AuthorTopic: December 06 exam thoughts?
@2006-12-02 18:29:46
Hey guys, what did you think about the Dec exam? I have to say that I was quite pleasantly surprised that it hasn't been as hard as I expected, especially the AM session. In the PM session I was running bit behind the time so I was quite a sprint until the end, but I guess OK overall.

BTW, I've never taken an exam with so many people before, it was crazy how many of us were there (London).

Hope you all did well!
Cheers, and enjoy the first free Sunday in a long time!
@2006-12-03 08:26:37
Phew..just got back from the exam..guess it's actually alright but I didn't prepare well so let's see how far my luck would go. I found this site very helpful tho..the mock exam questions are very similar
@2006-12-03 12:50:01
I agree--AM much easier than PM and both much easier than I expected (easier than the mock exams on this site....far fewer calculations). I barely needed my calculator. Still, I'd much rather over-study than under-study. And even though we think it was easy, won't really tell until we get the results....
@2006-12-03 13:37:51
Well, the time was tight for me. I had to speed through 20-30 questions.
@2006-12-03 14:23:30
Whoever took the exam on Saturday:

I know most of you worked very hard and will pass the exam.

While the waiting for the results is painful, can you please share your experience in preparing for the exam?

1)Now knowing the exam environment and style of the questions, how could you prepared for the exam differently that would have helped you score better?

2)What are some of the mistakes you did during the preparation that you wish you should not have done?

3)Which study material you used and are they helpful? (I know this is a redundant question in the forum. But please share your experience.)

Good luck for the Level 2 :-)
@2006-12-03 15:59:36
Most imp for the CFA exam is ur approach to the pressure on the exam day.. if u get nervous abt the whole atmosphere at the test center u can lose upto 20 points ( that was my case)

Analystnotes was good for level 1 .. not much showed up on the exam that was not covered by the notes and review questions( again thats my opinion cos I am doin MBA in finance so FSA was familiar )

given another day .. had I been well prepared to cope up with the exam day pressure wud have done 10% better..

learn ur concepts.. dun miss out on anything even a small bit of topic can appear on the exam.. however be thorough with ethics and FSA ..

solve as many probs as u can so some of the answers will just pop up in front of u cos of familiarity..

do some mock exams but dun get too discouraged if u dun do too well in them ( specially mocks here) cos they are tougher than actual exam.

concentrate on concepts more than calculations.. u shud know what it means and how to interpret rather than how to calculate it

believe in urself....
@2006-12-03 16:01:14
While it may not be the most efficient study method for everyone, my study methodology was to focus on practice questions and practice exams from the very beginning. This let me know whether I was prepared/progress I had made, what I needed to focus on, what the correct answer is for topics that were unclear in the text, and gave me practice in answering questions quickly.

Though when doing social studies homework in high-school, I would always skip to the questions in the back and then look through the chapter for the answer rather than reading the chapter. So if you are the "read the chapter" type this probably won't be best for you.
@2006-12-03 19:46:45
I done my exam in June so my advice may not be to relevant to the last exam but my main tips are:

1. Memorise the impact of FIFO and LIFO on the balance sheet, income statement, and on ratios. There were loads of these questions in the exam and it will save you valuable time if you can just answer them straight away without having to work them out.

2. Learn GIPs just before you go in. I think everyone was surprised in June how many GIPs questions there were.

3. There were no obscure statitics q's in my exam so I wouldn't waste too much time learning all the wierd statistical tests. I hardly used my calculator at all in June.

I know this is a difficult exam but I think the analyst notes of this site alone are fine to pass the exam (I did go on revision courses though).
@2006-12-04 03:57:21
It wasnt too bad, manageable, i think mock exams here helped me by the sheer volume of practice test that i did. It made me get used to being able to quickly figure out what i had to do to get the answer instead of getting bogged down by a whole bunch of info they put in an effin question.
@2006-12-04 11:11:03
I agree that questions were earier than anticipated, but I think that will pull the pass % up. Lot of questions from GIPS and I didn't studied well, any body knows abt the chebeshov inequality question in PM session. I think time is sufficient but some questions from lease are difficult one.
@2006-12-04 12:04:43
Hi, I guess the Cheb. inequality question was about how many % at least are within +-3s of the mean. The answer (I presume) should be: 1-1/3^2 = 89%.

BTW, right, quite a few questions abt GIPS- didn't anticipate to see so many. Also quite many on Corporate management (the last part in ethics).
@2006-12-04 12:24:09
the cheb. question has given some mean, standard dev. and no of observation. On top of this it already gave 89% there and asking abt the lower end of confidence level. Answers were all in -ive. When do we expect the result of the same.
@2006-12-04 20:16:42
From what I read here, I conclude that everyone did OK on the paper. Me too.. i expect scores around 50%-65%. Now if everyone expects that, does this mean they will push the pass percentage upwards? Like I have seen some transcripts for the candidates who have cleared the CFA level 1 and two in the past. All of them have scored in the slab of 50-70% and they have cleared the exam!

What should we expect now?

Shall we start studying for Level 2 now? Wont it be too late by the time we get the results? I dont want to waste one whole year and wait for June 2008 to appear in Level 2!
@2006-12-06 00:27:10
I actually thought the PM exam was much easier than the AM session. I didn't quite study the GIPS or corporate governance as best as I could have.

My tip would be to completely understand the Ethics questions because they are easy marks. Then understand how the formulas work, then you can see how they effect other financial ratios.

Because it was a bit easier they will have pushed it up more. The way they work out the pass mark is they work out how did the top 1% of students go then everyone is graded compared to them with complicated statistical analysis. I am going to wait until I see the results then start for Level 2
@2006-12-06 11:05:54
Can any one give an example of the format of GIPS, corporate gov and ethics questions..?
I dont know are they supposed to be memorized or just understood?? plz give feedback

I'm Planning to sit for the June 07 exam

Good luck for All...
@2006-12-06 11:09:07
another things: I just wanted to know if its beneficial to know the (procedures for compliance) or it's just for knowledge??

Thanks alot
@2006-12-06 14:37:15
AwR83: Example of GIPS: What different GIPS areas there are? (Private equity, Property...).

Corporate gov: is it in the best lont term interest of shareholders if Board has these and these rights?

As for the compliance procedures, I wasn't trying to memorise they, they seem to me really just a common sense. I think there was one question on this and was relatively easy.
@2006-12-07 04:39:48
Thanks Peter....
@2006-12-12 00:40:58
Writing the exam was suprise. With a 36% pass rate I kinda psyched myself out due to the amount of materials and the anticipation of a crazy hard exam going in.

That being said, the exam is passable. I would say that it is definitely the concepts that are tested and the theory rather then the pure number crunching.

For example, the quant in the CFA books give you so many stat formulas to memorize when in reality the quant was one of the easier sections without any need for even z-tables.

Ethics can be tricky and the best preperation is just practice questions as well as the examples in the books (don't waste time knowing all the technical details and the sections word for word). GIPS is also emphasized so make sure you know about some of the specifics like how many years back a company must show GIPS data before complying to the standards.

Accounting is almost entirely financial statment impact. I found myself knowing the ratios well (including the dupont which is a definite asset) and still having some difficulty answering the questions. Make sure you know these well since you don't have that much time to spend going over them (this means MEMORIZE THE RATIOS). Also, cashflows are emphasized and tax effects are tested, but no real difficult calculations were involved. The EPS and calculation of common shares wasn't that difficult with enough practice questions under your belt.

For myself, the hardest part was the asset valuation, which was suprising since I am a finance major. A couple of questions were on convexity, so just know the formulas. Knowing the basic theory in terms of CAPM and SML will be helpful, but bonds are tested exhaustively. Just knowing the DDM isn't enough, if I have to write the exam again I will focus a great deal on bonds.

Lastly, the exam itself was not impossible, but did thoroughly test your knowledge. Many of the questions tested you on two of the impacts, not just one. For example, for LIFO its not enough to know that it increases COGS, they want to know the other effects along with its impact in a period of decreasing prices. A couple questions also gave you financial statements for different years and asked what was likely causing the effects. For example, is net income decreasing because of COGS or for some other reason.

I hope this helps. Do practice exams like no tommorow (give yourself at least a month) and don't get too bogged down on the details, KNOW THE MAJOR CONCEPTS so you can work your way through any type of problem.

Good luck and study hard, cause you're gonna need it.

@2006-12-15 18:54:05
I felt ethics was the hardest. Sounds bad for me to say this doesn't it? Well, 90% of CFA ethics has nothing to do with ethics. Memorize detail about CFA GIPS requirements/suggestions, rules regarding suspension and you would have done well. I had studied it 2 weeks prior and forgot most it by exam time. Was planning on studying day before but got overwhelmed at work and had to drive 3 hours to test location that night.

Everything else seemed fair. Every question it seems I could eliminate 2 right off the bat, and was left guessing on the ones I wasn't 100% positive on. I had only slept 4 hours prior to exam and was exhausted by end of it. I was under a lot of pressure from co-workers to pass, as they all are CFAs and passed without failing one exam!

Now the wait begins to find out results. I will retake in June if I fail, or take lvl 2 if pass.

I, by no means, aced the test, nor did I bomb it. If I pass or fail, I was borderline. Not sure if studying more would have helped; except for the review of GIPS.
@2006-12-27 18:13:03
Thanx guys, I'm going to take it Dec. 2007, and it is a good start to read your recommendations first.

@2007-01-18 10:50:01
I thought the exam was easier than i ever thought it would be. Shouldn''t have spent that much time doing difficult practice exams, the time would have been more beneficial had i spent it studying and mastering the basics.
After all said though, i passed.
@2007-01-28 10:14:05
Hello guys,
Sharing the good news - I just passed my CFA Level I exam from first try. My experience is that you have to spend more time on practice exams and not too much on reading long texts. Also, beware of the theoretical aspect when preparing for Level 1 - accounting and bonds for example were more theoretically-oriented than I expected. Do not underestimate the GIPS and Corporate Governance in the Ethics section. And again - do as many practice exams as you can. Good luck!!
@2007-02-16 16:59:51
HI all Candidates:
FOR level 1 CFA: Do CFAI mock exams really worth this amount of money 60 questions for 50 UDS's ??
UR help and advice is highly appreciated ....and to u all best of luck :)
@2007-05-29 08:02:07
havent tried them but based on what everyone says - no they are not worth it. they are supposed to be too easy

CFA Discussion Topic: December 06 exam thoughts?

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I just wanted to share the good news that I passed CFA Level I!!! Thank you for your help - I think the online question bank helped cut the clutter and made a positive difference.
Edward Liu

Edward Liu