You got mail: CFA Level I results….

Good afternoon everyone,

After yesterday night’s post on a somewhat soft topic, let’s get back to business with the CFA exam results I received today.

Let’s kill the suspense straightaway! I am delighted to be able to say that I passed my Level I exam. That’s great news and it’s a huge relief as I am always unsure of the outcome of this kind of exams.

The CFA institute does not provide you with your exact score but rather gives you a range of success ratio for each specific topic.

Unsurprisingly, I didn’t manage to do more than 50% in Economics as the topic is very broad relative to the number of questions that are actually asked, but I’ll try to work on that a bit during this summer. That was for the weak range.

Then comes what I’d call the middle range with 51% – 70% success ratio within which my scores in Derivatives, Fixed Income and Quantitative Methods all lied. That might come as a surprise for some of you as they should be some of my strongest topics, but I think it can be explained by the kind of questions that were asked during the exam. Indeed, questions in these topics were not very quantitative and sometimes relied on terminology or specific definitions. I guess this is where I lost my points because I am fairly confident of the computations I performed.

My scores for the remaining topics ended up in the upper bracket with more than 70% success ratio. I am pretty happy about this because it seems that I got the feeling right in Ethics which is a topic which requires practice, practice and… practice. I’m particularly satisfied to have obtained such a score in Accounting as it is a key topic in the Level I curriculum because of the number of question being asked about it in the exam. I must say, I felt most Accounting questions were really doable since difficult topics such as deferred tax assets/liabilities were represented with relatively easy (or at least quite straightforward) questions.

To sum up my Level I experience, and as I had the time to look back at what I did before they exam and how it paid up, I would like to highlight the importance of having the Schweser notes and particularly the Schweser QBank (the tool which contains tons of practice questions for each topic). Practicing questions definitely looks to be the right way to be successful in the exam, at least for people with a professional activity during the day who have less time available for the exam. Focusing on the key exercise types where easy points can be made by remembering a formula (or at least a process) proved to be a very useful technique at the exam as it secures points, saves time and provides confidence.

I would like to end this post with a word of thanks for those who supported me during my journey towards this CFA Level I exam success. First of all, I would like to thank Unigestion, the company I work for, for trusting me and supporting me as well as providing me with some extra training time. In particular, I would like to thank Pierre Bonart who encouraged me to start this curriculum and who provided me with great advises and showed so much support. I would also like to thank my family and my girlfriend Sarah for helping me mentally and for standing by me during the difficult and stressful pre-exam days and for their great understanding during the whole preparation process.

Finally, I want to underline that I do know that the road to the CFA is far from over, and that this was maybe the easiest step towards the designation. I will be back with more CFA content, this time concerning Level II material, when I receive the new set of notes for the next challenge in June 2013.

3 thoughts on “You got mail: CFA Level I results….”

  1. Dear Sir,

    I appeared for level 1 in Dec 2012. My question is ” Is it necessary to score above 70% in all subjects to pass” I have not done well in eco and corp finc. Rest i may score above 70. the other two i expect to be in 60-70 range.


  2. Hi Anup,
    From what I understand, there is no straight rule available to the public that would tell you whether you passed it or not. In the CFA wiki page, they say that the passing scored is nowadays determined internally. However, I’m pretty sure that you do not need to score more than 70% everywhere; maybe only globally.
    If your score actually ends up being the one you expect in your comment, I’m quite sure you would pass easily. That being said, I would advise you not to give too much credit to your post-exam score estimations; they often end up being wrong (not necessarily at your disadvantage). Quite frankly, you better wait for the email rather than turning your mind upside-down.

Leave a Reply