Basics of CFA Level 3 Exam and differences to L1 and L2

Basics of CFA level 3 exam

If you are a CFA level 3 exam candidate, you are already experienced and knowledgeable about basics of the CFA process. However, there are some specifics of the level 3 that should be pointed out and that you should be aware of.

First of all, the composition of curriculum is totally different. You will receive 6 volumes, but the volumes do not have “traditional” level 1 and level 2 titles. Curriculum for CFA level 3 examintroduces some new topics like behavioral finance, private wealth management and risk management. Exam topic area weights are focused on Asset classes (Alternative investments, Derivatives, Equity investments and Fixed income) with 35% – 45% weight and Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning with 45% – 55% weight, while Investment tools are not reviewed in the curriculum.

Second, composition of the exam is different. The exam is organized in two sections. The morning session is composed of case studies you’re solving by writing notes and calculations on a list of paper and afternoon session is composed of item-set question format as in Level 2. It is advisable to review the mock exams in order to be ready for the specific examination format.

Although pass rates for CFA Level 3 candidates are higher than Level 1 and Level 2 candidates it is certainly not because the exam or curriculum are easier. On the contrary, many candidates state that Level 3 is the most detailed and complicated level, however the best candidates manage to get to the third level and results are better. Your peers are good and that makes the exam easier to pass.

Good luck!

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