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The Level II curriculum is quite comprehensive, so you might just be okay without reviewing topics you missed out earlier.
That said, I didn’t study LI derivatives but LII derivatives would probably have been an absolute bastard no matter what.
Give yourself more time than you think you need, for LII, and if you do get stuck in quicksand, flick back to LI and see if that material sheds any light.
Cheers @artyeasel , I’m actually still undecided. There are positives to retaking (the knowledge, the credential, the satisfaction at having completed the damned thing) but also negatives for me (another year of denying myself time with friends, family, dog, colleagues; another year of being single!; less time to go climbing; the cost).
I’m unhappy in my current employment so if I’m successful in finding a new job, I may say no to the CFA Program given the time commitment.
Erm, I want to be careful when I say that it does feel easier but perhaps only because there is less material overall, and it is far more inter-linked than at L II. The corollary is that I feel like you need to know everything a lot better and be able to recall material from L I and L II to help with your understanding/calculation at L III.
There’s probably less places to hide at L III and I’m worried that I will be penalised for not having read through the entire curriculum by exam day.
The written portion of the exam is actually fun and interesting, but I write credit papers in my day to day work and my director is ruthless about keeping things short and sweet in writing, which must help with this.
There are parts of the official curriculum which are a drag, just like at L I and L II.
Also be wary of people who tout their written mock scores like those are worth anything at L III, because it’s super subjective marking your own work and so I don’t bother, I just try to map my answers to the guide answers as close as possible and only kick myself if I missed something completely.
While procrastinating on the online topic tests, I compared my failed L2 attempt to my successful L2 attempt to see where I could benefit from focusing my spare time now, and it was interesting to see what changed year-on-year.Ethics improved massively.Quantitative Methods dropped like a stone.Economics stayed shit (infuriating as I have a degree in the subject but can’t seem to reach a level of understanding with it).Financial Reporting and Analysis actually got worse.Corporate Finance improved.Equity stayed good but when I passed I was off-the-charts good.Fixed Income dropped massively (surprised too because I understood it quite well the first time round).Alternative Investments & Derivatives shot up (I neglected them on my failed attempt).Portfolio Management improved (surprised as I didn’t study it in either year pretty much).Moral of the story is there’s always an element of luck, don’t let that get you down as it can work in your favour too, and you can always “punt” a topic by giving it a quick read-through ahead of the exam and maybe, just maybe, you’ll retain enough to do okay in that topic.As I still have to read through Equity, Risk Management, Trading and Performance Evaluation, and complete Fixed Income, I’m praying to all the gods who will listen but also leaning towards learning through tackling questions directly and reading to bootstrap my understanding.
Yeah I should do that, but even when taking notes I end up making a mistake as a transcribe a formula, and, being a bit of a perfectionist or possibly too neurotic, want to write it again neatly. So I’m thinking I’ll try putting them in an app!
I just finished SS 11 R 22 yesterday, intro to FI PM.
Since there’s SO MUCH MORE to read in the curriculum, I worried about devoting too little time to actually practising questions via mock exams and topic tests online.
So I just attempted the 2018 AM mock this morning and will mark it later.
I feel like I can strike the right balance between reading new material, and testing material already covered, but I wouldn’t be confident of passing if I hadn’t taken these two weeks prior to the exam as holiday. I did expose my shortcomings w.r.t. knowing certain formulae though. I may have to start writing them out by rote daily until I commit them to memory.Trying hard to find that meme where a guy basically says in bad English that it’s okay to have crap English so long as you say what needs to be said. Level III AM all through!
99% of the time, I can’t study to music. But after a day spent at work and not having any chance to listen to music before the evening, I sometimes find I need to listen to something, anything. So if I can find something that allows me to study while it plays in the background, I’m pleased. Didn’t know about the 300Hours music suggestions but I’m quite picky with my listening choices anyway.
The nacho suggestion is good! Mmmm, nachos craving now.
When non-alcoholic beer isn’t doing the trick, I switch to rum, bourbon, or whisky. Sparingly, mind – I am trying to pass the exam!
So far, I’ve attempted CFAI 2015 AM, 2016 AM, and 2017 AM, but limited to answering those questions on topics I’ve read through. Not marking scores at all, just reading the specimen answers and trying to learn the correct style and focus of their answers.
I am off for two weeks, starting next week, and appreciate the need for that time off but also rather dreading the absence of social contact in that time. I might just up my visits to my bouldering wall, from once per 6 days to once every 3 or 2.
I hear you, I don’t know how to best juggle my need to do written mocks, topic tests, and read, but I think I’ve overweighted the reading part lately.
All doubts aside, you and I have more than two weeks left. And ultimately, if you give it your best shot, you can’t be disappointed with the outcome (by virtue of not having been able to do any more preparation), so give yourself that peace of mind!
Links to useful resources from the Reddit sub r/cfa because it’s not fair that Redditors get to have all the fun…
CFA study resources 2019
I am Peter Mackey, CFA, developer of the CFA exam. AMA
I am Peter Mackey, Developer of the CFA Exam. Ask Me Anything
Hi r/CFA! I’m Chris Wiese, Head of Exam Development at CFA Institute. AMA
“For the multiple-choice or item-set questions, your score is
determined solely by how your marks are read by the scanning
equipment. Marks made by a writing instrument other than a No. 2 or HB,
or marks that do not completely fill the oval may not be read by the
scanning equipment. For the essay portion of the exam, it is strongly
recommended that you use a No. 2 or HB pencil or a blue or black ink
From the horse’s mouth (via @christine ‘s article on the homepage here):
What is the “ethics adjustment”?
The Board of Governors instituted a policy to place particular
emphasis on ethics. Starting with the 1996 exams, the performance on the
ethics section became a factor in the pass/fail decision for candidates
whose total scores bordered the minimum passing score. The ethics
adjustment can have a positive or negative impact on these candidates’
CFA Institute has a policy of not releasing either the minimum
passing score or individual candidate scores. Consequently, CFA
Institute does not release specific information about the ethics
adjustment or the candidates who were affected. The adjustment has had a
net positive effect on candidate scores (and thus pass rates) in most
exam sessions. The published pass rates always take into account the
ethics adjustment for borderline candidates.
Entirely depends on where you are in your studies and what you feel your strengths and weaknesses are.
Almost everyone agrees that practice via exams and question banks is critical for success, though.
Just try to stay motivated and healthy, and do as many hours as you can each day.
I always take two weeks off, and, though I failed one attempt at Level II, I think the two weeks were instrumental in my passing the second time (and passing Level I that first attempt).
This year, without two weeks off for Level III, I’d guarantee I fail. It’s just an invaluable opportunity to make up for time lost/wasted.