Photo: Flickr Chris Griffith
You probably failed.Around 150k financial analysts sat Levels 1, 2, and 3 of the CFA exam this weekend. CFA is short for Chartered Financial Analyst, and it’s the envied accreditation pursued by securities analysts and portfolio managers around the world.
The CFA Institute recommends committing around 20 hours per week over around six months to study for each level. And it takes the average CFA candidate four years to complete the entire program.
The difficultly of the exam is reflected in its extremely low pass rates. In December, only 38% of test takers passed the Level 1 exam. Since 1963, the average pass rate for any exam is 47%.
It takes around a month for the CFA Institute to score these tests, so the waiting period can be painful. So, the New York Society of Security Analysts offers three tips to deal with the waiting period:
The first of which: “1) Don’t expect to pass.” Here’s what author wrote:
Overconfidence is a common failing: In a survey 300 professional fund managers, James Montier found that 74% of the respondents rated their performance as above average—a statistical improbability. While many analysts may be accustomed to feeling like the smartest guys in the room, they are competing against a select pool of their peers when they take the CFA exam, and the grading process is notoriously rigorous. The 10-year average pass rates for Level I, II, and III are 39%, 44%, and 59%. So, you’re better off preparing yourself for the worst. A number of studies, in fact, have shown that the key to happiness and mental well-being is managing your expectations.
The author offers two more tips: 2) “Keep yourself occupied” and 3) “Commiserate with your fellow candidates.”
For more on these coping mechanisms, head to the NYSSA website.