Let’s Talk About: CFA Results

Thirty-nine percent of Level 1 takers and forty-three percent of Level II’ers are likely feeling prettay prettay prettay good at the moment, possibly on account of celebratory morning drinks or the realization that the promise land is within reach. The rest of you are probably in not as great a place, on account of having just thrown away the last 4-6 months of your lives.

In the event you want to express whatever emotions are running high right now, be it anger or sadness, but work in narrow-minded institutions that will presumably not appreciate psychotic meltdowns– the likes of which would have Biff Basness slowly backing out of the room– or JO&C’ing on company property, don’t be shy about letting it out right here. Tell us all about how you skipped a midget-themed Memorial Day pool party for this crap and this is the thanks you get?? We’re listening. In related news, we’re considering having Matt take Level 1 in December, so if you have any tips for avoiding spectacular failure or making the exam your bitch, please share.

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131 Responses to “Let’s Talk About: CFA Results”

  1. guest says:

    Didn’t want to fail most of you. Felt I owed it to you, though.nnJudge Smails, CFA IV

  2. lax BRO says:

    Making the new guy take the CFA just torture him is the NKI

  3. Guest32140912354 says:

    u00a0Has anybody actually received an email with results yet?

  4. The Real Judge Smails says:

    For the rest of you, the world needs ditch diggers too.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Feeling pretty happy over here, even with sub 50% scores.

  6. Col. Sanders says:

    And all this time I thought “CFA” meant “Chicken Fried Ass”.

  7. Principal Principle says:

    I guess all you CFA failures will have to become teachers now. u00a0

  8. Fo Shizzle says:

    Matt…if you fail Level 1 my view of the quality of GS hires will change forever. No pressure.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Curses “ABACADABA” method foiled againnnI’ll get ’em next yearnn-Eternal Level 1 Candidate

  10. guest says:

    I especially like how they let you know how you did relatie to everyone else who didn’t pass. F+

  11. 5th Year Level I says:

    Best thing I ever did was show up drunk.u00a0 It puts you in that ‘hate life’ mood, which increases your chances of passing if you can relate to those that are grading.

  12. Andy says:

    Fucking Derivatives section!

  13. GUEST says:

    Meh, I’ll just sit and wait until they start giving ‘honorary’ CFA charters.nn- Dr. CFA.

  14. MBA>CFA says:

    The number of active CFA charter holders was 10,000 in 1990 and reached 78,000 by 2007.u00a0 If you think that means that there are 68,000 more good analysts and portfolio managers today than there were in 1990 then you’re dumb enough to be a CFA charterholder.u00a0

  15. CoveredLong says:

    Passing the exam after walking into L2 cold, with no calculator, and cheating using the Schweser notes you snuck into the bathroom is making the exam your bitch.u00a0 nnSpending thousands of dollars, alienating your friends, and six months of day/night stress, only to fail and have nothing to show for it in return is the professional equivalentu00a0of marriage (or working at UBS).nn-Married Guy / CFA L2 Candidate, again / UBS MD

  16. Steve says:

    There was an extra circle jerk at CFA Camp when they put a 3 handle on the pass rate. u00a0

  17. NakedShort says:

    CFAs need encouragement. If au00a0candidateu00a0gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way he develops a good, lucky feeling.nn-Jack Handey, CFA

  18. guest says:

    UBS is rewarding all those who passed CFA level I by letting them go.nn

  19. Chick says:

    Now I know why Chick-Fil-A uses same acronym. u00a0Guess where I have to work now?nn- Cant afford another retake

  20. Pmco says:

    Epic fail. At least I learned women are not good at CFA test taking either.

  21. Drew Breesenberg says:

    CBA > CFAu00a0

  22. Ray Finkle says:

    CFA, is that a typo?u00a0 I did pass my CFP test!

  23. Soon 2 B Lv 2 Candidate says:

    Woohoo, those 2 beers at lunch really helped me crush the afternoon sesh, bruh!u00a0

  24. Lefty Lopez says:

    Let’s talk about sex!

  25. HFguy says:

    Congratulation. We have been laying off people to make space for you all.n- HR of all banksn

  26. Atlanta30080 says:

    Ordering Booksnn- Order and pay for the CFA exam ASAP since it takes awhile for thenbooks to ship to you (upto 2 weeks) which can result in deadweightnloss with respect to study time. I highly recommended the in-printnversions of the books for studying / reading and the ebook version isnan awesome value to supplement the in-print version since you cannprint off practice problems form the printer and not destroy yournbooks. Also, if you have an iPad / iPhone the ebook is awesome fornreading while traveling since the in-print books are quite bulky. DOnNOT buy the ebook by itself. At the very least, purchase the in-printnand the ebook together.nn- Don’t wait to get studying — you can find the first study sessionnof reading material on the CFA website, and if you ordered the ebooknyou can download it immediately.nnReading / Studying for Examnn- Make flash cards as you complete a section. The last thing you wantnto do is have to make 74 sections worth of flash cards in your final 2n- 3 review weeks. (although, if you combine multi-week readings andnI’ve suggested you’ll end up with 4-5 weeks of review time.nn- Make a 2-3 page review guide for each section or group of sectionsnyou read with the noteworthy facts. (see above note on flash cards).nn- Work all the practice problems. Do it! Just do it! The exam testsnyour ability to apply concepts, and the only way to do this is to donthe practice problems. Often, many of the exam questions arenstructured EXACTLY like the practice questions. Think about it as an1,000 question mock-exam that you have 5-6 months to complete. Inrecommend printing the practice questions from the eBook, and writingnall over the page to solve the problem (since you will have to do thisnon the exam since there is no “scratch” paper provided. No worries,nit’s plenty of room I promise. This gets you into the correctnmindset).nn- Take a few days off during the course of studying to have fun — ifnyou start to loathe the CFA process you’ll most certainly set yourselfnup for fairly. Build time into the exam prep schedule for lifen(although, I highly recommended keeping alcohol consumption to a barenminimum).nn- Mornings were the best time for me to study since my brain was clearnand not tired from the stress of working all day. Unfortunately, I amnnot a morning person. As long as you pick a time to study and staynconsistent with it… you’ll train your brain and your body to benawake and absorb the facts. Personally, I find I am about 2-3x morenproductive and better able to retain knowledge and facts if my head isnclear (like in the morning).nn- The weekends are your primary offense in preparing for the exam. Usenthis time well. I slept til about noon one weekend on both Sunday andnSaturday and didn’t get much studying done after doing some homework,nlaundry, and grocery shopping.nn- Simplify your life = MORE exam time. Case in point, I put all mynbills on autobill and would do all my grocery shopping for the monthnat one time. This minimized the needless errands I had to run. I alsonwent to http://water.com and setup bi-weekly purified water deliverynfor about $25.00 per month so that I didn’t have to freak out when Inran out of drinks etc. You won’t believe how much water you’ll drinknwhile studying. Staying hydrated is extremely important, especiallynwhen consuming caffiene to keep yourself focuses.nn- Make time to work out (okay, this is the one thing I failed at) – Nondoubt the CFA exam will cause you to forsake the things you love, thenpeople you love, and th activities you love / need to do to staynhealthy. My advice is to set aside time for the gym 2-3 times per weeknfor at least an hour. The benefits of exercise will keep you happy,nyour brain working at peak productivity, and you from feeling fat fromnsitting and reading all the time.nn- Find multiple places to study. After awhile it starts to get oldnstudying in one spot. Here are some places I found to study when onenplace would get boringnn1) My desk at work after everyone left for the day. I’d back a secondnlunch (i.e. dinner) and hang out after work and studyn2) An empty conference room at workn3) Quite computer lab at Schooln4) My couch at home with ample light provided by the incoming day lightn5) My table at home with ample / awesome light provided by the desk lampn6) Girlfriend’s couchn7) Delta Skyclub Lounge – It sucks to study at the airport, but ifnyou’re going to study at the airport for the love of god do it from anniPad (the CFA books are heavy) and in a comfortable chair whichnalludes to the Delta Skyclub. I travel a lot for work and school andnpersonal life, so the 1 year lounge fee was well worth it to me.nn– Free videos are on YouTube from Allen Prep CFA what describe somenof the complex issues if you struggle with them. I also used somenawesome YouTube videos to refresh my knowledge of permutations,ncombinations, and general probability concepts. Just because it’s notnwell explained in the CFA books doesn’t mean you can’t use somencreative resources to learn these concepts in a way that makes sensento you.nn– Become intimately familiar with your calculator – for me this meannspending 2 hours review the TI-BA II Plus (I highly recommended thenProfessional edition since it has more features, works faster, andnlays flat on the desk). Your calculator has an awesome ability tonstore numbers perform operations on those stored numbers so that youndon’t have to waste time reentering the values to get a solution. Itnalso has the ability to do cash flow, NPV, IRR, and bond durationncalculations very quickly without having to resort to using thendiscounting formulas. Also learn how to properly use the operatorsn(like the parenthesis, e to x, natural log, square root, factorial,ncombination, permutation, etc). These will save your butt on the exam.nDon’t forget the differences between annuity due and ordinarynannuities in the calculator. Finally, learn how to clear worksheets sonthat values from previous problems don’t screw up your next problem’snsolution.nnReviewing for Examnn– Give yourself plenty of time to review. At least 3 whole weeks, butn5 would be ideal. Also considering the impacts to your studying ofnwork obligations, holidays, and travel.n– Consider taking time off work — I took 2 days off work the finalnweek before the exam, and an additional day as a work from home day.n– It’s very important to review everything, but focus on the heavilynweighted areas (Financial Statements, Ethics, Quantitative Methods)nspecifically since these are the heay bulk of exam questions. You cannsee a % break down by doing to the CFA site.n– Read and make sure you can do everything asked of you in the LOSn(Learning Outcome Statements) in each section since this is what willnbe tested on the exam.n– Flash cards are AWESOME for the day of the exam. They’re brief,nstraight the point, and awesome for visual learners.n– Do the mock exam under timed conditions at 2 weeks before the exam.nThis will give you plenty of time of time to study your answers, studynthe correct answers, and review areas where you are weak.n– Watch the Allen Prep CFA videos on YouTube for areas you need tonreview quickly (these are awesome for Econ / Portfolio Management /nCorporate Finance).n– Maximize your time studying — for me this mean turning off my cellnphone, leaving Facebook alone, and ordering delivery for the 10 nightsnbefore the exam.n– If you like to wear earplugs during the exam like I do, practicenthe mock exam with the ear plugs so you can get use to the feeling /nno noise.n– Do the same things during your prep that you’ll do during the examn(google: State Dependent Learning)n– MINIMIZE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION / DO NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL DURING THIS TIME PERIODnnFinal Evening before Exam / Exam Morningn- Go to bed between 8pm – 9pm and get a good night’s sleepn- Psyche yourself and exude confidence in your ability to passn- Remember that nobody scores a 100% or even a 90%… infact a scorenof 70% is considered damn good!n- Spend time reviewing flash cards, formulas, and core concepts… butndon’t exhaust yourself.n- Spend a few hours relaxing and doing something that is enjoyablen- NO DRINKING OF ALCOHOLn- Mapquest directions to the test center and even do a dry runnbeforehand. For me this mean using my GPS, understanding where tonpark, and watching the news for interstate construction / trafficndelays.n- Make an hour by hour plan for the exam day including hour of wake upnand what time you need to leave to get to the test center at least 1.5nhours before exam.n- Eat a good breakfast that isn’t too small or large. Include proteinnand oats. For me this meant eggs and oatmealn- Drink and entire bottle of water when you wake up (16 – 32 oz) –nyou’ll need to stay hydrated but also excrete the waste way before thenexam starts. Bathroom breaks cost time on the exam.n- Pack a cooler for your Red Bulls, bottled water and lunch so thatnit’ll stay cool while you take the exam (my lunch included a sandwichnof turkey and cheese). Do not drink lots of water before the exam. Ifnyou consume a Red Bull before the exam, try to do it about 45min or 30nminute prior to the start of the exam. This will enable to ride thenwave of the caffeine for as long as possible, but also give you timento excrete / use the bathroom and empty your bladder before the exam.n- Stage all of your materials and bags pre-packed for the exam.nConsider a check list to make sure you have everything. You DO NOTnwant to leave something important at home or spend an hour gatheringnall of your things together.n- Take a shower the morning of the exam – While I can’t say everyonenelse will do this… it’ll help you feel better and awake, and yournneighbor will certainly appreciate it!n- Avoid distracting perfumesn- Dress comfortably – I wore tennis shoes and gym shorts. Severalngirls at my test center in Atlanta (ATL) dressed like they worked in ansomewhat lest reputable profession than that of investments. If you’renwearing high-heals… you did something wrong.n- RELAX, you’re so well prepared that you can’t even fully realize hownreally prepared you actually are!n- Find a quite corner and review your flash cards before the examn- Make sure to use the bathroom, multiple times if necessary, tonensure you’re empty before the exam.n- Avoid questionable food the week or at the very least 2 days beforenthe exam, speciallynn1) Sushi / Raw Fishn2) Mexican Food / Chipotle / Chips and Salsan3) McDonalds – not that it’s bad food, it’s bad in principalnn- Do not pay attention to what other people are doing the day of thenexam. Most of those people are about to fail the exam because theynthought they could master the concepts in 3 weeks with their awesomenBSBA in Finance – ignore these people, they’re idiots. Also, peoplenwill be there taking Level II and Level III so if you hearnconversations related to Swaptions or the inverse arc tangent of e tonx pi plus 4-r-t… just let it roll off your back).nnnList of Things to Bring to the Exam and into the Testing Roomnn- #2 mechanical pencils and lots of them (I brought at least 10 Bic #2 pencils)n- BA II Plus Calculatorn- Extra battery for BA II Plus Calculator (warning: you have to takenit out of the package — do not bring the packing into the sterilenexam room)n- Hard Candy (this will help keep your energy up and keep you fromngetting frustrated. I love peppermints. Mint lifesavers are the worstnbecause the just encourage you to chew)n- An unexpired passport which shows your name EXACTLY as it isndisplayed on the exam ticketn- Exam ticket printed using Internet Explorer (Using FireFox / Chromencauses the ticket to print with strange characters)n- A digital watch capable of counting down from 3 hours. This willnhelp you manage your time / pace since on average you should spend nonmore than 1.5 minutes per question).n- Any required medicationn- Ear Plugsn- TissuesnnList of Things to Bring to the Exam but leave in the personal belongings roomn- A small bag to hold all of your stuffn- Flash cards / notes – leave these in the bag in the room. They’renawesome for last minute review. I left all my books in my car so Incould get to them if I needed to.n- Wallet / cellphone etcn- Several 12oz cans of Red Bull (only if you know how it will effect you)n- Tylenol / Advil / Alleve (just in case)n- A small packed lunch (you need something to eat during the lunchnbreak that will keep you from being hungry during the afternoonnsection but not feeling bloated / cramping / stuffed / like you neednto use the bathroom / so tired you want to fall asleep. Remember, morenfood = the slower Red Bull / caffiene is absorbed).nnnDuring the Examn- Make sure to use your watch timer to manage you timen- Do not talk to anyonen- Avoid having to use the bathroomn- Knock out the easy questions first / do your strong topics firstn- 3 minutes before time expires, check your scan-tron to ensure you’venbubbled-in everything. There are no points for guessing so leavennothing blank.n- Insert your earplugs while the proctor is reading instructions.nYou’ll still be able to hear the proctor so don’t worry.n- Don’t forget about your awesome hard candy, trust me… it helpsnlike nothing else during the exam!n- Make sure your answers line up with your scan tron — it’s very easynto skip ahead or bubble in the wrong area if you’re not careful.nnDuring Breaksn- Consume Red Bulln- Eat a Light Lunchn- Review areas that you think you might need to review in light of the examn- Look at flash cardsn- USE THE BATHROOM AND ENSURE YOU’RE EMPTYn- Rehydrate immediately by drinking a bottle of water as soon as younleave the exam room for lunch!nnAfter the examn- Obsessively check CFA’s website for exam scores every 30 secondsneven though it’ll be 2 months before you’ll learn if you’ve passedn- SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS-SHOTS, ERRRRYYYY BODY!n- Post funny things on Twitter about the exam with the CFA hash tagn- Commiserate in CFA forums on various sites, but don’t discuss exam questionsn- Attend a CFA Society event after the exam if they have one in arean(people in Chicago got free drinks and massages)n- Reconnect with loved ones that won’t recognize you since it’s beennso long since the last time they say you

  27. Koolaidisfun says:

    Passed Level 2. I am celebrating by registering for level 3 and telling my wife that I am “studying” the next 4 Mondays when instead I am at a strip club.

  28. Anonymous says:

    So does this mean our 2010 test results have finally been published?nn- Ghana CFA candidate, still eagerly awaiting his results

  29. How I Read It says:

    Dear [ ],nn nnnCongratulations. I am very pleased to inform you that you passed the nJune 2011 Level II CFA exam. You are one step closer to achieving your ngoal of earning the globally disrespected CFA charter.

  30. Best of The Worst says:

    The first time I’ve ever been called a “10”.nnn

  31. Guest says:

    It goes without saying that getting a full time MBA from a top-tier nschool does and should carry more weight than someone without the same ndegree but who is a CFA charter holder.u00a0 At worst, becoming a CFA charter holder is a pretty damn nice feather in your ncap to have and people at the very least look at you say ‘well, this guyn is definitely not a moron.’u00a0 nnnI don’t know a lot, or any for that matter, any unintelligent folks who have passed the CFA exam.u00a0 As for MBAs, I know a bunch of morons with their degrees from middling institutions.u00a0 People forgot that while CFA pass rates have remained somewhat consistent over the years, you only had a handful of people taking the test 30 years ago.u00a0 It’s widely acknowledged by anyone involved with the CFA that the test is far more difficult now than in the past. nnLet’s be honest, it’s really the quality of your work experience and what you know that’s going to determine how you fare as opposed to what degree, if any you have.nnnnn

  32. Managing&Directing says:

    Couple of quick CFA stories…..nnFlashback…..I’m on the first day of my fall semester internship, sitting in my new bosses office getting the download on what we’ll be doing when from across the hall comes a late 30’s guy whom at the top of this lungs shouts FU*K… FU*K….. FUUUUU*K.u00a0u00a0 The entire floor (probably close to 50 people) are just silent….shell shocked the guy blew such a huge headgasket….guy failed L3 and just lost it.nnJump forward…..I’m cruising on the way to the monster testing center in suburban Virginia for CFA L1, I left 90 minutes early for a 30 minute drive.u00a0 Thinking about the exam not even kinda watching the speedo.u00a0 Cop pulls me over for doing 20 over, only have my passport (no drivers license), explain the situation and the douche still gives me a ticket but at least he wrote it down to 10 over.u00a0 Then fast forward to the last 20 minutes of the morning session and the guy next to me thinks his calculator would work better if he pounded on it.u00a0 Good times.nnNext year, january…just starting prepping for L2, now I”m living in San Francisco and talk to a co-worker in sell side research, ask him for advice and stone cold he says, “500 hours of studying or you wont pass”…..ended up taking the advice but almost went crazy and still “just passed”.nnNext year L3 was relatively uneventful the worst part was that by now everyone I’ve ever known or is related to knows about the 5 months studying in a dark hole…..now I’m about to get married and am not looking forward everyone asking me how the test went.u00a0 Got the results the week prior to my wedding and just squeaked it.u00a0 nnHere’s to ratcheting the pass level down to a 2 handle to keep the ranks thin.nnLastly, and most obviously CFA > MBA nu00a0

  33. Rubber Band Man says:

    Here are my key tips:nn1) Start early.nn2) Use the CFA source nmaterials, but study judiciously. There are no short cuts for level 2 and level 3 (you can take short cuts at level 1). Constantly refer to the Learning nOutcome Statements when deciding where to spend your time.nn3) Review of past study sessions is critical. As you are ploughing through new material you must make time every single week to review past study sessions. Making time for review can be even more important than covering new ground. You do yourself a huge disservice by not spending a significant amountu00a0 of time reviewing past study sessions reguarly.nn

  34. Matt says:

    #1 – Don’t wait until 2 weeks before the exam to BEGIN studying.u00a0 I don’t care how smart you are, you need at leastu00a0 2 1/2 weeks as evidenced by my Band #9 score on Level II.u00a0

  35. Baron C. Krug MBE MBA CFA PHD says:

    How come it`s illegal to have an MBA and a CFA?n-Guy who wonders about things

  36. Guest says:

    It is legal is you have both a vagina and a penis.nn-CPA, CHA, CTA, CMA, CBA

  37. Anonymous says:

    10th band, level 2. fml.

  38. Stevezissou says:

    CFA vs MBA is about risk reward….Do you invest time and money into an MBA or do you invest time and your soul for a CFA, and hope you pass in 3 straight.u00a0

  39. Stevezissou says:

    CFA vs MBA is about risk reward….Do you invest time and money into an MBA or do you invest time and your soul for a CFA, and hope you pass in 3 straight.u00a0

  40. girl_with_money says:

    I don’t know what you are all talking about, but you sure are cute!

  41. Howard Marks says:

    I want to talk about Howard Marks.At his peak he was supposedly smuggling consignments of the drug as large as 30 tons, and was connected with groups as diverse as the CIA, the IRA, MI6, and the Mafia.

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