You would be tempted to answer very simply wouldn’t you? “Because it’s hard”. And it’s true. But that is not why people fail the CFA. So why do they? There is of course a very large quantity of possible reasons for failing it but here are the ones I would personally consider as the most likely:
-Lack discipline in setting aside time for studying the exam
-Not focusing on the core material
-Not increasing the intensity in the last few weeks
-Simply a bad performance at the exam
-You did not buy the proper material for your studies
-Your overall studying plan was bad
There are many other reasons of course such as having a bad studying location but I think the main ones were the ones I described. Honestly, I don’t really believe the theory that you can be too “dumb” to pass the exam. The CFA is a unique exam in many ways but I think that it’s generally a fair one too. It rewards good work and, a good understanding of the core material. Knowing everything by heart, and understanding all of the material is impossible of course which means you will be rewarded if you can be smart about it and, apply the 80/20 and many of the other concepts described in this blog.
Chances Are That You Are Not Too Last Minute
As I’ve said in the past, I think that while it’s not ideal, even starting to study one month before the exam gives you enough time to pass it. Your odds won’t be as great as someone who studies well AND starts early but you still have a very good shot. It’s strange because it’s always the number one excuse that I hear when people fail the CFA– that and the general “lack of time” argument. Since I consider that you can pass it with one (very) intense month, I hate to ask but I must. If you are not ready to sacrifice one month to pass this exam, do you even deserve to pass it? Some special cases are different (family sickness, etc) but in most cases, it’s simply a matter of being disciplined in having no life for one month… it really is that simple.