Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's CFA Level 2 and Level 3 Results Day

Today is the day they give out results for the Level 2 and Level 3 CFA exams. Looks like pass rates for the Levels 2 and 3 exams were lower than their historical levels.

To all who passed, congratulations - you're now one step closer to finishing the process. If not, here's some perspective from the "Godfather of the Analyst Forum" (he goes by the pseudonym of "Joey DeVivre"). It was geared towards the Level 1 Exam, but it fits for L2 and L3 as well:
If You Failed
1) You are in distinguished company
I know a college finance professor who took 7 tries to pass three exams. This guy even wrote a college textbook on corporate finance. (That sounds like an apocryphal story, but I swear it's true but there is no way I'm posting his name).

2) Nobody will care
Everybody seems to have this dread that something terrible will happen when they tell their colleagues, boss, significant other, and parents. What will happen is they will say "Wow, hard test. When are you taking it again?"

3) You will be 6 months older when you get your charter.
I was in my late 30's so most of you will be at least ten years ahead of me when you get it even if you fail a few times.

4) You will get a solid foundation to build on for the next two levels
Learning this stuff again means you will learn it better, deeper, and more committed to long-term learning. This will pay dividends over the next couple of exams.

5) You failed a really hard exam
Every year the pass rate is less than 50%. In that >50% who fail number are oodles of smart people who studied hard. There is a ton of material on this exam and you have a career and a life outside of this exam. It's a bear and you don't even need an excuse for failing.

And to those who passed - Congrats and well done.
If you haven't yet done so, go register on Analyst Forum - it's worth it.

So far I've heard from the three former students who took the L2 exam this time around (all took the L1 exam in the last 18 months) - one passed, and two failed. Not bad, given the overall pass rate was 41%.