.

    That sounds mighty soon though, starting in October even has a high risk of early burnout. I’m planning to start slowly late November and then speed it up come February.

    jasdev
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    Mm, though I’m conscious that I have two weeks’ holiday next month and I always fail to put in the hours in December…

    I printed off some items from the CFA website today to give me something to munch on before I pay my fees and get the eBooks. Stuff like the guideline essay questions and answers, and the full index of study sessions. I shouldn’t be surprised, but there’s a lot to learn!

    You guys ever visit Quora? I get a lot of CFA-related questions there and some of them are mind boggling. I should just pass on answering them but increasingly I want to say “You think you can pass CFA if you can’t even read their website?”.

    Or my other favourite, along the lines of “Will CFA help me get a job?”.

    policedog
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    jasdev said:
    You guys ever visit Quora? I get a lot of CFA-related questions there and some of them are mind boggling. I should just pass on answering them but increasingly I want to say “You think you can pass CFA if you can’t even read their website?”.

    Quora is totally useless for CFA or any kind of specialized questions. It’s going (but not quite there) the way of Yahoo Answers.

    Yeah I plan to start slow and casual, hit some sacrificial practice exams around December/January to get a feel for the exam, then ramp up in January.

    Does anyone have any info/tips on essays to share?

    jasdev
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    Just in reading through Reading 3 / Study Session 2, I’m becoming aware of just how much we will be expected to know the Code and Standards forwards, backwards, upside down, blindfolded…

    Marc
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    @jasdev For what it’s worth, I do not recommend writing mock exams until within about six weeks of the actual exam.

    In their CFA Insights book, the people behind this forum recommend doing 7 practice exams for Level III and their data shows rapidly diminishing marginal returns to doing more than that. So if you’re going to write 7 mock exams, it seems like a waste to do any of them several months before the exam. It’s best to wait until you have a stronger command of the subject matter so as to avoid feeling like you “wasted” good practice questions, which are a relatively rare commodity.

    If, like @policedog, you are writing Level III for the first time, you may want to go through one mock exam in order to get an idea of what the morning session is like because answering constructed response questions is definitely a different experience than answering the multiple-choice questions that you did in earlier levels. However, it isn’t essential to become familiar with the different exam structure so early in the study cycle. At this stage, your time would be better spent developing a strong command of the material.

    jasdev
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    Procrastination is mine enemy!

    jasdev
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    This sub-forum feels a bit dormant this year, seemingly all the activity has moved to AnalystForum and r/cfa on reddit.
    Just posted this for anyone morbidly curious: https://www.analystforum.com/forums/cfa-forums/cfa-level-iii-forum/91370748

    lugnuts
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    jasdev said:
    This sub-forum feels a bit dormant this year, seemingly all the activity has moved to AnalystForum and r/cfa on reddit.
    Just posted this for anyone morbidly curious: https://www.analystforum.com/forums/cfa-forums/cfa-level-iii-forum/91370748

    I’m L2, but feel like I can comment on this. I read all three forums, mostly lurking.

    I like this forum. When I do post, I prefer to post here rather than Analystforum or reddit. This comment summarizes why I don’t like posting on the other two forums: https://www.reddit.com/r/CFA/comments/b9s3u4/plea_to_all_the_commenters_on_this_subreddit/.

    I didn’t really get useful responses to my questions especially when I was in L1 and a noob but this forum was more helpful than the others. I find the ‘bro-culture’ around most CFA groups to be tiring, where everyone mostly fronting or trolling. Of course there are some helpful people in the other forums too, but the snide comments in my experience are very off-putting for us newbies.

    I read your update, hope you make it to the finish line safely!

    Sophie Macon
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    @jasdev – I’m finally back from a detour in the startup world after passing L3 a few years ago. Long story for another day! Kinda decided I like finance a little bit more so it’s good to be back!

    How’s the L3 preparation coming along? Doing mocks in Jan seems rather extreme/early!

    jasdev
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    @lugnuts agreed. AnalystForum (was) a place full of a more testosterone-driven individual and here felt more considered, plus it was easier to find CFA related memes here initially 🙂

    Thanks! I think I was lucky to pass LII on my 2nd attempt – good luck to you too.

    @Sophie Would be good to see you write a blog post for the main page regarding your experiences of the startup world!
    I did my very first mock last weekend purely because my progress through the curriculum has been so slow, I wouldn’t have even been able to answer a single essay question back in January. At least I was able to do a handful from the 2015 exam now.

    I would like to spend less time on all the everyday stuff, less time procrastinating in general, and more time reading/doing questions, but these remain wishes for now!

    lugnuts
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    jasdev said:
    it was easier to find CFA related memes here initially 🙂

    Literally the next thread: https://forum.300hours.com/discussion/3534/anyone-else-really-intimidated-by-the-essay-paper

    My first L2 attempt, not going well right now tho. I think I left studying too late and I’m only just starting to look at questions (I know you just did a practice paper, but I’m literally only looking at EOC questions now). I’m screwed, i know.

    Sophie Macon
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    Oh I’m not sure if my experience is all that interesting. On a side note @jasdev, what do you do for work?

    Sounds like good progress on the 1st mock. Still early days in the mock/practice paper sessions. I remember the last stretch really drives in the focus and improvements. It was really eat, sleep, study, repeat.  It’ll all be worth it in the end!  🙂

    Zee Tan
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    Sophie said:
    Oh I’m not sure if my experience is all that interesting.

    I respectfully disagree – would be good to see if we can get some good stories!

    jasdev
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    @lugnuts Ha!
    I don’t know how much time you can set aside, but practice, practice, practice. EOCs and the Candidate Resources section of the CFA Institute web site for Topic Tests, plus whatever mock exams you can lay your hands on. Under timed exam conditions and then learn from your mistakes before attempting another paper. Sorry if you know all of this already, but I cannot understate how important practice is!

    @Sophie I’m a senior credit risk analyst for an export credit agency.
    What will make or break my success right now is time – work is busy and I’m torn between doing overtime to meet deadlines or making enough of my evenings to read and practice questions – far too little of the latter right now!

    @Zee hell yes.

    Sophie Macon
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    Wow @jasdev,  that sounds like an interesting role. Can you tell me more? Struggling to get my head around export financing. Whose credit risk are you assessing, presumably the importing country?

    @zee @jasdev Let me know if there’s any aspects of startups you’re particularly curious about. Will have a think about it to see if I’ve something useful to share with the community here 🙂

    jasdev
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    @Sophie will send you a PM

    cfachris
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    Ugh  definitely moaning about this level. 2nd attempt and feeling jinxed. How’s revision coming along?

    jasdev
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    @cfachris slow going – reading about survey and panel methods now.
    I am strongly considering getting the full set of Mark Meldrum videos based on feedback elsewhere, but unsure if there’s enough time to learn everything, even with the help of his tuition.

    How about you? What do you think was the reason you didn’t pass first time?

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