• General advice video which explains how to take the Level III essay exam.
  • Several videos on how to solve specific questions from actual CFA Institute essay exams. These videos  guide you on how to think while responding to essay exam questions.
    • Only relevant questions for 2019 are addressed.
    • The questions from exam years 2009 to 2015 are organized by topics such as behavioral finance, individual investor portfolios, and so on.
    • The questions for 2016, 2017 and 2018 are organized by exam year.
  • Below you will find the list of questions covered before 2016:


YearQ#Concepts tested

Behavioral Finance Questions from the 2012 – 2015 Essay Exams
201511Regret aversion, loss aversion, mental accounting, framing biases 
201411Availability, endowment, framing, regret aversion, representativeness, self-control; moderating versus adapting to biases
20133Friedman-Savage utility function, behavioral biases, behavioral portfolio theory vs mean-variance framework 
20124Anchoring, hindsight, regret aversion, representativeness, status quo, conservatism, endowment, mental accounting, illusion of control; recognize which biases are cognitive versus emotional; moderating versus adapting to biases

Individual Portfolio Management Questions from the 2011 – 2015 Essay Exams
20157Calculate bequest amount, calculate gift amount, ability to take risk, liquidity and time horizon constraints.
20141Risk tolerance, liquidity requirement, post retirement portfolio value, calculate portfolio's % return after tax.  
20142Options strategy to reduce wealth concentration and defer taxes, reduce cost of hedging, cashless collar, forward conversion with options strategy. 
20131Calculate after tax required return, ability to take risk, calculate liquidity requirement, portfolio selection based on objectives and constraints.
20132Estate planning, benefits of trust, gift vs bequest, generation skipping.
20121Calculate required return, ability to take risk, earnings and financial market risk, liquidity and time horizon constraints, human capital.
20122Tax considerations Note: Part B is not relevant.
20111Behavioral biases, estate planning
20112Calculate after tax nominal return, risk tolerance, liquidity and time horizon constraints, Monte Carlo simulation model.

Institutional Portfolio Management Questions from 2011 – 2015 Essay Exams
20151Pension plan: Risk tolerance, calculate return requirement, impact of early retirement option.
20152Institutional IPS, risk tolerance, and constraints Note: Part A & B are not relevant.
20145Pension plan: Risk tolerance, liquidity requirement, asset-only and liability mimicking now known as liability-relative approach. Note: Part C is not relevant.
20146Endowment: Risk tolerance, return requirement, compare risk tolerance and liquidity requirement of endowment with pension plan.
20136Foundation: Risk tolerance, calculate nominal required return, calculate liquidity requirement.
20137Pension plan: Shortfall risk. Note: Part C and D are not relevant.
20126Pension plan: Return objective and return requirement, risk tolerance, asset allocation, asset-only and liability relative approach, DB plan vs participant-directed DC plan. Note: Part C, D and E are not relevant.
20113Endowment: Formulate and calculate return objective for endowment, risk tolerance, liquidity and time horizon constraints, maintaining real value and reducing volatility of endowment.

Economic Analysis Questions from the 2011 – 2015 Essay Exams
201510Grinold-Kroner model, Taylor rule, risk premium approach 
20144Singer-Terhaar approach, Taylor rule, ability to service debt
20135Cobb-Douglas function, Fed and Yardeni model.


Note: Solution makes a reference to the BRICS reading which has been removed; however, the concept is still valid
20125Survivorship bias, regime change and appraisal data, purchasing power parity and capital flows, H-model, Tobin's q
20114Cobb Douglas, H Model, Fed Model, Yardeni Model

Asset Allocation Questions from the 2009 – 2015 Essay Exams
20159Executing forward trade, selecting appropriate options trade. Note: Part A is not relevant
20148Expected utility, Roy's safety-first criterion Note: Part C & D are not relevant
20115ALM, Black-Litterman, resampled frontier, Monte Carlo
20105Strategic asset allocation using mean-variance optimization. Note: Part D & E are not relevant
20096Strategic asset allocation, whether investments are suitable

Fixed Income Questions from the 2011 – 2015 Essay Exams
The Fixed Income Questions from 2011 – 2017 are not relevant for 2019 Level III CFA Examination, because FI readings of previous years were replaced by new readings in 2018.

Alternative Investment Questions from the 2009 – 2015 Essay Exams
20154Real estate Indices, direct real estate inv. vs publicly traded equity inv,


performance fee for hedge funds, J-factor risk, investment lock up period.

Risk Management and Derivatives Questions from the 2009 – 2015 Essay Exams
20156Calculate amount at risk of credit loss, payment netting with a single counter-party, reducing credit risk.
20156Calculate amount at risk of credit loss, payment netting with a single counter-party, reducing credit risk.
20156Calculate amount at risk of credit loss, payment netting with a single counter-party, reducing credit risk.
20156Calculate amount at risk of credit loss, payment netting with a single counter-party, reducing credit risk.
20156Calculate amount at risk of credit loss, payment netting with a single counter-party, reducing credit risk.
20156Calculate amount at risk of credit loss, payment netting with a single counter-party, reducing credit risk.
20156Calculate amount at risk of credit loss, payment netting with a single counter-party, reducing credit risk.
20156Calculate amount at risk of credit loss, payment netting with a single counter-party, reducing credit risk.
20156Calculate amount at risk of credit loss, payment netting with a single counter-party, reducing credit risk.

Trading Questions from the 2009 – 2015 Essay Exams
201410Note: Part A and Part B are not relevant


Part C covers VWAP algorithm and implementation shortfall algorithm.
20123Part A covers criteria of market quality.


Part B covers algorithmic participation strategy.


Note: Part C is not relevant
20108Note: Part A and B are not relevant


Part C covers trade execution tactics.


Part D covers missed trade opportunity cost.

Performance Evaluation Questions from the 2010 – 2015 Essay Exams
20155Outperforming pure indexing strategy, decomposing return into style bias and active management, time weighted return, pure sector allocation return, within-sector selection return.
201311Part A covers style and active return.


Part B covers risk-adjusted performance.


Part C covers manager continuation decisions.
20119Performance attribution, sector allocation returns.
20109Selection of benchmark index, active value addition.