CFA CFA Level 3 Level 3 writing advice- do I need a tutor/class?

Level 3 writing advice- do I need a tutor/class?

  • This topic has 4 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated May-17 by Zee Tan.
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    • alnorman39
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      I’ve passed the first two levels of the CFA on the first try- besides spending 300+ hours preparing, I think I’m fortunate enough to be good at taking tests (especially after going to what I would consider a pretty rigorous college) and teaching things to myself better than I learn them in a classroom, which obviously both fare well for something like the CFA.

      However, I’ve always struggled to feel good about my writing. English is my first language and I think I am still a stronger-than-average writer but always feel a little shaky about writing compared to quantitative skills. So I’m wondering how best to prepare for Level III and hoping someone may feel similar and have some advice.

      I don’t necessarily want to spend time I that could spend studying/teaching concepts to myself, in a classroom going over topics I’ve already had the discipline to review and understand. But, I’m wondering if it would be worth it to find some sort of class or tutor that would focus specifically on how best to take the writing portion of the exam and maybe even read/grade my answers, since I think self-grading written answers is highly subjective and biased.

      I’m in NYC so I don’t think finding something along these lines would be too difficult but I’d love to hear your advice! Thanks

    • MockTurtle
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      @alnorman39, maybe you could have a look at the model answers that the CFA Institute has given out for the previous years’ actual Level III exams? Look under ‘Level III’ in the forum topics and you’ll find the link that @marc has kindly put up. That’ll give you some idea of the writing style they are looking for and you’ll know if you require coaching for it.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Great suggestion @MockTurtle, couldn’t agree more. I wrote 2 guides to IPS questions there too based on my previous experience. I don’t think you can teach this through a class really, you just have to study the syllabus and go through the mock papers – and it’s not about writing skills either. It’s about answering BRIEFLY AND TO THE POINT.

      Also included more details about the L3 experience here where I messed up the essay bit.

      Plus, no matter how you practice the mock papers, it’s not as clear cut as A, B or C. The model answer will never be identical to what you wrote and it’s worrying that way. You just have to trust your grasp of the concept, manage your time well in that section and ace the afternoon paper.

      Hope these help!

    • Zee Tan
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      @alnorman39 welcome! L3 essays was certainly a curveball to me. In terms of specifically how to approach the essay section, you can check out our Level 3 Commandments – that summarises all the important bits on how the essay section is different to the other levels.

    • Zee Tan
      Keymaster
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