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Study tactics

Evening All,

I was wondering what study techniques you guys have used / or are using for the level 1 exam. My school bought us the study prep material; SchweserNotes, and I’m having a bit of a difficult time attacking the study material. Do you guys read the sections and practice the Concept Checkers at the end of each section? The reason that I ask is that I feel the way I am currently doing it, by reading along taking notes and then attempting the questions at the end of the section is just not working for me. I am having a hard time retaining the information that way, would it be best to simply read over the material and constantly practice the end of section questions?

Any tips would be extremely helpeful! Thank you in advance. 

"Using Wiley for my CFA journey was by far the best option… I was able to pass on my first attempt.”– Moe E., Canada

This is the way I did it:

Read Schweser Notes and supplemented with CFAI texts if I needed more clarity on some topics. After each reading, I completed the Schweser EOC questions (not the concept checker) and the CFAI EOC. I finished this by April. In April, I reviewed the Schweser Notes. This took me about 2 weeks. I then re-did all CFAI EOC questions to make sure I was still averaging at least 70% on all readings. If I did badly on one of the readings, I reviewed the CFAI text. I am still waiting on results, but I am confident I passed using this method. 

Also, to be able to retain knowledge, you need to go back to your notes or flashcards once in a while. One way of doing this is after each study sessions, go back to your notes and do a quick review so that you keep everything fresh in your mind. It is a constant struggle until the end and I can guarantee you will not remember everything.However, you do not need to remember everything to pass this exam. Try not to memorize, try to understand, this is what made a huge difference for me. The only way to understand is to do tons of questions. Also, make sure to do a few mocks under timed conditions in the last month before the exam, this will also help you retain information better and prepare you to take the exam.

I’ll share my method using Schweser Notes:

1) Read each chapter and “summarize” it. Basically I write down any information that is either new to me or is not intuitive. I end up writing about 50-70% of the chapter.

2) Once done, I immediately tackle the Concept Checker for practice.

3) Once I’m done with all the material, I review my notes (1 book at a time) and do CFAI EOC questions.

4) Finally, I review all my notes and do mock exams.

I noticed that my method is somewhat time-consuming at the beginning, however, once I am done with writing down my notes, it’s much quicker to review the chapters using the notes than referring to the books.

IMO, Schweser did a good job for Level I and Level II, however, Level III wasn’t as great (but still not bad). Level III Concept Checkers  and QBank were my main issue as problems were worded horribly and I always had some doubt about some of their questions/answers.

Good luck!