So, if you took the June exam, tomorrow is the day that you have been waiting for. Level 1 and Level 2 candidates across the the world will be receiving their CFA scores. Level 3 candidates will have to wait a bit longer. After 9:00 AM E.T. you will get an email from the CFA institute titled “Your CFA Exam Results” . The contents of the email will look like this:
From the first line you can tell straight away if you failed and the email should start with “We regret to inform you….”.
Myths regarding the timing when you receive your email.
The CFA institute says that you will receive your email after 9:00 AM E.T. and some candidates can expect to wait hours before they receive the email. When I was waiting for my exam results, constantly refreshing my inbox and reading forums, people were speculating that candidates who received their emails first had passed and candidates who received their emails later had failed. Over the years I have reached the conclusion that this is utter nonsense and that the order is irrelevant. I have come across both passing and failing candidates who received emails relatively early.
How to interpret the scores?
Unfortunately you will not get told the questions that you got wrong so you will have to look at how strongly you scored in the three bands (<=50%, 51%-70% >70%). Needless to say, if you have many <=50% chances are that you failed. However as I am sure that you are aware, not all topics are weighted equally so if you scored well in highly weighted topics such as equity and financial reporting that might have been enough to offset poor results in other areas. If you failed marginally, the important thing to do now is to identify your weaknesses and to focus on those areas when re-taking the exam, whilst retaining what you learned for other topics.
If you have failed on most topics, don’t despair. In that case, in addition to spending more time in preparing, I strongly advise you to review your study techniques. Exam taking strategies play a key role in the CFA exams so speak with friends who passed and see what worked for them.
I disagree with the marking.
Yes, if you failed marginally and you are confident that you should have passed, you can ask the institute to remark the exam. This will set you back $100 and chances are that things won’t work in your favour, although I have come across a few online posts where candidates were boasting of having had a fail result changed to a pass after asking for their papers to be remarked.
Preparing for the next level.
If you are thrilled that you passed and you want to leverage this positive momentum to get started in your preparation for your next exam, I recommend that you read the following articles where I provide some study tips for levels 1, 2 and 3. I will never get tired of saying this, although all levels share common themes and topics, the type of questions and skill sets required to succeed in each level differ a lot.
I would like to conclude this post by congratulating all candidates regardless of their results. These are not easy exams and only the people who have undergone the preparation and took the exam can understand the effort that it takes in passing. Having had the charter for roughly 3 years now, I am confident that you will reap the rewards of your hard work, so good luck with your journey.