Friday, June 1, 2012

It's Go Time!

And just like that, it's the day before the exam.  You've all read along and heard me moan and complain, feel anxiety, and moments of confidence over the last 5+ months.  It's been a long 5 months, but at the same time, the last 5 months have flown by and it's kind of crazy to think I'll be sitting for this exam tomorrow.

There are so many parallels between marathon training and studying for the CFA.  Well, except the whole taper thing.  I so didn't get to taper going into this test, instead I increased my study hours in the final weeks.  But the main thing these 2 challenges have in common is that you have to trust your training.  You have to show up on test day or race day knowing that you did everything you could to prepare yourself.

The element that I am trying not to let bother me so much is the fact that this test is basically graded on a curve.  There is no 'passing score' - it's determined every year, and they usually pass about 36-40% of those who take the exam.  That was the case last year, but I knew there would be some who wouldn't adequately prepare for the exam.  This year I am up against people who passed level I, so they know what they are getting themselves into...  So approximately 40% of those who passed level I last year will pass Level II - which equals about 16%...  That's a low number.  But I can't control how prepared they are - I can only control how prepared I am.  And I couldn't be more prepared than I am, so I am trying to trust that it's enough.

The process of studying for this exam has been long and hard.  But it really will all be worth it when I do eventually earn the CFA designation.  It will do wonders for my career and my financial stability, which are important for a person in an single income household...

So here is hoping that the 7 practice tests and 350+ hours of studying I did over the last 5+ months is enough.  There are a total of 20 case studies on the exam, so they can't test you on EVERYTHING.  The cases are very tricky, though, and they definitely throw some curve balls at you.  My hope is that there are lots of intense computational problems as that is what I excel at.  And I really hope I walk out feeling as confident as I did when I left the exam last year.  But I don't know if that will happen as this level is SO much harder than the first level. Either way, I am going to try my best to put it out of my mind. 

Luckily, I'll have some help in that regards as I've got a fun Mexican meal with family to look forward to afterwards which will definitely distract me.  11 of us will be eating out, including my parents who are driving down just to join us for the post-CFA celebration!  And then I have a massage the following day!  And I'll spend the next 8 weeks catching up with all the friends and family I've neglected for the last 5 months!

Say a little prayer for me tomorrow!  I should be a free woman around 4:30 tomorrow afternoon!  Can't wait!

And PS - it's my nephew Andrew's 7th birthday today!  Doesn't seem like that long ago that he was born!!


Andrew and I! (wow, I look young)

24 comments:

Jess said...

Good luck, Lisa! Like I've said before - you've worked so hard and been so dedicated to your studying schedule, I just know you're going to do amazingly! Will be thinking about you tomorrow!

Unprofessional said...

Good luck, Lisa! You've worked your tail off for this, just like you said it's time to TRUST your training! I'll be thinking of you, best wishes!!! And ENJOY every minute of your post-exam celebration-you've earned it!

abbi said...

You are ready, go tackle it. You've really committed yourself, good luck!

Gracie said...

You are very prepared - you've got this for sure! Good luck!

J said...

Go get it Lisa! You so have this! I know you are going to do great! You have been so dedicated! I am impressed!

pinkflipflops said...

I have so much confidence in you! You will rock it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Linda said...

Good luck, good luck, good luck!

Leigh said...

Good luck tomorrow Lisa! Not that you need it with how prepared you are :)

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Good luck! You are going to do great. You ARE prepared and it will carry you through this.

Carolina John said...

Good luck tomorrow and happy birthday Andrew!

Caroline said...

Good luck!! You're so prepared for this!

Melissa said...

So many happy thoughts for you! I've told you a million times & I'll say it again- I have never seen anyone study as hard as you have and be as dedicated. You are a studying guru & I just KNOW you'll beat the odds to pass this exam. BEST OF LUCK to you tomorrow & I hope to see lots of happy tweets around 4:30! Enjoy the rest of your weekend with family afterwards because you will be freeeeee :)

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

The last 5 months really have flown by. I continue to be in awe of your dedication and focus to this cause. You are amazing and you're going to do your very best (which is hopefully enough to pass the exam)!

Know another parallel to studying for the CFA and training for marathons? LABOR AND DELIVERY of a baby. Seriously. When our birthing class instructor found out I used to run marathons, she told me birth would be cake. I'm not so sure about "cake," but I am sure that you spend nine months getting ready for this event and you can only control certain factors. So long as you've prepared, you should be ready!!!

GOOD LUCK TOMORROW!!!! xoxo

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

You will do great. You are actually the smartest person I know and you have worked SO hard for this. I am thinking about you lots this weekend! XO

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Thinking happy, confident thoughts for you tomorrow!! Go get it, Lisa!

San said...

I really think you did anything in your power to pass this test. You've been so disciplined over the last few months, skipping dates with family and friends to keep on your study schedule.
You're going to rock this exam! I am so glad you'll be free tomorrow afternoon and will be able to celebrate with family later!
Enjoy your summer, Lisa, it starts tomorrow!!!! xo

Stephany said...

I can't imagine you not being a part of that 16% with how hard you've studied & how dedicated you've been. You have put your whole heart & soul into this and now it's time to TRUST THE TRAINING. You will do great and I will be thinking good thoughts tomorrow while you take the test.

And enjoy the post-CFA celebration tomorrow night!!!

Ashley said...

Ah, best of luck! You have put in the hard work. Make sure to enjoy that celebration meal.

Jeanie said...

You are going to ace it. You will be perfect. Your score will top them all. You are ready, willing, able, committed and smart. YOU WILL PASS -- and with FLYING colors!

Cherry Blossoms said...

Whoop Whoop wishing you lots of luck! You got this!

Barb Geier said...

Love you, Lisa!

Lisa-Marie said...

It's the days after the exam now. I hop you are still drinking wine, and having a lovely weekend outside!

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I'm behind on blog reading. But, I just wanted to say you are inspiring and so amazing and I am so inspired by your dedication. You did FANTASTIC and you will be in my prayers for the next 8 weeks until you get the results that you PASSED!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Now that the exam is done I can imagine you feel AMAZING!!!!! CELEBRATE!!!!!