Increase Your Chances of Passing the CFA Exams Now

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Increase Chances of Passing CFA Exams Now

By Sophie

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, 1905.

Amidst the manic hustle and bustle of preparing for CFA doing endless practice exams, sometimes we forget a crucial and effective weapon we already have – information.

There’s extensive information through our CFA Results Analysis on past performance and topic-by-topic breakdown that highlights the differences between candidates who passed or failed. Why not use that knowledge to help you prepare more effectively and avoid the common pitfalls?

Ignoring this is like walking into a room to negotiate without doing some prior research on your counterpart. Guess who’s gonna walk out winning?

In this post, we will focus on the lessons learned from the recent performances of each Level, what can we do about them and actions you can take to make a difference.

Level 1 Lessons
Based on the recent Dec 2012 analysis, the problematic areas are largely the same for June 2012 candidates: Quantitative Methods, Derivatives, Economics, Fixed Income.

Alarmingly, these topics (except Derivatives) have significant topic weightings too (34% in total) – so if you find that you still haven’t fully grasp these concepts and it’s showing up in your practice questions in your last month game plan too frequently, it’s time to really focus on nailing these now. 

You can’t afford to give too many points away as the difference between bands is only 3-4%, that’s about 8-11 questions, every point counts when it’s Band 10 or a pass!

Don’t panic, we are here to help – if you’ve any questions on concepts you don’t understand, ask the Community and check out the CFA Level I Topic Picks to learn from others too.

Level I December 2012 Performance Analysis 

Level 2 Lessons
Level II is all about the sheer breadth of topics, rather than absolute difficulty – especially when time is short if you are taking Level II right after December Level I.

FRA is an important (20% weighting) and rather painful topic in Level II, but it’s worth keeping an eye on Equity Investments and Fixed Income too given their significance.

Previous candidates, on average, are still relatively weaker in  Derivatives, Economics and Quantitative Methods, a trend seen in Level I. Assuming the same trend applies (which seems to be a reasonable deduction from the Level II questions so far), Derivatives should be your top priority to improve on given the higher weighting in Level II.

We’re here for you during this crucial period, so share your questions and help others in the Community to improve your understanding on these key topics. 

Level II June 2012 Performance Analysis

Level 3 Lessons
Level III is quite a beast, mainly due to the essay format. I mean, 96% of candidates do worse in essay format than item-set, and that includes me

Furthermore, you are competing against the best of the best globally, who all have proven their worth to be in the exam room, just like you. Think about it, only 1.4% point separates each band, on average. You’d be furious if you got a Band 10 for this last hurdle!  

Looking at the chart on the right, Derivatives and Fixed Income manage to frustrate us again. A more worrying trend is the performance in Portfolio Management’s IPS questions for Institutional and Individual investors.   

What can we do here? More practice questions on Derivatives and Fixed Income asset classes, but what about essay-style IPS questions? I have just the solution for you: the Ultimate Guide to Answering IPS Questions for Institutional and Individual InvestorsDon’t miss out on the Level III Topic Picks for GIPS tips (sorry) as well.

Level III June 2012 Performance Analysis

Liked this post? Don’t miss out on the 300Hours Weekly Workshops as well to pick up tips and tricks to tackling key questions. If you need any help on questions, I’ll be at the Forum!

Zee Tan
Author: Zee Tan


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