So You Failed the CFA Exam

So You Failed the CFA Exam

Article by Mike Carmody, CFA, Lead Instructor on (Updated on ) in CFA Study Tips

The Chartered Financial Analyst exam is renowned for being difficult and having a low pass rate. If you have failed the CFA exam, check out these tips on what to do next from lead instructor Mike Carmody.

People have an innate desire to succeed. We want to feel a personal sense of accomplishment and have others recognize our success.

Unfortunately, sometimes we fail. In most sporting events, one team loses and one team wins. Projects at work occasionally do not materialize as planned. Sometimes test results, such as results on the Chartered Financial Analyst® (or CFA®) exam, are not what we wanted.

So how should you deal with failure?

1. Realize you might not always succeed.

The only way to avoid failure is by not trying anything, which certainly means you will never accomplish anything. If you recognize failures will come each day, the shock factor will be minimized.

2. Embrace failure as a learning opportunity.

That is tough to do right after the news, but it is important nonetheless. Try to determine what went wrong so you can prevent it from happening again. Perhaps you should study more. Perhaps you should study differently. Only fools continue to do the same thing expecting different results. Don’t be a fool.

3. Know that failure develops character.

It makes you realize your priorities and sense of identity. Failing the CFA exam should not define you as a person. There should be many more important aspects in your life. Your relationships with friends and family will likely last longer than any career you could pursue. So if you find yourself too depressed about failing the exam, then perhaps you should reprioritize your life and try to focus on what’s more important!

4. View failure as one step closer to success.

Effective people in sales understand every “no” as just a stepping stone to the next “yes”. You can do the same with exam failures. It just means you are one step closer to passing the exam.

So don’t lose heart. Failure will make the ultimate success that much sweeter!

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