To Put This To Rest

“Friend” from this point onwards will be used to represent the views of a bunch of people near and dear to me  who have at different stages of the process had their input sought or felt the need to throw their 2 cents in.

The Beginning:

Friends: Mabrouk, heard your MBA results are out. Congrats.

Me: 3.88 is not 4

Friends: 3.88 is great, plus at least it is over and you are not lost in the endless cycle of the elusive CFA.

Me: Tell me more.

Friends: 35% success rate.. almost nobody passes from the first time round, we don’t know anyone who’s finished all three levels.. basically it can’t be done.

Months Later:

I have been chilling for a while post MBA.. it has been a year.. my brain is starting to rust (roll your eyes all you like). Figured I could use a challenge in my spare time, I was starting to miss the classroom experience (I can literally hear some of you puking at this point). This was a mood that often accompanied my birthday and the whole year-in-review energy and usual self criticism and dissatisfaction with achievement tally. Psychotic? YES very..

Friends at B-day party: So what are your plans for the new year.

Me: I’m gonna ace the CFA exam.

Friends: December?

Me: Nope, June.

Friends: You realise today is Feb 20?

Me: Yes.

Friends: Will you take a course.

Me: Nope, will just read it on my own.

Another crazy friend: I’m in!

Me: Perfect!

On doing the right things for the wrong reasons:

Friends: Free to go for Sushi on Monday.

Me: No sorry, Mondays are no good, I’m meeting my study buddy.

Friends: I thought you were done with MBA.

Me: I am, this is for the CFA.

Friends: Work is requiring it?

Me: Nope.

Friends: Is it useful in your line of work? Would it increase your salary? Make you better at your job?

Me: Negative, unlikely and no.

Friends: HUH?

Me: I’m just turned on by the fact that people said I couldn’t.

Friends: Hmm.. well.. that’s not exactly what they said.. but good luck!


Ok, so my study buddy and I only had 3 months to study for the exam and we both have 9 to 5 demanding jobs. So in the interest of time and due to the sheer size of our respective egos and our ability to egg each other on.

Study mechanism:

  • Open book
  • Start solving problems at end of chapters
  • Discuss our answers
  • Compare answers to solution at end of the book
  • If more than 70% of answers are correct ==> We know this stuff, don’t bother read chapter.
  • If less than 70% are correct ==> Make note to read this chapter independently when we get a chance at the end when we’re done solving  for all the subjects in question.


6 hours of mind boggling MCQs.

Friends: How did you do?

Me: I really don’t know!

Pre – Results:

Friends: They out yet.

Me: Na-auh

Friends: Worried?

Me: LOL! Which answer would you like? Me? Worried? Naturally not, what’s there to worry about :)!! OF COURSE I’M WORRIED! I’m scared out of my brains and anxious as hell!

Friend: What’s the worst that could happen?

Me: Hmm. I don’t pass. I end up with a bruised ego.

Friend: Why would your ego be bruised?

Me: Cause I would have half-assed a challenging pursuit and failed at it! How average! How damn predictable!

Friend: Blank stare!!! No comment.


I failed! (for those who are allergic to the phrase.. I did not pass!)

Post – Results:


1) Drop the CFA alltogether.

Motive:  I need to start doing things because they need to be done.. because they are useful/important rather than because I want to prove that I can achieve the impossible. (Damned superhero complex).

Friend feedback:

  • Take the exam. It would be such a waste not to, you’ve already done the bulk of the effort.
  • You are quitting? So unlike you? Minor setbacks like you always say..
  • You have to fight, you can’t give up on something you want. All people fail, the only difference is the level of determination that makes you continue trying rather than give up. This is too easy and you can’t keep changing your life forever just to escape temporary failures. Calm down and get ready for the next fight.

2) Take the exam in December and pass.

Motive: 3end! Really, no other incentive. To prove to myself that I can if adequately prepared pass this cursed exam. Does in no way guarentee that I’ll go on to take levels 2 and 3.

Friend feedback:

  • Knowing you, you’d find some psychotic way to spin this into a non-achievement. Since after all, what’s the big deal, everybody passes their second trial, challenge would be all gone. (She’s brilliant and she’s got me pegged).
  • That’s the spirit!
  • Don’t take courses though, those who took them didn’t pass either.
  • Look at the bright side, exam is in Abu Dhabi, think shopping spree 🙂

3) Take the exam in December and fail yet again.

Personally: I don’t think my ego (which is now already black and blue and badly bruised) could take that. I’m not that secure, honestly!

Friend feedback:

  • Not gonna happen! (Kindly note that they said that about my first trial as well, people tend to overestimate yours truly).
  • Pessimistic aren’t we?
  • How about a completely different scenario? You take it again, you fail again, you never give up, THAT is my Juka. (I honestly wish I was the person she thinks I am.)

I don’t know what I’m going to do, but sitting on our living room couch, none of the scenarios seem appealing.


12 thoughts on “To Put This To Rest

  1. I haven’t put my 2 cents yet. 😀

    Didn’t know that this CFS is irrelevant to your field of work & won’t help you out with your progress.
    If the above statement is correct, I’d vote for not taking the exam again ( waste of money and time + a useless certificate on your resume ).
    I’d recommend you’d find a challenge that would do you good as regards your work, I’m sure you’ll find tons of them.

  2. CFA is the real thing, the ultimate challenge and literally puts you in a league of your own. MBAs are for kids, CMA don’t cut it and CPA for public accountant. I personally c people who pass the CFA to be highly disciplined and highly self motivated.
    You are in for a challenge, retake next June again, and take dec if u passed at least 4 subjects. Personally I would like to start studying it again and hope it isn’t too late.

  3. I think you should take it again. I mean you will look back and always wonder; personally I don’t like to wonder and I don’t like looking back. You should attain closure, I know I love closure and I would never be at peace without it.
    Challenging yourself is great and I personally applaud you, but I am a fan of never giving up; it’s not easy and the results aren’t materialistically great, but the sense of fulfillment is much more euphoric than any other feeling in the world.
    And for those who think it isn’t, you just haven’t felt it yet.

  4. Belya: Lets take this offline.

    Askandarani: I agree regarding the CFA… still not sure about retaking it though…and on a side note.. majorly offended that you are questioning whether or not I passed 4 subjects!! I only failed two!

  5. I recall Coldplay’s “Just because I’m losing, doesn’t mean I’m lost”, well ahem, not really recalling, I’m actually listening to it right this very moment 😀

    Anyways, I second Belya. There’s this straw between self-fulfillment and implausibility, and if there’s a change on you that you know will make you pass it, then of course go for it, but to count on mere mental motivation, I guess the light is telling you to try yes, but not the same thing.

    They say failing something is a message from the universe telling you: life is abundant, resume probing ..

  6. “a fourth possible scenario.. one in which I start doing things for the right reasons”–words from the Juka herself. Wanted to immortalize them.
    & i believe there is always a fifth scenario out there…it may be written in the stars..who knows!

  7. Ya juka ya gameel I really want to say how much I am impressed by all u write, by the whole idea….. I am very proud of YOU ……….It’s great to share those things…. engaging in the CFA is a great experience and the hardest one too …… you can say that I passed by all you said , that’s why I agree with you and feel it …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s