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CFA Level III: "Most depressing exam of my life"

Some people are in post-exam raptures

The pandemic is kind of over, but the CFA® exams are not really getting all that much easier.

Following last month's revelation that the most recent pass rate for CFA Level II exams was a comparatively miserable 40%, CFA Institute revealed today that the pass rate for CFA III exams taken in August was 48%. 

This is better than the "savage" 42% pass rate of last year, but not much. The historic average pass rate for CFA Level III was 56%.

The internet is, accordingly, alive with people alternately celebrating their great good luck and lamenting their excruciating misfortune. "Hardest and most depressing exam of my life and I passed it yesss," says someone on Reddit, writing in capitals, with less punctuation and more expletives. "Hell yeah," said someone else. "Hallelujah."

The failing majority were mostly marked by a sense of deep mystification on the reason for their failure. CFA exams theoretically require at least 300 hours of study and most of those who failed said they studied 500 hours at least. "I studied for 540 hours in 7 months," said one. "Failed just below minimum pass rate. Don't know what to do now."

One option may simply be to give up on trying to pass the CFA exams altogether. As we reported last month, Berenberg has stopped mandating that its people pass the CFA exams because they're too time-consuming.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
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