Did anyone else just take this? Just sat for the third time…
Think it’s a little early for specifics, but I almost got a heart attack on file submission time. I was completely missing a spreadsheet in the main folder. Somehow it downloaded into Documents instead of where all the other files were. But I eventually got my final drafts attached.
I also spazzed and left the post it in my locker so I didn’t get a candidate ID on there
Glad to be free for 11ish weeks
They really need to make the file submission more automatic so we don’t need to upload ourselves and memorize our candidate number before going in. Just adds to the stress of taking the exam. I was also shocked to find out that there was no “lunch break” like there used to be on 5 hour exams. Maybe I missed something from the SOA but I don’t think that was clearly communicated. My brain was cooked after about 3.5 hrs and made the later portion of the exam tough to get through. Even if they did communicate that not sure it makes sense to put people through that. Should definitely have a morning session and an afternoon session like they used to.
I remember questions on the break when they first moved the FSA exams to Prometric in 2020, because they screwed up the language around the break and test time. But at this point they have their standard script. It’s definitely absurd to me to have such difficult, long tests with no food or water break (unless the clock keeps running…). The point is what we know, not our physical stamina.
Water fountains at my Prometric were broken. They had room temp bottled water if we happened to ask about water. But it wasn’t advertised, I was just complaining and they offered from a giant pack…
I liked the 5 hours on the same day way better than breaking it up into 3 hours and 2 hours on separate days. And I’m glad not to have to compete with people who were able to focus just on the FV-A half this time.
I definitely didn’t know we were doing it PA style with the running clock, but I think it’s better. The A half has a lot of potentially time consuming calculations. I felt like the 5 hour 15 was much easier to finish than the 2h 15 and 3h 15 pieces last time. But I was the most prepared this sitting and IMO they didn’t have anything that could be an extreme time suck regardless of how prepared we were
I also prefer the single exam on one day over the two pieces over multiple days (sometimes several days in between) ;would prefer to just get it done in one day. You make a good point that the keeping as one combined exam allows you to allocate more or less time between the two “parts” depending on the questions; definitely an advantage with a single continuous exam. However, I still think they need to give people a meaningful break as 5 hours is a long stretch to do all at once, especially if you have to also wait 45 min for Prometric to check you in and get you set up (which was the situation with my test)!
I have a lot of sympathy. Having a 5+ hour running clock really isn’t right.
If I was in this position I would still plan for a break at around the half way point. I did this when I took PA… But it’s not right to put test takers in this position, because there are people willing to go 5+ hours without water/ bathroom/etc and that really should not be a competitive advantage.
It is absurd.
CFA: used to be 2 3 hour exam halves in 1 day with ~1 hour break (so similar to FSA exams). With the Prometric transition, the CFA exams are now 2 parts of 2.25 hours each, with 1 optional 30 minute break in between. The 30 minute break does not impact the clock, it’s kind of a separate segment. You cannot go back to part 1. The clocks for part 1, break, and part 2 are consecutive. Any clock can be ended early, making that break optional. You can’t keep working on part 1 past the part 1 clock…
If CFA can manage the transition to Prometric, why couldn’t the SOA do something similar? Doesn’t even have to make the exams shorter.
I’m sure it’s more expensive that ways because the SOA has to pay Prometric for a longer time block. And at this point the SOA can claim it’s “feasible” as is and thus doesn’t need to be changed. But any technical issues just make it even worse - I had a 30 minute delayed start to my fall exam, then the 5+ hours straight. I know the SOA said they’re more and more rare as time goes on, but every test I see multiple people with SOA tech issues…
I do like that the 30 minute break is optional for CFA exams but no penalty if you use it. It adds more flexibility for the test taker based on their preference.