Tag Archives: cfa

7 types of people you will see at the CFA exams

The Dude Bro: Wears a backwards baseball cap, a polo, and plaid shorts; essentially looks like a walking Abercrombie ad. Brings the bare minimum exam tools. Maybe an eraser if he’s feeling a little less confident. Seems to know every other Dude Bro candidate, probably from drunken times at various keggers. Will take any break opportunities to socialize with their frat friends.

The Hopeful Single Girl: Showed up on exam day partially to take advantage of the high male to female ratio. Wears bright-coloured form-fitting top, super tight yoga pants, and a face full of makeup. Travels alone to increase chances of guys approaching her. Spends 10 minutes in the washroom touching up her mascara, prior to catwalking back to her seat.

The Banking Veteran: Older gentleman, fully suited up with a tie. Studied a total of 4hrs, banking on his 30yrs of professional experience to propel him to a passing score. Erroneously thought exam day is another networking opportunity. Gives disgusted looks to the hordes of younger, just-out-of-school candidates running around in sweatpants and flip-flops, blaming these whippersnappers for the ruin of the glory days of banking.

The Nervous Wreck: Spends every minute of lunch break trying to re-hash his notes or memorize another footnote. Brought all 6 curriculum books in a giant backpack in the off chance he needs to refer to it. Refuses to acknowledge the existence of anyone speaking to him, in fear that an extra conversation will set him off his game. Has the most pristine study notes.

The Level I Newbie: Arrived an hour earlier than the reporting time. Allowed enough extra travel time to account for traffic, accidents, schedule changes, and being abducted by aliens. Brought every single writing instrument she could find in her house, in addition to a pencil sharpener, two extra calculators, calculator batteries, and screwdriver to change the battery.

The Lost Cause: Stumbled into the exam room just as the doors were closing. Forgot his calculator. Bloodshot eyes and darkened face from an all-nighter, in which he thought he could learn the entire curriculum. Finishes the AM portion in an hour and sits there for another 15 minutes wondering what to do, observing everyone else furiously writing. Says “fuck it”, doesn’t go back to check his answers, hands in the morning exam, and slogs back home to bed.

The Fob Mob: Group of 4-6 Asians, who arrive to the exam together, take lunch break together, and leave the venue together. Females all wearing some cream-coloured frilly dress appropriate for strawberry-picking. Males all wearing black, rectangular, thick-rimmed glasses and sporting anime hair. Converses in loud Mandarin, opening discussing how they answered every single exam question and posting to some BBS via cellphone, despite knowing it is a violation of the CFA Professional Standards.

Things I do to keep myself amused while studying

A non-comprehensive list:

  • Sing Disney songs.
  • Daydream about what to do with my freedom after the exam.
  • Stare outside my window and wonder why the hell my backyard neighbour needs three satellite dishes:


  • Practice my signature.
  • Read MLIA, TFLN and FML on my phone.
  • Admire how great of a hair day I’m having, lament how there’s nobody to witness it except my family who couldn’t give two shits about the state of my coif.
  • Read things in a British accent. Everything sounds more legit with a British accent.
  • Fawn over the adorableness of Chuck & Blair and John Krasinski & Emily Blunt:
(Fictitious couple) Chuck Bass + Blair Waldorf.

(Fictitious couple) Chuck Bass & Blair Waldorf

(Real-life couple) John Krasinski + Emily Blunt

(Real-life couple) John Krasinski & Emily Blunt

  • Write disapproving remarks in the margins about the textual content.
  • Experience Tetris effect without actually playing Tetris.
  • Recalculate how much reading I need to accomplish per day given the time remaining, fully aware that I’m not going to stick to schedule anyways.
  • Wonder if people actually use pipe cleaners to clean pipes.
  • Recall hilarious scenes from The Office and chuckle to myself.
  • Sketch:
I like drawing fluffy hair curls.

I like drawing fluffy hair curls.

  • Try to invent new pen-spinning techniques, drop my pen everywhere, give up, accept that I will never be as 1337 as these guys.
  • Draw anime poop in the margins of my books and label it as “gross margin”. (I know, I’m such a hoot.)
  • Make lists about things I do to keep myself amused while studying.

Busy busy busy

Tomorrow marks the first day of autumn, so of course it’s going to feel like 32 and be humid. Co-op terms are generally more relaxing than academic terms, but these next few months are going to be nothing short of hectic. In addition to work-related stuff, I have to apply to grad jobs (which is like a full-time job in itself) and study for CFA (which is like taking a few extra courses). So yes I am starting to feel the pressure.

Due to the above mentioned encumbrances, I will also have no social life until December 5. And then I will probably need to go all out holiday-festive-style. I would say that this past week wrapped up my fun quite nicely. Last Saturday I had lunch with Nic, then went for a haircut in Pacific Mall. Jo and I decided to try that new place upstairs (I forgot what it’s called already). It was okay, nothing remarkable. I will keep trying different salons to find a really really good one, or at least somewhere with a decent price-to-quality ratio. Afterwards, we wandered around the mall and moved on to Market Village. As some of you may be aware of, Market Village will soon be no more. Instead, they intend to replace it with the biggest Asian mall in North America (a title currently held by none other than Pacific Mall). There was a pretty large model in the main foyer, so I snapped some shots:

You can see P-Mall as the red building in the front. Behind it is the proposed reconstruction of Market Village

You can see P-Mall as the red building in the front. Behind it is the proposed reconstruction of Market Village, with a luxury hotel attached. Those lush looking trees in the parking lot are LIES.

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