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Passed L3 90% Percentile without doing any blue box or EOC questions - FYI

Didn’t read any CFAI text (except for skimming GIPS one week before exam) nor did I work any blue box or EOC problems. I just ran out of study time, so I didn’t get a chance to use CFAI materials. And I only had time to do the 2 mock PM exams (and they both seemed surprisingly difficult). I did a lot of practice on the past essay exams though. 

Because I didn’t get a chance to do BB or EOC questions, I got super nervous in the final 2 weeks (even though I was confident throughout the previous months). So I just wanted to let you know that things turned out fine without any CFAI material, and the exam felt very straightforward. I felt super prepared. Not saying this is a wise strategy, but just wanted to let people know it did work for above 90% percentile results, so it appears there wasn’t a lot of information missing from Kaplan.

I read Kaplan material twice. Really, I should have just read Kaplan material once, then spent more time working problems and letting practice problems dictate further studying needs.

I did have a good test-taking strategy–mainly a timing technique–on exam day (this was super important because timing is everything). Make sure to develop an exam strategy and gameday techniques. Execution is key for L3. Mastering all the information should not be your (only) strategy. 

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Cool story, Hansel

CFA L3 Surfer wrote:

Didn’t read any CFAI text (except for skimming GIPS one week before exam) nor did I work any blue box or EOC problems. I just ran out of study time, so I didn’t get a chance to use CFAI materials. And I only had time to do the 2 mock PM exams (and they both seemed surprisingly difficult). I did a lot of practice on the past essay exams though. 

Because I didn’t get a chance to do BB or EOC questions, I got super nervous in the final 2 weeks (even though I was confident throughout the previous months). So I just wanted to let you know that things turned out fine without any CFAI material, and the exam felt very straightforward. I felt super prepared. Not saying this is a wise strategy, but just wanted to let people know it did work for above 90% percentile results, so it appears there wasn’t a lot of information missing from Kaplan.

I read Kaplan material twice. Really, I should have just read Kaplan material once, then spent more time working problems and letting practice problems dictate further studying needs.

I did have a good test-taking strategy–mainly a timing technique–on exam day (this was super important because timing is everything). Make sure to develop an exam strategy and gameday techniques. Execution is key for L3. Mastering all the information should not be your (only) strategy. 

lol

Basically, this is the same amount of work as one my colleagues did. He only did the BB and EOC questions for all 3 levels and passed in the first attempt. He didn’t read the text at all, just did practices and looked up the formulas and knowledge he needed. He only started studying 2 weeks before the exam.

From my side, I never read the books also. Just focus on Schweser and exercises.

Agree exam day timing is really important. You can know the material inside out but if you can’t get the answers down on the page in time it’s not worth anything!

cc_1983 wrote:

Cool story, Hansel

Haha lol

If you're the first out the door, that's not called panicking

Back in 4th grade, my teacher told us a story…

Teacher: “Jane Czech, a foreign exchange student, is scoring 100% on all my tests.. And you guys are all averaging 65%.. She can barely speak or write English. You all should really work harder”

Student A: “Oh thats not fair.. All she does is study study study. Of course she would score 100%”

Teacher: “Oh yes, she is cheating.. she studies way more then everyone, what a cheater”

CFA L3 Surfer wrote:

Didn’t read any CFAI text (except for skimming GIPS one week before exam) nor did I work any blue box or EOC problems. I just ran out of study time, so I didn’t get a chance to use CFAI materials. And I only had time to do the 2 mock PM exams (and they both seemed surprisingly difficult). I did a lot of practice on the past essay exams though. 

Because I didn’t get a chance to do BB or EOC questions, I got super nervous in the final 2 weeks (even though I was confident throughout the previous months). So I just wanted to let you know that things turned out fine without any CFAI material, and the exam felt very straightforward. I felt super prepared. Not saying this is a wise strategy, but just wanted to let people know it did work for above 90% percentile results, so it appears there wasn’t a lot of information missing from Kaplan.

I read Kaplan material twice. Really, I should have just read Kaplan material once, then spent more time working problems and letting practice problems dictate further studying needs.

I did have a good test-taking strategy–mainly a timing technique–on exam day (this was super important because timing is everything). Make sure to develop an exam strategy and gameday techniques. Execution is key for L3. Mastering all the information should not be your (only) strategy. 

Bullsh*t.

This is the Biggest Lie.  I studied only Kaplan for over 500 hours, watched all their videos and online class for the Level III and Failed in the 10 percentile range.  When I went to Kaplan to ask to retake the class they said I didn’t meet their guarantee.  I definitely would not recommend the Kaplan program.  They emphasize on item sets that were not covered on the 2019 exam.  All their videos are recorded from God Knows When.  When I used Wiley for Level II, I scored in the 70 percent range.  I figured Kaplan would prepare me enough to compete, I am out another $700 to retake the exam and another $1,000 to find another test provider.  I hate Kaplan.

Hasselhof wrote:

This is the Biggest Lie.  I studied only Kaplan for over 500 hours, watched all their videos and online class for the Level III and Failed in the 10 percentile range.  When I went to Kaplan to ask to retake the class they said I didn’t meet their guarantee.  I definitely would not recommend the Kaplan program.  They emphasize on item sets that were not covered on the 2019 exam.  All their videos are recorded from God Knows When.  When I used Wiley for Level II, I scored in the 70 percent range.  I figured Kaplan would prepare me enough to compete, I am out another $700 to retake the exam and another $1,000 to find another test provider.  I hate Kaplan.

That just says Kaplan wasn’t right for you, but doesn’t say anything about whether or not it’s right for someone else.  I studied out of Kaplan at all three levels and passed them first try, and didn’t once open any of the official materials.  Only thing from CFA I opened and worked on were these supplemental readings they posted when I took Level 3.  Key point is: the exam tests a body of information and how you get that information into your head is on you.  Some folks (like myself) are able to understand it with very little fluff.  Others require more context to fully understand.

What IS true, however, is that Kaplan’s Level 3 mock exams are hot garbage.  For the mocks, it’s best to stick to official material.