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CFAI Mock Exams

Bit quiet around here, so at risk of talking to myself I'm interested to know how everyone has been going with the mocks, in particular the Institute's L3 multiple-choice mocks?

I just sat the "AM" version and wow.... Talk about throwing some curve-balls!  I had one "block" that I only scored 2/6, and two blocks where I only got 3/6.  Across the exam there were 2 questions that I took screenshots of, because I thought I answered correctly but it was marked incorrect (upon review I can sort of see why they arrived at their conclusion... the old "most correct" can be bloody ambiguous when they provide 2 answers that are, technically, correct).  Also 2 questions incorrect through stupid, stupid mistakes like answering without properly reading the question ("least likely" vs "most likely" etc).

Time-wise both the "AM" and "PM" multiple-choice mocks were a breeze.  Around 2 hours for each taking a pretty easy pace.

Anyway, was wondering how others went with it.

Ok.  Enough talking to myself for one night, have some corrections to work on!

Good luck to everyone.  


  • For the L3 pm style mocks I averaged 73% across the two... I agree there were some pretty tough questions, but overall wasn't too bad.

    My guess is that the real pm exam will be easier than that. It always is.

    How are you finding the AM? My score has been steadily riding.... First CFAI mock I did was 2006 and I got 56%.... Last one I did was 2014 and hit 83% so feeling OK about that.

    Gonna sit the last am mock I have, 2015 over the weekend and just drill flashcards, ethics and abit if gips over the last few days.

    I always take the last Friday off completely to recharge, ready for the Saturday slog.
  • mitch895mitch895 AustraliaPosts: 125 Jr Portfolio Manager
    Hi @Stuj79,

    Wow!  If you're clearing around 83% in the AM and 73% in the PM you are smashing it!  Well done!  

    I am scoring ok, though I don't want to get too excited as they could pull some completely random/difficult material out on the day!

    It's hard to know how to score the AM exam so I've tended to err on the side of caution - i.e., if I provide an answer that isn't as good as the guideline (but is still correct) I might, for example, assign a score of 7/10.  My handwriting is terrible so I am a bit concerned that it will lose me points.  Time-wise I think I have tamed the AM beast - have it down to around 2'45, including allowance for 7 minutes of toilet breaks.

    I found the "AM" multiple choice exam tough.  There was one question set that I found really, really tough.  When I sat the "PM" multiple choice exam the only thing I really stuffed up on was GIPS (I figure we will probably see a 6-part question on GIPS and/or AMC, so for 5% of the overall exam I want to make sure I am all over this).  For both the CFAI multiple choice exams time was not an issue - completed both in around 2 hours at a fairly laid-back pace.

    Ethics is always tricky.  I will give it another review, but as it's a maze of ambiguity I accept I will probably drop 1 or 2 questions in the PM exam.

    At this stage of the study it's getting a lot harder to find improvements.  I ran an analysis of past mock exams and my estimated score improvement for a topic category is in the 1.5% - 2% range.   Hopefully I can improve my estimated score by around 2% over the next week. 

    If I sat the exam today I would most likely get through (assuming a MPS ~68%) but I don't want to leave it to chance so I am very happy to have another week of study.  I will probably sit the 2015 Mock tomorrow afternoon, after work.

    Good luck!

  • mitch895mitch895 AustraliaPosts: 125 Jr Portfolio Manager
    Sat the 2015 AM Mock yesterday.  I would be super happy if the exam this coming Saturday was of similar content and difficulty!  

    The biggest disappointment was that I didn't complete the entire exam.  Ran out of time and missed a whole question (which would have scored me an easy 8 - 10 points!).  Classic case of being sucked into providing detailed answers to questions where 2 - 3 sentences would have sufficed (there were questions that were super-easy, but took 5 min of writing to score the 3 points).  

    Even so, my overall result wasn't too bad.  Also there was a stack of material that I expected to see which wasn't on the exam, so all going well we might get to see it make an appearance this coming weekend (which will help bank some quick points).  

    That's probably enough speculation for one day, now to get a few solid days of review in before the big day :smiley:
  • What kind of mark did you get for the 2015 mock? I'm going to sit it tomorrow as (hopefully) a last little confidence booster just before D Day.
  • mitch895mitch895 AustraliaPosts: 125 Jr Portfolio Manager
    For the AM a tad short of 70%.  

    Averaged across the PM mock should bring the total score across the finish line above 70%.  I am spending the next few days reviewing the summary sections of readings, rereading anything I can't recall.  I'm beginning to find it difficult to find areas of improvement (which I suppose is a good thing).  My weakest area is in currency and some of the swaps/forwards questions but I'm hesitant to spend too much more time working on those.  Feel there is probably a better return on study time if I review GIPS and AMC etc (which I figure should get a good 4 - 8 questions on the PM = 3.3% - 6.6% of entire exam!).

    I actually re-sat the question I missed yesterday and going flat-out I completed it in around 12 min for 16 points.  I wasted time (probably close to 20 min all-up) on a question that I eventually bombed on (scored myself 9 points), so reallocating time between those questions would have made a huge difference (+7 points = 3.9% = 1.9% across entire exam).  Overall I was actually pretty happy with my answers. It's the first Mock I have sat where I printed it off beforehand, and I found it much more comfortable being able to underline and scribble on the exam paper.  

    Strategy-wise I always give a super-quick flick through the exam to see where the easy points are hiding, and I picked up that the (missed) question was going to be easy.  Basically I wanted to put myself at a disadvantage, to err on the side of caution.  On the day those "easy" questions are going to be first to tackle; or perhaps more precisely, questions that I'm unsure of are going to get thrown to the back of the queue.  I also guesstimate my score as I go so I get a feel for how many "points" I have locked in.  For the AM exam I need a minimum of 115, preferably 120+.

    Of course who knows what the actual exam is going to look like.  If it's like the 2015 Mock then I'd be very happy.  Hopefully not too many ambiguous questions in the PM exam.

    Good luck!
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