Monday, 27 August 2012

Lets See what CFA Institute has to say about Level III Essay Questions

My preparations for Level III have 'officially' started from 25th of this month and waow its hard to believe I am preparing for the final level! Last year when I looked at the item sets... they freaked me out ALOT. I hope Essays which are distinct to Level III do not rip me a** apart. Level III essay exam is tested in the morning. Usually 10 - 15 questions are tested in the exam with multiple parts and each question & part's points are given in the exam accumulating to max 180 points. Each essay question consists of one or more parts. Some parts direct the student to write the answer in a template. Instructions in bold print immediately following the question direct the candidate to the page number of each template. 

The Website further shared interesting information

·         The published guideline answers on past essay exams are more complete and better written than actual exam answers that receive full credit.
·         The published guideline answers may not reflect all alternative approaches to the question that received full or partial credit.
·         Answers are graded only on content. They are not graded for language and style. (pretty important and a point certainly I need to focus well)
·         Use short phrases and bullet points to save time, but be sure your meaning is clear. (tough job to remain comprehensive)
·         Handwriting is rarely so poor that the answer cannot be graded. (Whoops! Let me recall when I had solved the last exam with hand??? Probably 2 years!"
·         Points are awarded for direct answers to a question.
·         No points are awarded for general knowledge that is not responsive to the question. (Another area to focus on)
·         Do not spend too much time writing an answer. This is particularly tempting when you know the topic well. Formulate a direct response to the command words, and use the amount of time allotted. (Another weak point!)
·         You should expect to encounter questions that you will not be able to answer correctly. There is a great deal of material to master and exam questions are challenging. Standard setters and the Board of Governors (at all three levels) take account of exam difficulty in setting Minimum Passing Scores. 

And Some common reasons why candidates get poor grades!
·         Not responsive to command word list (list, define, etc.)
·         Answered a question they wish they had been asked instead of the question that was asked.
·         No work shown on a calculation question and the answer is incorrect.
·         Hedged on questions that asked for a recommendation and justification (e.g., recommended A, but justified B).
·         Neglected to answer part of the question (especially if a several part question). Note that you can still answer part E, even if you do not know the answer to part D.
·         Content area experts spent too much time on their area of expertise, leaving too little time for weak areas.
·         Providing more items or responses than requested. If a question asks for three factors, only the first three that you list will be graded.

For Further details on Level III Essay questions visit:

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