AuthorTopic: Pre-Exam Good Luck and Reminders
prajaktamj
@2019-05-17 03:21:41
Some years ago, I wrote this - I more or less still stand by it, with perhaps some very minor modifications. Good luck to all, and especially to those who have been active and helping other candidates here.

We're close enough to exam date that many of you are going to stop coming to this board to study on your own, so before too many of you disappear, I just want to wish you all the best of luck on Saturday. It's a grueling experience to do these exams, even under the best of conditions, and I hope everyone who has participated constructively here gets the results they are trying for!

Some things to think about as you flirt with panic-mode.

1) You are not actually competing against the entire CBOK and curriculum. You are actually competing against the other candidates taking the exam. For L2 and L3, that means you need to be approximately in the top 50% of candidates. Ask not "can I answer any question they throw at me?," ask yourself "can I do better than the bottom 50% of the candidates?" When you phrase the question this way, I think you'll find that you're more confident.

For L1 candidates, you have to do better than two out of three. That's a tougher standard, but the exam is much more predictable for L1 candidates. If you've put in the time to prepare, then there's a very good chance that you're in the passing category.

[EDIT: This is not - strictly speaking - true. In theory, CFAI could decide that no one got enough points to pass. In reality, however, this is unlikely. Though the exact passing percentage change from year to year, they seldom change by very large amounts, and so this approach is still a useful way to think about it, particularly for controlling your stress levels.]

2) If you've been posting here in the forums regularly, and contributing to answers, there is a very good chance that you are in the likely-to-pass category. This forum attracts the more dedicated candidates on average, so just participating would likely increase your chances.

3) Don't get freaked out by the questions that are being asked in these forums on AF. When I took the exams, I would look at the questions being asked here and think "Gosh, do I really have to remember at that level of detail?" Remember that a lot of what you're seeing is the questions coming from very very prepared people who still can't fit 100% of the curriculum into their heads (because no one can do that). The exam will be tough, but not as tough as all of the questions being asked in the last week of the exam.

4) The exam will have some giveaway answers and some really challenging answers. Your mind will naturally gravitate to all the challenging answers you had trouble with. Your mind will tend to forget the easy things that you popped out in 30 seconds. Remember this when you start to panic.

5) You can actually mess up on a surprising number of problems and still pass. 30% of 120 problems is 36 problems (L2), or 72 problems (L1). And the MPS may be lower than 70% too.

6) It feels unnatural to "shoot for 70%" after years of being in school where 70% was the border between a C- and D+. Who shoots for that? Obviously do as well as you can, but remember that what you may be panicking about is that you aren't getting percentages that you're used to thinking will get you As or Bs.

7) In the end, passing or failing is the only relevant distinction on the exam. Like a drivers' license, no one cares whether you passed with all 70% or just barely scraped by. A charter is a charter is a charter.

8) The profession has great respect for people who - if they fail - are persistent and take the thing again. Yes, it sucks, especially when the weather is nice and you'd rather be in the park than studying, but there is basically no long-term stigma associated with not passing. (Your family may not understand, but your colleagues will)

9) The friends and family who stuck by you during this time are worth remembering. Definitely treat them extra nicely after you're done.

10) Take some time to treat yourself well during the last week. Give your body the sleep it needs. Get exercise, treat yourself to a massage. Review ethics on the last day or the day before.

11) Good luck folks! I'll hang around a bit to help where I can; however, most of you probably are more up on the relevant parts of the curriculum now than I am, so I don't want to risk posting something misleading unless I'm sure I'm not doing that.
shettyp
@2019-06-11 21:08:32
Thanks Prajaktamj! & good Luck to all.

CFA Discussion Topic: Pre-Exam Good Luck and Reminders

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Craig Baugh

Craig Baugh