CFA CFA Level 3 Survive the morning

Survive the morning

  • This topic has 6 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated Oct-17 by Ying.
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    • Marc
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      Hey everyone,

      I’m sorry for being so silent. It’s just been a bit too much this year.

      Just wanted to wish everyone (particularly my fellow Level 3 candidates) the best on Saturday.

      As a repeating candidate, my number 1 piece of advice is to not be late – and expect the people managing the test centre to be incompetent. If they aren’t you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

      My number 2 piece of advice is to expect the AM session to kick the crap out of you. I am firmly convinced that nobody in the history of CFAI has posted a brilliant score in the AM session and just managed to pass in spite of bombing the PM session. In fact, I’m fairly confident that no candidate has ever posted a better score in the AM session than in the PM session.

      So the goal is to survive. And if you see a question that makes absolutely no sense and you’re completely blank, rejoice, because you have just bought yourself however many minutes have been allocated to that question that you can now devote to other questions that are more likely to yield points. In short, collect the low-hanging fruit first before attempting to get the hard-to-reach stuff.

      My number 3 piece of advice is related to the last one – don’t get stuck in a time trap. I am firmly convinced that every year there is a question that is worded in such a way as to drive candidates insane. And it’s usually one of the easier topics like Grinold-Kroner. They word it in such a way that one of the inputs is not obvious and you have to take a second to re-read and think about the question. But of course you don’t because 1) you’re rushed and 2) you’ve done questions on this subject 1000 times and you can’t believe that it’s giving you trouble. STOP. Even if it is a simple topic that you think is low-hanging fruit, move on and come back to it. I spent 20 minutes on 11A last year (I did it first because I had just crammed the formula into my head that morning and didn’t want to forget it) and it’s because of that stupid mistake that I’m having to re-write the exam on Saturday. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t give an assist to the incompetent people who ran the test centre in Toronto last year, but I digress.

      Finally, we already know what will be on the exam. Want to know? Here it is:

      abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz1234567890,./;'[]+-()%$

      I don’t know how many of each, or what order they’ll be in, but what I just wrote above will account for 99% of what shows up on the exam.

      Good luck everyone.

    • MockTurtle
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      Thanks Marc and wish you all the best too. I’ve been writing a lot this week so I hope my hand doesn’t give out before Saturday!

    • RaviVooda
      Participant
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      @marc, thanks. It really helps. Do you know if we can use pencil?

    • Marc
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      @MockTurtle‌ It’s not a trivial detail. Don’t do much writing on Friday.


      @RaviVooda
      ‌ You are allowed to use pencil in both the AM session and (obviously) the PM session. Furthermore, you can use mechanical pencils or good old-fashioned wood pencils. Finally, you’re allowed to bring a pencil sharpener (though, sadly, not an electric one).

    • RaviVooda
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      Thanks @Marc

    • Sophie Macon
      Keymaster
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      Best of luck @marc – good to see you back 🙂 Fingers crossed for all of you!

    • Ying
      Participant
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      I’m rewriting this year too and so panic about the morning session, English is my second language, sometimes I feel like I know how and why, but always couldn’t use the words the guild line answered used. And they don’t allow graders to read into the answer, that sucks! Besides, anyone found morning session just getting harder and harder every year?

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