Everyone has their own techniques for improving their chances of passing the CFA – some people wear roller blades to the exams, others get the blood flowing with push ups. But considering the continually low pass rate, concentration is key.
Which makes this story all the more remarkable. If you want to know what constitutes a pass this year, check out Analyst Forum, which has a thread where successful candidates have been providing a breakdown of their scores.
One level I candidate there says he was preparing for the exam knowing that his wife could go into labour any minute:
Two days before the exam, my (pregnant) wife went to get an ultrasound and the doctors had trouble seeing her water (thought maybe it had broken). They gave her an IV and then were able to see her water again and sent her home.
“The next day (Friday), she went back for a follow-up, and again they couldn’t see water so the doctor told me to come to the hospital because they were going to induce. At this point I was sure I would be deferring to December, and was focused on my son coming into the world. However, after two more ultrasounds, her OB/GYN was able to see her water and they sent her home (at 8:30pm the night before the test).
“My wife told me to go take the test, since she wasn’t in labor and wasn’t planning on going back to the hospital until Saturday afternoon. After taking the test, I came home and found a text from my wife that she was 2cm dilated and to come to the hospital. A day later, my son was born! So was kinda cool to go from thinking of deferring to 12 hours later passing the exam. Hopefully Level 2 won’t have the same kind of drama.”
Given that this year, 42% of candidates passed level I despite a surge in test-takers, this is impressive.