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Past Level III Constructed Response or Essay Exam Questions



At Level III, CFA Institute challenges you in a unique way – the formidable Constructed Response or Essay Exam format. One very common way to prepare for which students use is to look at past papers which were made available.  However, as you know, the exam curriculum changes each year and hence you need to know which questions are still relevant.

You need to find the questions that are still covered in the current LOs and doing this is not an easy task for you. The good news is that IFT has done this for you.

We have created the 2022 Level III Essay Questions Relevancy document which outlines the status of every question. The document classifies every essay exam question from 2012 to 2018* in three categories:

  1. Fully relevant – Based on current year curriculum

This means that the questions are still valid, and you should work through them.

  1. Partially relevant – Partially based on current year curriculum

This means that some part of the question is based on the current year’s curriculum.

  1. Not relevant – Not based on current year curriculum

These questions are based on readings that are no longer a part of the curriculum.

*From 2019 onwards, CFA Institute stopped publishing the actual exam papers

Also, you need to make the best use of your time and available prep material. So, the question is, now you have essay exam questions from the 2012 to 2018 exams, how do you make the best use of them?

What we recommend is that you go through the IFT relevancy document and note down all the questions that are ‘fully relevant’, as mentioned above. Once you have the list, try to solve these on your own (i.e. without help from the curriculum or IFT materials). If cannot solve them then open your books or IFT materials for help.

Then if you have time go through the questions that fall under ‘partially relevant’ also.

For ‘not relevant’ questions — it is recommended that you still look at the questions and go through the solutions to get a better understanding of how to structure your essay exam questions.

If you have purchased an IFT Level III Basic, Plus or Premium package:

You will have access to the IFT video library of solution videos to the past essay exams (here is the link to that course: Level III Past Paper Essay Exam Question Videos )

So, after attempting the questions yourself first, you should watch how Arif Irfanullah, CFA would answer them!  A lot of times candidates end up giving answers that are too long, hence wasting their time and ending up not completing the essay exam. These videos show you how to approach the questions and how to write an optimal answer which will give you the best scores in minimal time. It is recommended that you solve the questions on your own first, only after that look at the solution videos to check what your weaknesses are and how to improve on them.

Best of luck!