Interview with Kate Freeman, CFA

Candidate Success: How long did it take you to prepare for your Level III examination and how would you rate the difficulty level of this exam relative to LI and LII? 

Kate Freeman: I failed level 3 in 2019. I then studied for a lot of 2020 and the exam was postponed twice. I sat the exam in May 2021 and passed. 

I would say candidates need 7 plus months to study for level 3. The content is better than level 2 but if you don’t know how to write answers the way they want you to, candidates will fail. 

CS: What other test prep services or approaches (classes, tutoring, self-study, etc.), if any, did you try before committing to Candidate Success? 

KF: I like to always use a combination of providers if candidates can afford it. I like Schweser for their 7 day review course. I’m a big fan of Bill Campbell at Financial Exam Help 123.

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CS: What was your biggest challenge in preparing for the LIII exam and how did CS Monthly/the Dome aid you achieving a passing grade? 

KF: When I would study, I would open up the dome. It helped to know that my tutor Cynthia was always checking it. I had to be accountable to my study. 

CS: What would you consider to be the differentiating characteristics of the Candidate Success coaching services/platform versus competing services/products/platforms? 

KF: It’s the biweekly check ins that were the best. Cynthia, my tutor, introduced me to two other candidates and one lives in my city and we will be lifelong friends and colleagues! I like making friends when you go through something so challenging as CFA. 

Studying can be such a lonely venture and having friends who can relate to your experience really makes a difference. Our group would meet outside candidate success and I think we taught each other the material. We would discuss the content and it helps learn the material. 

CS: Would you recommend CS Monthly/the Dome to other CFA candidates? Why? 

Yes per my answer to your last question. 

CS: Finally, how has passing the CFA Level III examination impacted your career?  

KF: It’s helped enormously. I got my charter and then did the accelerated CFP and became a certified financial planner in three months. 

Having both CFA & CFP helped me obtain a better offer from my next job. I start with them as a financial advisor on May 2.

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