CFA Exams/Jobs

I took a smaller sample exam that they offered for free on their website, which certainly could have been easier. They didn’t say I actually passed but from what I saw online, the pass mark is rarely above 70%. I don’t see why they’d make it easier than the real one, but it’s possible. I also zoomed through it and picked my gut response for each.

Yeah, I wouldn’t view that as a representative practice exam. The Kaplan Schweser ones are pretty good though. It doesn’t need to be online, the older printed ones are enough to identify the weak points. It doesn’t sound like you’ll have much trouble in any case!

Pass mark could be above 70%. Apparently it was super high this past sitting.

I don’t think any actuary is a bad test taker objectively! Actuarial exams are just so much harder. I studied less for CFA exams and passed every one on the first attempt, and that’s not the case for me for actuarial exams. So that’s why I think CFA exams are easier. Also time management is much much easier on CFA exams.

Maybe CFA exams also seem easier because they’re less volatile than FSA exams. The way you can have a giant question on the tiniest portion of material on FSA exams and ignore entire swaths? That’s just FSA exams. Also the mistakes on FSA exams, ugh.

Yeah anecdotally it seems that CFA charterholders generally wind up having more appreciation & use for the curriculum after passing the exams, which seems to indicate the high value of the curriculum.


I used to see the total comps of the head pricing actuaries for groups in a large insurance company and it was 1m in many years.

I remember Mike. Great guy. Tons of kids. The Nashville Gaylord Hotel was awesome. I think I passed #6 under his tutelage.

I spent an additional $20 on level I, and about $220 each on Levels II and III, but now that kaplan schweser seems to have stopped publishing printed practice exams I think getting supplementary study materials is much less worth it.

Another thing that’s non obvious to actuaries is that the CFA curriculum books actually come with problems (& solutions) at the end of each chapter.

There are also a ton of additional problem sets available online with your candidate access on CFA institute [I ignored these because I prefer studying pen & paper]. CFA institute now provides you with 3 full length practice exams [online] for each level as well. I don’t remember if this was the case when I took the exams. Possibly it was an extra cost, or possibly I just ignored these. [Costs of CFA exams did go up since, so perhaps this has been priced into registration costs]

1 Like