How Many Times Can You Take CFA Mock Exams?

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Practice a lot is one of the most effective ways to learn. You are able to take CFA Mock exams to pass the actual exam. But, to complete your practice, how many times can you take CFA mock exams? According to our research, there is an optimal number of CFA mock exams you should be doing for the best opportunity of passing.

Why Do You Need CFA Mock Exams?

As we have explained before, practice exams are very crucial to pass the actual exam.

Here are some reasons why you need to take CFA Mock exams:

  • CFA Mock exams will help you understand what are the main testable topics.
  • CFA Mock exams will get you used to the exam format, under time constraint.
  • CFA Mock exams will help you retain what you have learned.

Probably, you will not get the best of scores on your first practice exam, but do not get discouraged. As long as you go through the detailed answers carefully and also review concepts you are unfamiliar with, then you are going to continue to improve your scores and timing.

How Many CFA Mock Exams Are Candidates Usually Doing?

There is a chart you need to know that summarizes our research data in the past several years. The chart shows the average number of practice exams attempted by CFA candidates across the most recent five years. It is categorized by their results grade. To be clear, one practice exam is defined as including both sets of exam papers, one practice exam is 4 hours 15 minutes worth of test time.

Need to note, Band 1 to Band 10 are actual CFA exam failures, with Band 1 showing the lowest scores, whilst Band 10 is a borderline failure, which is closest to reaching the minimum passing score. The chart shows us that for CFA Level 1, passing candidates completed an average of 4.1 practice exams. Then, for CFA Level 2, passing candidates completed an average of 4.4 practice exams. Lastly, for CFA Level 3, passing candidates completed an average of 6.2 practice exams.

In fact, not only passing candidates attempt more practice exams. The number of CFA mock exams completed is very correlated with candidates’ actual CFA exam performance, with the candidates reaching Fail Bands 1/2 only trying about half the practice exams the passing candidates’ average. Also, the average number of practice exams increases sharply when you go up the CFA levels, reflecting not only the increased difficulty in passing, but the increased level of competition.

How Many CFA Mock Exams Should You Do?

As a candidate, you should try at least 4 CFA Mock Exams for Level 1 and Level 2, and 6 CFA Mock Exams for Level 3. By the way, should you do much more than that? According to our research, there is a diminishing return on exam performance after your practice exam number starts to increase beyond certain thresholds.

Here is a correlation analysis between the number of practice exams attempted by the candidates, with their predicted CFA exam score (also known as the “40/60/80 score”).

By plotting the graph, we determined:

  • Where the Pareto point is (the point where additional practice exams start to have diminishing benefit).
  • Beyond a key number of CFA mock exams, performance loses correlation, because the candidates sacrifice other aspects of their preparation to complete an overly-ambitious number of practice exams.

Surprisingly, there are candidates who take too many CFA mock exams.

Given these insights, then we recommend that:

  • CFA Level 1 candidates should take at least 5 sets of CFA mock exams.
  • CFA Level 2 candidates should take at least 5 sets of CFA mock exams.
  • CFA Level 3 candidates should take at least 7 sets of CFA mock exams.

Warning: Ensure you use CFA Institute’s free mock exams. Also, get additional ones you need from third party prep providers to meet the recommended minimum for a good opportunity of passing.

How Many Mock Exams Does CFA Institute Provide?

For your information, CFA Institute offers up to a maximum of 3 sets of CFA mock exams for each CFA level on their Learning Ecosystem. If you do not have enough time to complete all of them, we highly suggest you to at least go through those questions and then analyze each one of them by reviewing the answer. Please treat CFA Institute’s mock exams as the best source which mimics the actual CFA exam.

Where Can You Get More CFA Practice Exams?

Here are some you should be looking at:

  • As explained, CFA Institute gives away free CFA Mock exams to every registered candidate, so you should take it.
  • You are able to check out other CFA practice exams for the latest roundup of the best third-party CFA mock exam offers.
  • 300Hours site features the latest deals offered by third party CFA prep providers. Also, they give away free practice tests to the readers for all CFA levels.

Free CFA Level 3 Mock Exams Provided by 300Hours

Here are five questions of CFA Level 3 Mock Exams provided by 300Hours:

  1. Which of the principles is inconsistent with the Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct?
    A. Principle 1.
    B. Principle 2.
    C. Principle 3.
  2. Which of the principles is inconsistent with the Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct?
    A. The risk management process.
    B. Portfolio information.
    C. Business-continuity plan.
  3. Which of Nathan’s client service policies is consistent with the Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct?
    A. Performance reports frequency.
    B. Complete, accurate disclosures, including complex calculations.
    C. Conflicts of interests’ disclosures.
  4. Are the firm’s disclosures regarding management fees consistent with the required and recommended standards of the Asset Manager Code?
    A. Yes.
    B. No, because the average or expected expenses or fees clients are likely to incur are not mentioned.
    C. No, because complicated language is used.
  5. The economic forecasting approaches Jaffer and Arnaud most likely use are:
    A. Checklist approach and LEI.
    B. Reduced-form models and checklist approach.
    C. Structural models and LEI.

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