The CFA Exam came and went this past weekend, and we imagine most of Wall Street is a lot more relaxed today, or at least nursing a hangover from some well-deserved post-test libations. The CFA exam is only offered once a year (though you can take Level 1 in December), so what happens when you put thousands of nerve wracked finance guys who’re probably strung out on caffeine and determined to do their best in a room for 6 hours? Lots and lots of interesting stories.
We collected the best of them.
(If you have any CFA stories you would like to share, please send them to Lisa at [email protected])
Readers have sent in stories to Clusterstock about how they found out last minute that the CFA Institute had printed the wrong passport expiration date on their exam tickets, which could be a potentially disastrous error that would've prevented test takers from taking the CFA (all that studying for nothing...).
The problem was also noted by several posters at AnalystForum, with many complaining that the CFAI had printed passport numbers, expiration dates and sometimes birth dates wrong!
Next time, remember to check the information on your test slips carefully and get the changes in to the CFAI quickly.
Source: BI e-mails, AnalystForum
We can't believe this happened. As told by poster missinglink on AnalystForum--
A mobile phone rang during the afternoon session down in the Level 1 section. The guy actually answered and told the caller he was in an exam and couldn't talk …… WTF!!! The proctor took the phone and placed it at the front of the room - did not seem to take any other action. THEN IT RANG AGAIN ABOUT 1 HOUR LATER at which point the proctor turned it off.
Source: missinglink @ AnalystForum
Poster missinglink on AnalystForum had more than one weird CFA experience--apparently, someone who was taking the test ate his lunch, which was from Burger King, in the test room during the 2-hour break.
So during the afternoon session, test takers took their 3-hour exams in a room that smelled like a Burger King. We can't imagine anything more torturous than that.
Source: missinglink @ AnalystForum
The curators of the hilarious #WhenInFinance blog also wrote the test this past weekend for Level 3, and gave us this tidbit:
'Saw a guy with 50 pen/pencils all wrapped in a rubber band. Best part is when someone asked to borrow a pen... he said no.'
Guess he really didn't want to share.
According to poster Race on Wall Street Oasis, who has taken the CFA many times, this was one of the emptiest exams s/he had seen in years. The room s/he wrote the exam in was only about 60% to 70% full.
One proctor at a test location said that there was one summer where half the names on the list to take the CFA exam at a location didn't show up, according to the poster.
One CFA potential, who has passed his Level 1 and Level 2, recommended taking lots of practice tests very early on.
Many studying for the CFA leave the 6-hour practice tests til the week before the exam, but when taking a test earlier, it gives you a better idea of what your weakest subjects are and you can focus on that.
Source: buybuybuy at Wall Street Oasis
bchadwick at Analyst Forum listed 9 tips for CFA exam takers, and we found this one of the most helpful--
Five minutes before the end, fill in all empty bubbles with guesses. Don't get caught doing it in the last 30 seconds. Once you've done that, if you can figure out one or two last problems, it's better to take a second to erase an answer than to risk not having a guess filled in or, worse, get caught filling bubbles after time is called.
Now, you have 8 weeks to waits for your CFA results!