CFA CFA Level 3 Uhh…that was not fun. How did you find it?

Uhh…that was not fun. How did you find it?

  • This topic has 21 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated Jun-18 by dodo.
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    • justinturner
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      The morning was brutal for me, i didnt finish about 25% of the questions, really took me by surprise and before i knew it the time was over.  How did everyone else find the morning?  Afternoon was fine (i had contemplated not even attempting afternoon as I literally felt sick to my stomach after the morning) and i finished with 45 minutes left…frustrating experience and i wish i could have the morning back.  I simply wrote too much figuring i would be fine and fell too far behind, and the morning seemed difficult + very time consuming so it just got away from me at one point and at that point nerves pretty much turned a pretty easy pass into a pretty certain fail.  

      And yesterday scored over 70 on 2014 essay (the real one from last year) and 85 on CFAI mock, so it was a pretty rough day to say the least.

    • div1dedsky
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      I know how you feel – had that same sick feeling last year – such a bad feeling to run out of time after all that hard work. Hang onto the hope though, you never know. The afternoon might pull you through.

    • S_toThe_G
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      The morning was really challenging with time – unbelievable.  The afternoon…. was better on time, but walked out of there realizing some mistakes I had made… Rough, rough….

    • hairyfairy
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      I think I totally bombed the AM. Not great going into PM. Did better there, but probably not enough to save AM’s gaping holes.

    • justinturner
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      Ya i am assuming 45-55 (with 55 being extremely unlikely, almost zero percent likely) on morning and 70-75 on afternoon…that doesn’t equal a pass unless i was on high end in both of those estimates + a low passing score this year.  If the test needs high 60’s then hats off to those who passed, cause i can’t imagine 50% of test takers getting high 60s.  The most frustrating part of leaving so much of the test blank was that i could have written in some random/light info and gotten partial marks (putting some numbers needed for calculation, or knowing the right choice but not going through any of the work to prove it).  I think that is the strategy next time for me, for any big questions where the answer or where the numbers are easy, just get that stuff down on paper and move on till end and come back if i have time.  Usually the answer is quite easy (buy, sell, dont buy, etc) but the work is a big time waster.  If the question one is 17 minutes i need to stop writing question one at 9:15 and have at least something written for every answer…yesterday i finished question one around 930 and didn’t even have an answer for one of the parts.  
      And worse still i may have not even circled a template answer somewhere near end of test (was planning on coming back), there is no excuse for that.  

      Not CFAI’s fault, but they need to rethink the time weighting per question, i am a portfolio manager in real life, and never have i had to write 3 hours straight (pen barely left the paper) and my job ended up a complete failure…it just has no connection to the real world, so i don’t get the extreme time constraint they placed on yesterday’s morning session.  If anything we are encouraged to spend extra time dealing with IPS, thinking about client constraints etc, nobody is sitting over us with a gun in real life asking us to not write a word more than needed.

      And most of us never handwrite which makes it so challenging, this was like a speedrace where what you knew and how proficient you are isn’t rewarded in the morning, it is so backwards considering the afternoon portion which should be about speed could have been done in less than 2 hours if that was the time limit (i was at question 60 with 1.4 hours left to go…and just had about 11 questions to go back and review/complete).  I knew 80% of the answers to the morning session and probably got sub 50, that isn’t right (although i do get that i wrote too much and it should be penalized).

      Ok done ranting, summary is that the morning session should be reviewed, too much emphasis on short answers (which they feel are necessary cause of language barriers and a young generation brought up without writing skills) and no reward for writing well crafted correctly written and supported answers…and in the real world it is the latter which is rewarded, you don’t do this job in point form! I was brought up and today work in an environment that rewards accuracy and rewards the correct process so this is not cool

    • cokemicho
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      I know how you feel, I realized I made one stupid mistake in one question in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. I hope to have the enough necessary to prove the institute that I deserve the pass.

    • closetindexer
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      Found morning session ok in terms of content and time (took a lot longer than mocks though). Found the first half of the PM session brutal….

    • hairyfairy
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      Ya i am assuming 45-55 (with 55 being extremely unlikely, almost zero percent likely) on morning and 70-75 on afternoon…that doesn’t equal a pass unless i was on high end in both of those estimates + a low passing score this year.  If the test needs high 60’s then hats off to those who passed, cause i can’t imagine 50% of test takers getting high 60s.  The most frustrating part of leaving so much of the test blank was that i could have written in some random/light info and gotten partial marks (putting some numbers needed for calculation, or knowing the right choice but not going through any of the work to prove it). 

      I went the opposite – think I wrote too much and sounded like a gibbering idiot. Where I wasn’t sure I wrote as much as what came to mind, but I’ve got a feeling all of that doesn’t matter unless it’s the actual answer to the question (doh).

      Ah well, there’s always next year 🙁

    • KOCMOHABT
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      AM was an issue not only time-wise for me. I finished with 5 minutes left, but I felt that some questions were very vague and one could have argued either way. Even after looking stuff up I am not 100% sure what they wanted to hear. PM was a breeze as far as time is concerned, but I thought some questions were poorly written and barely comprehensible. If I had to guess I would say with 95% confidence I got more than 55% AM and more than 70% PM. Thank God I took the test in Germany, at least the weather was nice in the lunch break and I could lie down in the shade of a tree for half an hour or so.

    • WesMantooth
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      AM was an insane time crunch. Just happy to have gotten down some sort of answer for all but one subquestion. Praying for kind markers able to decipher my ridiculously poor hand writing.

      I started really poorly in the PM section but gained momentum quickly. The first couple sections were awkwardly worded and ambiguous IMO, a lot of 50/50 guesses.

      Need a little luck to get through this one!

    • mattyc
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      Morning was tough but I finished with about 20 mins to go with enough time to review everything.  Definitely thought there were a few curveballs that I didn’t fully prepare for.  PM started out rocky with some tough Ethics ques but I finished in 1:45.  Way to freaking fast. Walked out after about 2 hours not knowing if it was a good sign or a bad one.  We’ll have to wait and see.

    • mjrosen
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      I’m with most everyone else here. The morning section vs afternoon was like night and day. I’ve never come close to the time limit on any level and for the first time I found myself scrambling like crazy on the morning section. I guess I was writing too much. Even the mocks I didn’t take more than maybe 2.5 hours at most. I finished afternoon section in 90 minutes with a bathroom break. Think I’m going to need an 80+ on afternoon to make up for my 60- on the morning.

    • justinturner
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      mjrosen said:
      I’m with most everyone else here. The morning section vs afternoon was like night and day. I’ve never come close to the time limit on any level and for the first time I found myself scrambling like crazy on the morning section. I guess I was writing too much. Even the mocks I didn’t take more than maybe 2.5 hours at most. I finished afternoon section in 90 minutes with a bathroom break. Think I’m going to need an 80+ on afternoon to make up for my 60- on the morning.

      Ya that is like myself.  i enjoyed leaving early during level 1, level 2 and level 3 afternoon, but morning was just not reasonable imo.  11 sets of questions, i think 10 sets was already more than enough with a bit of inflation on the required minutes.  I did the written prior year exams in about 2.5 hours on average, so fact i would have needed 3.5 – 4 hours on this is a bit crazy.  The questions were not straightforward like the years before either.  On prior years there were a few questions i had to guess (1 for every 2 – 3 item sets) but this had one in almost every set i completed, plus some really time consuming calculations.  I think next year i just skip those and leave them till the end since there is no way on earth those take 5 or 6 minutes when there are 100 + keystrokes involved plus all the writing out of the numbers.

    • edulima
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      I’m not too far from everyone else: left some 10 or so points on the table in the morning because I ran out of time. Afternoon was scary with Ethics and GIPS very difficult (and unreasonable in my opinion), but everything else seemed reasonable. I had about one hour left when I got to the last two sets, and ended up using all that time because it seemed calculation-intensive, or I was just exhausted, or both. In general I have hopes that I’ve done enough to get a pass. I would be a sweet feeling to get good news in 2 months…

    • WesMantooth
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      edulima said:
      I’m not too far from everyone else: left some 10 or so points on the table in the morning because I ran out of time. Afternoon was scary with Ethics and GIPS very difficult (and unreasonable in my opinion), but everything else seemed reasonable. I had about one hour left when I got to the last two sets, and ended up using all that time because it seemed calculation-intensive, or I was just exhausted, or both. In general I have hopes that I’ve done enough to get a pass. I would be a sweet feeling to get good news in 2 months…

      100% agree, very similar experience

    • S_toThe_G
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      edulima said:
      I’m not too far from everyone else: left some 10 or so points on the table in the morning because I ran out of time. Afternoon was scary with Ethics and GIPS very difficult (and unreasonable in my opinion), but everything else seemed reasonable. I had about one hour left when I got to the last two sets, and ended up using all that time because it seemed calculation-intensive, or I was just exhausted, or both. In general I have hopes that I’ve done enough to get a pass. I would be a sweet feeling to get good news in 2 months…

      100% agree, very similar experience

      Same experience here on morning and afternoon.  After Ethics and GIPS I had to try to pump myself up to just get through the rest.  Those were total confidence busters.   

    • justinturner
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      Ya i agree on ethics but i dont want to mention anything about specifics but i think with Ethics, all of the questions but specifically the last batch of questions were annoying and too narrow of a focus imo (again cant list specifics but if you recall topic those questions tested youll get what i mean).  GIPS is also an annoying subject as you pointed out.  The Ethics questions seemed to point to very little infractions with relation to the question, so i answered almost everything accordingly (despite fact there may have been lots of infractions, i am just talking about question content).  I left those till end and breezed through the other content and then just gave my best guess at end on those questions cause really it didn’t seem clear cut the answers, at least based on knowledge i armed myself with going in.

    • justinturner
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      Well…for all my complaining i did well.  Afternoon saved me..pretty much in shock  
      Congratulations! We are very pleased to inform you that you passed the June 2015 Level III CFA exam. 53% of candidates passed the June 2015 Level III CFA exam.

      Now that you have passed Level III, you must be a regular member of CFA Institute to be eligible for the award of the CFA charter. Log in now to verify your current membership status or complete the application process.

      A summary of your exam result is provided below. The three columns on the right are marked with asterisks to indicate your performance on each topic area.

      Kindly contact us if we can answer any questions about the CFA Program.

      Essay

      Q# Topic Max Pts <=50% 51%-70% >70%
      1 Portfolio Management – Institutional 14 *
      2 Portfolio Management – Institutional 17 *
      3 Fixed Income Investments 19 *
      4 Alternative Investments 20 *
      5 Portfolio Management – Performance Eval. 15 *
      6 Portfolio Management – Risk Management 14 *
      7 Portfolio Management – Individual 18 *
      8 Portfolio Management – Individual 16 *
      9 Portfolio Management – Asset Allocation 15 *
      10 Economics 14 *
      11 Portfolio Management – Indiv/Behavioral 18 *

      Item Set

      Q# Topic Max Pts <=50% 51%-70% >70%
      Economics 18 *
      Equity Investments 18 *
      Ethical & Professional Standards 36 *
      Fixed Income Investments 18 *
      Portfolio Management 18 *
      Portfolio Management – Individual 18 *
      Portfolio Management – Monitor&Rebalance 18 *
      Portfolio Management – Risk Management 36 *

    • edulima
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      That’s pretty good @justinturner!

      I passed as well, also shocked by having scored >70% in Ethics!








      Essay




































































































      Q#



      Topic



      Max Pts



      <=50%



      51%-70%



      >70%



      1



      Portfolio
      Management – Institutional



      14



      *







      2



      Portfolio
      Management – Institutional



      17





      *





      3



      Fixed
      Income Investments



      19





      *





      4



      Alternative
      Investments



      20





      *





      5



      Portfolio
      Management – Performance Eval.



      15







      *



      6



      Portfolio
      Management – Risk Management



      14







      *



      7



      Portfolio
      Management – Individual



      18



      *







      8



      Portfolio
      Management – Individual



      16







      *



      9



      Portfolio
      Management – Asset Allocation



      15





      *





      10



      Economics



      14







      *



      11



      Portfolio
      Management – Indiv/Behavioral



      18



      *







      Item Set












































































      Q#



      Topic



      Max Pts



      <=50%



      51%-70%



      >70%





      Economics



      18







      *





      Equity
      Investments



      18







      *





      Ethical
      & Professional Standards



      36







      *





      Fixed
      Income Investments



      18







      *





      Portfolio
      Management



      18



      *









      Portfolio
      Management – Individual



      18







      *





      Portfolio
      Management – Monitor&Rebalance



      18





      *







      Portfolio
      Management – Risk Management



      36







      *



       


       


    • justinturner
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      Now that i think about it @edulima, i just noticed i have 70+ in ethics, i think that saved me, as i guessed on almost all of those.  I actually can’t believe i did 70+ with the ethics questions the institute decided to put on the test.  

    • JordanMatrix
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      Passed, AM Exam was acceptable, PM Exam was great, with 70%+ ethics

    • dodo
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