Oh me!

We are so small between the stars & so large against the sky. and lost in subway croud, I try to catch your eye …..

CFA Experience – 3 June 2007


Ok. So I came all the way back from Delhi to take the CFA exam in Bombay on June 3, 2007. so what if the useless trip cost me 12,000 bucks. It was well worth the efforts, time and money…. Or was it?

Ummm… may be not. this exam was different. .. Chalo let me start from the beginning

I landed at Mumbai airport after flying through beautiful clouds aboard an Indian airlines flight. People say that their service is poor; however it was much better than Go air. Anyways, I had a window seat and for the first time was in an airplane while being in midst of a storm. The plane was shaking violently and was bumping too… seemed more of being in a bus from Kota to Ajmer rather than in a plane from del to bom.

Anyways, after a 45 min delay I landed at Mumbai airport at about 8 PM. I had already made my boarding arrangements at 3 places. So I went to NITIE because it was closest to the test centre at Thakur Engg college at Kandivili. I got a room on 7th floor, number 707. it seemed as if the airplane thing was just not leaving me. There the room was in a mess and no pillows or bed sheets were provided. So I borrowed a bed sheet from shriharsha which I eventually used as a pillow because I didn’t want the sleep to be a pain in the neck (pun intended)

When I landed in NITIE, Chandan told me that PPO decision is due on Tuesday. Now I already know what skimpy chance do I have at a PPO so it didn’t bother me much. However there was, and is, a small feeling that ….. Chalo, let’s leave that for a moment.

So I borrowed an alarm clock. I set multiple alarms just to make sure that I don’t forget to wake up in the morning. . I studied a bit of GIPS and asset valuation before I slept at 11 30.

I woke up at 5 30 AM. But then I thought “ki agar life mein neend nahi poori ki to kya kiya?”. So I slept for an hour more and woke up at 6 30 AM out of sheer tension. Then quickly got ready and was set to leave for the exam.

A break here— at this point I must state that NITIE campus is very beautiful. I liked it very much, about the same as PEC.

Haan to as I was saying, when I was going out of the hostel I found a few guys all ready like me. I guessed immediately that they too were CFA candidates. Since there was only one centre at Bombay, my baniya buddhi thought it better to share an auto (read cut my operating expenses by half). So I sat with this padhakoo looking guy. The route from NITIE to kandivili was very beautiful. It was a cloudy day and that really cheered me up. In fact it was so beautiful that I really had a doubt that this place was in Bombay. Chalo koi na, I finally reached thakur’s at about 7 50 AM.

There were lots of people at the centre. Around 2000 may be. There were a quite a few sexy looking chicks too, which busted my myth of finance being a male dominated area.

Jo bhi ho, the centre was very well managed. Invigilators were wearing a seemingly bulletproof yellow top up shirt which reminded me of a parrot. I asked one of them why was it like that and she told me it’s CFA policy. I though that the CFA institute makes people work like an ass and look like a parrot… what are they somehow affiliated to PeTA? But then I just shrugged off the feeling and continued my observations at the firagi test centre. There were big posters of Cell phones not allowed and Laptops/ PC’s not allowed all over the place. They were printed on pretty decent paper and I wondered how much would have this bullshit cost them. But with all that $845 fees, they can spend money on things like that I guess.

So then I went inside the centre where they repeatedly checked my hall ticket and Passport. They’re pretty touchy on these issues yaar. So then they gave us a very well printed exam booklet and OMR sheet and read the instructions aloud. The test began at sharp 9 AM according to the 30 Rs digital ‘hello kitty’ watch that I purchased from Dwarka.

I started with Portfolio Mgmt . there were 6 qns and I did not know answer to 1. CML and SML were heavily tested material. I then moved to asset valuation. But I found that tough and in the mid section went to economics which I again found tough. There were some qns on monetary policy effects on currency appreciation that I’m sure I did bad in. I next moved to Quant which was ok types and to Ethics which were fine. Then I went back to asset valuation before finally doing Financial statement analysis, which as again OK.
So in essence, asset valuation was tough and other sections were fine… but I din’t have that ‘phod diya’ feeling in AM test.

BUT I finished the test 1hour before .

Then there was a break for 2 hours where I had a very oily chola bhatura and a fag. This guy from ICFAI was also smoking and I cursed his institute a bit. He was curious about IIFT and I gave him general gyaan.

I met a few of my college seniors also during the exam

Then came the afternoon session.

This section was easier. I started with portfolio mgmt again which was just OK types. Lots of CML/SML qns again. Then I moved to asset valuation which I found easy. As I was a bit confidant, I moved to FSA which again was easy. Nest I went to Economics which was cool . Then was Quant which I think I cracked. Last was ethich where again I did well.
Overall paper was easy But tricky. Also lots of ‘ratta’ is required. Theory is big time important. Even quant had theory in it.

So in essence, AM was bad and PM was good. However, because AM was Quite bad, I’m 80% sure I’ll pass. Ok may be 90% but definitely not 100%

Out of 240 qns I did not know/got confused in 54 qns.

Assuming I knew the answers at this much correct of level, my score is

70%level 75%level 80% level 83%level 85% level
sure 186 130.2 139.5 148.8 154.38 158.1
unsure 54 13.5 13.5 13.5 13.5 13.5
Total 143.7 153 162.3 167.88 171.6
% 59.875 63.75 67.625 69.95 71.5

at most I can get 74% approx

Most probably I’ll get 68% types. So that’s it. I’m borderline case in this exam

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