Tips and tricks to pass the CFA level 3 on the first shot
Congratulations! You've made it to the final level of the CFA program and are eager to finish strong and celebrate.
However, passing CFA level 3 is no easy task. In recent years, the exams have become increasingly difficult, resulting in a significant drop in passing rates. Taking the CFA exams is like entering a battlefield, fighting against the benchmark and passing rate.
To help you succeed in the CFA level 3 exam, here are five helpful tips.
1 - Go through IMPORTANT readings
Passing CFA level 3 requires reading the curriculum. Even when you don't have time, It's essential to at least skim through the important readings and examples because they can be testable and aid in your understanding. The examples embedded in the readings are essential to provide you with a more depth knowledge of the materials and make you think as if you were a portfolio manager. It is highly recommended that you read and complete the examples in each of the readings.
2 - Follow the COMMAND words
The CFA level 3 is a unique exam because it includes both multiple-choice questions and essay portions. The essay questions will be very specific, so it is important to answer them directly without going off-topic. For example, if the question asks you to DEFINE something, you simply provide a definition. If the question asks you to IDENTIFY, then you only identify what is being asked without adding unnecessary information. It is not necessary to write more than what is being asked, as the grader will not award extra points for additional information or deduct points for anything missing.
The main goal is to answer the questions directly, based on the COMMAND words given.
3 - Answer in POINT STYLE form
Despite the misleading term "essay," the CFA Institute requires responses that are brief and precise. While the exam uses the word "essay," it is recommended to use bullet points to answer the questions for time efficiency.
With only 2 hours and 12 minutes for the exam, it's important to answer all questions concisely. Avoid writing lengthy explanations when bullet points can convey the same message and still earn full marks.
4 -TIME yourself
One of the biggest challenges in the CFA program is managing your time effectively during the exam. Even if you have extensively studied, if you are not skilled in time management, your chances of passing the exam are low. During the MOCK exams, you will notice that each question has a specific time limit. This means that you should allocate the suggested time to each question as indicated on the paper. Going over the allotted time means that you may not be answering the questions correctly. For example, if a question has an allocated time of 7 minutes, then that should give you an idea of the difficulty level of the answer and how much time you should allocate to it. So stick to the time!
5 - SIMULATE the real exam at home
When you are writing the exam, one of the many challenges you will feel is that you don't have enough time to answer each question and may leave the exam unfinished.
To overcome this challenge, I recommend practicing at home as if you were taking a real exam. Time yourself and ensure to answer every single question. During the actual exam, you may feel stressed, panicked, and under pressure, so you may start wasting time. However, if you want to increase your chances of passing, make sure to answer every question to the best of your ability. Even if some answers are incomplete, you can still receive partial credits. So, remember to complete the exam from A to Z and never leave anything undone; partial marks can make a huge difference in the final results.
My final words ...the CFA Level 3 exam is the finish line. You have sacrificed your time to get where you are. With hard work and dedication, you will make it through. Believe in you! :)